By Mike Baird
When I got into real estate investing, I was already a licensed real estate agent, and I already a few years of solid experience in investment, too. It was a pretty natural step for me to start flipping houses with my background, but a lot of our Property Bank students ask me how they can make the same career move without already having a lot of experience in both investment and real estate (not to mention not having someone like Greg around to help secure the finances on new deals).
Because our students are savvy, inquisitive people, they tend to look at all of the options for getting better at new endeavors. So, when one of them asked me about an interning experience she’d seen advertised on the side of the road, I felt like we needed to clear some things up.
Look Out for Scams
See, the advertisements she’d seen were hand-written posters on the side of the road in her neighborhood that boasted, “Real Estate Investing Interns Needed! Earn $10k/Month While You Learn!” The problem is, that’s not a real internship with a real estate investor — that’s a house flipper who’s looking for bird dogs to find leads for him (or her).
In that situation, the only experience you’ll gain is learning how to find leads. If the guy who “hired” you to “intern” for him is honest, he’ll pay you a commission on all of the leads that turn into deals. You may make some money, but it honestly won’t be much and you definitely won’t get the experience and education you’re looking for.
Working With a Mentor Can Be Beneficial
If you ignore scammers and you can find a good mentor, though, there are some benefits to working with a more experienced real estate investor as you get started flipping houses. If you’re going to do this, be sure to find out exactly what your responsibilities will be and how your mentor will help you learn the ropes.
You’ll need to know how much you’ll be paid and on what basis. Are you going to be paid a salary, on a per-hour basis or will you be paid based on the deals you bring in and how much you participate in those flips? Each of these can have its benefits, as long as you get to play an active part in the whole process from start to finish. This will allow you to actually learn the ropes and get to the point where you can strike out on your own or act as a full business partner (depending on your arrangement with your mentor).
A Better Way to Learn
Honestly, though, the best way to learn the business of flipping houses is to jump in and start doing it. To get the knowledge you need to do that, though, you don’t necessarily need to do a full internship with an established house flipper. Instead, you can spend just five days learning about real estate investing, how to find investment money, exit strategies and everything you need to know to be a successful flipper — all in a resort environment in Mexico.
There are benefits to interning for a real estate investor before you take the plunge, but you can actually get a lot more education in much less time if you dedicate a week with us at the Property Bank Experience. Then you can get started in the real estate investing business on your own, flipping houses and keeping all of the profits for yourself instead of working at a cut rate for someone else.