The White Coat Investor Network[Editor's Note: Today's WCI Network post is from Passive Income, MD, who gives his recommendations for the first steps beginners can make to start investing in real estate. Peter loves to introduce people to real estate as a method to get solid long-term investment returns and to improve your current tax advantaged tax flow. If you haven't already subscribed to our real estate opportunities email list, it is another great way to learn about specific deals, discounts, and everything real estate!] 

“I want to start investing in real estate, what’s the best first step?”

I get asked this question quite a bit and how I answer people has changed over time.

What I’ve come to realize is that there is no one perfect best step. The key is to simply commit to investing and get started doing something.

What might that something be? Well here are some great first steps to take:


#1 – Figure Out Your Goals & Write Them Down

At the end of the day, I see real estate investing as simply a vehicle. It’s a vehicle to help me achieve my ideal life.

Isn’t that the point of all investments?… To help get you to a place in life where you feel in control, safe, secure, free, etc.

So many people start the journey without knowing where exactly they want to end up. That’s equivalent to taking a trip but not knowing where you want to go. I think that’s why so many people have such a hard time figuring out the roadmap.

So the key is to get specific about what you’re looking to accomplish and when you want to have it by.

I'm a fan of the SMART system of creating goals. Here’s a post on it.

This is a great first step.


#2 – Read Books

Books are still relevant today even with all the different forms of media available to us. Yes, they typically take a fair amount more commitment to complete than taking 5-10 minutes to read a blog post.

But the level of depth you're able to get to in one resource is powerful.

Do I need to spend more time telling you the power in books? We all know we've read plenty of them for education in our lifetime.

Here are some of my favorite books on this topic.

This is a great first step.


#3 – Read Blogs/Forums

I hear from people who say they don’t have the time to sit and read an entire book. It’s sometimes that initial resistance to committing to an entire book that keeps people from starting their investing journey.

I wonder if it's truly a time issue, or if it has more to do with the fact that it's outside of their comfort zone. We all like to stick to things we're familiar with.

So I tell them, start by reading blogs one article at a time. Or go on forums and read a thread.

Everyone can find 2-3 minutes during the day while waiting in the coffee line, before a case starts, or wherever (get creative). Sometimes people can get a nugget of wisdom even from the shortest post.

That might inspire someone enough to want to know more.

Here are some of my favorite real estate investing blogs.

This is a great first step.


#4 – Listen to Podcasts/Audiobooks

You might not have time to sit and read, but there's no doubt that you can find some time to listen and absorb information somewhere in the day.

I find the best time to educate myself is in the car or while walking my dogs. That way I'm not utilizing more time in the day to get this done. It's just a better use of time that I would be spending anyway.

There are so many amazing resources available today in audio form. I listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and even book summaries. Every book in the list above can be found as an audio version.

As for podcasts, here are some of my favorites. This list isn't real estate specific. I'll have to create that soon and will update this post with it. Of course, I’ve since launched my own podcast where I focus on creating multiple streams of income including real estate investing. Feel free to check out the Passive Income MD Podcast here.

Ok, don't know if it's obvious by now, but this is a great first step.


#5 – Go to a Real Estate Meeting/Conference

I still remember what it was like to go to my first real estate investor meeting. I went alone and didn’t know a soul there. I felt out of place, but I was determined to learn more. So I talked to people, sat and listened to stories as well as some strategies. I felt like my eyes were opened to a whole new world and I learned a ton.

Since then I’ve made the commitment to going to at least one major real estate conference each year. I feel it's important to immerse myself in it, network, learn from others, and find a community of like-minded people.

There have been times where I’ve learned more from one conversation at these conferences than weeks spent reading online. It's powerful.

This is a great first step.


#6 – Talk to a Friend/Colleague/Family Member

steps to real estateI am confident that you know someone in your network that has some experience investing in real estate. It might not be someone extremely close to you, but maybe it’s one of the physicians you interact with on occasion. Maybe it's a friend from college you haven't talked to in a while. Perhaps it's a family member.

Whoever the person might be, why not utilize first-hand experience from people you trust to help guide you?

It might feel awkward at first to approach someone about the topic, but one thing I’ve learned is that people who invest in real estate love talking about it. No one got where they’re at (if they’re successful in real estate) without having guidance and help along the way.

They're usually more than willing to share their experience. So seek those people out and ask how/why they got started. See where it takes you.

This is a great first step.


#7 – Take a Real Estate Investing Course

I don't know if it's just me, but every year I feel like I have less and less time to do all the things I want to do. So I've been hyper-focused on maximizing my time.

I’m also all about high-yield content and resources. The most limited resource we have as busy professionals is TIME and I feel my time is extremely valuable.

As doctors, we make decent incomes, but what good is it if that money can't help you free up your time.

So instead of spending hours and hours of somewhat aimlessly searching for all the right resources and information, if I can find a course on it that accelerates my learning and shortens the learning curve, I'll take it.

Yes, I've spent thousands on these courses over the years, but it's saved me hundreds of hours. And I'd rather spend that time with my family and friends. They've also saved me from making some big mistakes, and that's worth quite a bit.

Shameless plug, but I'd like to mention one such course. If you'd like to learn to confidently invest in passive real estate deals, then check out our course, Passive Real Estate Academy. The waitlist is open now. Regular enrollment will be open soon, but it'll only be open for a short period.

This is a great first step.


So What Truly Should the First Step Be?

So how do I now answer people when they ask me what their first step should be? Honestly, it’s usually #1 above – I ask them to define their goals.

But if they’ve taken care of that or want what's next, I ask, “What do you think you should do?” The great thing is, they already know the right answer. It’s whatever gets them moving and taking action.

Like most things in life, the first step usually leads to the next, and once inertia is overcome, momentum takes over.

So what’s that first step for you if you haven’t started yet? What do you think you should do?