I have met hundreds of Real Estate investors over the years. Either from the investment seminars that I host or just chatting with clients and investors over the years and I am always interested to learn how they first got into owning a rental property.
Investor: Did you know? I have a rental property.
Me: Oh that is great! How did you get into being a Real Estate Investor?
Investor: I bought a condo for myself and lived there for a few years. But I met my current GF/BF and we decided to live together. So I decided to rent out my condo.
Me: What did you do to find and screen your tenant?
Investor: Well we posted an ad on Kijiji and a rent-faster and we got some applications. I met them all there and after meeting many people, we rented it to one.
Me: Did you screen them well?
Investor: No, we just got a good feeling about them and did the lease.
Me: So do you like being a land lord?
“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.” - Bill Gates
The answers are always different. If they are able to get a good tenant, then they are happy with the results.
The point I am making here is that many real estate investors don’t plan to be investors. They don’t buy the best properties and they don’t maximize their returns or manage their time properly. They don’t screen the tenants well and they don’t really understand the landlord tenant act and what their rights are as owners. If you are looking to buy and invest in Real Estate, I would suggest you treat it like a business.
Do the research or find a mentor; someone who has been there and done that, become the expert. A good mentor will be the ones that can set you on the right path and help you avoid the mistakes that they have made and show you how to maximize your profits. A mentor can show you the best and most profitable properties to buy, how to manage your time effectively and also manage expenses. When things go off the tracks you will have someone who can give you expert advice to help minimize your losses. I think it is one of the keys to being a successful property investor.
“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” - Warren Buffett
There are lots of tools that can help make your Rental Property search effective and easy. Realtors can set up a search for you with your needs and wants. You can get daily emails with property updates for the ones that you are interested in. A great realtor will preview some of the homes, but it is important for you to see the bad investments as well. If you don’t see the bad ones, you will not be able to recognize a good one when it comes up. You need that frame of reference that an experienced investor has.