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Discussion Starter #1
Well to start this off I am a student currently studying Urban Planning at Arizona State University and looking for some advice. I am beginning to realize that Urban Planning is not exactly what I want to do with my life and I am much more interested in real estate and buying and selling properties.

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and over this past summer working downtown grew very fond of the city. I have always been interested in real estate and the buying and selling and development of cities and even just towns. I have realized this is what I want to do and was hoping that some of you here at the four would be willing to give some guidance. This forum has been an inspiration to me and seeing so many successful people make something of themselves makes me want to do the same.

Currently I plan to change my major to something more geared towards real estate and development, although I have not figured out exactly what as ASU does not offer an undergraduate degree for real estate specifically.

So here it is: If anyone here has any advice as to what to focus my studies on, opportunities to pursue, things I can learn outside of school on my own, or any information or advice you feel could be relevant or helpful to me it would be greatly appreciated. I hope to graduate from ASU and pursue a Masters degree in real estate from a school back in Chicago.

Finally, I plan to send email’s to a few of the commercial real estate firms in Chicago this week to try and obtain an internship for when I return for summer so any advice as to what to include in that email ex. Wording, topics, important things to touch on, etc. That would also be greatly appreciated.

Come on guys help a college kid out so he can be on the right path to maybe be as successful as you one day! Haha
Sincerely,

Charlie

p.s. Sorry this is so long and as some incentive for your time and advice if anyone is in Chicago over summer time and is downtown give me a shout and I can get you on the speed boat tour I work on for free just shoot me a p.m. Got to take care of the fellow L4Pers.
 

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I'm in a rush right now but I'll do my best to give you some input. I'm a fellow student with similar interests.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm in a rush right now but I'll do my best to give you some input. I'm a fellow student with similar interests.

Cheers.

Awsome thanks alot I appreciate any help I can get. Whenever you get a chance Im all ears.

Anyone else out there with some input?
 

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wow thank you so much for that advice. I am 19, and also going into the real estate industry. I have no experience but I am studying about it everyday so that I am equipped with the correct knowledge. The main thing is to KNOW like MarkNV said. I asked a similar question before and people in this community helped me so much. The first thing that is the most important step is to learn real estate and your market in your town. Keeping learning and you will succeed. At the moment I am gaining knowledge about real estate and building my credit. Hopefully by next summer before I turn 20, will have my first investment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm, lets see..

I'm young as well (Just turned 21) and here is my experiences and reviews of the business since I've been in it.

I started in real estate since I was about 17 years old. I have been involved in real estate in Europe(which is a whole different story, so) and the USA, specifically California, Nevada & New York.

The hardest part, in my opinion is for people our age to be taken seriously. They see us and instantly assume we are not experienced enough or know what we are doing. I always try to dress to impress & leave a good first impression.

It's my goal to turn the age disadvantage around and use to my advantage. We as the younger crowd have a wealth of knowledge in regards to technology. We can use that in marketing, networking, communication, etc. Convince yourself now, that no matter who may look down on you because you are younger, you will always push forward.

Some people may not want to work with you, may not take you seriously, might even insult you, but you know what? You are going to be pissing on their face pretty soon.

Strive to be the best possible. We have energy and innovative idea's to be the best. We are also in the prime of absorbing and learning new techniques.

Those people that have been in real estate 10+ years or so, might be 50+ years old, have no idea what is going on NOW. This market is like nothing they have probably experienced before.

After that little summary, the second thing is KNOW your market. Mine is different then yours, and different then the next person and any other state.

Here in Reno, NV it is so distressed up the ass, traditional sales are hard to find. What I mean by a 'traditional sale' is no special conditions. Seller's that are not selling as a short-sale or foreclosure.

Short-sales are where home owners are selling their home for LESS then what they currently OWE on the mortgage. To have a short-sale you must be able to present a 'verifiable' hardship. This can come in many different forms, job loss, pay cut, relocation, etc.

New development in my area has virtually stopped. There is some standing inventory from 2008 or so, but its not being sold commonly.

Investment:

Investing for yourself, could not be a better time. There are so many opportunities out there right now, it is just ridiculous. You would be overwhelmed if you tried to capture a fraction of them at once. Overtime have a goal of acquiring properties. Whether they be 'flips' or long term rentals.

I could go on and on about the business.

It's like nothing i've ever experienced before. To be honest, in my area, there are alot of brainless incompetent assholes. It's depressing, it hurts to work with them, but frankly you have no choice.

They are so moronic it takes YOU to do EVERYBODY's job. You need to make sure that everything is doing what the should be and doing it the right way.

NEVER assume somebody is going to do it and do it the right way. Why you ask?? Because they will say something, NOT fvcking do it, and then you are dead in the water with a) delayed closing b) buyer walking away) or c) in a short-sale the approval expiring.


the pro's about the business... well

1) No boss!! Do whatever you want, when you want. You can take vacation whenever, just make sure your business is covered.
No need to submit vacation forms to anybody.
Do i want to go to SEMA, next week (Hells ya, so i just go :D)
Or goldrush next year, yes ssiirrr!!

2) it is HARD work, but can be very rewarding :)
You like seeing big paychecks, yes of course.

Don't be the person that is average and with the group, the person that everybody talks about and knows. Be the person that people look up to (despite your age).

Share your knowledge, the more people that know what you know, the easier a potential transaction could be.

Some people don't like to share their 'secrets' or 'tricks of the trade', but you know what? Those people are just making life harder for themselves.
I do agree, don't share ALL of your personal tricks and how you make clients happy, but make sure that whenever you can assist in a transaction, do it..

i think it might be easier if you ask questions you might have, then us rambling on about the business.

Good luck in your choices
Wow thank you so much. This is the kind of knowledge and insight I am looking for and want to learn from. I am gonna have to think of some specific questions for you but honestly the "rambling" is perfectly ok with me as I want to learn as much as possible.

I guess to continue this going, what actions would you suggest I start taking to get my foot in the door and learning? maybe some good reads or websites that are good to learn from. Unfortunatley I do not have the income to consider any investments and do not have the good fortune of parent with money. (they're probably worse off than me) So between living and paying for school money is tight. I am trying to build my credit score but school cost is making that tough as well. I dont consider myself educated or knowledgable enough at this time anyway so I just want to keep learning as much as I can.

Also do you think it would be a wise decision to try and get an internship at a real estate firm to help with expierence or would you advise to learn on my own however I can?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
wow thank you so much for that advice. I am 19, and also going into the real estate industry. I have no experience but I am studying about it everyday so that I am equipped with the correct knowledge. The main thing is to KNOW like MarkNV said. I asked a similar question before and people in this community helped me so much. The first thing that is the most important step is to learn real estate and your market in your town. Keeping learning and you will succeed. At the moment I am gaining knowledge about real estate and building my credit. Hopefully by next summer before I turn 20, will have my first investment.
That is awsome I am glad to see there are others out there with the same mind set and drive that I have to be successful in this business. As MarkNV said you get to be your own boss and make your own decisions, and if you make something of yourself the pay isn't exactly bad either. These are what I strive for and always dreamed of when thinking about what I want for my future.

Where are you learning from, other than this site which is great, and gaining knowledge. I'd love to learn more as I just started really focusing on this and making the moves necassary to get going. And investment already by 20 is impressive to me and would be quite the accomplishment in my mind and a huge step into making something of yourself early.

Just my $0.02 CAD to add, start your relationship with creditors as early as possible.
With no disrespect but did you mean this sarcastically or are you serious? I could see having good relationships and good credit is key and very helpful but when I hear creditor I think negative as in huge debt.
 

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Im 21... I own a little bit of land...

just buy and wait.
 

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With no disrespect but did you mean this sarcastically or are you serious? I could see having good relationships and good credit is key and very helpful but when I hear creditor I think negative as in huge debt.
Are you planning on purchasing these properties cash? If not, a loan will be necessary, start a relationship with your bank early, and get a good attorney, it will help you expand a lot quicker.
 

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I guess I'm sort of confused. What career in real estate best describes what you'd want to do?

I'm envious of your position. I am wrapping up a unrelated undergrad but have heard urban planning is a terrific degree to have to get involved in development.

One route would be to finish, go work for a planning firm for a few years, make some $, invest in some properties, then eventually go back to a top tier school for a Master's of Real Estate (development) or an MBA geared towards RE. MIT, Harvard, and a few others all have ones I've looked at. You do need substantial experience in the field.

I doubt you'll find a degree more focused on RE as a whole. Most biz undergrads are fairly general.

Ultimately it sounds like you need to just read up to see where you see yourself fitting into the puzzle. There is sales (RE agents), development, construction and contracting, entrepreneurs (flipping), architects, planners, city planners/boards, landscape architects, appraisers, etc. And of course any combination of those is out there too.
 

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As a full time RE investor, who started not far out of college, I'd move into a finance program if I were in your shoes. Fundamental understanding of finance is required if you plan to make it in RE investment.

On top of that, getting involved in the business on the ground level is the biggest key. Get your RE agent license, and intern for an experience agent/broker, or find a successful local investor that's willing to take you under his wing. As someone on the other side of the table, its amazing how hard it is to find intern types that are hard working, dedicated, and committed to learning the biz. If you fit this box, and are persistent, you'll find opportunities.

And one piece of advice I give everyone new is to locate the top Real Estate MBA programs, find their curriculum with textbook requirements, buy those textbooks and read them cover to cover until you have a basic understanding of the fundamentals.
 

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Spencer, I really appreciate the input.

I've always wanted to work towards investment and ultimately development. I've been pondering as to whether or not getting my RE license would be worthwhile (if unsure of wanting to ultimately be a full time practicing RE agent). The fact that it's a career where it sometimes seems like everyone and their dog is an agent I sometimes feel like it doesn't seem practical. But the information covered would be beneficial you're saying?

Or do you feel practicing as an agent would be integral to understanding the process. And does an MBA mean much in itself or just the information covered?
 

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It is easy to get into real estate as an agent, it is difficult to be 'good' and well respect as an agent. There are alot of people licensed, but not actively practicing.

Now on the other hand. In terms of investing. If you are unsure whether or not you want to practice as an agent, I would not get your licensed. As an agent you are held to a 'higher standard' as those who are not. You are bound by more laws and have to disclose more.

Sometimes I wish I was not licensed. An alternative is to work with a partner who is not licensed. It is always good to have somebody on both sides of the court.


In real estate & investing, your degrees mean shit. It is the knowledge that counts. As an investor you need no background or to 'prove' anything. Experience is what counts.
Marc after I wrote that I realized I didn't direct it at you too. Been a hectic day. Sorry.

Totally know what you mean in saying "It is easy to get into real estate as an agent, it is difficult to be 'good' and well respect as an agent." Which is why I don't want to just jump in, because I know my ultimate goal is not to sell properties full time. I want to learn how to invest, create value, and own. If it would be extremely beneficial to become an agent as somewhere to start and learn, then I'm all over it.

Where degrees mean shit is where I want to go. Becoming independently wealthy is far more interesting to me than being the flavor of the week grad. I am an extremely hard worker, have a family/gf I could to lean on if I had to for a low paying/free internship, and really am interesting in furthering my education; be in in a structured setting or not.

Is there any way to take the classes but not become licensed, and thus reap the rewards of both sides? Are they that informative? I have one of the course books available to me. As well as a massive appraisal book. But to be honest I feel like the being in a classroom could help to get me get my foundation set. And maybe improve my resume, because right now it shows no moves in that setting.

The problem I've had revolves around everything you and I have mentioned. There isn't a school for it. All I've heard is having a strong financial background is super helpful, which I don't have.

Sorry for the threadjack, and if I sound like I'm completely lost. Help... Me... lol. :bow1:

Also feel free to tell me if I'm a dreamer.
 

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I have been in the real estate business for 10 years now, buying and selling single family homes and small multi unit apartments. I have bought and sold right at 600 houses in that time, with a high of 98 houses in my biggest year. My operation has done wholesale, retail, rental, rent to own, and even owner finance some homes to tenants as well. In the current market we are doing buy and hold primarily with a sale here and there to rent to own tenants.

Realize that real estate is an up and down business and you must learn to ride the wave. In the comercial side of the business it follows a different wave and sales are fewer and father between. However it is a big boys game and both sides of the coin are cash intensive and credit intensive.

Stack your money, protect your credit, and network your butt off and start to build relationships with potential partners that you can put into your business to invest with. Even Trump plays the partnership game on big deals.

Learn all you can about the industry you want to be in and a real estate BA is not that important and a MBA? Save the money and use it to invest. Instead of an MBA find a residentual real estate person that you admire and like and follow them around like a shadow. Same on the comercial side if that is what you are interested in. A mentor in the real estate industry is more important than anything else you can have. School programs teach you the book version and your mentor will teach you what happens in the real world.
 

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Currently I plan to change my major to something more geared towards real estate and development, although I have not figured out exactly what as ASU does not offer an undergraduate degree for real estate specifically.


Charlie-


I am all so a student at ASU, in the Housing and Community Development undergrad program. You probably haven't heard of the program because as i graduate in May there will only be one more class after mine as ASU is eliminating the program for some reason. This was a more diverse major including real estate, planing, development and finance. sounded good on paper but the program was spread so thin that I did not get as much out of it that i had hoped, I am looking at you grad school.

As a side note though i am a board member for the The Society of Urban & Land Development, a student organization at ASU. we have by weekly meetings with guest speakers from the industry, as well as social events and site visits to local projects. very good networking opportunities!! we actually have a site visit planed this Friday at 10am to Tempe Counterpoint (the paper weight of a skyscraper behind mill Ave.)

Christian

check out the website Society of Urban and Land Development

you can also reach me at [email protected]
let me know by tomorrow if you want a spot on the tour as space is limited.

pm sent as well with some more info.
 

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I agree with Spencer 100% that fundamentals will always remain the same and should be studied and learned by heart. You don't however need an undergraduate degree in real estate to crush it, especially since most conventional investment strategies changed post 2008.

questions to ponder are; do you want to invest in RE? Commercial, residential? Do you want to sell real estate? Do you want to work on the analytical side like underwriting and modeling? do you want to lease buildings?

real estate sales, especially commercial, isn't for everyone. i went from broker to investor and one thing I quickly learned is a somewhat above-average commercial broker in a big city like LA can outperform the top Lamborghini salesperson anywhere. By that I mean you're not selling herbalife here - these are expensive assets to move and the customers are highly sophisticated. it's hard to bullshit your way through such a numbers-driven sale; there's little to no emotion in commercial. that's the fun part.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry I have been MIA from my own thread but I went to vegas this weeknd for halloween and still recovering lol

This is awsome so far and I am already learning alot....i am gonna go back through the thread and quote and respond with questions.

Till I get a chance to do that here is a few things I remembered reading.

I really like the idea of investing side of things....especially in todays economy I want to learn and grow as much as I can to take advantage of the current state. Now being a broker is something I also think I would enjoy, what exactly would this entail compared to investing and selling? Again im still learning so bear with me on the dumb questions please.

So far i've gotten that real world expierence and learning heavily outweighs some degree from somewhere however the basics are essential and those must be learned to a T to benefit fully from real expierence. I need to find an internship or person willing to teach me ASAP....I have always learned better hands on doing things with people that do them than from someone standing in front of a class writing on a board. Finding someone in AZ would be great while i am here at school however I want to focus on commercial investing and brokering since I plan to eventually make my way back to downtown Chicago. I love the idea of buying and selling commercial as said above with no emotion all business. I feel like doing business with the type of people as said above who are highly sophisticated and know about what they want is something that will benefit me largely (and the commision or profits on such deals I wouldnt mind either)

I do however think I need to focus on learning as much as I can about the fundementals before anything.

Keep the advice coming guys this is great and i've loved learning and reading so far.

Thanks, Charlie
 

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and the commision or profits on such deals I wouldnt mind either
yes you can earn large commissions in commercial real estate, but the barrier of entry is high and it takes 12-16 months to close because you have to build like any other business; build knowledge, clients, contacts, relationships, etc.

That being said you can make it happen a lot faster but it takes an incredible amount of hustle. don't expect anyone to pay you hourly to sell a building.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I agree with Spencer 100% that fundamentals will always remain the same and should be studied and learned by heart. You don't however need an undergraduate degree in real estate to crush it, especially since most conventional investment strategies changed post 2008.

questions to ponder are; do you want to invest in RE? Commercial, residential? Do you want to sell real estate? Do you want to work on the analytical side like underwriting and modeling? do you want to lease buildings?

real estate sales, especially commercial, isn't for everyone. i went from broker to investor and one thing I quickly learned is a somewhat above-average commercial broker in a big city like LA can outperform the top Lamborghini salesperson anywhere. By that I mean you're not selling herbalife here - these are expensive assets to move and the customers are highly sophisticated. it's hard to bullshit your way through such a numbers-driven sale; there's little to no emotion in commercial. that's the fun part.
Alright gonna go right down your post answering your initial questions
-I eventually would like to make my way into investing however I feel like buying/selling or brokering would be a good learning expierence.
-Commercial is what I want to focus on. I love the big city and the business of buildings and a few large deals rather than residential industry and many things at once. I like putting all of my focus, effort and time into one or two major projects rather than multiple smaller ones so I think this would be the way for me to go.
-I am confused as to what you mean by underwriting and modeling? Again still trying to learn many fundamentals
-I think leasing buildings would be something I would consider doing however the actual buying/selling and investing in large projects is what I would like to focus on.

As far as the broker vs investor aspect what made you decide to move to investing over brokerage. One thing I do know about and absolutley love is cars (hence also wanting to focus commercial...I want/love so many different cars I would like to establish enough wealth to have such luxuries) and top lamborghini salesmen make dough! I in know way, shape, or form plan to be a above-average salesmen, I like to be the best at whatever I do and wanting to base my business in Chicago maybe being a broker would be a good path?

The little to no emotion part I do like to a point, I hate being bullshitted around nor have I ever been someone to do that to others out of pure respect. However I have always been good at making positive impressions and leeving people happy with my aproach and attitude to the things I do so I think selling assets such as real estate is something I could excel at.

Do you have any advice being in the commercial side of things for me as far as good first steps to take getting into such business?



yes you can earn large commissions in commercial real estate, but the barrier of entry is high and it takes 12-16 months to close because you have to build like any other business; build knowledge, clients, contacts, relationships, etc.

That being said you can make it happen a lot faster but it takes an incredible amount of hustle. don't expect anyone to pay you hourly to sell a building.
Seems in this business relationships and contacts is key and the more the better. So the sooner I can build my network the better.

Definitely dont plan to make hourly wage, nor do I want that. However what would you reccomend as building blocks to this for someone who will need to more than likely work another type of job while building contacts and learning the biz. Unfortunatley I pay for everything myself so I will need to find some sort of income to simply live while building myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Are you planning on purchasing these properties cash? If not, a loan will be necessary, start a relationship with your bank early, and get a good attorney, it will help you expand a lot quicker.

I wishhhh I had the money to start out cash however it is not an option so yes it will be loans at some point. I currently have 2 credit lines both of which i have in check and pay off both completely at least once per year. The attorney I will figure out soon as needed but I want to learn first.

As a full time RE investor, who started not far out of college, I'd move into a finance program if I were in your shoes. Fundamental understanding of finance is required if you plan to make it in RE investment.

On top of that, getting involved in the business on the ground level is the biggest key. Get your RE agent license, and intern for an experience agent/broker, or find a successful local investor that's willing to take you under his wing. As someone on the other side of the table, its amazing how hard it is to find intern types that are hard working, dedicated, and committed to learning the biz. If you fit this box, and are persistent, you'll find opportunities.

And one piece of advice I give everyone new is to locate the top Real Estate MBA programs, find their curriculum with textbook requirements, buy those textbooks and read them cover to cover until you have a basic understanding of the fundamentals.
First off I was actually a Finance major my first year and a half at ASU and struggled with it. Math however hasnt always been my strong suite and I simply need to apply myself more to it and simply learn. I plan to focus on the finance aspects that are essential in RE and apply myself fully.

I need to find someone like you here in AZ or Chicago to learn from. If it is something I am interested in I put everything into learning and perfecting it so to have an opportunity like having a mentor would be a godsend. I dont know how some people blow or dont take advantage of the opportunities given to them.

Are there any texts you know of personally that helped you or you found beneficial. I am gonna look into programs and try and find some good curriculum to learn from on my own time.

Marc after I wrote that I realized I didn't direct it at you too. Been a hectic day. Sorry.

Totally know what you mean in saying "It is easy to get into real estate as an agent, it is difficult to be 'good' and well respect as an agent." Which is why I don't want to just jump in, because I know my ultimate goal is not to sell properties full time. I want to learn how to invest, create value, and own. If it would be extremely beneficial to become an agent as somewhere to start and learn, then I'm all over it.

Where degrees mean shit is where I want to go. Becoming independently wealthy is far more interesting to me than being the flavor of the week grad. I am an extremely hard worker, have a family/gf I could to lean on if I had to for a low paying/free internship, and really am interesting in furthering my education; be in in a structured setting or not.

Is there any way to take the classes but not become licensed, and thus reap the rewards of both sides? Are they that informative? I have one of the course books available to me. As well as a massive appraisal book. But to be honest I feel like the being in a classroom could help to get me get my foundation set. And maybe improve my resume, because right now it shows no moves in that setting.

The problem I've had revolves around everything you and I have mentioned. There isn't a school for it. All I've heard is having a strong financial background is super helpful, which I don't have.

Sorry for the threadjack, and if I sound like I'm completely lost. Help... Me... lol. :bow1:

Also feel free to tell me if I'm a dreamer.
I feel like you and I are in the same mind set. You however have already taken the initial steps and I need to do the same.

I am also interested as to how many people think it beneficial to getting your license, or not to for the matter of not having to follow certain laws and regulations.

Also agree with the degrees mean shit and what you want o do in sense of investing and becoming independently wealthy rather than going to school for all of this time just to come out into a mediocre job at a firm. At this point any internship paying or not I would love just for the expierence.

I have been in the real estate business for 10 years now, buying and selling single family homes and small multi unit apartments. I have bought and sold right at 600 houses in that time, with a high of 98 houses in my biggest year. My operation has done wholesale, retail, rental, rent to own, and even owner finance some homes to tenants as well. In the current market we are doing buy and hold primarily with a sale here and there to rent to own tenants.

Realize that real estate is an up and down business and you must learn to ride the wave. In the comercial side of the business it follows a different wave and sales are fewer and father between. However it is a big boys game and both sides of the coin are cash intensive and credit intensive.

Stack your money, protect your credit, and network your butt off and start to build relationships with potential partners that you can put into your business to invest with. Even Trump plays the partnership game on big deals.

Learn all you can about the industry you want to be in and a real estate BA is not that important and a MBA? Save the money and use it to invest. Instead of an MBA find a residentual real estate person that you admire and like and follow them around like a shadow. Same on the comercial side if that is what you are interested in. A mentor in the real estate industry is more important than anything else you can have. School programs teach you the book version and your mentor will teach you what happens in the real world.

I eventually want to make it into commercial real estate investing however what you do with residential is something I can see myself starting out in to build my expierence and network base, as well as building some capital along the way.

How did you first get into this business (ex. steps taken, investments made?)

The biggest thing I have gotten from this whole thread is I NEED to find someone to learn from in the industry or get in a firm and learn as much as possible. What would be some good steps to take in finding someone willing to teach me or work with me or getting an internship at a firm?
 
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