If you don't know anything, start bigger.
Getting into this business ain't easy, not for the weak, and not quick. Its a lot of work to learn the terminoligy, the slang, the "rules", and to find the knows you don't know you need to know.
Most start small, look at small, and dream of maybe eventuallies. That single family flip is scary enough and they cannot fathom doing a 100+ unit apartment complex.
But thats because most getting into this business don't know what they need to know. Its really simple, this is all about numbers. Its all about "Time vs Money". How much of yourself are you going to invest is a question you should ask before you ask about the money you may lose. Time can get you all the money you ever will need, but money can only allow you to buy someone elses time to add more value to your own.
Anyway, its like this..on average it takes an "newbie" investor 3-9 months to find their first deal. 2-3 months to complete it after that. So maybe a year for the average of 20k. Its a lot of effort, and a lot of time dedicated to something that with the exact same time you could have done a hundred unit complex and made 200k.
Sure its more money, but not more risk. Real estate isn't a gamble, its a game of skill. If you are gambling then you are doing it completely wrong; if your goal is to be an investor.
It takes a bit longer to find that multifamily / commercial deal, certainly. But getting trades and team members to jump is a bit easier on a project that makes them 100x the profit of that SFH that you wanted to start with.
In short, I am an investor of my time. I put it in the right projects and people, w/ less knowledge or passion than myself, give or loan me money to be part of what my efforts made.
I love SFH deals, but love is an emotion and no way to decide to invest. Its not that I never do them, its just never what I seek out or a choice made based on anything but the numbers.