Real estate, even in a depressed market, has a life of its own. Someone is always looking to sell and someone is always looking to buy real estate. Buying property and selling it for more than you paid for it is the way to make money. It sounds simple but it really isn't as difficult as it may seem.
How does one get started in the real estate market? Start by saving your money and buy a piece of property. It might be undeveloped land, house, office building or apartment building or a foreclosed property. To make money from it, the owner has to increase the value of it. The health of the real estate market will help with the value of it but so won't improving the appearance of it, upgrading the amenities inside and out or adding new features. Sometimes it takes money to make money. Some real estate aficionados buy property, improve it and turn around and sell it immediately upon competition. Done right and in a timely manner, the owner can make money and then invest in another property.
Making money with an undeveloped piece of property is possible if the property is developed and sold or successfully permitted and sold for someone else to develop. Both scenarios would require hiring a site engineer to handle the plans and permitting process. It would require a builder to complete construction. The owner may be none, some or all of those entities. The owner will make money if the project or property is sold for more than was invested in it. If the project is handled efficiently and in a timely manner, the owner will make money.
Owning an apartment building can be a challenge especially if the owner is the manager and fix it guy all rolled into one. Making money with such a property can be tricky but not impossible. Screen tenants carefully and make sure you rent to tenants with a proven track record of rent payment. In the event of a tenant new to the rental market, require then to have a co-signer with a proven track record of payment. As a landlord, always keep up your end of the bargain. Make improvements from time to time and keep the building fresh and clean. If the tenants are happy, they will cheerfully make their rent every month. Of course, you will have the tenant who defaults on their rent no matter how careful you check.
Buying and selling commercial or business property can be very lucrative and in an upbeat market making money from it won't be difficult. It will help to have a vision and thinking outside of the box to increase the value of such property. If the property is old or worn consider redevelopment and other uses for the property. Finding something new for property can be a win for the community and a win for the owner as both entities will be making money from it.
Buying and selling real estate can be risky but it isn't necessary to be a real estate genius to be making money from it. Although, I guess if you make real estate work for you, you just might be a genius.