Many self-acclaimed real estate gurus state that everyone should quit their jobs and immediately jump into full time real estate investing. They often claim incredible results from students with little experience. We would like to caution that life-changing decisions are not usually simple and that full time investing is not for everyone. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of full-time versus part-time investing.The Full-Time InvestorEntering into the real estate profession on a full-time basis offers several advantages over a part-time commitment. Being successful requires you to develop knowledge in many aspects of real estate, and more time focused on real estate leads to greater knowledge. The more your learn, the more you earn, since you do not need to rely on as many professional services or partners for help. You also learn to recognize a deal (or a dud) faster, which gives you more time to do more business or spend with your family.As a full-time investor, you work your own hours. When we say “full-time,” that may mean as little as twenty hours per week if you are good at finding deals. The rest of your time can be spent pursuing other vocations or hobbies. Or, if you are so inspired, you can work forty or more hours and use the extra cash flow to buy rental properties or diversify your holdings in the stock market. The point is that you need to satisfy your cash flow needs before you can start “investing” your money.One final point you should consider is whether you want to be “self-employed.” If you have always worked for someone else, being your own boss sounds very attractive. In some, respects, this isn’t quite the truth. Being your own boss means being an accountant, bookkeeper, stock clerk, receptionist and office manager all-in-one. You have to do deal with tax returns, payroll, office supplies, customer service, bills and all the other hassles that come with a business. You don’t have friends to chat with at the water cooler. You don’t have paid health insurance, a company car and a 401(k). You take your problems home with you every night. Sound like fun? It is, once you learn how to master your time and run your business. Being the master of your own life and career is well worth the other hassles of dealing with your own business.The Part-Time InvestorThe part-time investor holds a “regular job.” This may be by choice or for the time being until his real estate ventures are bringing in enough cash to quit his job. If it is the latter reason, don’t quit your job because the real estate “guru” told you so. Quit your job when it is not worth the income that it brings you. In other words, if you are making more money per hour flipping properties on the side, you are at the point that where your regular job is costing you money. Only then, is it time to quit!One of the advantages of starting out part-time is that you can maintain cash flow while learning the business. It may take weeks or possibly months to find your first deal. That same deal may take several months to turn around, especially if you decide to fix it and sell it retail. Think twice before telling your boss you’re leaving; you will have plenty of time to make the career switch once you have real estate experience. You may, on the other hand, like your occupation. If so, continue to work at it, and invest in real estate on the side.The best case scenario, if you are married, is to have one spouse work a regular job. The other spouse work the real estate business for creating wealth, retirement income and a nice college fund for the children. Of course, in today’s market, you could be laid off due to unforeseen circumstances. If you earn additional income flipping houses and invest the proceeds into rental properties, you will be covered if your main income is lost. This is especially the case for married women that often forego a career and raise a family, only to find themselves divorced with no means of making a living. We don’t want to sound cynical about marriage, but with a fifty-percent divorce rate in America, it never hurts to have a system for making money.Someone with a full time job tends to have little free time to focus on real estate. A part-timer should learn most of the same skills as a full timer. Thus, the key disadvantage to flipping properties on a part-time basis is that it takes sacrifice to learn the business. Something has to give; television, lazy weekends, meaningless hobbies and even some family activities must be compromised. As with any education, time spent learning about real estate will bring its own rewards, especially if the people in your life understand your goals and your plan to achieve those goals. If you are married, make sure your spouse reads this material with you and participates in the fun process of making money.Treat Real Estate as a BusinessPeople are lured to real estate because of the quick buck that it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes about five years. More than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat it like any other business.
The economy of the world has become tougher for the average Joe to eke out a living. This is why people are getting creative and looking for complimentary ways to meet up with their expenses. This is the reason why some people have opted for the real estate business. This venture requires effort and a decent amount of skill for it to be profitable. Here are some smart ways you can succeed as an agent in real estate business.Set Realistic Goals
The key to making a name for yourself in this business is to work to your strengths and avoid areas that expose your weaknesses. Let this be your guiding light when you are looking for your market, and clients. In addition, set goals that you can reach and not look at from a distance. You can break them down and streamline them into different phases if requiredYou need to be focused and ready to roll up your sleeves and work. Learn how to organize your contacts and manage your time properly. You need to always make out time to look for property, people would hardly come around to your office and hand you business on a platter, especially if you are just starting out.Think Beyond the Box
Remember that you are not the only real estate agent on the planet. There are many people ahead of you in the game and even more people like you looking for that extra buck. So if you want to get ahead of them, you need to think differently, beyond the box. When you strategize properly, you will find it easy to hit the ground running and make all the right moves in the market that would stand you out from other agents jostling for properties.An example of thinking beyond the box is working with repair companies. You need to build a crack team of plumbers, electricians, gardeners and the occasional handyman. If you have competent people working with you that might be your unique selling point. Other agents might find you as the go-to guy when a property requires renovation or a last minute repair. You might not earn a commission for selling the house. However, you might earn something on getting the grunt guys together to work on the house.Work with the Pros
You need to work with professionals in this line of business. Never attempt to do everything yourself. You will not succeed. You will need to work with an accountant because real estate ventures involve loads of money. An accountant can help you analyze all the pros and cons. He can help you expose the golden niches of the market and provide you with good financial reason to chase business. On the other hand, an attorney can provide you with valuable information about property transactions and bring you up to speed with existing laws and how they affect you.It is vital that you take the advice of professionals; it is mandatory if you want your business to grow. Remember that your success depends mostly on repeat clients and word of mouth referrals. So if you miss your way from the onset, it might be almost impossible for you to find your bearings and right those wrongs.