Are you old enough to remember when your teacher took attendance every morning and called your name? When they came to your name you were supposed to say Present. An important piece of the getting started in real estate investing puzzle is being present. Being present doesn’t just mean “being there” physically it also means “being there” mentally. Sometimes being there mentally is even more important then being there physically…but we’ll get to that later.
To have success as a real estate investor it’s imperative you’re around other investors. There’s many different ways to accomplish this. The easiest is probably joining a bunch of groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup, etc. Because it’s the “easiest” it is in my opinion not the most effective. Real estate is typically a regional business. Most investors will want to be connected to to others in your region who do what you do (or want to do). Also contractors and other service providers like home inspectors, mortgage companies & title companies who are in your “farm area” will know things out your specific ways things are done. Whereas your online communities who cover national or worldwide markets won’t be as specialized in your area. So it’s good to be online for learning and “Big Picture” thinking, it’s equally as important to have hometown connections to ensure smooth transactions.
The best way to be present physically is to be an active member of as many networking groups as you can fit in your schedule that make sense for your business. For over a decade I’ve sounded like a broken record from stage telling every audience to get out to as many meetings as possible. Also to have coffee or get together with other investors as you’ll never know what’ll come out of it until you do it. There really isn’t a place for people like us who are like-minded about real estate investing other than REIA meetings or landlord associations etc. There’s nothing wrong with joining a chamber of commerce or multiple chambers or to be an active LBN or BNI member. However if you’re looking specifically for real estate investors and the people who support us from a business standpoint, REIA’s are king.
We’ve covered “being present” physically which is the easy part. “Being present” mentally takes much more focus and dedication. Deciding that you are a real estate investor even if you haven’t bought or sold a house yet is the first step. When I talk about being there mentally: I mean always paying attention to opportunities. Always letting people know that you are a real estate investor who is looking for deals, private money or partnership opportunities. I can remember at my real job when I was in my early to mid 20’s and I told all of my friends (co-workers) that I was becoming a real estate investor. 90% of the people told me 1000 reasons why I couldn’t do it and why I shouldn’t do it. Luckily there were a few people who had investment properties and others who encouraged me to move towards my goal. Had I listened to the naysayers I’d still be standing around talking about what-ifs. Instead I designed my first business cards and my title was “Professional Real Estate Investor”…try explaining that when you’ve never bought or sold a pice of real estate!. It didn’t matter because I was on my way. Withing 2 years of designing those cards I’d done 7 house deals while working full time. A year later after I fired my boss I’d done 13 more. So being present doesn’t just mean being there or saying you’re interested in an opportunity…it’s an actual state of mind.
We at The REIA of Macomb challenge you to “Be Present” not only in your real estate investing business but in your life also. Our motto is Learn – Grow – Network, but my personal motto is “Make It Happen” as has been long before we opened the REIA’s doors 10 years ago. So whether we meet at a REIA event, a closing table or Home Depot I look forwarding to watching your real estate business grow and working together one way or another.