Many self-acclaimed real estate gurus state that everyone should quit their jobs and immediately jump into full time real estate investing. They often claim incredible results from students with little experience. We would like to caution that life-changing decisions are not usually simple and that full time investing is not for everyone. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of full-time versus part-time investing.The Full-Time InvestorEntering into the real estate profession on a full-time basis offers several advantages over a part-time commitment. Being successful requires you to develop knowledge in many aspects of real estate, and more time focused on real estate leads to greater knowledge. The more your learn, the more you earn, since you do not need to rely on as many professional services or partners for help. You also learn to recognize a deal (or a dud) faster, which gives you more time to do more business or spend with your family.As a full-time investor, you work your own hours. When we say “full-time,” that may mean as little as twenty hours per week if you are good at finding deals. The rest of your time can be spent pursuing other vocations or hobbies. Or, if you are so inspired, you can work forty or more hours and use the extra cash flow to buy rental properties or diversify your holdings in the stock market. The point is that you need to satisfy your cash flow needs before you can start “investing” your money.One final point you should consider is whether you want to be “self-employed.” If you have always worked for someone else, being your own boss sounds very attractive. In some, respects, this isn’t quite the truth. Being your own boss means being an accountant, bookkeeper, stock clerk, receptionist and office manager all-in-one. You have to do deal with tax returns, payroll, office supplies, customer service, bills and all the other hassles that come with a business. You don’t have friends to chat with at the water cooler. You don’t have paid health insurance, a company car and a 401(k). You take your problems home with you every night. Sound like fun? It is, once you learn how to master your time and run your business. Being the master of your own life and career is well worth the other hassles of dealing with your own business.The Part-Time InvestorThe part-time investor holds a “regular job.” This may be by choice or for the time being until his real estate ventures are bringing in enough cash to quit his job. If it is the latter reason, don’t quit your job because the real estate “guru” told you so. Quit your job when it is not worth the income that it brings you. In other words, if you are making more money per hour flipping properties on the side, you are at the point that where your regular job is costing you money. Only then, is it time to quit!One of the advantages of starting out part-time is that you can maintain cash flow while learning the business. It may take weeks or possibly months to find your first deal. That same deal may take several months to turn around, especially if you decide to fix it and sell it retail. Think twice before telling your boss you’re leaving; you will have plenty of time to make the career switch once you have real estate experience. You may, on the other hand, like your occupation. If so, continue to work at it, and invest in real estate on the side.The best case scenario, if you are married, is to have one spouse work a regular job. The other spouse work the real estate business for creating wealth, retirement income and a nice college fund for the children. Of course, in today’s market, you could be laid off due to unforeseen circumstances. If you earn additional income flipping houses and invest the proceeds into rental properties, you will be covered if your main income is lost. This is especially the case for married women that often forego a career and raise a family, only to find themselves divorced with no means of making a living. We don’t want to sound cynical about marriage, but with a fifty-percent divorce rate in America, it never hurts to have a system for making money.Someone with a full time job tends to have little free time to focus on real estate. A part-timer should learn most of the same skills as a full timer. Thus, the key disadvantage to flipping properties on a part-time basis is that it takes sacrifice to learn the business. Something has to give; television, lazy weekends, meaningless hobbies and even some family activities must be compromised. As with any education, time spent learning about real estate will bring its own rewards, especially if the people in your life understand your goals and your plan to achieve those goals. If you are married, make sure your spouse reads this material with you and participates in the fun process of making money.Treat Real Estate as a BusinessPeople are lured to real estate because of the quick buck that it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes about five years. More than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat it like any other business.
Business cards are a number one priority in the real estate market. The competition among realtors is massive and to stand out in front of the pack a realtor needs to stand out in every respect, so it behooves them to have the best marketing materials possible that will not detract in any respect from their service offering. An attractive design with a targeted message to your prospect will separate a professional from an amateur every time.Choose Between Templates Or Custom Design Work
Many people choose a template already designed by a printer. On a startup or limited budget this is a choice that is simple, easy, but not necessarily going to lend you any extra mojo to your sales presentation. To take a step in front of the rest who choose the template route you should have a design customized to your business.Sounds expensive? It does not have to be if your printer does regular real estate printing work. Customization also shows extra time and effort put into your presentation. A well thought out and good presentation is how real estate is sold to the prospect in person, in the presentation folder, and when you first meet them with your business card, right? Given the right approach, anything is possible. A design that the prospect is going to remember before all the others gets you a step in front of everyone else.Selecting A Printer For Quality And Price
Type in the words “business cards” to your favorite search engine and you will be presented with a list of internet printers many of whom will offer free or ridiculously cheap business cards. They can offer these low prices because the print materials being used are of adequate quality for a vanilla business card and they are not providing industry specific design experience. This type of card works well for someone who is not targeting an affluent customer base or is otherwise not heavily focused on relationship selling.Affluent clients will pick up on a mass produced generic template versus a card designed and customized for your specific business. It’s even more true if your are selling products and services to small business owners who are often involved in their own business marketing material creation as opposed to a larger corporate client.Select the Business Card Paper
Premium card stocks, 14PT or greater, feel quite different than a thinner card. With the treatments available they are exceptional platforms to make a great first impression. With the cost difference between a 16PT card stock and 10PT card stock as low as it is, there is no reason to risk scaring off a perceptive affluent buyer. Relationship selling works best with the best marketing materials.To remain professional find yourself a printer and designer that offers experience in your industry. A good quality printer will have a design staff for customization needs as well as a number to contact for advice on design issues. You should intend to grab your client’s attention entice them to reference your card, and lock it into memory. It will take a certain amount of time and effort to complete a card design that does that.Ask the Relationship Manager you work with their opinion on the design. Ask for some alternatives. Be prepared to listen to their advice even if you don’t agree with it. You’re the customer, they will likely do what you want. Keep the parts that make sense to you.The alternative is going to a website, select a generic design, upload your logo and contact info. Your paper quality choices will be slim. You should expect just a basic business card. Build Your Brand In The Customer’s Mind
The image you portray on the real estate business cards is the image that the client will carry and what they will remember you and your services by. It will determine if they recommend you to their friends and business partners. If you present a card that looks sloppy, quick and pre-done, they will draw a different conclusion than if you present a laser focused graphic design for your target customer with compelling selling (branding) phrases you will reinforce when you speak with them.Maximize the creation of your brand. A business card is the first step to achieving the image you want to maintain for a lifetime of successful business sales.