My first year in real estate

I’ve been doing this real estate thing for a little over year now, and I want to share some of the things they don’t tell you. In fact there are plenty of things they won’t tell you. The “gurus” at least. The one thing I can tell anyone starting out, is a GOOD mentor is a must. How can you find one? The local real estate clubs.

Don’t be fooled by real estate clubs though. They are full of noobs, sleaze balls, and money hungry greedy crooks… Okay, okay, not everyone in there is a bad guy. Networking is very important, but you should be careful with who.

My first mentor, I met at the local big club. My first successful -if you can call it that- deal went so bad because of this guy, a full year later, Both buyer and seller are threatening to sue me. It’s okay the problem was taken care of and thats a whole different story for a different time. Being a noob myself a year ago I had no idea what to do, so naturally I did what the internet told me… Go to your local club. I just had a poor choice in mentor, but how was I suppose to know!? Some of these people will just ride you for a quick dollar.

When you let the club know you have a deal and want to work with someone, people will jump on you like flies on s***. Especially if you ask for mentoring. You have to be careful, who you deal with. One thing I’ve learned is you must treat the situation, like you are hiring someone. Don’t let them push you around, especially if you are a young investor. I’m currently 27 years old, and I tend to catch flak from older folks, even though I have ways to make them tons of money with my innovative thinking.

Anyways, I’ve gone through like 6 mentors or something like that? They either screw me, or don’t perform in a timely manner, or lied about things… Oh yeah. I won’t hesitate to find someone else. Essentially you and your mentor are a team. Would you want a rock star quarterback on your team, or a lazy bum?

I’ll tell you one thing however. Nothing drives me more nuts than when these mentors show up late for appointments. Thats my biggest pet peeve. Maybe it’s do to the fact that I’m concerned with my image with my sellers. I’m trying to create a positive look and give my clients fast reliable quality service. Call me a bit anal, but I can’t help that. It works for me, and I feel you need professionalism in this business if you want to stay ahead.

Now coaches are a bit different. Hahaha… I got myself 5 stacks in debt with a reputable company in the beginning days of real estate. Their coach was all the way out in a different state. Being a noob with a coach and not fully understanding real estate went with terrible results. All the coach did was re-read the material they had already sent me. Which I’ll admit the material was so worth it, but not the coach. Now a coach would be worth it these days having way more experience under my belt, and actually having leads to bring to the table. Half of the time with the coach was a waiting game do to my absence in a good marketing machine.

I have mixed feelings about coaching. It’s good, and I’ll do it again in the future, but I feel that $5000 could have gone to marketing, and that would have been the better move.

Now the worst people in the business, are realtors… Do you know how hard it is to find a good realtor, let alone a realtor/investor, that knows what you’re doing? I’ve had so many realtors want to do business with me and never ever follow up or perform at all… I also don’t particularly like the ones that want to charge for comps, when I’m willing to bring them an endless supply of good leads… I’ve been quoted $10 per comp. $25 per comp, and even some a-hole wanted me to pay $500 for a comp!!! What the f***???

Another realtor was trying to sell me some package where I paid a monthly fee for his comp services, and he wanted free leads. He had these stupid package deals, and labeled them “silver, gold, and platinum”. You can guess that each plan had a better benefit to it. He also talked about how great he was. Too bad I don’t care, cause when I’m calling you, I already expect you to be great. All I care about is the terms of us doing business and how can we both win? Talk is talk, but the real test comes to how well these realtors perform during crunch time.

Why the heck would you step over the dollars to pick up the dimes, when it comes to running comps? I’ll give them the fact that they may feel like people like me are wasting their time… I’ll give them that… My current agent does it for free, and I treat him well cause of it. He gets good leads and in return I make $500 or more per listing when closed. He also gets first dibs on my wholesale deals, and our market only has 2 months inventory. If an agent can’t figure out inventory, don’t work with them. Oh and the agents that want free leads, or charge for comps, aren’t worth working with either. That’s a crappy trade off, and my hard work for those leads will not go unpaid for. Some of these realtors claim they can’t pay you. Yes, it’s illegal for them to pay you for leads. But, as far as I’m concerned, they can pay for marketing, and I happen to be in that business too… Heck you can sell them a pencil for $500 wink wink nudge nudge, and things are legal, cause that law has loop holes.

Real estate is brutal for noobs. It also has a high wash out rate. I love it though. It’s a thrill despite all the B.S. that comes with it. But hey? If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and I wouldn’t make as much money. My market is already super competitive as is, and half the competition is bums and dingle berries. I’m going to dominate them, with my vision as I slowly bring it together. I look forward to my second year.

I had to laugh when I read your post. I could go on and on about my bad experiences and I think they would top yours.

It’s true most people would have given up after experiencing just some of the deception and downright dishonesty we have been subjected to.

My experiences besides learning what not to do, has made me 10 times more determined.

I’m impressed with your determination.

So many people quit, because they don’t have the staying power and don’t know how to acquire it. Others quit because there’s so many moving parts they’re not familiar with, and don’t know where to go for assistance.

Others just give up, because it’s not the “push button” to riches they were promised in the “guru” membership. I think others quit, too, because they just don’t really have a vision for what’s possible.

When I first started out as a buy and hold, cash flow investor, my goals were kind of vague. I had goals, but they were fuzzy goals.

Worse, I didn’t really have a meaningful system to follow. Without a system, and fuzzy goals, there’s very little accountability to be had.

I learned that just making oneself accountable to another person, whether its stating the goals, and/or establishing an outline of a system to follow, is really a short cut to success.

Even a terrible system; with unworkable goals; and a half-way disinterested mentor, is better than relying on an ad hoc approach where any result is OK, since there is no measure of success at play.

That all said, I subscribe to the adage, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly.”

Great posts.

What a great story. You are very commendable. You are a true hard worker. :smiley:

As they say easy come, easy go. How do you know what your doing is right?.. It’s hard. Real estate is hard and requires consistency that always pays off in the long run.

Great post!

The one year mark is HUGE in this business. So big that I tell anyone getting started that they should prepare for a year in the trenches. My favorite way to explain it to them is like this. For the first year you’re in real estate it’s just planting seeds. You plant and plant, and water and water, and for a long time it seems like nothing is happening. Things are in fact happening, you just can’t see the results yet. But…If you stop watering or stop planting everything you’ve done also stops. Keep watering and at some point in the future what you did 4 months ago starts to sprout!!! Keep those seedlings watered and cared for. The prospects you reach TODAY will be the DEALS you close tomorrow.

My advice has always been the same. You are going to make a ton of mistakes on your first deal so make the first one a home run. BE PATIENT. Warren Buffet says there are no called strikes in investing. You can stand in there and take as many pitches as you want before you swing away. So wait for the right pitch (deal)

I tell all new investors “The person with the deal is KING!” Without the deal, there is no REALTOR, NO LAWYER, NO BUYER, NO LENDER, and finally NO MONEY. If you’ve got the deal, you hold the VALUE…Don’t hand it to someone else. If nothing else reach out to someone HERE for advice. There’s a ton of ways to put a deal together and the MONEY is the easiest part. The MONEY is always the easiest part IF the deal is great!!

I also think finding deals on the MLS is a waste of time for a new investor. It’s a picked over junk yard there.
Find your deals DIRECTLY with the sellers. THINK about WHY people sell their property. The best deals come from the 3 D’s. Death, Disease, & Divorce. FIND those people and YOU can dictate the rest of the process.

Once you’ve got your deal here’s how I find the rest of the players I need.

First. Your attorney. I NEVER use an attorney that drives a car over $100K. No huge office either (I’m not paying for that sh*t) Also, I DON’T want an attorney that invests heavily in real estate. I want a lawyer working out of a converted single family home/office, small staff, a guy who NEEDS me as a client and therefore doesn’t want to LOSE ME!! Also, get title insurance on every single deal.

Next your realtor. Like my attorney, He’s not driving a $100K car. I’m not interested in the “Number 1 Gold Level in my market guy” THAT guy is too busy telling everyone he’s NUMBER 1 to bother giving me what I want. GOOD SERVICE. 85% of realtors are like t*ts on a bull. WORTHLESS!! It’ll take you some time to find a decent one.
I like to use this tactic on any new realtor I’m considering. It’s called the 30 day listing agreement. Most turds won’t even consider taking a 30 day listing agreement so that thins the herd immediately. The rest will either “get” what you’re doing and see the value in aggressively pricing a property to drive buyers to it or they won’t. Either way, they either perform or they’re GONE in 30 days. It’s just speeds up the process.

Hang in there. You’ve paid your “tuition” now put that degree to work!!!

Great words of advice, Jake! Glad that you stopped by. :beer

You have definitely had some bumps in the road but good on you for persevering. Keep it up and you will laugh about it all when you are super successful.


Good post! It seems you understand what and how to do to be successful in this business. Appreciate it.

Sorry that you got dragged through the mud by a few people that really sucks. There are good ones out there! Good advice above me. It is crazy how much a mentor can be a dud or be a complete gamechanger for your career. Keep us posted on how the search is going!

Your story has been very useful to me since I am at the beginning of real estate and I have to go through the same path that you have passed!Bravo!
Keep it up :beer