I attend a lot of events and meet a lot of people around this great country of ours.  We talk real estate, entrepreneurship and life and everywhere I go it’s a given that I meet people interested in real estate.  When I tell people that I play monopoly for a living, the conversation will often have this sentence in it:

“I’d love to invest in real estate.  I just have no idea where to get started.”

I thought about this on a plane ride home from a investing meetup I went to in Columbus, OH last week and thought, I’d sent out an email to investors I know around the country.  These are people we’ve worked with and some we’ve not yet had the opportunity to and I wanted to get their input on a simple question:

“If you had just one piece of advice to give someone that is looking to get their start in real estate investing, what would it be?”

The first step is often the most difficult.  I totally get that, because I’ve been there.  What I’ve found is that modeling is the quickest route to success, so why not see what other investors have to share on the subject and share some insights.  I was overwhelmed with over 200 responses and I’m going to share just a portion of the answers I got.  If you’re a new investor, this is some great wisdom.  I had some great takeaways as well.  Thank you to everyone that responded!  I appreciate you all!

Never stop learning – J Williams

Focus on building great relationships.  Everything that you want will follow that. -B Wynn+

Find someone doing exactly what you want successfully, and hire them to mentor you. Bring value to them and be willing to invest in them. – D Zitofsky

Get and build a great team of contractors.  Make sure you have your contractors under contract for completion date. – T Thompson

I would have to say it’s persistence….sometimes amazing deals comes after a few tries and sometimes after a whole bunch of tries. Just sticking to it and putting in the work knowing it’s a numbers game is huge – T Bogdan

Know the math! Find out how much the cost are to fix up properties, market, and closed. Also have enough reserve funds for time that it’s not selling to offset expenses to see if you will have enough profit for time put in. – C Duong

Network! Go to local meetings and surround yourself with like minded people that are currently doing deals.  – A. Rincon

Know your comps and neighborhoods extremely well.  – M. Romanello

Build relationships and your power team and network! – M Walker

Envision yourself successful and become successful. Always believe in yourself there will be doubters your whole life don’t let them hold you down use it as fuel. – A Hebda

The one thing that has helped me most is to STAY THE COURSE. Beware of shiny new toy syndrome, often as a new investor we want to try the latest and greatest new strategy that we hear about, or that some guru is pitching. This can lead to a lot of frustration and an empty bank account. – C Blair

If you give up trying to find your first deal, you will never get one. – N Burton

Get a mentor – A Williams

Know your market! – A. Abdelsayed

Partner up! You limit the ROI, but you limit the risk. Give yourself support and help through your first few deals until you can do it on your own!- D Barney

Take action – P Viola

Spend the time on learning the scammers tricks. You need to know how to spot the scammers. – J Novak

Just know that when you get started you will have to look at 50 deals before you close on one, but don’t let that bring you down.  That’s what you need to go through in order to become a successful investor… Have that mindset through your investing tenure and you will be succeed. – D Kagan

Do things the right way and keep pushing- L Henry

The one piece of advice I would give would be for the Investor is to reach out to someone who is already investing in what you want to Invest in.  Ask them if you could Intern a few hours a week for them for FREE.  Do not stop asking until you find at least one person who says yes.  The other 22 Investors who told you “no”,  put them all in your data base and follow up with them once a quarter and always ask them what are their top two business goals to get done in the next quarter and if there’s anything you can be doing to help them accomplish those goals.  – P Rogers

Master one area/strategy before moving on to the next one. You will be glad you did – S Anderson

Real estate is half property, and half finance. Learn both. All sorts of creative opportunities will open up, and sometimes a single deal can generate multiple sources of profit. – M Bario

Associate yourself with someone who has made it in Real estate and emulate them as much as possible –  J Leggett

Just get into your first deal. Whether you are young, old or in between, getting into that first deal conquers your mental fears and allows you to have much greater opportunity! – T Southerland

Don’t get discouraged if you find people you work with that don’t want be honest move on to next person their is always someone out there – V Irwin

Stay consistent and don’t feel discouraged ever. There are a lot of people out here doing exactly what you intend to do and have done so for years. Its not a race to the top. Everyone is at their own page in the book of investing, whether it be page 1 or page 40. Learn the ins and outs of the business, ask questions to seasoned investors, and make a lot of friends. Sometimes it takes months of networking with people, and meeting people before you make one red cent. Lastly, always be a student. You can never obtain too much knowledge. – D Torres

It’s not nearly as easy as the guru’s portray it to be and you wont be rich next month. – L Moses

Go as often as you can to networking events such as local REIA meetings. You will meet rehabbers, wholesalers, realtors, attorneys, contractors, lenders, etc. that can help you build your business.  R. Johnson

Real estate is like the ocean. There is always a wave no matter what. You just have to adapt and be on the right board to surf it. – D Johns

The turtle won the race! Each day I set a small goal oriented to my professional real estate business to achieve. Each day, little by little, step by step, you move closer to your goals, your dream and winning the race you set out on.- J Nesseler

Don’t ever imagine you can outsource your thinking and be successful.  This mistake is at the heart of why most gurus make more money from ‘educating’ their students than they ever do from the business model they’re promoting. YOUR business needs to be yours; own it, don’t be a puppet. The educators will never, ever, care as much about your success as you do.  – C Tiff

Make sure you have a system in place that ensures all potential leads are followed up on.  R Mesaros

Live below your means and reinvest – M Oliveri

Get financial education before you need it – W Patenaude

Learn the basics from someone who actually does deals not from a guru. – D Hollis