For as long as anyone can remember, we’ve always heard that “real estate is the key to wealth.” A very high percentage of millionaires obtained those millions via the real estate industry.
If you are someone that’s always wanted to “get into real estate” but have been confused about exactly what to do, this article will shed some light on a few little-known areas.
1. Tax Lien Investing
What if I told you that the infomercials that you see on late-night TV about buying tax delinquent properties for pennies on the dollar … are actually true? It’s possible to acquire properties at various tax lien auctions around the country at deep discounts. In fact, there are a few counties where the starting bid price is only $500 bucks. Of course, this type of investing comes with a unique set of risks, but the upside is enormous.
Quick Start Tip: contact your local tax assessor and inquire about the next tax sale date for your area.
2. Property Inspections
Millions of property inspections are completed every single year for a wide variety of reasons. The most common reasons include verification of occupancy and/or damage assessments. These inspections do NOT require a real estate license and can be a great way to get your feet wet in the industry while earning extra cash on the side.
Quick Start Tip: search your local job boards for “property inspector” to see what openings are available in your area.
If you have the “gift of gab,” you may want to strongly consider wholesaling as a viable entry into the real estate industry. Wholesalers essentially operate as the middle man between a buyer that needs a quick sale and an investor that wants a quick, below-market purchase. While you don’t need any money to start on this path, you DO need to maintain a very high level of consistency to continuously build your Rolodex of buyers and sellers.
Quick Start Tip: Attend a local wholesalers’ meeting in your area. Make an effort to meet other investors and get details on the types of deals they are seeking. Then, make sure to work extra hard to locate properties that fit those criteria.
4. Bird Dogging
If your ultimate goal is to become a full-time real estate investor, bird-dogging is a great way to get started. It doesn’t cost ANY money similar to wholesaling, but it does require constant scouting for deals in your local area. Wholesalers analyze the deal, secure it and flip the contract to an investor for a fee. Bird dogs spot the deal and share the lead with the investor in exchange for an agreed-upon finder’s fee.
Quick Start Tip: Attend local REI (real estate investor) meetings in your area on a weekly basis. Find out what types of deals they are seeking. Make an effort to scout local neighborhoods for those types of deals and be ready to give those investors the “inside scoop” in exchange for your fee.
5. Rental Leasing
Another great way to gain a lot of experience with a low entry point is to consider operating as a leasing agent. Unlike the other pathways mentioned above, leasing agents typically have to obtain a certificate from the state before they can start working. However, this certificate is MUCH easier to obtain than a full-blown real estate license. Once the certificate is obtained, leasing agents help individuals rent houses and/or apartments in exchange for a predetermined commission.
Quick Start Tip: Contact your local Realtor board and find out if this certificate is available in your area. If it is, sign up to obtain the certificate and you could start working in as little as two to four weeks.
Real estate has countless pathways to success. Try some of the avenues described above until you find the lane best suited to your personality, budget, and desired lifestyle.