Getting started to invest in property

Private Property South Africa
Neale Petersen

Get the knowledge to give you the advantage

Now is probably the best time ever to invest in property with prices at it lowest point and with medium- to long term recovery in sight it is probably a good time to get back to understand the basics. While bank finance is difficult to get this calls for creativity on behalf of the investor. Now is when the real money is made. Property investment is a professional business undertaking and it requires a professional approach. Just like any other investor or professional, you have to get the knowledge to be successful.

A surgeon can’t successfully operate on a patient without the knowledge of the human anatomy and the surgical procedures. A property investor can’t expect to be successful without the knowledge of the property market and the various investment strategies. Educating yourself is the first priority.

A solid education is an investment in your future. The reason is simple – there are risks involved in any undertaking and the best way to manage these risks is to understand the game, so you know what to expect and how to deal with it. The time and money required to get this education from the many reputable sources available before you start, will pale in comparison to the cost and time involved in learning by trial and error at the University of Hard Knocks!

“There are no risky investments, only risky investors.” - Robert Kiyosaki

Remember, applied knowledge is power. Having a thorough understanding of the market, the risks and the strategies for dealing with these will give you an edge to take action in the investment world.

Investors have so many options and resources from which to choose that life-long learning really takes on a literal meaning in the property investment world. Getting knowledge on how to maximize your tax, how to use debt effectively, when to take risks and how to maximize your compensation from the investment can give you a real unfair advantage in the market.

Books and magazines

Many successful property investors have shared their knowledge, expertise and experiences in a number of books that are available in local bookstores or can be bought online. Reading these books are one of the most cost-effective ways to get the knowledge you need. Don’t have time to read? Then get the audio books and keep them in your car’s CD player, so you can get the knowledge while you are driving.

There are a number of property magazines that can help your widen your understanding of the property market, as well as the trends and developments that are shaping the future. Subscribe to the magazines so you can stay abreast of what is happening and more importantly give you real time tips and information, which you can use immediately. Magazines like Real Estate Investor magazine can be downloaded onto your tablet or iPad and read while you are doing downtime.

Read every property investment book and property magazine you can lay your hands on, so you have a comprehensive overview of the industry and the latest trends, as well as the different strategies and approaches advocated by the various writers.

Websites

The Internet has placed the greatest library in the world at your fingertips. Use it to expand your knowledge base to include international views and approaches. There are countless websites offering free information, extensive archives of articles, free e-books and other resources such as calculators, webinars and newsletters. And the wealth of case studies and personal experiences will ensure you remain motivated.

Even if you learn just one tip from each website, it will be well worth the time and effort. The best place is to Google information

Training courses

Many universities and colleges offer property training courses. But for property investment training, your best bet is one of the many property investment clubs in the world that offer regular courses covering every aspect of property investment.

Attending just one training course will provide a solid background, but why limit yourself to just one approach? Each property investment club has something unique to offer. Attend as many courses as you can, so you know exactly what the various approaches entail and so you can choose the one, or a combination, most suited to your own style.

Many of the property investment gurus have made their training courses available online, or in an electronic format, which means that no matter how hectic your schedule, you can complete a training course. E-courses combined with CD packs and manuals means you can work through it at your own pace.

Attend seminars

At any one time, you will find an astounding number of property and property investment seminars you can, and should, attend.

Seminars are a time-efficient way to address many current issues that are of interest to a property investor or professional at that point in time. Often several expert speakers are brought together in one place, at one time, to provide clarity on a pressing issue. Seminars are real-time and interactive, so you can join in lively discussions about strategies, challenges and solutions, and get answers to your questions.

In the shortest time possible, you can listen to and interact with the experts, hear what other investors are struggling with, learn about new solutions, get answers to questions you have not even asked yet, and be reminded of all those fundamental principles you may have forgotten.

Find successful property investment mentors

There are many property investment experts who are willing to share their success secrets and help others to achieve success. Mentors are available through property investor clubs and even online. These are people who will guide you, advise you and motivate you, while providing you with an expert to bounce your ideas off.

There are also a great many role models on which you can model your success. For example, if you like Donald Trump’s approach, read up about him, his life and his strategies. Sign up to his newsletters and courses, follow his blog and interact with him online. It doesn’t matter which role model you choose, as long as his or her success inspires you to achieve your own. In South Africa there are also a number of wealth coaches and property mentors who have had great success in the investment world depending on where your appetite for investment is.

By Neale Petersen – Real Estate Investor Magazine

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