Have you considered becoming a property owner? Real estate business comes with its share of risks. While it is possible to earn an income collecting rent from the tenants, it is not as simple as some first-time real estate investors imagine. You might admire what others are making from this business, but you need to know the effort required to succeed. Furthermore, real estate investors face a lot of challenges. However, if you do everything right, it is possible to generate a good income from this business.
Keep the following things in mind as a real estate investor:
1. Put Everything into Perspective
You need to understand the duration it will take you in the process of owning real estate property from buying, renovating to selling it. Additionally, you need to estimate the cost of at least the next one year on things like taxes, insurance and also the maintenance required.
You should only have a debt for assets that can sustain themselves. That means that your asset must be able to pay off the debt that you have. If not, do not take a loan. If the property requires more funds, which you can acquire through loans, you should consider disposing of it. Properties are meant to generate more revenue and not become a liability.
2. Don’t Give Up
As a real estate investor, and especially if you are a beginner, you may make many mistakes. That is normal. Do not give up. Always get up and learn from that error, then move on.
You should save as much as possible when an opportunity arises. Do not be tempted to spend everything. Emergencies do arise, and you do not want to get into loans or get your property down.
4. Treat like a Business
Real Estate is a business like any other. You have to get a plan and track your expenses all the time. Also, the number of people and your relations with them is a major determinant of your success in this business. Regardless of your personality, financial status, all you want is revenue. Whom you know matters. You need to give partnerships a second thought. Get someone to mentor you, they understand it better. Strive to build a team. Surround yourself with people of good deals, those who are successful in this business. You will learn a lot and very fast.
Give doing it yourself a chance. If you have time and expertise in managing the property, you do not need to hire a professional. You could save yourself the cost that comes with seeking the services of these experts. If you DIY, your return on investment is higher. However, if you are not adept at handling real estate affairs, then you may need to hire a manager.
6. Know Your Market
A careful analysis of the market is crucial. As an investor, you need to keep updated with what is going on in the property market. Get to know the price ranges for different property types. It doesn’t make economic sense to purchase a property at the market price and expect it to appreciate fast. Investments do not work that way. You need to look for a low deal. Research and purchase those properties that are underpriced (well, you should confirm the legitimacy first). By getting a cheaper deal, you are assured of a profit if you sell it at the market price.
7. Match What You See
It is good to follow the steps of the other property owners. Do not go below or way too above what they have done. They understand better why they have their assets that way.
8. Don’t Multitask
Don’t attempt to learn everything at once. For example wanting to find out how to do flipping, wholesaling and other strategies that you think are cool. If you get distracted, you will see that you have done nothing in the end. Try one and master it before moving to the other.
9. Put Everything in Writing
Keep in mind that nothing verbal is valid. The documents might range from leases, notices to just mere promises. A lease, for instance, should come as a contract that both parties sign. If the communication involves the use of emails, ensure that they are preserved for future reference.
10. Stay Vigilant
The goal of every investor before investing in commercial property is to generate not just income but a passive income. As a real estate owner, you have the benefit of collecting money or checks from your tenants every end month or as per the agreements. However, you need to make sure that before handing any new occupant the keys, you have confirmed that the money is in the bank.
11. Location Matters
The neighborhood in which your property is located has significant effects on its value. As a property owner, if you locate your property in a developing area, then you stand to gain from growth in value of that property over time. And this happens even without the need to upgrade or any renovations to the property. All that is required is the knowledge that an individual project is underway. An increase in value means that you can sell the property at a price better than you bought or constructed it. However, if your house is located in an area that is stagnant regarding growth or the growth is very insignificant, then you may not manage to beat inflation. That means the value will remain constant. However, understand that since real estate is not a liquid investment, it might take a long time before finding a buyer.
12. Do Clean Business
Taking shortcuts in repairs as an investor will cost you reputation. Your clients will always associate you with poor properties. This is too bad as you may not manage to make any sales in the future. It means affecting your business. Similarly, ensure that you have are careful enough before settling on any deal. Do not be tempted rush through just because the owner is disposing the property at a lower price.
13. Get a License
Consider acquiring your real estate license. The real estate market requires people who are prepared. This will also guarantee that you are not on the wrong side of the law. On the same note, if you lease property, ensure that you are in line with the state laws. Let it be a contract and in writing to avoid facing problems in future.
14. Upgrading Increases Value
Doing some touches here and there will increase the value of your property. Consider giving your house by repainting, and refinishing the inside. Also, you may retouch the landscape to ensure that it stands out. Doing all that will not cost you a fortune. In fact, the value of your property rises beyond what you have incurred in renovating. But, spending more than 5% on remodeling puts you at risk.
15. Owning Rentals Demand a Lot of Capital
You need a 20% deposit if you decide to buy old property. It reaches a time when you have to purchase the house on a mortgage. Take the cost of buying or building a home to completion and that of maintaining it. Even more, it means accumulating all your net worth and risking it under one or a few assets. That can be risky. The risk is higher if your properties are concentrated in the same area. It means no diversification, and they face the same hazard. For instance, if something dangerous happens, then you stand to lose a lot. Failure to insure the house comes with dire consequences too.
16. Be Prepared for the Worst
Despite the fact that the primary goal is to generate revenue, there are risks associated with this business. From economic downtimes to sharp rises the mortgage rates, the risk could end up in losses, and you should not come as a shock.
The tenant that you deal with could also determine your success in real estate. Dealing with tenants can be very stressful. Looking for occupants of the home is also another nightmare. You may need to hire someone to manage on your behalf if you are committed in other equally important affairs like a full-time job. That comes at a cost to you as the owner. For example having tenants who have nothing to worry about, handling everything with carelessness. Before allowing any tenant to your home, you need to vet them properly. And it should not end there. Make sure that you check in from time to time. All this will prevent you from incurring an extra cost of renovating the house before a new occupant comes.
Additionally, you might have tenants who are not quick in paying rent. Thus, your cash flow will be hurt. Still, you may at times experience periods of no tenants. Therefore, your income is not guaranteed as a tenant.
17. Legal Fees, Taxes, and Insurance
It doesn’t matter if you occupants or not, as a property owner, you have to pay taxes. Besides, you have to part with insurance fees for the home and the also homeowners association fees. You can imagine being presented with those bills when you have no alternative sources of income. Even if you have tenants, it is an expense, and it eats into your profits.
18. Emotions Away
Don’t get emotional when buying. You need to know your numbers. You an investor and you are after an income. Don’t let a good deal pass you just because you can’t picture yourself living there. Neither should you purchase a home because you adore it. If the numbers do not make any financial sense, then you ought to look elsewhere.
19. Don’t Rush
You need to exercise due diligence before buying a property. Seek information concerning it and confirm every detail in the documents. You need to know how the property has been performing and the future of revenue, expenses required in operating, and the capital costs. Take time and estimate the cost of the repairs that you stand to incur when buying an old property before accepting the deal. On that price, you need to add an extra 10% for additional uncertainties. A contractor can help in getting the numbers right. You risk making terrible losses if you fail to do so
20. Take Action
You need to stop fearing to take action. Of course, it may be scary at first. But we learn later that there was nothing much to worry once you get into the business . With time you will learn how to navigate the market and start to enjoy the ride. But you need to have a plan before you do anything.
21. Seek Mentorship
It is good to seek help from people who have been in the real estate for some time. They understand more than you think. Ask them what has led to their success. Know what to avoid. Finally, let them tell you the problems they have encountered in the business. You will learn from their mistakes.
22. Get Your Numbers Right
Flipping houses comes with an extra risk. The main aim here is to buy a property and sell it after a short time to make some profit. The problem happens when you select a house whose renovations cost a lot of money, and it cuts your net return. All these might appear as a hidden cost, something you had not expected to incur. This type of investment is riskier when it comes to rental houses.
23. Be Open Minded and Creative
In this business, you need to have an open mind. You have to keep a close eye on the market to understand what is working and what is not. Be flexible to adopt changes quickly without affecting the whole business. Also be innovative in ways to stand out from other real estate properties in your area. Being innovative requires that you research what your buyers are looking for and tap into that opportunity. It means constant communication with your customers so they can gain trust you. Let them see you as a confidant who is not just out to make profits but also offer quality. You will establish trust over time. It comes gradually and only if you engage clean deals. They will entrust you with deposits. Honesty is essential in this business if you want to survive.