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7 tips to help you get you started with real estate investing

Published on January 4, 2012

So many people keep asking “How do I start with real estate investing?”. Let me answer it here with these 7 tips…

Actually, I was just about to answer one of the comments with the same question, when I realized my reply was already good enough to be an article. It already had more than 700 words in it!

Anyway, I believe the timing for answering this frequently asked question is perfect as we start with a brand new 2012!

For those who asked the same question, here goes…

Start your engine7 tips to help you get you started with real estate investing

1. Begin with the end in mind. Answer the following questions:

  • What do you want to achieve with real estate investing?
  • Is it financial freedom?
  • How do you define YOUR financial freedom?
  • What is it in in terms of money (ex. passive income)?
  • Is it about time freedom?
  • Is it about having the freedom for you to pursue your real purpose in life?
  • Is it about all of the above?

I believe the answers to the questions above can lead to what people call a “Vision”. Actually this is probably the hardest part of the process of getting started, and yet without this, one might end up running around in circles for 48 years. Okay, I’m exaggerating.

Seriously though, this is the first thing you should do, but it can get complicated. For now, I suggest you start forming your “Vision” in your mind and let’s get back to this in another post.

2. Learn as much as you can about real estate transactions in the Philippines. If you are going to invest in real estate, you will certainly enter into real estate transactions, so you need to familiarize yourself with the “ins and outs” of these transactions.

If you want to focus on investing in foreclosed properties, you can try attending a real estate auction as an observer and learn as much as you can, before actually buying any foreclosed property. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially when the bank officer says you should have already done your due diligence!

Whether foreclosed or not, you also need to become familiar with the legal aspects of property ownership, real estate taxation, real estate laws in the Philippines, etc. If these sound like what you would find when attending a seminar or review as part of the requirements to become a licensed real estate broker, give yourself a pat on the back because that is my next tip…

3. Attend a seminar/review for aspiring licensed real estate brokers – Do this  not really for the purpose of become a licensed realtor, but more for the knowledge. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if you did take the real estate brokers exam and passed!

4. Find your niche. You need to become an “expert” in one area, preferably an area that is near where you live, or where you work, any place that is near you. When I say near, it should be no more than 30 minutes to an hour away. Anything farther might lead to wasting your precious time, money, and effort.

No, you cannot just say you want to invest in Metro Manila. You need to find something smaller, like a village, a barangay, a municipality, or whatever area suits you. You need to be an “expert” so that when an opportunity knocks, you will know if it really is a good deal or not. I believe it is hard to get into this level if you focus on an area that is too big, like the whole of Metro Manila for example.

Don’t believe me? Go ahead, try to focus on the whole of Metro Manila and analyze every “promising” deal that comes your way, and see how fast this will burn you out.

5. “Pay yourself first.” I believe the best way to raise capital is to raise your financial literacy so that you can manage your money and start saving for your investment. Don’t think about those “nothing down” real estate deals. If your problem is the lack of money, maybe your problem is the way you handle money.

Going into real estate investing won’t solve the problem of mismanagement of personal finances, whether you have a lot of money or not. You should solve this problem BEFORE you start investing in real estate. The simplest way to start is to pay yourself first. If you have read Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, or David Bach’s “The Automatic Millionaire”, or T. Harv Eker’s “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”, or even George S. Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon”, you would know the wisdom of paying yourself first.

6. Let people know you are now a real estate investor. Announce to all of your facebook friends that you now invest in real estate. Send a text message to all the people in your phonebook, and/or send an email to everyone in your contacts list. Just remember that spamming is bad! Don’t forget to get some calling cards, tell people that you meet how they can contact you through this valuable “leave behind” that they can keep and retrieve when the need arises.

7. Join or start your own real estate investors club. Preferably, join a group with people from the same same area within your niche. It can be a formal real estate club, or just a network of friends that are also involved in real estate investing who meet regularly (how often is up to you, but don’t over do it!).

It would be great if your club or network includes real estate brokers, lawyers, accountants, etc, those who can help you with how things work, specifically in your niche. Aside from making new friends, you may also find mentors and business partners. Just be careful and keep an eye out for people who are out to make a quick buck at your expense…


Please bear in mind that I wrote this much like I was answering a comment, so this list only includes 7 tips that came to mind and there are definitely more! I’ll most probably have a part 2 for this in the near future.

Any more tips to get started?

Are there any other real estate investors out there who are willing to share? If you have already bought an investment property, I’m sure others who want to get started would also like to hear from you! Please share more tips through the comments below. Thanks!

Happy Real Estate Investing in 2012!


To our success and financial freedom!

Jay Castillo

Real Estate Investor
PRC Real Estate Broker License No. 3194
Blog: https://www.foreclosurephilippines.com
Follow me in Twitter: http://twitter.com/jay_castillo
Find us in Facebook: Foreclosure Investing Philippines Facebook Page

Text by Jay Castillo and Cherry Castillo. Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.

Full disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Photo credit: pobre.ch, on Flickr

P.S. Want more tips on how you can get started with investing in real estate (with focus on foreclosed properties). You can sign-up for this free online course: Getting started with foreclosed properties

Avoid losing money, wasted time and effort caused by buying foreclosed properties that have too many problems, with our free 60-item Property Due Diligence Checklist. Grab your free copy now.

52 thoughts on “7 tips to help you get you started with real estate investing”

  1. Hi Jay, thank you very much for these tips. May nakausap akong real estate investor na malapit dito samin. Halos every corner ng subdivision may apartment business sya. Tapos minsan tinanong nya ko, kung gusto ko raw sumali sa “real estate coop nila?” Samahan daw ng mga real estate investor. May ganun pala? Anu kaya ibig sabihin nun, partnership? May ganun ba talaga or baka ininvite lang nya ko sa scam?

  2. Is investing through a corporation (with partners and investors) more viable than a solo investor? Will bank be more open to make a loan arrangement to a corporation considering the corp is just newly put up and with no track record?Thanks in advance.

  3. Jaime Alejandro Salvatore

    Hi there Sir Jay! I’m a young aspiring real estate investor and I’d like to seek for some suggestions for the best/advisable real estate lender. Since I’m starting small, I’d like to leverage my debt for a profit. I’m not a cash buyer and would like to resort for some sort of refinancing strategy, where I mortgage the property and once I sold it, I payoff of the mortgage using the proceeds. Thanks and God bless.

  4. Pingback: Is it still possible to find below market value properties in Metro Manila? Here’s someone who tried…

  5. Rachelle Gonsalez


    Thank you for your great tips,very informative. I’m also a newbie in real estate industry business this is such a big help to me 🙂

  6. Hello Mr. Jay,

    I’ve just done a reading marathon of your blogs. I know, I should have started reading since you shared your blog to me in the early days of our “negotiations”. But I was on a rat race then. Still am, right now, though more conscious and willing to accept that it has to end soon. I think Neil and I are in the track of property investing – though, could not say right track because honestly, I know we are more than uneducated, but rather towards the igorant zone. And since i would like to be better educated I hope you can mentor me. How is this possible? 🙂

    I wanted to call you, but I thought, I should go through the more fair process. As i feel privileged to have your number now that I realized how popular you have been now. Regards.

    1. Hello Ms. Noreen! Thank you so much for writing here. I will call/text you asap… hindi po ako popular, medyo busy lang… 🙂

  7. Good Day Sir Jay
    I am from Cebu.Do you have any friends from here that are in real estate investing and who are willing to accept apprentice or kind enough to be a mentor? I am now browsing for house&lot foreclosures with in 30-45 min ride from my house and I don’t know if such is a great deal…
    Thanks a lot.

  8. benjamen bryan colina

    Good Day Sir Jay,
    I am Bryan Colina from Cebu. I was wondering if
    you have friends from here that are indulged in real estate investing and
    who is willing to accept an apprentice or share one’s knowledge at
    least. I am eager to begin this path but fear is impeding me to get

  9. Hi!..plan ko po bumili ng lupa at patatayuan ng bahay then ibebenta ko.. but yung puhunan ay mnggagaling sa loan preferrably sa pagibig…is this a wise move?ano po ang maiaadvise ninyo?

    1. Okay naman po yung plano niyo, pero marami pong factors na kailangan niyong pagaralan ng mabuti. May demand po ba sa location kung saan niyo balak itayo yung bahay? Kikita po ba after taxes? Habang nagbabayad kayo sa Pag-IBIG, at hindi nabebenta ang property, may enough cash reserves po kayo? Etc.

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