How to Learn About Real Estate Investing

Posted on December 29, 2012 by

After last night’s real estate investors meeting, three new folks came up and asked me the best ways to learn about real estate investing.

The two short answers are: 1) Sit down with a seller and ask, “Why are you selling such a nice house like this?”  2) Meet regularly with other real estate investors and discuss landlording, along with creative deal structuring and financing techniques.

There’s nothing – nothing, nothing, nothing – that takes the place of simply meeting with a seller and finding out why they’re selling and what they need to get in order to sell.  How do you do this?  Try calling a seller whose home is advertised for sale in the newspaper, and then make an appointment to meet with her. 

The method that works best for me is to knock on the door of everyone in our area who has a For Sale sign stuck in their yard.  When the door opens, I say, “Hi, I’m Bill.  I see your house is for sale.  I’m looking for a home in this area.  Would you mind telling me about yours?”  After answering a couple of questions, eight out of ten homeowners invite me in.  It’s simple as that.

Even if you’re green and don’t know what you’re doing – and none of us did when we started – every so often you’ll come across a homeowner who will beg you to take their house off their hands.  When this happens, if you’re unsure of what to do next, partner with an experienced investor.

So where do you find experienced investors?  Start attending your local real estate investors association (REIA) meetings.  For example, in the Atlanta area, in addition to our North Georgia REIA meetings, there’s Atlanta REIA, Georgia REIA and North Metro REIA.  Also, Danny and Ann Williams have a south side REIA group that meets in Jonesboro, Georgia.  Most of these groups charge a modest entrance fee that comes with a money-back guarantee.

What if there isn’t a REIA around you?  Start one.  “Start one?  Who, me?  But I don’t know anything about real estate investing!” you exclaim.  So start one anyway!  That’s what Kim and I did way back when.

In 1997, Kim and I lived in Canton, Georgia.  We’d been investing for two years and had done a whopping 2 deals.  We were wet behind the ears.  Problem was, Georgia REIA was the only investors group around and their meetings were an hour away.  With little choice, we formed a group of like-minded investors and the group quickly grew to about 50 folks.  We did the same thing again when we moved to Bartow County, Georgia.  About 15 people attended our first meeting in 2002.  By 2007, the group had grown to over 2,400 people.  So I say again, if there isn’t a group around you, start one!

Bill & Kim CookBill & Kim Cook are a husband and wife real estate investing team. They live in Adairsville, Georgia and have been investing in real estate since 1995. They specialize in buying single-family homes, mobile homes and mobile home parks. They also run North Georgia REIA and teach folks how to successfully invest in real estate.


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