Investing in real estate is one of the best occupations you can partake in. While subjective, it is a field that offers limitless opportunities and an equally limited array of methods to seize them. In addition to the ability to determine your own income, you can also carve out your own schedule and work just about anywhere you want. If you have managed a few successful deals, you may be thinking that you are ready to transition to becoming a full-time investor. While this may be true for some, not every investor can, or should, take the plunge into full-time investing. Before you commit to a new way of life, there are some steps you should take to gauge if you are ready.
It is important to note that past success does not guarantee future results. You may have closed a few deals, but unless your pipeline is full, you may have a tough time building on any momentum you may have had. Building a pipeline means having sources that you can generate a steady stream of leads from. Investing is a numbers game. The more opportunity you have, the more deals you will close. Without a supply of leads, you may only be looking at closing a few deals every few months. Depending on your financial obligations, this may not be enough to keep your household afloat. Just because you have more time to find deals doesn’t mean they will just fall into your lap. Before you leave your present employer, experiment with some ways that you will generate leads and determine if more time would mean greater results.
Regardless of whether you are working full- or part-time, you need to be building your business continuously. If you are working full-time, such a task can be difficult. However, you should still be able to find time to attend investment club meetings or networking groups. Very few, if any, investors will enter the business with more leads then they can handle. Most will have to take steps to build their business along the way. If you are at a job that you have flexibility at, or you can devote time to investing during the day, you may want to have the best of both worlds. You can continue to build your business while still earning a full-time paycheck.
If you are ready to invest full-time, you should have the technology to do so. There are many successful investors who don’t have a website or will still knock on doors for leads, but there is a better way to do things. Between iPhones, improved websites, tablets and countless applications, you can easily get started in the business with the right technology. Even if you opt to stay at your full-time job, this technology can make it much easier for you to get work done. You can view properties on your phone during your lunch break or sign a contract when you are on a break. Technology alone will not make you a successful investor, but if used properly, it will certainly help ease the transition.
One of the perks of being a full-time investor is the ability to work on your own terms. However, if you want to do other things during the day, there may be nights and weekends when there is work to be done. It is all about balance. Investing full-time means going to open houses on Sunday afternoons when the rest of your friends are watching football. It means driving to investing meetings after work once a month or meeting homeowners after they get out of work. This is a small sacrifice to make, but one that needs to be done nonetheless. What you give up by working a few nights or weekends, you will get back with the ability to set your own schedule during the day.
Investing full time does not mean you will earn a full-time paycheck. Before you commit, you should have a few months of reserves in place. In the event that you don’t see a check for a long time, it is better to be prepared. A deal you get today may not close for at least a few months. If you are stressed about money, it will have a domino effect on how you view each deal, how you treat your contacts and your overall mindset every day. There is something to be said for taking a leap of faith and not looking back, but it is not necessarily in everyone’s best interest to do so. In most cases, it is best to wait the extra few months or even a year until you are financially ready to deal with the ups and downs of the business.
Investing full-time can lead to endless possibilities. That being said, if you are closing deals and making money with your current employer, there is no rush to start the process. Make sure the risk equals the reward. Before you do anything, you need to know what you are getting into and how you are going to attack the business. It doesn’t matter how much time you invest, only what you are getting out of it.
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