Want to Be a Real Estate Investor? Try Starting Here!

by Joe Killinger
CEO, theRRD.com

Being a real estate investor is one of the leading wealth creators in the United States so many of us want to know how to become the next great real estate investor. Some have bought books and watched videos on how people have made their fortune in the industry, others have applied what they know works in their business towards real estate. I have learned over the years that there truly is no better way to learn the real estate industry than simply going and being part of a property management team. PLUS….you are getting paid to learn!

By being part of a property management team, you can learn everything you should know from marketing, maintenance, leasing and operations. When you find a company that you feel is a good fit for you, sit down with the management and tell them that you want to learn everything from top to bottom about real estate investing from them and if they seem receptive to your idea then jump in and prepare to learn. I would recommend you start at the bottom and work your way up. In their leasing department, learn how a vacant unit is prepared for market. Price the unit and then learn how to advertise the unit to the right individuals. After you have spent enough time in leasing look into moving to an assistant manager position, while in this position learn the ins and outs of the daily operations of the property and how you can increase the ROI (return on investment) of the property over time. I highly recommend tagging along with the maintenance team as much as you can to see how they handle the work orders and maintenance of the property as well.

The property manager is responsible for the entire property including the residents, property management team, the property itself and the community that the property is located in so don’t be too anxious to take on this responsibility before you are completely sure you are ready for the tasks. A key aspect of a regional property manager is the annual budgeting of a property. Think of it as the short term business plan for that property.

After you feel you have gained the knowledge of how your property operates I would reach out to the executives and see if you can meet with them to discuss how they value their assets prior to acquisition and then how they look at their return on their investment, and how each property in a portfolio may affect another.

In the end you will find that going the route of working on the properties will take you considerable longer than watching videos or reading books but I believe you will find that your education will be much more substantial and you are getting paid to learn…seems like a winning proposition!