I just got back from a trip to Ireland and France. It was remarkable the similarities (and differences) with the two countries. I wanted to get out of the cities and see the countryside so I rented a car in each country.
On the night before picking up my car in Dublin, I kept thinking about the driving I would be doing. Thinking about driving on the right-hand side of the road through all that traffic kept me awake. I wondered why they didn’t require some kind of course and certification to drive on the other side.
I picked up the car and with my wife constantly reminding me what side of the road to drive on, we made our way out to the beautiful green country. After the first hour getting around Dublin, I was surprised to find that the driving became almost as effortless as it is back in the States.
Now for the obvious metaphor: My driving experience was a lot like that first real estate deal. Like the driving course I wondered if existed – probably, but I couldn’t find one; it’s hard to find real estate education that is suited to your specific niche. Sure, I googled around to learn about the traffic signs, but beyond that, I just had to get out there and drive.
Real estate is a lot like that. You can spend a lot of time educating yourself on basic ways to invest, but there are so many possibilities, that at a certain point, you have to get started and find out for yourself. Even hiring a mentor, which is not a bad thing if you have the resources, won’t get you 100% of the knowledge you need. You just have to get that last mile for yourself. Which is why you need to take that first step and make your first deal, so you can get to that last step. Remember, you will never feel fully ready.
My advice to beginners is to continually learn what you can but at the same time be evaluating at least one deal per day, even if you don’t intend to buy right now. You will stumble across a deal that checks all the boxes and you will find you can’t pass that one up. That’ll be your first deal.
Understand that your first one won’t always be a home run. Make sure you have multiple exit plans first. When I returned my French car to Paris, Google’s navigation took me right through the roundabout of the Arc de Triomphe. Navigating that was way more difficult than driving in Ireland. Thanks Google!