Throughout the history of civilization real estate has always been the cornerstone of wealth, and it still is to this day. These days you don’t have to be a noble or an aristocrat to get a mortgage. The real estate market has changed quite a bit. We also have to deal with homeowners associations and appraisers now. Investing in real estate can make you a multimillionaire. That said, many people invest in real estate, but few make a profit. It’s the same with stocks. There are a few people who will become extremely wealthy, but most will be lucky to outperform the market average. Some will lose all their money. How Do You Get Rich in Real Estate? You build your real estate investing empire by building it one property at a time. Remember the board game, Monopoly? Real life is the same way, except, nobody flips the game over when they start losing. Most of the time. There are four pillars you will need to understand and exploit to build your real estate empire. Four Pillars of Real Estate Property Appreciation When the value of a property increases, it’s called “appreciation.” Appreciation isn’t guaranteed, as anyone who remembers the housing crisis can attest to. Historically however, real estate has appreciated on average at a rate of 3 to 4 percent in the USA. There is also another type of appreciation known as “forced appreciation”. This is where you physically improve a property. This is done by installing new appliances or putting in a new roof, etc. Profit Profit is the money you’ll make monthly/yearly from the property you own. Profit goes up and down easily due to things like repairs and vacancies. (Vacancy is when your profit is unoccupied and costing you money instead of making you a profit.) Without profit you won’t be able to upkeep your current property, let alone invest in any new ones. Profit is essential. You will either profit or perish. Monopoly Money If you ever played Monopoly, you know you can borrow money from the bank if you want to buy a property you can’t afford with the money you currently have. In real life the concept is the same, except we call it a mortgage. The key to buying a property with a mortgage is to get a tenant in there ASAP. Why? Because over time your tenant will pay your mortgage off for you. Let’s try an example. Let’s say you bought a property for $200,000 with a mortgage for $175,000 and your property never climbed in value, but you used the income from your tenant to pay off the mortgage. What you’ve done is paid off your mortgage and “broke even” (you didn’t gain or lose any income.) BUT now that your mortgage is paid off, you now own a property worth $200,000 you didn’t even have enough money to buy in the first place. Before you become a fully fledged real estate tycoon with tons of capital, money will be essential for you to acquire new properties. Tax Benefits Ever heard “the rich get richer” ? Well, it’s true! The fourth and final pillar to your real estate empire will be the tax benefits you receive from owning property in the USA. Uncle Sam loves his real estate investors and even encourages people like you and me to invest in real estate. You get extra tax write-offs, less taxes to pay, and even sophisticated investment options, such as the Self Directed IRA LLC or Delaware Statutory Trust. Learn more about real estate investing with the Self-Directed IRA LLC from our previous article on the subject. Check out Your Guide To Purchasing Real Estate Tax Efficiently With A Self-Directed IRA or What Is A DST 1031 Property And Why Should I Care? to learn more. When you’re building your real estate empire, each property you own will “lean” more on one pillar than the others. For example, when you flip a home, you’re not just going to buy that property and just stick a tenant in there. Well you can, but in most cases that’s probably a bad idea. When it comes to flipping homes, the way most investors make their money is via “forced appreciation” (fixing the home themselves). When you’re flipping a home there’s no Monopoly money involved or any tax benefits. Taxes will actually be the main thing bringing your profits down when it comes to flipping homes, unless you use a Self Directed IRA LLC. The key to building your real estate empire is to leverage all four of the pillars I’ve mentioned above. You want to build your empire during your lifetime right? Let’s go over some ways to speed up the empire-building. 6 Ways to Build Your Real Estate Empire Faster Invest using a Self Directed IRA LLC. Buy a lot of properties. You can’t just focus on one property. The more property you own, the more profit you can rake in, which you can use to buy even more properties. Buy homes in areas with a history of high appreciation or with huge potential for appreciation. It’s like buying a share of Microsoft in the 1980’s. It doesn’t seem like it’s worth much now, but if Amazon builds their new headquarters up the street it’ll suddenly be worth a lot more. Force appreciation. Forcing appreciation can benefit any property. A $10,000 investment on your part could easily increase the value of a property by $30,000. Getting more money from your properties is essential to building your empire fast. Go big and trade up. I swear this is the last time I’ll mention Monopoly. So in Monopoly, you gain huge profits when you trade in four houses for a hotel. The same is true in real estate. We call this “trading up”. The bigger the deals you make, the bigger the profits you rake. Get the best deals you possibly can. Paying $200,000 instead of $210,00 is $10,000 extra in your pocket. Even $5000 is still a lot when you’re first starting out. It’s time for you to start building your real estate empire. Well there you have it! Applying what you’ve learned above can have you well on your way to becoming a millionaire or even a billionaire through real estate. Just remember, your path won’t be easy. There are many other ways to get rich through real estate that I didn’t mention. Like I said, people have been investing in real estate for thousands of years. But don’t get stuck trying to learn all those ways. Find a strategy that works for you and start building your real estate empire one day at a time. Learn from your mistakes and adjust your strategy. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your real estate empire, or anyone else’s, won’t be either. You may also be interested in our article, How To Invest In Real Estate With No Money.