Real Estate Investing Tips for College Students

As a college student, you will have plenty on your plate both academically and financially. You may not have the resources to invest in property.

But what you will have is the opportunity to learn about investing and gain valuable experience in the field.

That way, when you do have the opportunity and the resources to make an investment in real estate, you can move forward with quick speed and confidence.

Have the right mindset

The first thing you need to do is think with the right mindset. You need to think “how can I invest in real estate as a college student” or “how can I gain experience in real estate investing”.

If you think “is there a way to invest in real estate as a college student” or “is there a way to gain experience”, then you are starting on the wrong note.

Thinking “is there a way” gives you a convenient excuse for not finding a way. Thinking “how can I” forces you to think creatively and find a solution.

This piece of advice is true not just for real estate investing, but for your career and life in general.

Resource: Real Estate Investing Training Course

Save money

Save as much money as you can. The higher your savings, the more likely you are to invest in your first property.

College life throws many temptations for spending money. You have to try and resist those temptations.

It is quite likely that as a college student, you may already be cash strapped with student loans and tuition bills.

However, saving even small amounts can lead to a substantial fund a few years down the line. This fund can cover some portion of a down payment on a property.

Side income helps

Some extra income from part-time work definitely helps in creating a fund for future investment. You can work with a professor, become a teaching assistant or a grader, drive with Uber or Lyft, or find an internship.

Working with a company will not only give you extra cash but also look good on your resume as long as the work is related to your major.

Another way to generate extra income is to start your own business. You can sell products on Amazon and eBay, you can start your own blog, or you can do independent work on popular freelancing websites.

In today’s digital world, you can literally make money by sitting in your dorm room. The pay may not be spectacular, but it can become a stream of cash flow which builds your investment fund.

However, you need to make sure that you do not overstretch yourself. Your classwork and academic performance come first. Additional income is always secondary.

Resource: Real Estate Investing Training Course

However, unless you end up going to a military academy, you should be able to find a few spare hours every week when you can work on the side and earn some cash.

If you are serious about real estate investing, then you will find it more fruitful to work during those spare hours rather than spend those precious few hours partying and playing video games.

Find a good balance between study, work, and play without stretching yourself excessively.

Invest your savings

All the money that you save from lowering your expenses and doing side jobs should not sit idle in your savings account. You want to put that money to work by investing in a passive index fund or a mutual fund.

Investing directly in stocks is not recommended as there are plenty of risks. A well-managed fund will give you reasonable but steady returns. The goal is to create a decent fund four or five years down the line to use for investing in real estate.

Learn as much as you can

Knowledge is important. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about real estate investing. Read real estate books, take a course in your college, attend seminars/conferences about investing on campus, and look for any opportunities to learn.

If your school has a minor in investing or finance, consider doing it along with your major. College is that time of your life when you should be absorbing as much knowledge as you can from like-minded people and experts.

You should also watch for events in neighboring universities and colleges about the subject.

For example, if you study in Boston, then there are plenty of schools in the area which have conferences on finance, investing, and business. It is easy for a student to attend another school’s event. An older professional may find that more awkward.

Resource: Real Estate Investing Training Course

Meet people

Networking is a very commonly used word in almost every career path. Real estate investing is all about focused networking. When you attend student events, conferences, or take real estate classes, network with different people.

By networking with real estate investors (and students), you will get to learn and share ideas.

Since they are interested in real estate investing, chances are that they will end up working in that industry. And who knows, one day they might help you with a deal or perhaps you might do a deal with them.

You also want to network and meet an experienced professional who can be your mentor someday.

You don’t have to ask people to be your mentor at the beginning. It is a gradual process. Having a mentor is very valuable for any real estate investor’s journey.

Resource: Real Estate Investing Training Course

Get experience

If possible, look for an internship with a real estate brokerage. Work with small local real estate firms. They would probably be doing small deal sizes which you may be able to pull-off with the right amount of savings.

Offer to work for free if you have to. Try to get experience in things like sourcing properties, screening tenants, and arranging the finances for buying small properties.

Avoid analysis paralysis

Many wanna-be real estate investors do all the hard work and then never actually complete a deal. They learn all about real estate, read all the right books, meet the right people, etc. However, they never actually do a deal.

If you find a decent deal where you believe that you cannot lose money, then go for it. It is only by doing that you will gain experience and become a better investor.

Avoid the trap of analysis paralysis. Every successful investor has to pull the trigger at some point.

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