US Finance: Real Estate Investing

Women Seeking Flexible Work Schedule Turn to Real Estate

(NUI) – It’s the classic maternal dilemma. Do you work long hours to help pay the household bills and the steep price of day care and miss out on many of those precious childhood moments, – or do you stay home with your kids, forgo your paycheck and struggle to make ends meet?
It has always been a tough decision, and today’s uncertain economy isn’t making it any easier. But there are ways to have the best of both worlds if you are willing to think creatively and pursue careers in fields outside the traditional nine-to-five world.

Take Cheryl Hastings. She is a full-time mother of three who is also a successful real estate investor. She has bought 21 houses during the last three and a half years and has made plenty of money from them. She has even taught her 19-year-old son how to invest, and he now has three houses of his own.

Cheryl is just one of a rapidly growing group of women who are using real estate to create a successful home-based business. Five years ago, the industry was dominated by men. But women now make up more than 40 percent of the investors I work with, and that number is climbing.

Why does this career appeal to women? There are several reasons. Real estate investing, a pursuit based largely upon buying properties from motivated sellers and reselling them at a profit is flexible enough to fit the harried schedule of the full-time mom. That’s because much of the work is done via phone, fax and e-mail.

When face-to-face meetings are required, they can usually be worked around mom’s schedule. Furthermore, much of the work is based on building relationships and managing lots of simultaneous details – two areas in which women naturally excel.

If real estate investing sounds like your cup of tea, here are four quick tips to get you started:

* Educate yourself before you get started. Real estate investing is a complex business and one that’s fraught with pitfalls.

* Realize that it may take a while to find your “work and home” balance. You need a clear division between your work time and your family time.

* Access plenty of professional support. Join your local real estate investors association. You can get information at www.americanreia.com.

* Take the plunge. The only way to get over your fear of meeting with sellers is to just get out there and do it.

Sound intriguing? For many moms, the answer is an enthusiastic yes.

David Finkel is co-author of the Wall Street Journal best seller “Making Big Money Investing in Foreclosures Without Cash or Credit.” He also is a full-time real estate investor and the host of the nationally broadcast “Real Estate Radio.” His Web site, www.freeinvestortools.com, is ranked as one of the top 10 investor sites on the Web by the American Real Estate Investors Association.