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It’s been five years since 27-year-old Dana Bull bought her first home, a condo in Salem, Massachusetts, which she and her husband quickly turned around and started renting out to cover their living expenses.
Today, the couple earns passive income from six homes and 18 apartments they own in Boston and the North Shore.
Bull, who left her job as a marketing consultant over a year ago to become a realtor with Sotheby’s International, says that while finding good investment properties and being a landlord wasn’t an easy gig to start, she’s come to understand exactly how one can find success in the field.
“I think if you really want to get into real estate investing, you need to focus on building relationships with people – because that’s what real estate is, it’s a relationship-based business,” Bull told Business Insider.
“Investing in a local market – it’s a very small world and people know people – and I think having some loyalty is really important,” she said. “I think for first-time investors, not so much for buyers, but for those that are investing, I see this a lot with millennials: They need immediate feedback all the time and they jump around a lot.”
But Bull says it’s more important to put time and effort into building a strong network of realtors, contractors, attorneys, and accountants who can all help your business run smoothly.
“I also view my tenants as partners,” she says. “Treating them with respect and setting clear expectations helps to keep everyone happy and the whole system works better.”