Getting started with Real Estate Investing in Your Own Backyard

The quickest way to do it while saving yourself from headaches and money down the drain

 

Bird's eye view of real estate investing in your own backyard
When finding real estate investments, don’t skip out in your own backyard

When I say I “quick”, I don’t mean overnight, or even in a month… or even in a year. Your success will vary depending on YOU, the market cycle, and the location. 

     It took me about 1.5 years to find and close my first deal. 

I’m not saying that’s how long it will take you. But, I am saying that it all depends on many factors. However, putting those factors to the side (we talk about these factors in our other articles found on www.realestateaudios.com), you need to get started eventually. And the best time to do it is NOW.

But…. how do you get started right-way without too much delay?

By learning directly from someone in your own backyard who’s doing and accomplishing the real estate investing strategy that you desire to learn…

 

cartoon of looking for real estate investing deals in your own backyard
Look for real estate deals anywhere – even near you.

 

The online forums are great for getting a grasp of what real estate investing is, and what strategies you want to do. Then when you’ve determined your goals with REI and your strengths and how it applies to these strategies (BTW we talk a lot about finding the right niche for you in this article) , then you pursue the one person that’ll guide you in the right direction. 

Why not start marketing directly for leads? 

Ok, so I know there’s a lot of advice on the online forums on how to get started with real estate investing that involves paid marketing for cold prospects. Things like direct mail, online marketing, etc. 

I don’t recommend it at all for a few reasons: 

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know about your market. The advice online might not have ANYTHING to do with your location. Maybe a simple yellow letter that says, “I buy houses fast…” mailed to 1,000 address will work well in a small town in the Midwest… but might work terribly in a metro area like Southern California.
  2. You don’t know how much to spend… There’s a certain average cost for direct mail in your location. In my area, if you do what everybody else does in direct mailing (sending to a general list with a general letter), you’ll have to spend at least $10k-$20k a month for any success.
  3. You don’t know how to make a deal…. You can spend all the money in the world on marketing and getting in front of the sellers…. But the real art to making things happen in REI is making a deal with the owner. Sometimes, it’s not just a straight cash offer. Other times it’s bringing more value onto the table: helping them move, cutting them a check outside of escrow, creative financing, helping with tenants, etc. 

The right-way – Networking   

 

To start investing in your own backyard without too much delay, you have to find the right person. And to find that person it takes networking…  

Since paid marketing can cost you a lot of money and you just don’t know the business yet… I recommend networking people in your business. No matter what stage you’re in, networking in any industry is a MUST. Dig that well of relationships early because you never know who/what you’ll need. This is a people business. So start learning how to build those relationships first. 

When it comes to lead generation and getting started quickly in real estate investing, there’s no better way, than finding the active investor in your area. 

So here are a few ways to find that person…

1. Start meeting them today

Pick 3-6 real estate meetups in your area, and consistently go to each one (or many) every week. This is your first step to learning the business. Go with an open mind. No need to pretend you’re an active investor, cause you’re not. They’ll see right through. Be yourself and be there to learn. 

2. Talk to them – look for the “normal” and “poor” looking ones

You'll be surprised who the wealthy real estate investors are
You’ll be surprised who the wealthy real estate investors are

Once you go to these. You’ll notice when it’s time to break up and start networking, little clicks start forming. Since you don’t know who the experienced ones are, you’ll have to go around the room and find them.

But here’s a hint: usually the ones with lots of money and experience are the ones that look poor or dressed like they are going to the beach. This is not a joke or a theory (at least true in my area of Southern California). The one that looks like a “bum” is worth talking to… and might be the “player” you should go to. 

 

3. Listen

Once you find people to network with,  begin by asking interesting questions about them and LISTEN INTENTLY. 

Some examples of questions

  • “What do you do in real estate?” 
  • “How long have you been doing that?”
  • “Why do you do [the strategy they do, for example, buying MFH] over [an opposite strategy like Flipping] ?” 
  • “You do it all yourself?”
  • “Do you have a team?”

Now, forming questions pertaining to the conversation while listening is important. Don’t have a list of questions to ask each person… just have a natural conversation with people. 

Be yourself here. 

Loosen up a bit. 

You don’t have to be a certain someone to impress. People can see right through that (especially the experienced investors).

Too many times at these REI meetups there are people who seem like they are forcing a personality or attitude.

You’re there to learn and meet people. Simple as that. You’re not there to impress people. Here’s a tip: You can’t control who’ll like you or who’ll help you with your new REI venture. All you can control is who you meet and what questions you ask that person. 

4. Offer something

After you find experienced, active investors who are doing the strategy that you want in REI; not the people who want to do it… but the people who are doing it… and you may have to ask the challenging question like, “How long have you been buying these?”, or “how many have these have you done?”…. 

You then ask if you can help their business in any way. If you’ve been talking with them (or I should say listening to them), and you know a little bit about them, their business, and what they do… you might figure out that they hate project management, or they have little time to manage or find deals, or they don’t like finding new contractors but need to find one for a certain job, or they hate doing the “books”, etc; 

…. Whatever problems, or pain points, or time-constraints they have, offer to alleviate that and do it for them. 

This is the best way to make friends; To give. Believe me, there’s a lot you can offer even when you have no experience or skills. 

Important: Be honest with them. Mention that you are looking to find someone to help you get started in the niche you want. And that he/she seems like a very experienced and knowledgeable person that can help with that. 

The quickest way to get your feet wet

To end this, I want to say that I wish I took this route when I got started. Yeah, I know, this isn’t the sexy, shiny-object method to getting started in REI. Everyone wants the cool tricks and tools, and I know getting out there is hard to do for introverts. 

But networking is a must. I can’t emphasize that enough. In fact, being in the internet business myself as owner/operate of www.realestateaudios.com, even THAT requires networking to large extents. So, how much more so in real estate. Even the “remote/virtual” strategies in REI like wholesaling, remote rehabbing, and land flipping still require meeting people and building relationships if you want to progress. 

Like I said, If I would have gone this route, I would have saved a lot of headaches and money; because you don’t know what you don’t know and you don’t want to find out the hard way.

My years of failure and tens of thousands of dollars spent could have been spared with just networking with the right people

Find out yourself, what it takes to succeed in this business by…

… Following those who are doing it today.