Requesting information

To the REI board:
I have seen some of the similar posts on here and I appologize for my one in addition. I know there are a ton of books out there about REI and I don’t even know where to begin. I am really interested in rehabbing as it seems the most “fun”. I have a little bit of savings (<10K) and I have good credit, but I don’t know where to start. I would merely request any suggested books that the boards might give.
Also, I do have a few slight questions. I am from a family that grew up in Amway (no laughing). I was raised on the dream of a residual income and I am seeking a vehicle that will get me there. I’m sure many have passed similar to me before and many will pass behind, but I am truly worn from my job and I need a way out. I need to control my time. Can this sort of investing give me that opportunity? Is it worth the time and effort that is required? I understand that 5 years is the minimum time investment to really see a profit in most businesses, is that the case here? And lastly, I am not the “seller” type, will I survive?

Please don’t take the fact that I have not read every article on the boards to mean that I am not motivated, however. I am merely looking for a good solid starting book so that I can determine if this is the right vehicle for me. Again, my appologies for the post which I am sure all of you have read at least one. And thank you all for your future responses.


Books are great. I would start here reading all the free stuff. Tim and others have some great articles. One of my previous partners had read all kinds of books but did not have the street smarts it takes to do deals. He had a lawyer draw up a 37 page earnest money contract and was here in Austin from NY trying to buy REO property and get 5 year warranty on roofs, plumbing, HVAC, electrical etc. No way is a banker even going to read his contract much less agree to it. He knew too much when I met him. We bought our first building together for 20,000 as is where is for cash close asap. A far cry from what he was trying to do. We ended up with fro 150 units before we split. He was still a jerk and still is I am sure. Any way. You may want to find a partner too that needs a little seed money and some good credit and has a project and the experience. They can teach you a lot. The art is finding a motivated seller and being able to tell if you have a good deal. Hope my rambling makes sense and you find a good idea.

Good luck and thank you,
Ted P. Stokely Jr
11505 Sw Oaks
Austin, Texas 78737
512-301-9171 home
512-587-6177 mobile


If you’re interested in the “fun” of rehabs, try Kevin Myers’ book: “Find it Fix it Flip it”. Some things have changed since it was written, but it is a good start.

Troy M

Thank you both for the recomendations. I have read all of the articles that are previewed here, as was suggested by Ted. And I went and picked up the book you suggested. Now that I look though I thought I grabbed the right one and I grabbed one with a similar title “Fix it and Flip it” (I never realized how many titles would be so close to each other!). I will have to go back to Boarders in the morning and get it if I can. Thank you both again for your recomendations!


I dug out my copy of the book, the correct title is “Buy it, Fix it, Sell it: Profit”. Sorry for the misinformation.

Troy M

You can find a link to it here…

where you can go to Amazon reviews. Hope it helps.

Thank you all for your responses I really appreciate it! I only have one more really serious question to ask. Would you say that this is really hard work more physically or emotionally? I would love to hear from anybody who’s really out there doing this. Although I am a top service person in my industry (service to private jet owners), I might actually be the worst salesman on earth, I really do take things very personally (I quit selling cars because of what someone said to me). While I’m sure you would rather not hear about that, I’m asking to know if I have to be a sales king to survive. I know that motivation can overcome many things, but is this the kind of business where perseverence can really overcome the odds?
P.S. For Ted, JR. I do not have a “partner” per sey, but I do have a good source that I am mentoring with who has knowledge of sales and construction under his belt (although not in real estate). I wanted you to know I took your suggestion seriously.
Again, thank you all for you time, I know it is precious and I appreciate it!



In general, it is unrealistic to believe that one person would possess all of the attributes that are necessary to be a success in real estate investing. A real estate investor is one-part lawyer, one-part contractor, one-part salesman, one-part riverboat gambler, one-part accountant, and one-part negotiator. One could argue which of these components is the most important, however, in the final analysis, there is no one right answer. Therefore, I believe that you are misguided in focusing on your apparent lack of sales ability Instead, history teaches us that persistence is omnipotent. If you are persistent you will succeed because failure is simply not an option. All the books and tapes in the world will not help you overcome the rejection you will inevitably face as a real estate investor. Agents, brokers, owners, buyers, title companies and attorneys will all tell you that you cannot do what you want to do. Will you listen? I didn’t and that has made all the difference. Good luck and try not to focus on what you don’t have… focus on what you do have.


Not to be a downer, but to add to this, You DO Have to have a thick skin to make it in this business. You will hear all sorts of things. Some people will become mad at you, slam doors in your face, tell you this is illegal… and you have to go through MANY MANY no’s to get one seller that will say yes. The more experienced you get though the more “YES” you will hear.
Now on saying this, having a thick skin does not have to be something you are born with. I was a very …hmmm… sensitive person =) That took everything said to me to heart. I realized to be in this I had to get over that to a large extent… I worked on it, I talked to many people and some just downright didn’t like me. (and I LIKE to think I’m pretty likable! LOL) People that are motivated(ie divorce foreclosure death in the family ect ect) are not always happy people and you have to learn to deal with that. But you CAN learn and change these things. It isn’t cut and dry like you were born this way and it’s just how you are! You can change almost any aspect of yourself given the desire and will to do it.

Didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news but realistically you do need to LEARN to have a thick skin. It is an ongoing process and everyday if you do what needs to be done it will happen almost naturally. Even if you do get hurt and angry when you are first starting out… which some very sensitive people do. We all go through these things…

Hope this helps,
Heather Zaal

PS Buy it,Fix it,Sell it, Profit I will agree is a very good book! It was one of the first ones I bought.

Contrary to what some “guru’s” would have you believe this business takes hard work and persistance. If it were as easy as spending 2 hours a week on REI and becoming a milionaire, then everyone would be a millionaire.

Again, thank you all. I went out and picked up the right book about 3 days ago and have been reading it. You were right it’s definently more of what I was looking for thanks Merc!

Hi Brandon,

Everyone here has done a great job of fielding your questions.
I just wanted to add a thing or two.

You can help overcome rejection by eliminating those that are most likely to do the rejecting…the ones that don’t need your services. And that is what is at the heart of REI. While Investments provide a vehicle for us to turn a profit , they also provide us with a means to provide a truly valuable service to others…to provide a way out of their bind…whether they are a Seller in distress or a Buyer with less than great credit.
Don’t set yourself up for rejection by trying to approach everyone with a property for sale. Rather, market yourself effectively…let folks that need you know that you are a service provider and draw them to you. They will be mentally prepared to give YOU a"Yes" for THEY will be seeking someone who, finally, won’t be telling THEM “No”. Treat folks fairly, believe in the value of the services you offer and you won’t have to worry about rejection. Its Win-Win