Step 1: Plan
First you need to determine your needs. Are you wanting to invest in real estate for short term gains (monthly) or are you looking for more long term (retirement) goals? Are you looking to be an active (schedule crews, pick properties, manage the project) or a passive investor. If you have no real estate investing experience, I HIGHLY recommend starting as a passive investor to learn, then slowly transitioning to an active investor. Are you planning on using your own money or are you going to use other people’s money? All of these factors will determine what type of investing you do? (2 weeks)
Step 2: Educate: Tactics and Strategies
In this step you need to learn as much about real estate investing as you can. You should learn several strategies: buying, selling, renting and funding. Do NOT just learn the strategy you plan to use. You also should contact a real estate professional (realtor) and have them send you listings from the MLS (multiple listing service). You need to be able to read and understand the listings and the purchase process as well as the transaction fees involved in both purchasing and selling real estate in your state. Title companies and usually a great source of information about this.
There is a TON of free and nearly free resources that will help you learn the basics of real estate investing. Books, podcasts and websites are all great sources of information for learning the basics. Also, there are typically local real estate investing clubs in most areas.
Step 3: Execute
Now that you have developed a plan and gotten some education, now comes the most difficult part execution. Most people never get here. This is where you put what you have learned to the test and stick to your plan. Hopefully, by this time, you are still learning and networking with other investors so you are not isolated and have help if needed. This step is the most difficult.
These are three simple steps to getting started in real estate investing. There will be more later, but for now these steps will give you a basic foundation that you build on.