Many people get excited about the opportunity to get out on their own and do their own thing as a part-time real estate investor in addition to their full-time career. There’s something very attractive about the idea of being on your own, even on a part-time basis, and that may be one of the reasons a lot of individuals get in to real estate investing.

Well, that’s all fine and good, but there can be many disadvantages to going down that path alone. What you need to realize is that it can only benefit you to engage with, leverage and learn from others. And it can be a real game changer in your part-time real estate investing.

What got me started thinking about this whole topic was that, as we head into the holiday season, I heard recently that the movie “Home Alone” was celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Many of us remember 25 years ago when the movie “Home Alone” came out, starring a very young Macauley Culkin as a character named Kevin.

If you remember the plot, Kevin finds himself extremely excited about being by himself when his family accidentally forgets about him and leaves him behind as they venture out on a holiday vacation. He’s very excited to be home alone as a very young kid and thinks it’s wonderful, but it’s only a matter of time before he realizes that, “Boy, it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.”

And as those of you who have seen the movie may recall, he quickly runs into various challenges, issues, obstacles and problems as a result of two bungling burglars who proceed to be a real menace to him as they try to break in to the family home, thinking everybody is gone for the holidays. And long story short, fast-forward to the end of the movie, ultimately Kevin is very relieved after all of these challenges to be reunited with his family and lo and behold, realizes he would rather be with them than be going at it alone. And it made me think, “Boy, that’s a lot like the life of a part-time real estate investor.”

The attraction a lot of times is, “Gosh, I want to get away from my day-to-day job. I want to get away from my career. I want to get away from my company. I want to do something on my own. I want to be left alone to chart my own course and achieve my own success.” And like I said, that’s all fine and great, but you will realize too, that it can result in you—much like Kevin in “Home Alone”—running into a lot of challenges, issues, obstacles and problems that could be avoided with the help of others.

As readers of this blog know, I am a full-time real estate investor in Dallas and the owner of a HomeVestors franchise who was once a part-time investor myself. And for me, one of the reasons the HomeVestors franchise was attractive was the fact that it provided me with instant access to so many other individuals as well as information, situations, circumstances and opportunities and a network of resources. It really addressed that “alone factor” for me and helped and enabled me to progress from a part-time investor to a full-time investor because I now had access to resources and opportunities and situations that opened my business and me to a whole different level of competency.

And I’m not here to sell the franchise concept, because you can get those same benefits and those same opportunities and interactions with others through a lot of different avenues. That’s what I want to talk about today, and I’m addressing those part-time real estate investors who may be feeling alone out there and wondering why they’re not getting the results that they want to get, need to get, or thought they would get.

In this niche of residential real estate investing you’ll find that the industry and the people within it are extremely accommodating and very willing to share, educate, partner and collaborate. And, let it be known, some of them do have ulterior motives to sell you something or to derive some personal benefit. But I will tell you I have personally run into more of those individuals who have NO ulterior motives other than to share their passion and their excitement and their energy as it relates to real estate investing.

So let’s look at what I’ve gotten and what I think other part-time real estate investors can get from the approach of not going it alone but instead leveraging those around you.

No. 1—Inspiration
You can derive an incredible amount of inspiration from other real estate investors. Now, it’s very easy to get complacent in this business, to get comfortable and to get in that proverbial rut doing what you’ve always done. That becomes a problem when you continue to do what you’ve always done but you expect to get different results than what you’ve typically gotten. It just doesn’t work. And that’s the time when you need to seek out the inspiration and new ideas that you can get from others as they talk about their business and they share their knowledge with you.

I firmly believe that there is always something new to learn. A lot of times you will learn from others by watching the things they do, but even more importantly, you can learn from others as they tell you the things NOT to do. You can get inspiration very easily and oh, by the way, you can get it for free.

I get inspired a lot of times just through very informal or ad hoc interactions with other investors. They inspire me when we get together for lunch, or a casual cup of coffee or even a ride-along. “Hey, are you going out to look at your rehab property today?” Or, “Are you going on a ‘buy appointment’ to talk to the seller of a home? Can I come with you? We can talk in the car and share ideas and inspire each other, perhaps.”

I get inspiration from a lot of sources. Lunches, phone calls with other investors, any opportunity—however informal it is—to gather and interact, can be very inspiring to you as a part-time real estate investor.

No. 2—Education
Outside of inspiration, there is education. And boy, there is plenty of that available in our industry. Unlike inspiration that comes from a lot of informal sources, these educational opportunities tend to be from more formal sources. And I encourage the part-time investor to seek them out. There’s tons that you can learn—both on your own and from others—and tons of people who are willing to teach you in more formal environments, if that’s where and how you learn best.
Here are just a few examples: There are expos on the weekend. There are real estate investor clubs that meet just about every weeknight in every major metropolitan area. There are all sorts of instructional events you can go to, and there also are conventions.

In my case, I get a lot of that from my HomeVestors franchise and our annual conventions and summits. Another thing I did was to get a real estate license—not because I seek to list properties and sell properties and market properties as a real estate agent, but because it was a great opportunity to learn and continue to be educated as a result of some of the continuing education requirements that are placed upon all licensed real estate agents. And that, again, is an example of a very formal approach to education.

No. 3—Motivation
Trust me, you will become discouraged at times in your real estate investing. Sometimes, things are just not going to go right. And you’re going to need motivation. Sometimes it’s difficult to get that from yourself, and you need to seek out motivation from others. You’re going to need encouragement when you’re doing well, and you’re going to need even more encouragement when you’re not doing well. And this can come from very formal sources or it can come from very informal sources.

As for me, I get a lot of motivation from sharing my goals and then being recognized by others when I achieve those goals. We do a lot of that within HomeVestors. We share our goals very publicly—what our goals are for the year—and then we’re measured and it’s very visible. And obviously recognition and rewards come from that process, and that’s very motivating whether it’s a formal reward coming down through the franchise system here at HomeVestors or whether it’s just a colleague recognizing you and saying, “Hey, you’re having a great year, and I see you’re doing exactly what you set out to do that you told me you would do at the beginning of the year.” That can be very motivating, and once again, that’s is recognition and motivation coming from others that you can’t get when you’re operating alone as a real estate investor.

No. 4—Accountability
As part-time real estate investors, we all have full-time jobs and careers, and accountability is probably what’s driving us to be successful in those careers. We’re accountable to somebody, whether it’s our boss, or the team we lead, or the company we work for. Accountability is key when you’re working in the corporate world and working for someone else. You tell others what you’re going to do, and you allow others to tell you what to do, and they hold you accountable for doing what they’ve asked you to do or what you’ve told them you’re going to do. And as much a pain as that accountability may be—and it may be the source for many people wanting to leave their full-time jobs or careers or corporate roles—that accountability, lo and behold, is a key to success for so many people.

You’ve got to find a way, as a part-time real estate investor, to be accountable to yourself and, ideally, to others who will hold you accountable. You can do this, for example, through Mastermind groups. There are a lot of real estate investor Mastermind groups where—once you have applied and been accepted as a member—you will find peers who I guarantee will hold you to the fire. They’ll hold you accountable as you talk about and share your business with your Mastermind group on a regular basis. When you come back next week, or next month, or next quarter for your Mastermind meeting, those other investors are going to check to make sure you did what you said you were going to do and if you didn’t, why not, and what are you going to do now, to get back on track. That’s a very formal form of accountability from others. And if Mastermind is not up your alley, then hey, your spouse, or friend, or partner or family member can be a great source of accountability.

So you’ll find that real estate investing can be a very lonely business—but it doesn’t have to be.

Just like in the movie “Home Alone,” being on your own may be wonderful, but it may not prepare you for the challenges, the issues, the obstacles, the problems and the troubles you may find. So I encourage everybody to seek out individuals who are going to inspire you, events that are going to educate you, sources that are going to motivate you and opportunities through which you can be held accountable in order to ensure your success as a part-time real estate investor.

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  • Kevin Guz

    Kevin Guz is a Dallas, Texas-based residential real estate investor with more than 10 years of investing experience. He owns a HomeVestors (or “We Buy Ugly Houses”) franchise as well as the Clear Key companies, which focus on residential real estate wholesaling, rental property management and self-storage leasing. He also is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Texas. He enjoys sharing his ongoing personal experiences, perspectives and learnings from his start as a part-time or “weekend investor” and full-time corporate professional through his ultimate transition to a full-time real estate investor and business owner. You can listen to his podcasts at

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