It’s been interesting to observe the number of emails and messages that have poured in since Flip or Flop Atlanta started airing in July. From “Anita, where did you buy those boots?” to “Can you help me find a house in Atlanta?” … the requests are all over the board (and we love it!).
However, there has been one comment in particular that we seem to receive more consistently than any others … “I want to flip houses like you guys do.” I get it. The show definitely glamorizes this business and probably makes it look easier than it actually is.
I wish there was a quick and simple response that we could give when asked this question, but the complexity of the business doesn’t really lend itself to a short answer.
Without attempting to provide instructions on how to start flipping houses in this blog, perhaps instead I’ll give you a few thoughts to ponder before deciding whether or not flipping is right for you.
13 years ago, when I first asked this question of a very successful CEO of one of the largest REITs in the country, his response was: “Don’t get into real estate unless you plan to put all of your time and energy into it.” At the time, this was a little discouraging to me because I had planned on doing it on the side. Ultimately, I ended up quitting my corporate job to pursue this full-time … and as you might have guessed - haven’t regretted it for one second.
That said, I don’t necessarily think you have to be a full-time real estate investor to flip houses successfully … but I do believe it requires a great deal of time, energy and dedication to be successful at it. If you think you can spare an hour here or an hour there and make tens of thousands of dollars flipping houses, you’re likely underestimating the time commitment required to be successful in this business.
To the aspiring house-flipper who DOES have the commitment, the next logical step is to get educated! Every real estate market is different and there are many different strategies that can be used to make money in real estate. I think it’s extremely important for any new investor to take the time to become an educated investor. Read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts, attend a local REIA, find a mentor or coach … basically immerse yourself in all things real estate for a little while until you’ve figured out what your stepping out point looks like.
Flipping houses isn’t rocket-science but it does require a great deal of know-how, organization and management. Learn to put it all together while putting it into practice and you could very likely end up building a successful house flipping business for yourself!
For those of you interested in some free educational resources - we’ve put together some helpful tools and content at rei-institute.net.