I often hear statements like these from new real estate investors:

So, I’ve read a couple of real estate investing books, I’ve read this real estate investing guide, and I have $100 in my pocket. I don’t have a real estate investing team. I’ve never spoken to a seller. I don’t have a buyer’s list. I don’t have hard-money lenders. I don’t have business cards. I don’t have an LLC. I don’t have experience. How can I get started and what do I do first?”

Do these sound like your questions?  Many times a new real estate investor gets stuck when they try to cross the line from theory to practice.  It sounds like what is needed is a dose of practical advice.

Go to a Real Estate Investor’s Meeting

The fist thing I would recommend is that you join (or attend) your local Real Estate Investor Association or club.  The fee is usually around $100, and sometimes you don’t need to be a member to attend classes.  Members often can attend unlimited events for free and non-members often have to pay a small fee.  If you’re not sure if the club is for you, attend a meeting as a non-member.

These clubs are where you’ll find investors who are looking for great deals. Get their cards and find out what they are looking to buy, how quickly they can close and whether they have ready cash or work with a lender. If they can close in ten days or less, that’s good. If they have their own cash, that’s even better. If they use a lender, get the lender’s name so you can confirm they are for real.

Inevitably, investors at the club will ask you what you do.  You should be honest and say something like. “Hi, my name is Augie.  I’m new to real estate investing, but am eager to learn more.  I’m attending today’s meeting to get a better understanding of who is investing in our community.”  You should follow this up with questions that will help you to understand how you can convert this acquaintance into a contact.

Remember to ask for a business card.  Don’t worry about having your own business card, but if you really want some, I would suggest buying some from 123-Print.  You can get a basic white set of cards for less than $5.  Basic is better.  You only really need your name and contact information.  Don’t worry about a company name yet.  You are the company.  Something like the image to the left should be fine.

There are many real estate investing clubs throughout the country.  In order to find clubs that operate within your area, check out:

So there you go.  Now started building your contacts!