Finding a Good Realtor and Background Credit Check Company As you move around in the subculture of independent real estate investors, you'll find all sorts of people you would never have guessed were investors. I know a banker, a barber, an electrician, a dentist, an insurance agent, several teachers, some college professors, and a plumber, just to name a few. These people are all small investors who have, over the years, bought only one property or several properties. Most of them have spent their spare time managing and taking care of their property while holding on to their occupation or business. They've learned their business, and they know their business, and they don't mind passing on their experiences to one another. Incidentally, all of them, without exception, have done very well financially, with one property or with many properties. Almost everyone I have talked to has said that the only regret he or she has is not having bought more property. By learning the business from people who have experience, and by getting a good background credit check, you can and will avoid problems. Most of these "experts" can tell you what works and what doesn't work, and, by listening, you can avoid learning by trial and error, which is often a painful way to learn. Sometimes, we independent people like to learn through the trialand-error method rather than asking others, but learning the business from those with actual experience in it can, and will, save you money. This fact alone will make the business more enjoyable for you. The point is, don't try to do everything alone. It just doesn't make sense, and it's not good business. And ignore the "know- it-alls" who seem to have all the answers. Most of them are pseudo advisors who talk a lot but rarely act. One more thing, now that we're in changing times and with the economy in turmoil, you've got to do your "homework" in real estate investing or you're not going to succeed. What about the realtors as teachers of the business? The first thing you should know about realtors is that some are good, and some aren't so good, and some are bad. The second thing to know about realtors is that they're in business to make a sale. The only way they make a living is by making a sale, so their number-one priority is to sell, sell, sell. Some realtors, however, can be helpful. I advise anyone going into this business to meet and establish a friendship with several honest, reliable, and good realtors, as well as establish a reliable firm that provides background credit check reports for landlords. Both of these can be an important part of your overall investment career, as well as your educational experience. Once these friendships have been established, let the realtors know that you're a novice and starter investor and not yet ready to buy. Then let them know what you're looking for and what you want. Ask them to help you start looking at properties. Ask about prices and terms, and ask for all the information you can get. Record the information in a three-ring binder notebook for future reference. Keep these notes on a number of properties. This is an excellent learning experience. The information you record will eventually be your encyclopedia, catalog, and guidebook.