There is an old saying you’ve probably heard that “it takes money to make money,” which is true. But that money doesn’t necessarily have to come from your personal bank account.
I discuss many of the different ways you can invest in real estate in my book, Replace your Income: A Lawyer’s Guide to Finding, Funding, and Managing Real Estate Investments. There is no magic number that you need to have set aside for real estate investing before you get started. You can actually have no money to start, and while that isn’t one of my top recommendations, there are ways to do it. Here are just a few of them:
Find a Partner
The simplest way to obtain an ownership stake in a property without any money of your own is to find a money person – that is, someone who has money to invest, but who may not have the time to take care of all the other tasks associated with finding, buying, and managing an investment property. That’s where you can contribute. If you are not bringing money to the table, here is what you can do:
- Drive neighborhoods in search of potential properties to purchase
- Regularly combing MLS listings to see what’s available or new to the market
- Sending out mailers to property wonders in certain areas
- Underwriting a property to make sure all the numbers work and that the property has profit potential
- Renovating a property to get it ready to rent or sell
- Cleaning a property in between renters
- Managing a property to keep it in the best possible condition and ensure that tenants or renters are happy
Find a deal
How do you find such a deal? There are a number of places where you can connect with people who may need your time and skills, such as:
- BiggerPockets Meetups
- Local real estate investing group meeting
- Facebook groups for real estate inventors
- Local real estate agents and property managers
These are just a few starting points. You need to create your own network of people who can refer you to investors who need property managers or maintenance people, or who need someone to check out a neighborhood or property. That can be formed through your existing friends and acquaintances network.
Manage the property
Another way that someone who doesn’t have money to invest can contribute and earn equity is by managing the property once it’s purchased. If you’re the property manager, you’re the person who picks up the phone when tenants call about a leaky toilet or a refrigerator that won’t keep food cold, as well as the person who goes to investigate and repair the toilet and refrigerator, or who makes arrangements for someone else to come out and repair them. You’re the laborers, while your partner is the money. In exchange, you’ll receive, on average, about 5% of the profit each month, or whatever percentage you’re able to negotiate.
If you have a little bit of money to invest, you might want to consider crowdfunding platforms like Fundrise, which allow individuals and businesses to pool their money together in order to finance larger purchases such as real estate properties. Using these platforms, anyone can become an investor by contributing any amount they choose, from small amounts all the way up to large sums of money.
Crowdfunding provides several benefits for real estate investments, including quick access to capital, low barriers to entry, limited paperwork and compliance costs, and reduced risk due to diversification among multiple investors. Additionally, it enables more people—including those without the financial means—to participate in real estate investments that would otherwise not be accessible to them. Finally, it allows you to leverage your network of contacts by tapping into their expertise and connections, which can help you find better deals or better manage your properties once purchased.
Best of all, no previous experience is required. One of the biggest advantages of using a platform like Fundrise is that you don’t need any prior experience or knowledge in real estate to start investing. All you need is an internet connection and the willingness to take a risk on an investment opportunity. The platform provides you with all the tools and resources you need to get started, including a comprehensive overview of each investment opportunity and detailed information about expected returns and risks. This makes it easy for even beginner investors to get involved in this lucrative market without spending too much time learning the ins and outs of real estate investing.
Remember, when it comes to real estate investing, you don’t have to have a ton of money set aside in savings, but you must ask people about deals. Don’t sit on the couch; get out there and meet people through Meetups, at the gym, or at the coffee shop. Real estate investors are some of the best people you can meet; they want you to succeed, so tap into that resource and knowledge and ask. You can get in the game with very little, so look around and take advantage of those opportunities that are just waiting for you.
This article was originally published on Market Daily.