The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary KellerIn a bull market, everyone seems like a genius.
Though the advice contained in this book is, in general, sound, following it will lead the average American on a sure path to misery. That is probably why the first section—almost 100 pages—is a rambling pep talk with about as much relevance to real estate as real analysis. The book fails because it does not do enough to explain the harsh realities of real estate investing.
The market might trend upward, but a buy and hold investment made at the wrong time will cripple an investor just getting his start. The buy and rent segment sounds like a great idea, too, right until you find out how easy it is for tenants to abuse the laws designed to protect them. The effects of a bad first investment or a bad tenant might not just slow you down, they can present a financial setback on the order of several years. For every highly-visible real estate superstar out there, there are dozens who have failed, and its not because theyre particularly stupid, lack connections, or didnt meticulously journal their finances.
Another issue I take with this book is how it doesnt discuss the difficulty of finding dependable property managers. Think of it this way- why would anyone want to be a property manager? It seems intuitive that property management is a profession in which the managers enrich themselves by having unlimited capacity to screw over landlords. When we start talking about hiring a CEO to take over your growing empire, we need to also think critically about who would possibly fill that position. If youre dealing with an eight figure portfolio, you can probably attract talent, but anything less than that and you run the risk of the CEO milking you for your connections and knowledge before starting a rival company in the same town. This is a problem that plagues many profitable small businesses that have potential to become more-passive medium-sized businesses.
At no point in The Millionaire Real Estate Investor is it clear whether real estate investing is supposed to be a hobby or a full-time occupation. The step between hey, walk around a neighborhood, check out local listings and make a few calls in your spare time to here is how much time you have to spend per day growing your network and performing other tasks is a large one and seems to purposefully be left ambiguous.
After wading through all the fluff and motivational quotes, I strongly believe that the core advice here is helpful and worth referencing. It covered nearly all the bases aside from the glaring omissions that make real estate much less sexy than it seems on House Hunters. I feel no motivation to read other books on the topic after having read this one.
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Joint ventures, wholesaling, and property management are just a few of the ways investors can profit from real estate, but it takes a little savvy to become successful in this competitive arena. While certain universities offer coursework and programs that specifically benefit real estate investors, a degree is not necessarily a prerequisite to profitable real estate investing. Whether an investor has a degree or not, there are certain characteristics that top real estate investors commonly possess. Real estate investors must approach their real estate activities as a business in order to establish and achieve short- and long-term goals. A business plan also allows investors to visualize the big picture, which helps maintain focus on the goals rather than on any minor setbacks.
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If you are just starting out, a good realtor can be your most important asset. A quality real estate agent can help secure and close more deals than you ever thought imaginable. However, not every successful realtor knows what a good investment property is or knows how to find them. Before you get going, take time and find the best possible realtor for you and your business. In most cases, this may not be the one that closes the most properties, but knows what you are looking for and how to find it. If you and your realtor are on the same page, it will make your first year in the business that much easier.
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Sure, they are out there, but to the untrained eye it may seem like no such thing exists. What is an investor-friendly real estate agent? Why not? Because they work mostly with primary homebuyers and that is what they have been trained to work with. Easy- primary homebuyers want location and a house they personally enjoy living in.