Now that we have just discussed why I like real estate as an investment class, let's talk about how you can get started. First and foremost, I strongly believe its very important for you to get educated in the area you are investing in. I am not saying you need to be an expert in the field, however you should know the basics on real estate: finding a market, finding a team/networking (realtor, turn-key, property manager, wholesalers), defining your criteria/goals, analyzing a property, obtaining financing, just to name a few.
In this day and age, there are tons of resources where you can obtain this information. However, with the wealth of information, comes what is called "analysis paralysis". Investors have so much information at their fingertips, they second guess themselves at every turn, looking for the "perfect" deal, or go looking for gurus who can become their savior. There is no such thing as a perfect deal, and too many gurus who don't have your best interest at heart. The best way to learn is to read/listen to blogs, podcasts, and forums (just like you're doing now), connect with other investors and realtors who are active in the field, and then take action at the appropriate time.
My favorite resources to learn about real estate investing have been the following:
Forums/Networking: www.biggerpockets.com (FREE)
Biggerpockets is the largest community of real estate investors on the internet. With that network comes all the other professionals that you need to connect with to succeed. I have talked to over 10 investors from California who are active real estate investors (some have 2 properties, some have 10+), who share their knowledge of investing, common pitfalls, mistakes they have made, success stories, etc. They have truly helped me navigate through the "noise" and the "naysayers" and proceed with owning a rental property. In additional to investors, there are realtors, insurance agents, wholesalers, turnkey providers, property managers, and rehabbers who you can network with and form partnerships for projects down the road. Remember with any relationship, trust is built over time, so don't accept everything you hear/read in totality but use your judgment to make the right decisions for your situation. Remember to sign up for their free webinars every week that has a ton of great information for newbies.
Listening/On-the-go: podcasts (FREE)
Download any podcast app and search real estate investing, turnkey, passive investing, cash flow, rental properties and you will find a ton of shows. I would take a look at the reviews/subscribers just to see if they consistently put out material, are relevant (you don't want to invest in 2017 with 2005 information), and you enjoy listening to. Podcasts are great to soak in information when you are driving, exercising, multitasking on the web, etc. In no particular order, below are my top rated podcasts:
1) Norada Real Estate - Passive Real Estate Investing
2) Keith Weinhold - Get Rich Education
3) Joe Fairless - Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever
4) Michael Blank - Apartment Building Investing
5) Brandon Turner - Biggerpockets
6) Scott Trench - Biggerpockets Money
7) Matt Theriault - EPIC real estate investing
8) Rod Khleif - Lifetime Cashflow through Real Estate Investing
9) Matt Nusbaum - Corporate Investor Podcast
10) Dan Lane - Rental Income Podcast
Investor Mind-setting/Action Items: Books ($10-15/book)
I personally own over 30 business/self-help/real estate books and I think they provide a great framework for newbie investors to identify their goals, create a strategy, and devise and action plan to become a real estate investor. Real Estate books such as "ABCs of Real Estate Investing" Ken McElroy or "Millionaire Real Estate Investor" Gary Keller cover all the areas I have mentioned earlier such as finding a market, finding a team/networking, defining your criteria/goals, analyzing a property, and obtaining financing. It is really worth the $10-15 per book. Check out my “books” section of the blog for summaries and personal reviews of business/self-help books I have read over the years.
As always, please make sure you do your due diligence and talk to your CPA/Attorney/Financial Advisor before making any investment decision.