Many self-acclaimed real estate gurus state that everyone should quit their jobs and immediately jump into full time real estate investing. They often claim incredible results from students with little experience. We would like to caution that life-changing decisions are not usually simple and that full time investing is not for everyone. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of full-time versus part-time investing.The Full-Time InvestorEntering into the real estate profession on a full-time basis offers several advantages over a part-time commitment. Being successful requires you to develop knowledge in many aspects of real estate, and more time focused on real estate leads to greater knowledge. The more your learn, the more you earn, since you do not need to rely on as many professional services or partners for help. You also learn to recognize a deal (or a dud) faster, which gives you more time to do more business or spend with your family.As a full-time investor, you work your own hours. When we say “full-time,” that may mean as little as twenty hours per week if you are good at finding deals. The rest of your time can be spent pursuing other vocations or hobbies. Or, if you are so inspired, you can work forty or more hours and use the extra cash flow to buy rental properties or diversify your holdings in the stock market. The point is that you need to satisfy your cash flow needs before you can start “investing” your money.One final point you should consider is whether you want to be “self-employed.” If you have always worked for someone else, being your own boss sounds very attractive. In some, respects, this isn’t quite the truth. Being your own boss means being an accountant, bookkeeper, stock clerk, receptionist and office manager all-in-one. You have to do deal with tax returns, payroll, office supplies, customer service, bills and all the other hassles that come with a business. You don’t have friends to chat with at the water cooler. You don’t have paid health insurance, a company car and a 401(k). You take your problems home with you every night. Sound like fun? It is, once you learn how to master your time and run your business. Being the master of your own life and career is well worth the other hassles of dealing with your own business.The Part-Time InvestorThe part-time investor holds a “regular job.” This may be by choice or for the time being until his real estate ventures are bringing in enough cash to quit his job. If it is the latter reason, don’t quit your job because the real estate “guru” told you so. Quit your job when it is not worth the income that it brings you. In other words, if you are making more money per hour flipping properties on the side, you are at the point that where your regular job is costing you money. Only then, is it time to quit!One of the advantages of starting out part-time is that you can maintain cash flow while learning the business. It may take weeks or possibly months to find your first deal. That same deal may take several months to turn around, especially if you decide to fix it and sell it retail. Think twice before telling your boss you’re leaving; you will have plenty of time to make the career switch once you have real estate experience. You may, on the other hand, like your occupation. If so, continue to work at it, and invest in real estate on the side.The best case scenario, if you are married, is to have one spouse work a regular job. The other spouse work the real estate business for creating wealth, retirement income and a nice college fund for the children. Of course, in today’s market, you could be laid off due to unforeseen circumstances. If you earn additional income flipping houses and invest the proceeds into rental properties, you will be covered if your main income is lost. This is especially the case for married women that often forego a career and raise a family, only to find themselves divorced with no means of making a living. We don’t want to sound cynical about marriage, but with a fifty-percent divorce rate in America, it never hurts to have a system for making money.Someone with a full time job tends to have little free time to focus on real estate. A part-timer should learn most of the same skills as a full timer. Thus, the key disadvantage to flipping properties on a part-time basis is that it takes sacrifice to learn the business. Something has to give; television, lazy weekends, meaningless hobbies and even some family activities must be compromised. As with any education, time spent learning about real estate will bring its own rewards, especially if the people in your life understand your goals and your plan to achieve those goals. If you are married, make sure your spouse reads this material with you and participates in the fun process of making money.Treat Real Estate as a BusinessPeople are lured to real estate because of the quick buck that it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes about five years. More than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat it like any other business.
If you are starting out in the real estate business or looking at improving an existing business then you have to give some serious thought to your logo design.A logo design is a key part of the marketing strategy for any business. It can be used to create an identity for a property business and to project the desired image. As a realtor or property professional, it is important that you make a great first impression on your clients and that you focus on building a strong brand reputation over time. You want to be seen as a trustworthy and reliable firm to do business with and a logo can definitely help to shape customer perceptions in your favor.In this article we offer some advice and ideas on how you can get the logo design that you need to represent your real estate company.A Variety of UsesA realtor or property management logo must be suited to a variety of purposes. It must be able to be scaled up and displayed on signage on properties that you have listed. It also has to look great when scaled down to a size suitable for business cards. You will also be featuring your logo on numerous other printed marketing materials and possible even on your vehicles. Logos that are simple in design are usually more functional and easy to scale.Typical Real Estate Logo ImagesWhile a simple text logo can work well for realtors it is more common for real estate logos to feature an image or symbol in combination with text.When it comes to choosing an image for your logo you will need to decide if you want an obvious ‘property related’ image or something more abstract. It is common for real estate businesses to include images, shapes or silhouettes of houses and buildings so that people can automatically understand what their business is about.The problem with ‘obvious images’ is that the same ones get used repeatedly and you take a risk that you will end up having a logo that looks the same as all of your competitors. You also run the risk of getting sued for trademark infringement if your design is too similar to other companies. The outline of a roof is really clichéd for residential real estate logos and a city skyline is over used in the commercial sector. However, a great designer should be able to take an over used image and put an original spin on it that makes it appear unique.Alternatively you can look at using an image that is not directly related to property. It could be an image of something that symbolizes what your business is about or how you are different from other market players.Inspiration for Real Estate Business LogosOne great way to get inspiration for your real estate logo is to do a Google image search for the term ‘real estate logos’. This will bring up a huge variety of designs that are used by a variety of firms around the world.You can also look at the logos of other real estate businesses in your area. The idea is to come up with something original that will help you to stand out though so don’t allow your competitors logos to influence you too much.Many online design firms also feature large portfolios on their websites. These portfolios sometimes include a whole section just for realtor logos.You can get a lot of inspiration by studying the logos of some of the big players in the real estate and property industries. These have usually been put together by top design firms and have evolved over the years along with the businesses that they service. The Century 21 logo is a great example of a highly effective logo. Bold lettering, a simple outline of a roof and minimal color make this logo memorable and appealing.Color ChoiceThe various colors in a logo can help to convey a message to the viewer and stir their emotions. Blue promises professionalism and reliability and is therefore popular with real estate logos. Gold is also a popular color in the industry as it alludes to quality and prestige.To keep the design simple you should limit the variety of colors to two or three. Minimal color use also makes it easier when it comes to printing. You should also remember that a good design should look great in black and white when it is faxed or photocopied.Font StyleThe font that you use for the wording part of your logo also makes up an important part of the overall impression that people will get from it. Your designer should be able to offer a variety of fonts and make a recommendation.In addition to your business name, you may also want to request a variation of your logo that has a slogan. This kind of tag line is quite common in the real estate business and having a version of your logo to suit different marketing campaigns could be convenient.Working with a DesignerThe best way to get an affordable logo that has been designed specifically for your business is to use an online custom logo design firm. They will attempt to understand your business and offer you a selection of concepts to consider. Once you have selected your favorite they will work with you to make minor adjustments until you are happy with the final product.Put some time into briefing your designer or design team before they start the design process. Let them know what you are after in the way of an image and color combination. Tell them about your services and your typical clients. Let them know how you want your business to be perceived and what qualities you want to emphasize in the design. You can also refer them to some logos that you like and they may be able to incorporate elements of those designs into your design without imitating them too closely.Think carefully about your final decision as it is not easy to change a logo once your business is underway. Your real estate logo will be with you for a long time to come so be sure to invest the time and finds into making sure that you get something that is going to work well for your business.