Should You Do Real Estate Full-Time?

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.

Real Estate Business Cards – How to Get the Most Impact From Your Business Cards

In the world of real estate the most important method of gaining new clients is word of mouth. People regularly recommend a real estate agent who they have worked with to their friends and family members which can quickly lead to a large list of prospective clients. The key to successfully achieving this sort of success using word of mouth is business cards because they allow your existing clients to easily remember your name and your contact information.Real estate business cards also serve an important purpose in that they allow real estate agents to get their name out more quickly. Simply leaving business cards at any homes which you are showing is a great way to potentially find new clients and to ensure that anyone looking at the house is able to contact you if you are a listing agent.The most important factor to success with real estate business cards of any other type of business card is to ensure that you have a well designed business card. These simple cards which may not seem like much can easily mean the difference between getting clients and not getting clients. A well designed card which is professional and easy to read helps to improve your image in the eyes of prospective clients while a poorly designed card can easily turn people off.The most important thing any real estate agent can do when getting business cards made is to pick a company which is capable of producing high quality and completely original cards. The cards should be made using a good color scheme which provides a professional image and remains easy to read.The other major factor to consider when getting new business cards is what kind of design to use. Many real estate agents use a picture of themselves. Others choose to have a custom logo designed and printed on the business card. Both can be excellent options because they provide a high level of professionalism. Another important thing to consider when creating real estate business cards is what type of paper to use.There are benefits to each of the major types. Glossy is often considered to be a higher quality type of paper and it also tends to be more resilient to damage. Many people also find that glossy finished cards enhance the visual effect of the card. The main drawback is that it is virtually impossible to write on a glossy finished card.A matte finish is another very common type of finish to business cards. The matte finish is one of the oldest finishes for business cards and it works quite well. It is still made using an extremely high quality type of heavy paper. Its biggest benefit is that it can be written on which allows a real estate to add additional information when necessary.The most important factor for real estate business cards is to make sure that you use a company which is capable of designing a truly high quality card. Simple cards which look like most cards may work but they do not provide the professional image that a real estate agent truly needs to be successful.