How to Make Creative Investing Work For You
by Peter Conti

Here's how you can make certain that creative real estate will work for you. You're taking a step that will move you from the sidelines out onto the playing field. You're making the change because you're tired of working a traditional job. Besides, you want some more excitement in your life. As a comparison let's say you've decided to take a shot at becoming a professional baseball player because you love baseball and the money players are making today seems... well, good enough to pay your bills with. To prepare you go down to the batting cages and hit balls for two weekends. To make sure you're in shape you run a few miles each day. After three weeks of this preparation you're ready for the majors... right? Of course you aren't. Becoming a success in any endeavor requires a long term commitment, a solid game plan, and a willingness to strike out a few times.

As I travel across the country, I'm suprised at the number of people who are looking to get into the majors in real estate investing by trying out a new method for a few weeks to see if it will work right away for them. The bad news is that I haven't yet found a way to "get rich overnight" in real estate. The good news is that you can become a successful real estate investor much easier and quicker than you could make the majors in baseball. The only talents you'll need are desire and a determination to succeed. There are three steps that if applied will guarantee your success.

Step One - Gaining Knowledge

You're off to a good start by reading what you have in your hands right now, one of the best sources of informative articles anywhere. Read and listen to everything else you can. There are free offers for audio tapes and special reports everywhere.

Call or send away for these free offers. There are numerous ways to make money in real estate and you'll get enough information from these free offers to know which area of real estate investing seems like it would be a good fit for you. After you've chosen the method you are going to pursue, get your hands on every book, audio tape or course that you can so that you can establish a good foundation of knowledge for your investing career. Next, attend a few seminars that go into greater detail so that you can fully understand how to make a living as an investor. Being able to ask questions as you're learning will allow you to learn faster and easier.

Step Two - Doing

Go out and start talking to sellers to find out the difference between a motivated seller and a "I'll wait until I get everything I'm asking for" seller. Make offers on property using an agreement that has a clause that will allow you out of the deal if you need to get out. (This is called a weasel clause or "subject to" clause). It is only by getting out into the marketplace and making real offers that you will move into a position where you are gaining the experience and confidence that will sustain you for the rest of your investing life.

Step Three - Get Feedback

If you don't know what you did right and what could be done better, then you're not increasing your investing skills. The best critique of your deals is going to come from either a mentor or another experienced investor. Find a way to hang out with other investors. Either go to your local real estate investing group, or call up some of the other investors in your area. To find other investors just look at the "real estate wanted" section of your paper. The ads that say "I Buy Houses" will lead you to other investors.

If you're worried that the other investors won't want to help you, I think you'll be suprised. There is so much opportunity out there that it is rare for two investors to be going after the same deal at the same time. To eliminate this worry completely, simply choose another nearby city, perhaps a city that's an hour or two away. Call some investors there and explain that you're just getting started in your nearby (non-competing) city. Offer to take them to lunch anywhere they choose in exchange for feedback on your deals and advice on getting started as a real estate investor. One of my best students has had people spend up to four hours with him just for the cost of lunch and a quick drive to meet them.
This is an excellent technique and works great as long as you're up-front with the investor about explaining exactly why you want to meet with them.

By taking these three steps, you'll be on your way to certain success if and only if you are willing to apply one final secret formula. This secret is behind the success of every single person who has ever achieved anything worth writing home about. The secret formula is this:

Be Willing To Fail. Expect To Fail. Learn From Your Failures.

If the first deal you do doesn't work out avoid the temptation to exclaim "This just won't work for me." Or "This method must not work in my city." Is it possible that because you're just getting started perhaps you just didn't have the experience yet to keep your deal in place? The only way to get experience is by following the three steps I've explained here.

Each time you "fail" you'll actually "win" as long as you ask these two questions. What did you like best about this? What can you do better next time? By consistently using these three steps multiplied by the power of this formula you'll achieve so much success as a real estate investor that people will want to know how you did it.

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