Real estate investing can be incredibly profitable if you approach it the right way, which is why you should learn everything you can about it before taking the plunge. For example, you need to master these four things if you are to succeed in the business:
Reading for Knowledge
If you aren't a voracious reader, then you will have to teach yourself to become one before venturing into the business. You will need to read about the real estate industry, especially the content from real world property investors. It's all good to network with other investors and learn from them, but it's unlikely that they will have the time to impart the volume of knowledge you can get from books.
It's difficult to excel in any form of investment without basic math knowledge. You will be negotiating with different parties such as property sellers, agents, and different service providers (such as painters). You need to know what a 1.4% discount means or the difference in return on investments when you renovate a house before leasing it out vs when you lease it out and let the tenant do the renovations. The math isn't difficult, but it can cost you serious money if you assume it and go with your gut feeling.
The real estate industry is peppered with paperwork, and all of them are crucial to your success. Therefore, if your bookkeeping skills are rusty, brush them up so that you do not end up with a giant mess of paperwork on your desk after a short while. Taxes, expenses, and cash inflows, can drive you crazy if you aren't organized. Also, don't think that you can rely on your memory; write everything than for ease of remembrance.
Real Estate Lingo
Lastly, it's a good idea to become accustomed to the jargon in the industry. You don't want to be completely green when investors, agents, advisors or other industry gurus are talking. Sure, you will pick up most of the jargon as you mature in the industry, but there is no harm in making it a point to shorten the learning curve.
Buying a home without a real estate agent is possible, even though it's not advisable. It's even more dangerous if you are buying properties for investment as a first timer. Therefore, take your time to identify an experienced agent that can help you achieve your goals.