By Mike Baird
For real estate agents, investors, and entrepreneurs, starting a real estate investing business might seem easy. After all, these people don’t have typical 9-to-5 jobs that take up all of their time. They can manipulate their schedules in ways that most working people can’t (without getting fired), and they can smoothly transition from their former position into that of a full-time house flipper without much trouble.
Well, as a licensed real estate agent and an entrepreneur, I can tell you that it isn’t always quite as simple as you might think. I can also tell you, however, that getting to the point where you can leave your 9-to-5 job and work for yourself in your own real estate investing business isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. It just takes some planning, consistency, and faith.
Map Out and Use All of Your Free Time
First of all, you may have more constraints on your time than someone who doesn’t have a regular job with office hours, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have time. In fact, you might actually have more time than you think. Sit down with a pen and paper and draw a weekly calendar (or you can create one on your computer using Excel or your calendar app).
Block off the time that you spend at work. This is obviously not time that you can use to build your real estate investing business. Now take a look at all of the space that’s left. It may seem like all of the time in your week is sucked up by work, but when you look at a visual representation like this, you can see that there’s actually a lot of free time there.
Now block off family time, your commute, and any other obligations that you can’t miss. The times in between those blocks are the times when you can start chasing down leads, calling motivated sellers, and making your first deals.
Create Your Job Exit Strategy
If you’ve been reading up on flipping houses, you probably know that you need exit strategies for any real estate investment deal in case something goes wrong. Well, you need to plan your exit strategy from your job, as well. Simply saying, “I’ll quit when I’ve made enough money” or “I’ll quit when my deals are consistent enough” won’t actually get you out the door. There will always be something holding you back, so you need to make a concrete plan for when you’ll quit and what you’ll do next.
You can do this by calculating the amount of money you’ll need to save to live comfortably (or on a shoestring) until you have a consistent flow of leads and deals coming in. You can also do it by setting a deadline for quitting your job and/or taking out a business loan. Your exit strategy will depend a great deal on you, your family, your job, and the level of risk you’re comfortable with.
Save the Money From Your First Deals
As you make your first deals, working in the nooks and crannies of your schedule, getting up early and staying up late, you might be tempted to spend your newfound income. Don’t do it. Start saving the money you make on those deals. This will help create a buffer for when you leave the comfort and security of a regular paycheck.
Starting your own real estate investing business is definitely an exciting prospect, but you need to have a solid plan and the work ethic to put in the hours even before you quit your day job. If you do this, you’ll be set when you leave to embark on your new life as a real estate entrepreneur.