Seeking Real Estate’s Magic Bullet

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It’s 3am and you are wide-awake.  You are feeling the burden of too many bills and not enough income.  You want so badly to get ahead yet can’t seem to find a way out of your financial dilemma. Firmly in the grips of insomnia, you turn on the TV and the answer to your prayers appears in front of you!  There on the screen appears a figure in an Armani suit with perfectly styled hair, and a diamond studded Rolex watch – the epitome of success.  His voice booms “Earn millions performing brain surgery!  For only $995 my six CD set will show you how to become a neurosurgeon in just four weeks!”

Would anyone believe that?  Of course not.  Yet thousands fall for the modern day snake oil salesmen peddling various get-rich-quick schemes.  We see it constantly, “trade stocks using our proven system”, “earn your fortune in gold”, “make millions with oil futures”, and the all-time classic “make a fortune in real estate with our no-money-down strategy!”  People know that to be a doctor, lawyer or other highly compensated professional takes years of schooling and training.  Yet somehow they think that they can make a fortune with real estate or other investments by reading a book or listening to a tape set. 

The Overnight Success

People love stories of people who made it big with little or no effort.  They hear a hot new singing sensation on the radio and assume that this person stepped into a recording studio, cut a record and zoomed to the top of the charts.  What they don’t see is the years spent on the road performing in seedy bars, being rejected by record labels time and time again and only after much frustration and undying dedication, they finally find someone who will give them a chance. People see the success, they don’t see the work that went into it.

Success in real estate investment isn’t easy either.  You may see someone who is fabulously wealthy and want that kind of success for yourself.  Undoubtedly, that person worked very hard to attain that level of success, is it fair to think that you won’t have to?

 Searching for the Secret

Newcomers and wanna-be investors are constantly asking “what book can I read or what course should I take?”  Reading investment books or taking a course can be a great way to expand your knowledge and enhance you chances for success, but it isn’t enough.  Gurus are out there peddling their courses and boot camps to people who are looking for the magic formula.  They know they have a huge market in the people who want to believe that they just need to know the secret and they too can be as wealthy as Bill Gates. 

News Flash: There is no secret!

If there is anything close to a secret it is hard work and learning from your mistakes.  Think about how you learned to ride a bicycle.  Did you read a book or go to a seminar?  NO, you hopped on and peddled.  You fell down and skinned your knees then got up and did it again.  Eventually you learned and it was easy.  Sure you had training wheels and someone to help you, but soon you reached a point where you could do it on your own.  In real estate the books and courses may be your training wheels and mentors may guide you at first, but your own hard work will be the secret to your success.

 I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.Thomas Jefferson

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  1. Jessica Beganski on

    One of the saddest things I saw recently is a set of one of those CDs in a house that was selling and was selling short. I instantly thought of the owner who had the $ to buy the CDs but not enough to pay the mortgage – my assumption of course. People want to believe that money is easy.

  2. Colin @ Buying Florida Property on

    Oh how right you are Richard. Far too many buyers in the Central Florida vacation home market have fallen for this “snake oil salesman” approach – guaranteed returns, easy as falling off a log, no problem in getting income from rentals, etc. The reality is that it takes a business-like approach and some effort – there is no “free lunch”, especially in the 2008 market.

    I guess the ease with which the Armani suit guys make money is a reflection on the number of buyers who are so naive and/or lazy.

  3. Chuck Salisbury on

    Great article. So many people are expecting to make it rich overnight in real estate, especially when people try to buy a probate sale or foreclosed home. If a Realtor and a bank can’t sell a piece of property, why would you buy their problem? I’ve been a stockbroker for 30 years, and at first, invested in real estate as a tax shelter, but over the years honed my real estate intelligence and now have a growing estate. If anyone is interested, I started a blog very recently that you might find interesting at

  4. Richard,
    Great article that I can easily relate to. I have yet to find a way to make money easily. We have been successful and it has all come from hard work, effort, and being innovative. Feel free to check out what we are doing on our blog if you get the time – it is new and breaking ground .

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