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90 Seconds of Advice for the New Investor | By: Multiple Speaker(s)

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90 Seconds of Advice for the New Investor

By Vena Jones-Cox


     Not once but TWICE in the past 3 days, I’ve been presented with this question: “I know you’re in a hurry, but is there any quick advice you can give me about how to get started?”.

      It’s not unusual that a new investor thinks there’s a single secret to real estate investing success—but it’s a real challenge when you’re expected to summarize it in the time it takes you to get from the elevator to your car when you’re running from one event to another.

      Still, I was able to sort through the hundreds upon hundreds of things I always want a new investor to know to get to a few that seem to summarize what I know will keep them from being successful over the long and short term. I thought I’d share these with you this week:

  1. Suck up all the education you can—especially all the FREE education. It’s usually best to focus on a single strategy when you’re getting started, but it’s not good to limit what you learn to a single concept. For instance, I did mostly lease/options when I first started in real estate, but learned a lot about how to “sell” them from realtor classes and a lot about how to manage them from landlording classes. I’m also a big believer in balancing the “paid” education you get from gurus with real-life education from regular investors. Although listening to the local wholesaler talk about how he does deals isn’t as motivating or as well-organized as listening to the guru’s webinar, the difference is that you’ll get a clearer picture of how it works in your area from the former than the latter. Every time your real estate association opens its doors for a main meeting, networking meeting, subgroup meeting, whatever—you should be there with bells on.
  2. Do not for one second listen to anyone who hasn’t successfully done that you want to do. On the flip side, you should absolutely NOT take advice from or get your opinion of the state of the real estate industry from someone who’s not up to their elbows in it every day. Katie Couric did NOT buy a house last week, and I did. Who’s more qualified to tell you about “the market”, do you think?
  3. Try to recognize the things you’re doing in order to avoid doing the things you should be doing. In other words, anything you’re telling yourself that is stopping you from making offers is just procrastination, even if it seems very logical (“But I don’t have an LLC! But I need to get my real estate license! But I’m going to that bootcamp next week!”) As long as you have a safety net that will allow you to get out of a bad deal—like, say, a contract with an inspection contingency and an inner circle membership—NOTHING is more important to your success than just doing it.
  4. Keep living poor beyond where you’d like to & never let your cash reserves disappear. When you do get successful, don’t make the mistake that so many business people do of using their first profits as an excuse to buy everything they’ve ever wanted. If you can keep living like you’re living now for a year or 2, and put aside some cash reserves for your business and your personal life, you’ll be bulletproof. If you spend all your profits, you’ll always be short on cash and always be anxious. Your goal is not just to be rich but also to be happy, and having reserves will help you do this.


Reprinted with permission of Vena Jones-Cox. To get more free articles and tips, subscribe at

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