This is your one and only life. A few questions. Do you like it here? Does it look the way you expected? Does it fill you up?
All our lives, we’re offered safe, certified ways to reduce risk. And a Monday to Friday office job has its appealing qualities. But we’re willing to bet you didn’t click on this article because you live for water cooler small talk. The truth is there’s a world outside of these safe choices—just check out some of these stories. If we’re willing to work for it, the reward is well worth it.
Let’s say for you that means you want to pursue real estate entrepreneurship. It’s an exciting and challenging time to join the market, and, importantly, if you’re willing to work hard and stay focused, it’s also a profitable time.
Keep reading for The Future Party’s beginner’s guide on how to transform your career and begin real estate entrepreneurship.
Tip 1: Hit the Books to Start Pursuing Your Real Estate Education
You can’t play the game if you don’t know the rules. If you want to seriously work in real estate, you’ll need to be licensed to do so. You have a few options for where you can get this sort of thing:
Real Estate License
This is the industry’s entry point. Think of it as the Bar for lawyers or the Boards for doctors. The good news? It probably won’t take you years or internships to prepare for this exam.
Start by purchasing a few study help books (Real Estate Exam for Dummies comes with practice tests), take some courses from either a local or online real estate program, and when you’re ready, take the test. Pass? Congrats, you’re officially a real estate agent. Fail? No worries, you can retake the exam as many times as you want.
Real Estate Programs
If you thrive in a classroom setting and want to take some time aside to really dig into this new field, there are plenty of undergraduate courses to consider. Real estate programs typically sit within business schools, and some offer Masters Degrees as well. According to US News, these are the top 5 programs in the United States:
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Wisconsin: Madison
- New York University
- University of California: Berkeley
- University of Southern California
We’re all for the pursuit of higher education, but remember to be wary of the financial burden. It can take decades to dig yourself out of student loan debt.
If either of the above options isn’t feasible for you yet, or if you’re just looking to learn a few new tricks, there are lots of resources to help supplement your education. Check out talks and webinars from successful real estate entrepreneurs and take notes. This market moves fast, so it’s best to get up-to-date insight from the players already on the field. Just in case you didn’t hear it the first time: Take. Notes.
Tip 2: Make Connections. Expand Your Network And Find a Mentor.
Real estate is a hands-on industry. There’s only so much you can learn from a real estate course. Much of the knowledge and know-how of becoming a successful entrepreneur will need to be learned on the ground and in the weeds. You have to surround yourself with seasoned professionals with practical experience.
Watch them closely, listen in on calls, and ask for advice as often as possible.
If your real estate education doesn’t offer a direct path to find a mentor, take a spin around social media to see who is doing the business well. Look for someone who’s active, professional, and responsive, as they’re typically the people most open to expanding their network.
Once you’ve secured a mentor or a network of professionals to learn from, pay close attention to how they live their life. Consider…
- What time do they wake up in the morning?
- How do they manage multiple listings and clients at the same time?
- What do their emails and online personas look, sound, and feel like?
- What does their mindset look like?
- How do they set goals and achieve them?
Being an entrepreneur requires a dedicated sense of purpose. A strong network and inspirational role models will help you both generate leads and community around your business and keep you motivated when the going gets tough (which, in this industry, is pretty much a guarantee)
Tip 3: Lay Down the Bricks. Pick an Investing Strategy.
There’s more than one avenue to becoming a real estate entrepreneur. When you’re starting out, consider what you can take on and what kind of projects you’d gravitate towards the most. Generally, there are six types of real estate investments you can jump into. Remember, you can always develop your business over time and diversify your portfolio.
Buying and Holding
The landlord and the tenant, a relationship as old as time. You buy a property, find a renter, and then let the income flood in. You can tend towards the residential side or towards commercial—either way works. This investment strategy will bring through a steady stream of cash, though it also requires hands-on involvement.
Enter the Airbnb. Short-term rental investments have become massively popular in recent years and are a typical entry point for those interested in getting into the industry. They’re a little higher of a risk, considering the vetting process for renters is much less rigorous than long-term occupants, but the reward can be big, especially in desirable vacation areas.
If you’ve spent any amount of time watching HGTV, you know this one. The flip strategy is beneficial for anyone who’s not looking to manage properties once they’re done up and pretty. The goal is to get in, spruce up as fast as humanly possible, and get out quickly. The downside? It’s a lot of work all at once, and renovation projects are famous for their unexpected costs.
Like house flipping, but without all the work, investors looking to buy properties wholesale also purchase poorly valued homes from motivated sellers. Rather than fixing them up, though, these properties are simply immediately sold for marginal profit. It’s a good way to start earning some commissions but requires a big network to really move the needle.
Real Estate Investment Trusts
If this is all feeling a little too hands-on for you, a great way to dip your toe into the industry is to invest in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). These companies own profitable properties that generally turn out dividends for their stockholders. It’s a solid way to invest in the industry and start to earn a passive income, but if you’re looking for real entrepreneurship, it should really just be a piece of your overall strategy for success.
Developers are an important player in the industry, and working with them closely can teach you a lot about how a property gets made and managed. Crowdfunding means investing in a developer’s project and also results in passive income, but it’s a little higher risk. Make sure you believe in the developer.
You can’t get to your destination without knowing the directions. Entrepreneurship is all about staying open to opportunities and pivoting to what’s working best. Always continue to hone your strategy and search for new places to invest.
Tip 4: Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew. Start Small and Think Big.
If you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit, you’re probably chomping at the bit to get going. That’s good. Don’t lose that. But remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
In order to lay down the foundation of a successful, profitable real estate venture, you’re going to need to start small. Many people begin working in this industry as a side-hustle from their nine to five. If that’s the case for you, ensure that you can manage your career and your properties without sacrificing the quality of your effort on either side. Real estate entrepreneurship requires a lot of juggling, and you’re better off practicing with apples before bowling balls.
The bottom line? Stay ambitious and dream big but be realistic about where you currently are on the journey.
Tip 5: Keep At It. Stay Tenacious and Practice Patience.
It’s tough to be out there all on your own. The fear of putting ourselves on the line keeps most of us at desk jobs for big businesses. Those office walls and steady paychecks tell us we’re safe from losing big. They’re a security blanket.
Real estate entrepreneurship asks for more of you.
It’s going to require you to wear many hats, shake many hands, and face many obstacles. Almost certainly, you will experience setbacks and losses. But if you’re willing to put in the work and stay the course, the risk is well worth the reward.
Remember to stay patient and trust your gut. You started to pursue this for a reason. With the right mindset and will, the life you’ve been working towards will materialize around you. If you need to read some inspiring stories to keep you on track, well, that’s what our newsletter is here for.
Some Last Thoughts on Real Estate Entrepreneurship
Are you feeling ready to make the leap? Yeah, we thought so. There’s a rapidly changing market out there waiting for you.
Remember to stay open to learning new things and experiencing setbacks. These will only make you stronger and better prepared. Do your homework and learn the industry and its many laws forwards and backwards. Get some on-the-ground experience with a mentor who’s living your dream and start to emulate what’s working for them. Pick one investing strategy and then build from there. Start small and stay ambitious. And above all, stick with it.
If you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit within you, you’ve got the keys to the life you’ve only ever imagined. But first, you’ve got to get in the car, put the pedal to the metal, and drive.
Best Undergraduate Real Estate Programs | US News
The 6 Best Real Estate Strategies to Start Building Your Portfolio | Million Acres