We’ve all made mistakes. Learning from them is what propels us to higher levels.
Even though he’s the top executive of a rapidly growing firm, Renters Warehouse CEO Kevin Ortner has made plenty of missteps in his real estate career. Here are few pieces of advice that Ortner wishes he had received years ago.
Commit to educating yourself
When Ortner was first starting out in real estate, educational tools were scarce or too expensive. Looking back, Ortner wished he had the plethora of free learning opportunities that are now available to all types and levels of real estate investors.
Now years later, Ortner is in the position to not only encourage new investors to learn, but also provide valuable tools for growth.
“We’re passionate about making sure people understand what they’re investing in,” he said. “Today, education is aplenty. You can Google and YouTube whatever you want on real estate. There’s a lot of free education out there, whether that’s from Think Realty, Renters Warehouse, or other real estate influencers out there. You can dive into investing philosophies, how to calculate your returns, and the market you’re looking to get into.”
Build the right team
When starting out in real estate investing, you’re bound to encounter many new processes, terms, requirements and obstacles with which you’re unfamiliar. That’s why Ortner recommends that all investors surround themselves with smart, trustworthy people.
With a smart, honest team, you can attain and even surpass your goals, he explained.
“Whether it’s the real estate agent you’re going to find the properties with or your accounting team, make sure that they’re people who actually understand real estate,” Ortner said. “If you’re going to manage the property yourself, who are your contractors? Who are the vendors you’re going to call if there’s an issue? Who are you going to use for background screening? There are a lot of different pieces and components that go together to have a successful operation, and building that right team is essential.”
Tenant screening is important
A thorough vetting process is imperative to finding the right tenants for your rental properties.
“When you have great tenants, your operations will run much more smoothly,” he said. “Don’t be anxious about making sure you fill the property as fast as you possibly can. Make sure you set good standards on what you’re looking for in an applicant: from a background perspective, from a credit perspective, and from an income perspective, and then stick to that.”
Ortner encourages investors to market the property to generate as many tenant leads as possible and select based on the standards you’ve set. Don’t rush the process as that could cost you more money in the future.
Stop dreaming — get started
Throughout his career, Ortner has heard many people pining for a new, improved life through real estate success. At a variety of business and investment forums, he’s fielded questions on how to get started in real estate investing, but months later, the same people have avoided making their first deal.
“There’s never going to be a perfect deal or a perfect time, you’ve just got to get started,” he said. “Once you get that ball rolling, it’s so much easier to start buying that second, third, and fourth property.”