So you want to be a real estate investor? It sounds like an amazing way to make income, but there’s only one small problem: your pesky full-time job that’s currently paying all the bills.
Thankfully, part-time real estate investing only takes up a portion of your time, leaving you free to focus on your primary employment until your real estate revenue picks up. After that, you can move to full-time real estate investing … but that comes later.
For now, you’ll need to find your first investment property and manage it in a time-effective manner.
Location is everything when purchasing real estate, especially for rental properties. While it may eventually work well to branch out and purchase property in multiple cities, start local in an area that you know. Keep in mind the things that renters find attractive in a property. Low crime, the ability to walk to work or easy access to public transportation, as well as views, parks, or proximity to shopping or restaurants are a huge plus.
Even if a property is in a fantastic location, renters will shy away if it’s in disrepair. Unless you have the capital available to upgrade and remodel a place, stick to turnkey properties that are ready to go. Cosmetic fixes such as paint and new plumbing fixtures are easy, but if a potential home needs major work like rewiring or structural repairs, it’s probably best to keep shopping.
When planning for part-time real estate investing, many people don’t factor in the time it takes to find the right tenant. You’ll want someone who is clean, mature, and responsible. They’ll need to be someone with a reliable income and preferably someone who would like to stay long-term. Finding the perfect tenant is the holy grail of real estate investing, and you may need to show the property to multiple prospective tenants before you make a match.
So far the to-do list for part-time real estate investing is growing pretty long. You have to find the perfect location, choose a property that doesn’t require endless amounts of time and money to get it ready, and secure an ideal tenant — and this is all before the renting even begins. Most people aren’t ready to quit their full-time jobs and become landlords, so how on earth do you manage all of this in your spare time?
Thankfully, an experienced investment firm/property management company can take care of it all for you. First, they’ll help you locate an investment property that can start generating rental income right away, even as it increases in value over time. Investment firms are skilled at helping you weed out the fixer-uppers in order to find turnkey properties that are ready to go on day one.
Next, your property management company will show the property and interview prospective renters to find qualified candidates. Much like selling a home, this can be a time-consuming process in which everything at the property needs to be perfect, so having professionals handle the process for you makes it infinitely easier.
Once a rental has been secured, property management handles the rest. From making sure rent gets paid on time and assessing late fees if it’s not, to scheduling and handling maintenance and repairs, they take care of it all and send you monthly reports. Your property management company is the key to turning your real estate investments into passive income.
So go forward confidently with the knowledge that just because you become a real estate investor doesn’t mean you have to quit your job … until you’re ready to retire, that is.