By Mike Baird
I’ve seen a lot of younger people flipping houses lately. I love this, and it’s gotten me thinking. As a society, we have this really outdated idea that you don’t start your career until after you graduate college. Students are supposed to work part-time jobs in the service industry or retail stores just to get by while they’re in school and get an internship or a co-op job at some point. However, the idea of actually starting your own real estate investing business and getting your career going while you’re still in school is pretty much unheard of, even though we know that if you have the right skills and talent, you don’t even need a college degree to be successful.
So why buy into the old idea that you shouldn’t get started before you graduate? If you’re in school and you want to start making the kind of money that’ll actually put a dent in your student loans, house flipping is a great place to start. You can start your own real estate investing business as a part-time venture, flipping only one or two houses at a time while you keep up with your schoolwork. Sound interesting? Here are a few of tips for making it happen.
Map Out Your Free Time
First of all, sit down and map out a weekly schedule for the semester on a calendar. Include midterms and finals and make sure you account for time to study and complete projects. Also block off where your free time is. With this schedule, you’ll have a better idea of where you have free time throughout the week and when you can work on flipping houses.
Build a Solid Team
If you’re in college and you don’t want to flunk out or take forever and a day to fix and flip your houses, you’re going to need to hire a team to help you out. This includes a great real estate agent who has experience with flipping houses, contractors whom you trust to get the job done while you’re in class, and an accountant to make sure your books are straight. You can start with the real estate agent and the contractors, but don’t snooze on your accountant, either.
Start Your Lead Hunting Early
Start hunting down leads as soon as you possibly can. This way, you can schedule time to look at properties early in the semester when you’ll have more time. If you can work it out so that you close a deal before midterms, you’ll be able to hire your contractors and let them go to work while you ramp up your studying. Then, when they’re done, you can let your real estate agent go to work for you to sell the property.
If you’re working on getting leads later in the semester, you might want to hire someone to do some bird-dogging for you. You can pay them on commission when they find you a deal, and you’ll save time and be able to focus on your studies.
If you’re going to flip houses and run your own real estate investing business before you graduate, you need to know how to delegate so that you can balance school and your business. This might mean taking a slimmer margin, but it’ll save you time and give you a good idea of how to run a business and keep your life in order at the same time.