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.
Taking your real estate business to the next level is not as hard as it may seem. Actually, it is quite simple. In order to really move your business to new heights there are a couple of things you need to do. In this article I will briefly explain how to take your real estate business into orbit.Outsourcing: If you ask me, the only way to take your business to the next level is to outsource your business. Outsourcing is hiring people or companies to take care of certain parts of your business for you. A lot of real estate investors are control freaks over their business and that is a big mistake. They think that they can do everything on their own. To be honest, no one can do everything on their own. In order for you to break new barriers in your real estate business you must hire people to help you.Phone Services: One way that you can outsource is to hire call answering services. Most services like these will screen all of your calls and you can even give them a script. Once they have screened your calls they will email you. At that point you can pick and choose who you want to call back. If the deal is good, you can tell the answering company to put urgent in the email subject heading.Direct Mail Services: Another way to outsource your business is to hire a direct mailing company. Make sure you research companies that specialize in the type of leads you need. Most direct mailing companies will automatically advertise for you on a monthly basis according to your budget. This is an easy way to stop procrastination when it comes to spending advertising dollars. This is also a good way to save time with putting labels on post cards and other forms of mail.Other: You don’t always need to hire a company to outsource your business. You can hire people to do certain things for you that you cannot do on your own, or just don’t have enough time in the day for. College students are great for doing paperwork for you. They are also good for running errands and things of that nature. You can hire people and teach them how to do things the way you want it to be done. If they can do it half as good as you and you hire 2 or 3 people to do the same thing, then your doing good.Hiring people and companies is definitely the way to go if you want to hit that next level in your real estate investment business. When your budget is right you should consider doing so. Think about it, if you’re worth $200 an hour, why would you be doing a job worth $10 an hour. Hire someone to do that job for you. When you do this you can focus on what your good at which is bringing in more business.