Commercial real estate investing is an exciting and rewarding industry that yields results to which no other industry can quite compare. In fact, commercial real estate is one of the easiest ways to become extremely wealthy with limited knowledge, personal financial investment and time.
With commercial real estate you are able to return millions of dollars within a matter of a few years, and use other professionals to make it happen. If you can find the deals, get financing, and find the people to do the work, you are officially a commercial real estate investor. Below you will find 5 basic steps that involve commercial real estate investing. It may be simple- almost too simple. However, commercial real estate investors follow these basic guidelines often.
The first step in becoming a commercial real estate investor is to locate actual deals. This can be done through finding potential properties on the internet, the local newspaper, brokers and agents, and for sale by owner (FSBO) signs. There are so many places to locate properties. Be sure to set criteria for the properties that you are going to work with such as type of property, price as compared to actual value, size of lot or building, number of units, condition, etc. Keep in mind that the properties where you can create value that does not currently exist are the best properties with which to start. Once you become a seasoned investor, you can then purchase properties just for their income. Until then, you must perform the work to increase the value of a property.
The second step is to prescreen properties according to the guidelines you originally stated. It may take calling on several properties to find one that fits your specific criteria. Establish quick identifiers so you can quickly move through properties that do not fit your criteria, and uncover the ones in which you would be interested. The more properties you filter through, the more likely you are going to find the deals that will return the best results.
The third step to commercial real estate investing is, after you locate and prescreen a property that you feel is workable under your guidelines, you must create and submit an offer. There are many ways to purchase a property. Using seller financing, borrowing from banks, and using commercial lenders or private lenders are all viable options. The idea is to use other people's money (OPM) to purchase the property you want. This can be done quite easily by understanding the lender's criteria. Meeting seller's wants and needs can be as simple as asking. Remember that the asking price is not always what a seller is expecting to get, so be sure to perform solid research before constructing and submitting an offer. It is a must to identify the current market value of a property that you are considering to buy.
The fourth step is to follow-up with solid due diligence. This entails getting every bit of information you can on a property including actual highest and best use, after developed or future value, any issues or concerns there might be with the soil or environment, or the city or municipality. This is your time to verify all the information you either have been told, or have assumed prior to submitting the offer. This is also your time to locate financing, if you find that the deal is as you had thought originally. This is perhaps the most crucial step, as it will save you from making a terrible investment that could cost you wasted time, effort and money.
The final step is following through with your exit strategy. Depending on what type of investment strategy you are currently using, such as buying properties in poor condition and fixing them up, or perhaps you are looking to purchase properties only to have them generate income, an exit strategy is necessary. You could quick turn a property after increasing the value, sell at retail, or even refinance. It is always a good idea to have multiple exit strategies in mind so that, if one does not work out, you have others to fall back on.
When commercial real estate investment is broken down into these five simple steps, investing is really put into perspective. Follow these five basic guidelines with every deal you find. Once you become more educated on the various types of commercial properties and how to best obtain financing, you are well on your way to becoming a true investor.