There is no better time than the present to apply your real estate market knowledge, networks and expertise towards building your long-term financial strength via real estate investment. Just as you’ve built your business as an agent and/or broker, build your ancillary business as a real estate investor.

Tap into, enhance and adapt your professional networks.

Use your skills and expertise to expand and adapt your sphere of influence into your investor network. Just as housing consumers are looking for real estate professionals with your skillset/expertise, investors are looking for real estate professionals with your skillset/expertise.

Look first among your already established colleagues. Chances are, at least one of your colleagues is already working with an investor. Ask her/his for advice, suggestions and/or introductions. The real estate investment pie is big enough for everyone…and your colleague may need similarly your help.

Check out for ongoing real estate investment groups in your area. If there aren’t any, start one yourself and invite colleagues in finance, management, title services and legal services to join. Everyone is always looking for business whether or not they say they are. They’ll appreciate your invitation.

Find a mentor and/or a coach. No one needs to reinvent the wheel here. Plus, as your know, a coach makes you accountable.

Create your own team before you need a team. Include a contractor (repairs), title person (you don’t need unexpected liens), lender and/or a fast/affordable/accessible source of funding, an attorney (you don’t need a breach of contract lawsuit) and anyone else you may rely upon and trust.

Find/Create Opportunities

You are the spoke in your team wheel to find/create great investment opportunities. Use your highly tuned research and negotiating skills. Tap into your network and spheres of influence. Build long-term lead generation strategies. Keep an ever-searching eye out for potential properties. Prospect in micro-markets to generate leads.

Aim your content marketing to people who may need help from investors. People like divorcing couples, financially strapped homeowners, absentee owners, and/or inheritors are potential sources for investment opportunities.

Build your investment portfolio gradually.

Even if you don’t have extra money available to you to invest in a property, wholesale you investment. Find an investor who does and who wants to develop his/her investment portfolio. Find and negotiate a property and then offer it to that investor for a reasonable price over your negotiated price and see what happens.

Fix and flip a property. Know the improvements/upgrades that pay dividends, minimize your carrying costs and sell that property quickly.

Buy and hold a property. Be and/or hire a smart property manager, rent out the property and then plow your profits back into paying the mortgage. You’ll create leverage for you next and next and next property.

Think about investing in a multiunit property to multiply your profits while minimizing your carrying costs, taxes and maintenance.

Of course, be ethical.

Enable the strength of your skills and expertise to get a deal done.

Make sure to make the required disclosures.

Just as you help your clients as an agent and/or broker, help your investors as an investor yourself.