In order to succeed, you need to be a student. If you ever think you know enough about your business, you’re doomed to not be successful. Your business may survive, but you won’t be the Big Dog. Think of how many companies try to replicate the success of Apple’s iPad. If Apple didn’t have the top brains studying the next improvements, they would be surpassed by every tech company in Silicon Valley within two quarters. (Some would argue that’s starting to happen)
Real estate is no different. You may not be playing against other investors, but I guarantee the banks are trying to make money. Guess how they make their money…that’s right, from your loans, which are paid for by you. Not understanding your financing options, not understanding the risks involved, not understanding the local market and not understanding tax law are no excuses for failure.
In addition to simply starting my business, I have had to become a student of business and business structure, forced to learn how banks work to earn money, how real estate markets work, how to pitch ideas, how to wire a light and light switch, how not to plumb a bathroom and how to approach friends/family for personal loans (and how to repay those loans). While I benefit from all of this learning, I know the learning will not stop here.
Through this first year of business, I have poked and prodded my Tolerance for Risk and learned how that tolerance changes over time, what types of Risk I am willing to shoulder and what types of Risk I want to avoid. Through this first year, I have also developed useful tools to quickly determine if a rental property is a good investment or not.
I have included a list of resources and books that I have found instructive. I constantly visit the websites I have listed. Most of the texts I read prior to starting my real estate business. Don’t think though, that you can’t start a business prior to reading all of these texts. A strong will to succeed coupled with an immense desire to learn will lead to success.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Henry Ford