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What it takes to invest in real estate when you have a full-time job


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If you are considering investing in real estate while maintaining a full time job, don’t fret.

You are not alone.

In fact, when scouring the internet for blog posts, forums, and articles regarding how to get involved with real estate, you will find that many top investors got their start exactly the same way.

If you are worried about how you are going to handle real estate when you already have a full-time job, follow these tips to help you understand exactly how to get it all accomplished.

Establishing an additional revenue stream by acquiring investment properties is possible even with a full-time job.

Top investors follow these four steps:

1. Dedication

Just like with any goal, if you are not 100 percent dedicated, you are unlikely to succeed.

When it comes to investing in real estate while maintaining a full-time job, dedication is one of the most important factors. Starting out in real estate investing is essentially like starting a business from scratch. You will have to do research, write a business plan, visit properties, make phone calls and follow leads.

How you put in the time is entirely up to you and relevant to your personal situation.

Do you use your lunch hour to complete these tasks? Do you get up early or stay up late? Do you take personal or vacation time? Everyone has a different situation and only you can make these decisions.

Either way, a good chunk of your personal time will have to be dedicated to starting out in the real estate investment industry. While this may seem like a big sacrifice, just think of the benefit you will receive from starting out the right way: steady, reliable cash flow.

2. Perseverance

Things are not always going to go your way: schedules may not line up, you may not get bids in on time and you may not be able to visit properties out of state right away.

In this market, things go quickly and those with a full-time job and pre-planned schedules to work around may not always have the upper hand in these situations.

Sometimes you may have time to see a location, but the property does not meet your standards, or you may find a property does not meet your return on investment (ROI) goals after you complete your research.

Be prepared to spend time following leads that may not work out, and be prepared to come across locations that may already have offers in before you can get to them.

That is the nature of the market. But, with perseverance, you can eventually strike gold.

3. Organization

When working a full time job, you are already busy. Add real estate investing to the mix and things can get a bit hectic.

The best way to handle the situation is to stay on top of things and remain organized by putting systems and schedules into place.

Your time is limited, so organizing it is necessary for getting the most out of your new venture. You don’t want to waste time searching for phone numbers, names or paper work, right? Set reminders on your phone, leave notes in places you know you will find them, keep an organized planner and do whatever else helps you keep things together and easy to sort through.

This scheduling process works for balancing your personal time, as well. Since you will be contributing a lot of personal time to your new project, it can be easy to get swept away and over-involved.

Losing family time or time for your hobbies can cause you to get burned out quickly and possibly abandon the project before you even get fully invested.

Set a schedule for yourself to avoid this.

For example, if you are home from work at 5 p.m., have dinner scheduled out from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and then search for properties from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

When 8 p.m. rolls around, call it quits.

Having this balance will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed, and it will help prevent any mistakes or rushed decisions that could potentially cost you money in the long run.

4. Hire out

Hiring out can be an absolute lifesaver when you have a full-time job and invest in real estate.

There are many facets of the real estate investment process that can be hired out to a third party, allowing you to stay dedicated to your full-time job or keep obligations to your family.

Hire a virtual assistant to negotiate purchase prices, or spend money on a good investment agent that can locate valuable properties. In some cases, these investment agents can handle all aspects of the process for you: They can locate and research, schedule showings and closes, and file all legal paperwork for you.

Some agencies offer property management services for after closing, allowing you to remain relatively hands-off even after closing your deal. They can handle tenant selection and retention, marketing, 24-hour maintenance, and any and all legal complications that may arise during your ownership.

During the closing process, hiring inspectors and assessors will help save you from investing in a potential money pit, as they can see any costly repairs in advance.

Renovations and repairs can all be hired out to contractors. You also have the option to find a property management company that can handle these services for you.

While it may cost you money up front, hiring out will leave you with the best balance of part-time investing, full-time work and family life. This is the most important key to starting out in real estate investing while maintaining a full-time job.

Michael Jordan is the president of Strategy Properties. Follow him on LinkedIn or BiggerPockets.

Email Michael Jordan.

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