The secret to being successful in the real estate investing business is something that might sound a little crazy. Don’t use your own money to fund it! This is the very secret that many real estate “tycoons” have used to carve their way into success. Real estate investing offers a broader scope of financial options that traditional real estate mortgages. To do this, it will call for some pretty impressive negotiation skills.

Why isn’t advisable to invest your own money in real estate? Firstly, by not leveraging your investment, you tend to give most of your profit away. Secondly, real estate can be risky and it would be a shame to risk everything that you have.

This is not to say that real estate investment is all about losses. If you know how to make money work for you, you may actually garner a great deal of money in return for your investment.

Heres how:

If, for example, you purchase a $100,000 property that increases an average of 7 percent per year (in reality that number could be higher or lower), you would see a net profit from renting your property resulting in an approximately 15 percent return.

If you’re content with little return of investment, you might settle with your 15 percent return. But if you really want to earn on your investment, consider the possibility of what leveraging can do for you. At present, a typical real estate investor can find financing as high as 95 to 97 percent of the purchase price. There even some instances where you may be able to get a 100 percent financing but we won’t use this for our example as it’s an inadequate comparison.

So, if you’re are an investor who is already content with a small return of investment then 15 percent sounds like a lot. But for those who really want to make it big in the real estate, 15 percent is far from being considered a noteworthy return.

How does leveraging work?

Let’s assume that the rental income will cover all your expenses, including the mortgage payments. Taking the same example, a 7 percent appreciation of your property results in a $7,000 profit per year. With a 95% financing in place, you’ll be able to get a $7,000 return on $5,000 (your 5 percent down payment on a $100,000 real estate property). This will provide you with a 140 percent return on your investment. Not only that, with the same $100,000 you can go out and purchase 20 investment properties, finance 95% percent of them, and make an amazing $140,000 profit a year. This totally beats the $15,000 profit with an all-cash transaction.

In terms of the additional 20 properties, expect to have a hard time getting financing for them since usually only five or six new rental property mortgages are the maximum that lenders presently allow. Which is why you need to have an above-average negotiation skills.