1. Real estate investing is a business, and you should treat it as such. Start by developing a good business plan, detailing the nuances of starting and running your business, with realistic goals over time frames of one, three, five and 10 years.
2. Find a good bank or bond originator in your area if you're financing your investments. You might want to do this even before you start your property search. If you're paying cash, you'll need to prove you have the funds.
3. Determine the best areas to look for properties. Some new investors make the mistake of limiting their search to areas close to their home but often better rental areas may be located a little further away. New investors may think they need to live near their properties in case tenants call about repairs or other problems. But in reality, if the home is put into good repair before your tenants move in, those calls from tenants should be few and far between.
4. Find a good Real Estate Agent to help you locate properties. Not all Agents are experienced or even adept at helping investors. Make sure that you choose an Agent who has sold a large number of investment properties, and also understands concepts such as return on investment (ROI), yields, capital appreciation etc.
5. Learn from the best. To achieve success, model your investing decisions after what other successful real estate investors in your area have done. Above all, remember that like anything else, the harder you work and the more effort you put into your real estate investment business, the greater your ultimate reward will become over time.