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.
One of the most valuable things ever taught to me as an business person and a Real Estate Investor is the following, you should continually Focus on Revenue.Gosh, I can’t stress enough how imperative this is for your real estate investing company and each business for that matter. As a business proprietor the function for your commerce is for one reason and one reason only…to produce money. Lots and Lots of MONEY. Even non-profit businesses have to bring in money in order to stay in business, so don’t be fooled by the “non-profit” part of it.As a real estate investor I know what it is like to be wondering when the next deal is going to take place and provide us with a quantity of money in the bank. Maintaining business money flow is one of the biggest problems in this business. Although it seems so effortless to think that you must continuously focus on revenue, you’d be surprised how over and done this mindset essentially is. Now a days, people (and I am guilty too) get so caught up in all of the small day to day distracting things like email, and phone calls, and faxes, and so on that they forget to prioritize their time and focus their effort on that idea or task which will help to bring in the next income.Here are three primary habits that you need to put into practice as soon as doable to help you grow your business so that you can constantly Focus on Revenue.1) Delegate Tasks as Often as doable – if you are the lone one in your organization then this will be easier said than done for you to put into practice, however not unworkable. Ask yourself, is it time to hire help? At least possible you may aim to consider finding part time assistance. However, I strongly believe that if you can’t earn money in this business by yourself then you probably can’t make money in this business when you have help. Do a deal prior to thinking about hiring help.2) Prioritize your Tasks and Time Appropriately – The key object you make in the morning should NOT be to check your email, it ought to be to create your to do list for the day and carry out the most crucial things FIRST, that will allow you to get closer to the next payday! Only after you complete your important tasks should you check your emails. Being active and being productive are two very different things.3) Create Systems – Having systems in place is so important to the efficiency, longevity, and profitability of your business. The better systematized and methodical you are the easier it will be for you to Always Focus on Revenue.If I were you, I’d open up a word document, center and bold the text and type on the page “Always Focus On Revenue.” Then enlarge the text as big as possible keeping all of the words on the page. Print the page and tape it in front of your desk so that you can see it everyday.If you aren’t the individual focusing on revenue then who is? Someone better be otherwise you’ll end up another small business failure statistic, and I will not consent to that happen to you!