Three and a half years later, supplemented with more training that included Cliff Gager, Phill Grove, religiously listening to podcasts from the likes of The Norris Group, The Real Estate Guys and countless free webinars that gave some strategic tips on how I should carve my path in real estate investing (and of course opportunity to spend thousands more on THEIR training), plus my own experiences, I can tell new investors, in a nutshell, what to avoid as you move forward in your career.
- There are a countless number of shady characters out there looking for ways to separate your money from your possession. And there are hundreds of ways this is accomplished. Some are outright con-artists promising to solve all your problems for an up-front fee (See the blog post about the "trust me" guy). Some are high priced companies charging above market value for what you think you need (asset protection setup, additional coaching/mentoring, software/services). Some are other real estate investors utilizing your moment of excitement to provide you an over-priced property, targeting your enthusiasm to maximize their profits. (See the blog post "Our First Deal Fed a SCAM", and the blog post of the alleged deception that occurred leading to the ultimate arrest of Karen Hanover, self acclaimed commercial real estate guru.)
- Never feel pressured to pay now because the deal will be gone tomorrow, there are deals everywhere.
- Never pay anyone an up-front fee for coordinating a financial transaction.
- Always do your own due diligence. Never depend on what ONE person tells you. (In fact always validate anything anyone tells you.)
- It's been three and a half years since I was enticed with the promise that I would be rich by investing in real estate. It hasn't happened yet. That doesn't mean that it won't happen. I am still as determined as ever to make this a success. Know up front that you will have to work, must be determined, and identify strategies that align with your personality, talents and goals. There will be setbacks. Know that these setbacks are not failures, but learning experiences. Even if you chose not to proceed in real estate investing, it's not a failed attempt, it's a learning experience and it's OK to move in a different direction.
- I hear about so many people that made mistakes with their investing, lost money on their first or second deal. I hear about people who lost money because they invested with another new investor, or they didn't have the right JV agreements in place, and more. My biggest loss occurred because I took on more than I was ready for. Had I had a mentor at that time, it would have helped me realize that before I got myself into more than I could handle. If you paid for a mentoring program, utilize it to your satisfaction. Be the squeaky wheel. Whatever it takes, get the support you need moving forward. If you don't call them, they think everything is OK. Call them, tell them what you are doing and they will let you know if there is some concern. Something as innocent as what name you take title is enough to screw up a real estate deal. Make them take you by the hand for your first few deals. They are there for you, use them.