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  1. Setting your goals 4
  2. Selecting your strategy 18
  3. Acquiring real-estate knowledge 33
  4. Mentors 47
  5. Job in Real Estate 50
  6. First Purchase 54

  7. Bibliography 60
    Index 61
    Order Form 64
    Your Opinion of this Book is Important to Me 65
“John T. Reed’s How to Get Started in Real Estate investment provides the novice and experienced investor key insights into building a sustainable investment model in real estate.”
Bernie Malonson, Marketing Manager, Southfield, MI

Setting your goals

Throughout the book, I list ACTION steps you should take. I don't want this book to be another reason for investors to procrastinate. Part of the process is setting goals that you thought through logically. Many investors, including myself, start by making goals based on impressive round numbers.

"I had several financial goals when I was in my early twenties. One was to have a five-million-dollar net worth. Another was to own 100 residential units. In pursuit of those goals, I became a millionaire, then a former millionaire."

Why 100 units? Why $5 million? You should decide on a number because it makes sense, not because of how impressive it sounds. You should make a shopping list of everything you want to be able to buy in your life, add it up, and that's your goal.

Selecting your strategy

Real estate investment is a broad topic, with many sub-topics that often differ greatly from each other. There's residential, office, retails, industrial, agricultural, recreation, raw land, schools, hospitals, airports, parking lots and garages, churches, etc. As a general rule, you must pick one of them. Each is so specialized that you would find it extremely difficult to be expert in more than one.

On top of that, each of these topics varies greatly based on different factors. Don't think you can profit buying a golf course in New York because you did very well with golf courses in Arizona. And climate is just one factor. Learn about the other factors in Chapter 2.

Acquiring real estate knowledge

Once you pick a strategy to focus on, you can start acquiring the expertise necessary to succeed using that strategy. How to Get Started in Real Estate Investment tells you where to go to get the specific information for your strategies and other techniques to help you, including where not to get information.

You also need to understand general real estate law as well as various related topics like finance.


A mentor is a more experienced, usually older friend who gives you free advice and watches out for you. Notice my emphasis on the word FREE. See my chapter on Mentors for more.

Getting a job in real estate

An excellent way to learn about real estate is to get a job working in real estate. Crazy, I know, but if you're a medical doctor, you probably cannot afford to quit your practice to become a title-company officer. When I was in the Army, I devised a six-year plan of working to learn. For the first two years, I was going to work as a house real estate salesman. Then I was going to work two years as a property manager. Then I was going to work two years as a mortgage loan officer. Looking back on it, I had the right basic idea, but the details of my plan were flawed. (See Chapter 5)

Your first purchase

So after setting specific goals, selecting a strategy, acquiring knowledge on that strategy, maybe talking extensively to a mentor, and maybe working in real estate, you are now prepared to buy a property. The final chapter of How to Get Started in Real Estate Investment talks about how I made my first purchase, including the mistakes you should not repeat.

Beginnings are delicate things,” said Frank Herbert in his novel Dune. It is extremely important to get off on the right foot and it’s not too late if you already started.