Getting into real estate can be a great business venture, whether you have relevant experience or not. Real estate offers a time-honored way of capitalizing on an investment. Real estate tends to be more stable in value than many other investments, maintaining a “tangible” value that — while sometimes fluctuating — has ingrained stability in a way the broader market can lack.

Of course, for first-time investors, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start with real estate. Should you invest in residential real estate, commercial real estate, or something else? The answers will vary from investor to investor, but the tips below can offer some useful guidance as you develop a plan.

Research the Market

Whether you’re looking at commercial real estate, residential property, or something else entirely, it’s important to develop a deep familiarity with the local market. It’s important to research local sale prices, relevant tax and real estate laws, impending developments that could change property values, and other relevant market details.

Fortunately, there are many realistic ways to conduct research. You can do so on your own using one of the many property sales websites. You can also reach out to local town and county clerks with information. Finally, working with an experienced realtor can help you hone in on what you’re looking for.

Make a Budget

When investing in property, it’s important to have a realistic sense of what you can afford — and what you’ll have to invest in your new property. Careful budgeting is vital. A budget will help keep you on track. It will serve as a realistic advertisement to prospective lenders and will help you avoid getting into uncomfortable situations.

Consider Your Needs

Why do you want to invest in real estate? What role will it play in your life? Questions like these are crucial to ask as you develop your investment. For instance, if you already own a small business, purchasing commercial real estate may be especially appropriate for you. If you need a place to live — and want to make some extra rental income when you do so — the residential property may make the most sense. Go over your needs and goals to help you determine what to invest in.

There’s no one secret to good real estate investment, but these tips can help you effectively formulate plans as you work to get started building a real estate business.