Where’s the Wealth in Real Estate Education?

by | BiggerPockets.com

As a beginning or budding investor, you learn from real world experience that this business will expose your weak spots of know-how. This translates to lost opportunities, lost deals, and smaller paychecks. The goal of BiggerPockets, of course, is to give you an open forum of knowledge, unmatched in the real estate investing world, to close those gaps.

To that affect, it’s important to embrace the idea of, if you’ve never been a “reader” in your life, work on becoming one. If for nothing else, reading contracts, title reports, forums, articles, and blogs will heavily influence your success rate and knowledge base. Simply put, it’s nearly impossible to get by in this industry without understanding the in’s and outs of what it is that you’re actually, well, doing.

Best places to start your Real Estate Education

You’re reading this article because you belong to BiggerPockets, or you found it online. That’s a wonderful step in the right direction. Online blogs and newspapers are a great way to get the current grind on what’s happening in your industry. Find sources that have heavier “weight” to them, meaning, lots of current information, updated often, large audiences, and content with facts and opinions.

I would set up feeds from local and national blogs to come to you daily or weekly, so fresh content from your market and nationally is fed to you on a consistent basis.

(If you don’t know what a feed is, if you go to a blog or forum, there is usually an icon that allows you to subscribe via a “feed”; it sends you updates as new articles or posts are published).

As well, tuning into talk radio that hosts shows on investing, money management, wealth strategies, and real estate are great to have on in the background while you work.

Digging in further

Curling up with a informative non-fiction book is delightful for me, but I can understand how others might not find the entertainment in it. However, there are so many relevant and educational books regarding real estate investing, it’s passing over valuable and timeless information to not be utilizing them.

Drive a lot? Books on CD are a popular way to get an education on the road. (I find it distracts me enough to stop being mad at traffic, too!).

Included in this is motivational book and CD’s, which doesn’t have to be all hype and no punch.

Looking for a great place to start? Here’s a few suggestions: (Do I feel a book club coming on?!)

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill20 Best Books for REI Dashboard
E Myth by Michael Gerber
Winning by Jack Welch
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Idiots Guide to Buying Foreclosures

Ladies, I found these books to be worth reading:

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guillano

Most all of these can be bought for pennies on the dollar online at Amazon, downloaded cheaply through Kindle reader, or even just borrowed for free from your local library.

Even spending 30 minutes a day, a few days a week reading and listening to these types of materials I find elevate my mood and get my mind going. Keep pen and paper handy to write down ideas and “ah ha’s!” as they come.

Events and Seminars

As much as there are jokes and eye-rolling towards the huckster gurus out there, I have invested a handsome “tuition” on events and seminars, and found them to be worth every penny.

Now mind you, these aren’t the fluff and puff speeches and showy events, these are 2-5 day intensives with mounds of precise, actionable, and content rich information and paperwork I might not have otherwise had access to. Plus, it expanded my network and gave me more tools in my tool box to buy, sell, remodel, lease, wrap, (or anything else you could possibly due with a single or multi-family dwelling!)

Local Title Companies, Attorneys, and RE Investing Associations are constantly hosting events in your community for little to no cost, looking to educate the public in their own backyard.

Bottom line, be a purveyor of knowledge, a seeker of information, and develop an appetite for content. When there are local libraries, free podcasts, blogs, and other information sources, investing that time in yourself and career has exponential value. The wealth comes from being able to apply what you learned in a real world way, and turning that information into profits.

Do you make it a goal currently to try to read a book, attend an event, or listen to a CD series every month or so? How has it helped you? If not, what do you do to keep your continued education fresh and relevant? What books are you reading now?

Photo Credit: Esther Gibbons via Compfight cc

About Author

Tracy Royce

Tracy (G+) is an Arizona Short Sale Realtor, Investor, Rehabber, and Foreclosure Expert. She also is an avid blogger, vlogger and consultant on all things Arizona Foreclosures.


  1. Good article Tracy…as a property investor myself,it would have been way more profitable had I learned more about different strategies before getting so involved… It would have been very beneficial time wise to wait until i have done a lot of research…it’s just to costly to undo mistakes which you certainly could have avoided…thanks

    • Tracy Royce

      Hi Darren, it sounds like the truism “you’re going to pay for it one way or another.” But, you sound like an action taker, so it’s always easier to adjust along the way then over educate and have no real world knowledge to learn from. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Andy Teasley on

    I have one old book I’d like to add to your list, It used to be called “How to Finance any Real Estate Any Place Any Time” by James Misko The current Version is “How to Finance Anything…” Great creative finance book

    Another great resource is your local REIA (Real Estate Investors Ass’n) find on Meetup.com, or FIBI (for Investors by Investors) Both are usually good, no upsell, education opportunities run by other investors. Always remember Bruce Williams rules for seminars; 1. leave you checkbook/credit card at home 2. meet like mined people 3. If you get just one good idea your time wasn’t wasted.

    But my favorite resource I call “take an old rich guy to lunch” find a SUCCESSFUL investor in your area and buy him lunch and bring along two ears and only one mouth. Speak just enough to make him believe you are worth his time and listen carefully, take notes if that helps.

    Andy Teasley

  3. Great beginner tips, Tracy.

    Yup, local REIA groups are great and I really like our local landlord association meetings, as well. There are a lot of wannabes and tire kickers at the REIA meetings; everyone at the landlord meetings owns properties and are doing what we want to be doing. Great resource.

    I, like you, find great joy reading non-fiction. Right now I’m reading the Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley, Quiet Leadership by David Rock, and Finance for non-Financial Managers by Gene Siciliano. There is a lot to know about this business beyond buying and selling properties!

    • Tracy Royce

      Hi Karen, I see the same things at the REIA’s but ours does a wonderful job of delivering thorough market updates, so either way, it’s informative to go. I’m sure our local Landlord group would probably host more serious investors though, as you noted.

      You’re absolutely right in your second statement; truly we are small business owners, real estate is the conduit.

      Thanks for sharing!

  4. Nice article, education must come first, but don’t get a case of the old “analysis paralysis”.

    I’ve found that BiggerPockets as well as other books I’ve just stumbled across have really helped me. I have the first 3 of the list of 5 books you gave. They are all very good generalized books.

    For real estate investing (in my area, buy and hold) I’ve found “Landlording” by Robinson and John T Reed books (his my way or the highway tone is off-putting for some) to provide a lot of knowledge in that specific field. I believe once you learn the basics (you can’t know everything) the rest is just getting the confidence to move forward, and that is where the motivational books find their place. Then I use BiggerPockets as a forum to bounce specific questions off of people that have been there for problems that may not be covered in books.

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