Many self-acclaimed real estate gurus state that everyone should quit their jobs and immediately jump into full time real estate investing. They often claim incredible results from students with little experience. We would like to caution that life-changing decisions are not usually simple and that full time investing is not for everyone. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of full-time versus part-time investing.The Full-Time InvestorEntering into the real estate profession on a full-time basis offers several advantages over a part-time commitment. Being successful requires you to develop knowledge in many aspects of real estate, and more time focused on real estate leads to greater knowledge. The more your learn, the more you earn, since you do not need to rely on as many professional services or partners for help. You also learn to recognize a deal (or a dud) faster, which gives you more time to do more business or spend with your family.As a full-time investor, you work your own hours. When we say “full-time,” that may mean as little as twenty hours per week if you are good at finding deals. The rest of your time can be spent pursuing other vocations or hobbies. Or, if you are so inspired, you can work forty or more hours and use the extra cash flow to buy rental properties or diversify your holdings in the stock market. The point is that you need to satisfy your cash flow needs before you can start “investing” your money.One final point you should consider is whether you want to be “self-employed.” If you have always worked for someone else, being your own boss sounds very attractive. In some, respects, this isn’t quite the truth. Being your own boss means being an accountant, bookkeeper, stock clerk, receptionist and office manager all-in-one. You have to do deal with tax returns, payroll, office supplies, customer service, bills and all the other hassles that come with a business. You don’t have friends to chat with at the water cooler. You don’t have paid health insurance, a company car and a 401(k). You take your problems home with you every night. Sound like fun? It is, once you learn how to master your time and run your business. Being the master of your own life and career is well worth the other hassles of dealing with your own business.The Part-Time InvestorThe part-time investor holds a “regular job.” This may be by choice or for the time being until his real estate ventures are bringing in enough cash to quit his job. If it is the latter reason, don’t quit your job because the real estate “guru” told you so. Quit your job when it is not worth the income that it brings you. In other words, if you are making more money per hour flipping properties on the side, you are at the point that where your regular job is costing you money. Only then, is it time to quit!One of the advantages of starting out part-time is that you can maintain cash flow while learning the business. It may take weeks or possibly months to find your first deal. That same deal may take several months to turn around, especially if you decide to fix it and sell it retail. Think twice before telling your boss you’re leaving; you will have plenty of time to make the career switch once you have real estate experience. You may, on the other hand, like your occupation. If so, continue to work at it, and invest in real estate on the side.The best case scenario, if you are married, is to have one spouse work a regular job. The other spouse work the real estate business for creating wealth, retirement income and a nice college fund for the children. Of course, in today’s market, you could be laid off due to unforeseen circumstances. If you earn additional income flipping houses and invest the proceeds into rental properties, you will be covered if your main income is lost. This is especially the case for married women that often forego a career and raise a family, only to find themselves divorced with no means of making a living. We don’t want to sound cynical about marriage, but with a fifty-percent divorce rate in America, it never hurts to have a system for making money.Someone with a full time job tends to have little free time to focus on real estate. A part-timer should learn most of the same skills as a full timer. Thus, the key disadvantage to flipping properties on a part-time basis is that it takes sacrifice to learn the business. Something has to give; television, lazy weekends, meaningless hobbies and even some family activities must be compromised. As with any education, time spent learning about real estate will bring its own rewards, especially if the people in your life understand your goals and your plan to achieve those goals. If you are married, make sure your spouse reads this material with you and participates in the fun process of making money.Treat Real Estate as a BusinessPeople are lured to real estate because of the quick buck that it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes about five years. More than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat it like any other business.
Today is the day you start to gain your Independence from the J.O.B. that has held you back. Since we are into the real estate business we will apply the thoughts of this prospect to our business. Most of us want to get to a state of financial independence.I am the type of person that likes to spend time with family and friends and that takes time and money. I live a long distance from my family and it is costly to fly to them and rent a car if I want to get around town. Real estate has offered me that opportunity to afford the cost and the time to make the trip.I firmly believe that all of us would enjoy that same availability to vacation at will. Go where we want when we want to go. The only thing holding us back is the fear of applying these wishes into reality. Being a landlord is easy not totally void of problems but overall easy to become a success.Some say but I don’t know anything about this business. Well maybe you need to learn something. There many opportunities to learn about real estate. Go to the internet and Google landlord you will find a long list of information. This is a great place to begin your journey. Remember if you keep doing what you have always done – you will always get what you always got.You want more money, more time, more vacation or more anything. The key to that is having money. The more properties you own and rent the more money you will earn. Once you have you first property, the next one gets so much more simple to negotiate. As you continue on with the business adding to your properties you see your income grow exponentially. Just remember this is not a get rich quick scheme.It will take time to build a group of rentals that gives you a return that will set you free. Just be patient and I assure that you will see success like so many have already. Set realistic goals to begin your adventure into real estate rentals. As you grow your business adjust those goals until you reach the income level you have always dreamed about.You will be very surprised at how easily you can complete the process. And remember you are always working with other peoples’ money. Take a loan from the bank to buy your rental property. Find a tenant to live in the house and they pay the rent that pays off the mortgage and if you did things right gives you a salary. You take that small salary from the first house and look for a second property. Repeat this process until you have reached the level you need to make your goals a reality.That is all for today! I wish you great success in all your dreams and goals. I hope this has been helpful and will assist you in a decision that leads to becoming a landlord and leads to your financial independence.