By Greg Herlean
Mike and I have many students who want to start real estate investing, yet they don’t want to jump in head-first and give up their full-time jobs. Leaving the comfort of having a stable income to invest in real estate can be quite overwhelming, but it’s difficult to contribute countless hours to both. Fortunately, you don’t need to! It’s possible to juggle both at the same time, and with only four extra hours a week. Sound crazy? I promise it’s easier than you think.
Define Your Goals
One of the keys to investing in real estate is clearly defining your goals. So many people enter the real estate investing world with the hope of “becoming rich”. Goals like this are too vague and do not give any direction. Instead of having the goal “to become rich”, you can transform this goal into something like: “owning 10 rentals that will provide $100 a month by next June”. This new defined goal will allow you to pursue investments that are actually obtainable. Having clearly defined goals, especially when you can only contribute four hours a week, will help you stay on track and you’ll be able to maintain focus on what really matters.
Create a Plan of Action
Now that your goals are defined, you must create a plan of action for completing those goals. A plan of action will help you stay on track with your goals and prevent you from getting distracted with time-wasters (remember how you only have four hours to spend?). So how do you create your plan of action? Instead of simply saying that you want to own 10 rentals by next June, you can outline how you plan to purchase those rentals, how much you will spend on them, how you plan to pay for them, how you will find leads, etc. Your plan of action is essentially a map that will lead you in the right direction to accomplish the goals you have created.
Set Aside Time Every Day
Once you have defined your goals and have created your plan of action, it’s time to execute it. Schedule out time every day, or every other day, to work on your plan, and be consistent with your efforts. Whether you work 30 minutes before going off to work or you contribute an hour after work, make sure you create a routine that you can stick with. To hold yourself accountable to the schedule you have created, consider setting a calendar alert on your phone for the time you have set aside for each day.
Outsource the Work
You may be thinking that four hours is certainly not enough time to invest in real estate, which is why I recommend that you outsource some of the work. People to consider hiring include a real estate agent, a loan officer, a property manager, mentors and investors who can help you along the way, and even a friend who can assist you with any extra work. Outsourcing the work to others will make things much easier for you to manage and will keep you from getting in over your head.
With four hours a week to spend on real estate investing you certainly can’t expect to start buying hundreds of rentals or flipping dozens of homes, but you have to begin somewhere. Even if you can only flip one or two houses at a time you’ll be better off than you were, plus you may be able to get enough investments under your belt to quit your full-time job. All with only four hours a week!