DIY. Do It Yourself Real Estate Investing. The tried and true phrase for those pioneers who choose to go it alone. The fearless. The proud. The self-reliant that will listen to your advice but know better, thank you very much.

Do you know anyone like that? It seems that we all know someone who seems to know it all, or at least thinks so. Yet we realize that can be a dangerous trait. Stubbornness or simply the inability to take a bit of advice has led to the downfall of many a venture. And it’s just as dangerous, perhaps even more so, in the world of real estate investing.

Let’s look at an analogy. A guy decides he wants to play golf. He does his research and finds the best set of golf clubs money can buy. He buys the most expensive golf balls and who can resist the sporty golfing attire? He also watches a lot of golf videos on the internet and picks up tidbits on how to get 20 more yards out of his driver.

Another guy wants to take up golf. He does his research but before he goes out and buys his golf clubs, he hits the driving range and rents an iron and a driver and a bucket of balls. He finds out he’s terrible. Of course he is. Even though he’s always wanted to learn to play golf, he’s never set foot on the links. So he walks back into the clubhouse and asks about lessons. The manger sets him up and a few months later he’s shooting in the low 90’s.

The first guy? His clubs are collecting dust in the attic and he’s thinking about taking up tennis.

The obvious morale to this tale is taking advice. Before taking on any new venture, talk to those who are successful at it. Immerse yourself in the activity. Ask questions constantly. Find a mentor or an adviser. Those who found success investing in real estate did just that. They found real estate agents, attorneys and other investors who could provide valuable advice as well as professional services.

Investing in real estate isn’t just a matter of getting a bank to agree to a short sale. There are a lot of moving parts played by those who specialize in each particular phase of a real estate project. They’re there waiting for you. There’s no reason at all why you can’t be successful in today’s market. But some aren’t. And they are the ones who thought they could do it all by themselves.