I was thinking the other day about how Christina and I started our own business and became our own bosses without even thinking about being entrepreneurs. We were focused on making money to create a future for our family, not on starting a business.
And yet, eight years later, we not only started a real estate investing business, but we had a whole reality TV show about it, and now we help others start their businesses in the same industry. So, when our students and other hopeful investors ask me about what they need to start a real estate investing business, sometimes I think about what they don’t need instead.
In a lot of ways, house flipping is more like starting a new job (where you’re the boss) than starting a brand new business. The rules are pretty much the same wherever you go, and the keys to success don’t change based on whether or not you can come up with a great idea for a new product or service. So, if you’re starting a real estate investing business, you don’t need a lot of the stuff that other startups need.
A BUSINESS PLAN
If you want to grow your real estate business down the line, a business plan can really help. However, it really isn’t necessary to have a full business plan put together before you start flipping houses. In fact, you could become a full-time house flipper without ever taking the time to write a business plan. Why? Because you’re not doing anything new or revolutionary—you’re just moving into a lucrative form of real estate investing that others have done before.
If you have a good idea of where you’ll get private loans or hard money loans and how you’re going to build your house flipping team, then there’s no need to waste your time writing a business plan right now. Save that for when you start thinking about hiring employees, renting office space, or branching out in other ways.
AN LLC, LLP, S-CORP, OR ANY OTHER CORPORATION
Having a corporate structure for your real estate investing business will be a good idea when you start investing on a larger scale. But, again, it’s really not necessary to start flipping houses right now. In fact, for now, becoming a corporation will just add a lot of paperwork to your life and complicate your taxes next year. Talk to your accountant and/or your real estate attorney as your business starts to grow, and they’ll tell you when it’s a good idea to incorporate, and how.
This is probably my favorite part of starting a real estate investing business if you’re a house flipper. Can you name a single other type of business that doesn’t require you to have any startup capital? Granted, you’ll need the funds to buy your first flip, but you don’t have to save a lot of money for that or find an angel investor. Instead, you can easily get a hard money loan or a private loan.
Unlike just about any other business, when you start a real estate investing business as a house flipper, you won’t need a lot of the paperwork and other stuff that other entrepreneurs need to deal with before they even think about getting their startups off the ground. You just need a little bit of time, some knowledge, and the right attitude, and you’ll be flipping houses before you know it!