Forget the Real Estate Courses: Here’s the One Thing Required For Investing Success

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This week I want to share something on my heart with you that I believe to be very important.

Since I’ve been contributing on BiggerPockets, the connections I’ve made have been really powerful and insightful. I value all the personal questions and commitments I’ve been getting, so I don’t want to come across as mean or insensitive. Definitely keep them coming!

But a few times now, I’ve had new aspiring investors approach me asking if I offered a coaching or educational course that they could purchase. As it stands right now, I’m not in a place to sell a course like that, and when approached, the phrase, “Can I buy your course?” really struck an unsettling chord in me.

You see, there is a difference between the real estate industry and the information industry.

With the latter, you make money by the continual regurgitation of content and typically strive to have your audience in continual consumption of that content. In other words, I as the “guru” go and learn the secrets of a given subject, industry, craft, etc. and then turn around and teach them to you for a fee.

That’s not the industry I’m in, and in a lot of ways, I’m not the biggest fan of it, either. The truth is, I love giving away free information and being a helping hand within the real estate industry. I’m an investor and wholesaler, not an internet marketer.

One of the reasons I love BiggerPockets so much is that they offer their greatest value (equipping you to begin investing in real estate) 100 percent free and then simply provide an upgraded membership for access to extremely useful tools that give support to that. So, when I was asked for my “course,” I realized something I’ve seen a lot through the years, and I wanted to address it here.

You Don’t Need A Course, You Need Action!

If we take a moment and we look at the health and wellness industry, there are tons of fad diets, tips, tricks, industry secrets, etc., and a lot of people will switch from one to the next without results.

Related: Stop Dreaming & Start Doing: How to Turn Big Real Estate Goals Into Actionable Steps

The real estate “educational” industry is the same. There are tons and tons of courses out there, and a lot of people get the shiny object syndrome and continually buy and buy without ever actually using real estate to turn a profit.

But at its core, both losing weight and real estate are actually pretty simple: Eat less, exercise more; buy cheap, sell for more (or rent it out if you’re a buy-and-hold investor).

A lot of these courses are pretty much the same information, and you want to know something shocking? The only difference between people who make real estate work and people who don’t is action.

You can spend the rest of your life reading books, buying courses and studying, but you never fully “get it” until you put your hand to the plow and start making things happen.

You don’t need the latest and greatest industry “secret.” You need to do what works consistently over time.

Don’t Get Distracted

Lately, I’ve been reading a book called The One Thing by Gary Keller, and it’s honestly changing my life!

The whole premise of the book is that in business we have way too many distractions, so we need to learn to tune out the noise and focus on one thing at a time — and crush it.

My brand is called “Simple Wholesaling” because I do all I can to run my business in simplicity.

The guru world will try to give you just enough information to get you hooked so that you’ll continue to buy their “latest and greatest secret.” The truth, though, is that there is no latest and greatest secret. There are just investors who take action and those who don’t.

Just implement! Learn what you can and work with what you’ve got, and take ACTION.

Am I saying never buy a real estate course? No way! There is definitely some gold through all the dirt in the real estate “education” industry, and realistically, most of the courses you buy will work (some better than others), but the key is you have to be like the Nike commercial and “Just do it!”

I have a little saying that goes, “What’s easy to do is also easy not to do,” and what I mean by it is, though a lot of things are simple, in many ways, they are a struggle for us too.

Related: Why the Small, Seemingly Insignificant Actions You Perform Daily Are VITAL to Your Success

When we look at weight loss again, how many of us know what to do to lose weight but always procrastinate and put off the actions that lead to our desired result? All I’m saying in this post is that it’s a lot easier to feel busy by buying a course, rather than actually taking steps to making your real estate business a reality.

Like the book says, “What is your one thing that you can do today to reach your goals?” You should ask yourself this question every day.

Is This Your Hobby Or Your Business?

To finish all this up, I want to ask you a question: Is real estate your hobby or your business?

Hobbies are things that cost you money and things that you might do a couple times a week.

A business makes you money and is a daily part of your life.

If all you do is dream about it and learn about it, you won’t get there, friend! You have to skip all that, and just go after it. Today, I want you, right now, to stop what you’re doing and go tackle one major step toward growing your real estate business.

Then once you’ve done it, come back and share it in the comments section.

What ONE thing will be your next step in achieving your real estate goals?

Let me know with a comment!

About Author

Brett Snodgrass

Brett Snodgrass is a licensed real estate broker and wholesaler who hails from the Indianapolis metro. His mission in life is to glorify God by serving as many people as he can through his real estate business. He has a pretty active community growing on Facebook and is also the founder of Come check it out now and connect!


  1. I agree with you to some point. I read a lot of real estate book and most of them say the same thing. But for a newbie where do one start instead of wasting time reading books after books. How do he know what properties is right and which one is not.
    And how do you start with no money and little credit . I would like to do buy and hold of duplexes. until I retire and then sell them all at 70.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      Thanks Del For your comments…

      I hear that you are reading some good Books, and that is good, I read a lot. Are you reading Books that are targeting what your strategy is. If you have no Money or Credit and you want to buy and Hold, Then I would find out from other experienced investors what their Top 3 to Read are? Read those, and then Take ACTION on what they say. I was just saying that most new investors “Don’t Take Action” and you just need to get your feet wet… You can Read Brandon Turner’s “Real Estate Investing with No (or Low) Money Down” That Might be a good start and Act on his Words… Thanks..

  2. Amanda Cook

    Thanks for that article Brett! It hits home with us! My husband and I are in the learning phase and are getting ready to pull the trigger soon and buy our first “real” investment property. We’re landlords of our house in Spain, and were landlords of our house here in North Carolina before moving back to NC this summer. We’re making contacts in our local REIA, and I’ve been reading and learning from Bigger Pockets and many books since last November. We are doing the steps we feel that are necessary each day to buying that first property by next March. For us who are new in RE, it’s sometimes hard to know what each next step is, but we’re looking at our big goal, and working towards it each day.

  3. How true is everything you say, Thirty five years ago I went to a real estate course given by a guru. I didn’t buy the $2,000 worth of guide books even though pressured to do so. I simply said this is stupid, Ill just buy a fixer upper and learn. Not knowing even which end of a drill bit goes in the drill, I got to work. You eventually learn by doing, making mistakes and talking to others. A stack of books would not have helped and also would consume valuable time. You learn to drive a car by driving it, not by reading a book on how to drive.

  4. james russell

    I too would like to thank you for the article. my wife and i have looked at about 9 properties so far, and have 2 proposals in the works as we speak. although, once our math is finished i feel like the bid is so low there is no chance in [email protected]#l that we would get the property. The point is, is that we have started using much of what we have learned, but feel like we are missing something to make a legitimate offer. thank you for the inspiration to keep working everyday towards our goals. its nice to know others realize how difficult it can be.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      Thanks James….

      I too Make a lot of offers that don’t seem to work because they are LOW, But that’s what I need to be in order to make the Deal Work.. Don’t look at it like you are giving them a LOW OFFER from what they are asking, I don’t even look sometimes at what they are asking, I just look at the numbers on where I need to be… It’s a numbers game, get and analyze more deals, make more offers… And eventually you will get one with the numbers you need to be at….

      If I have two exact same houses side by side, (One asking 100K, one asking 50K) I offer 35 for each. I don’t look at it like WOW, I offered really low on the 100K house, I just offered them where I needed to be at… They were just asking too Much, and the 50K was more Reasonable Price? Just put in More offers and eventually you will get a DEAL where you need to be… Don’t force a DEAL, just find more opportunities…


  5. Larry, you couldn’t have said it better. I’ve been to the seminars and the gurus throw the big expensive courses at you. I own 5 rentals, one was a dump when I bought it. Used it as a learning tool. It’s habitable now and cash flowing. I’m trying more at wholesaling lease options and regular.

  6. Tim Hoffman

    Well said! When I started 17 years ago, I had a mentor who had me read 6 books (not a course) so I had the vocabulary and general rules of the game. He gave me a basic outline of what expenses to consider and then told me to start looking at houses (take action). After about 2 months of calling and asking more questions he did the BEST thing he could ever do for me. He said, “Buy a House OR Stop Calling Me”. Basically, take action and I will continue to help. Don’t take action then stop wasting my time. He now calls me for advise once in a while. ACTION is key.

  7. David Roberts

    What a fantastic article. I learned about getting mentored, which steered me from big bad decisions, but even that is nothing compared to what i have learned actually doing deals. Every deal you actually do forces you to face every problem, every detail (some you read about, others that are glossed over). It forced me to generate processes for tracking expenses, lists for inspecting, how to make offers, how to deal with rejection, the feeling of others getting the deal i had but walked away from, lol.

    Everything is a lesson.

    What a great article.

  8. Sheila Varnado

    Hi Brett,
    I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am excited that you read The One Thing by Gary Keller. As I too am reading it , it is very practical and Isn’t this how we should live life”? I am starting an Investment support group. The simplest way to go about things is to start doing it! Words without action is nothing but a dream.
    Thank You for this article

  9. Frank Carrini

    Thanks for taking the time and writing this article Brett. I continuously refer back to this website as my one stop shop for education and ideas within the industry. I too, like many others, have gone to workshops who dazzle you with all the money you can make if you just spend $2,000 on there starter kit. But no matter how much money you spend on that stuff, if you don’t have the drive or the motivation to “just do it” it will be all for nothing. My wife and I began home flipping this year and jumped in head first. We knew that we would make mistakes along the way, but I told her that as long as we learn from these mistakes and not make them again it’s all part of the learning experience. We set short term and long term goals for ourselves. Our short term goal was to do 1 flip this year. We are just about to finish up construction on our first and have already begun negotiations on a property for our next project. We both have full time jobs and do this part time. It is very easy to kick your feet up after a long day of work, but not us, we schedule our after work hours 5-9pm with contractors and/or shopping for tiles, carpet, kitchen cabinets etc…
    You’re article hit home with me, you have to just do it; pull the trigger, that’s how we got our business off the ground.

  10. Thanks for this write up. As a newbie real estate wholsaler, I tend to get caught up with all the shiny object syndrome. Action is definitely the main ingredient to having a successful real estate business. Thanks for the book recommendation.. 🙂

  11. Good go Frank. There are many that look, and look, and look, and look. Never act. . Once you start working on a house to flip or rent…….. deals will come to you. For example I have at least ten homes that never went on the market. They were form people next door or across the street that were ” thinking of selling”. I made some tremendous deals. There were a number of reasons for selling like wanting to move to a warmer climate like Florida, health problems, wanting to go into a retirement home, downsizing because a spouse died, and moving in with the kids to have care, Obviously there older people which means very little damage but a lot of things that need upgraded. The type of work that I like.l

  12. Crystal Thomas

    I am so glad I came across this article Brett. My husband and I recently went to a seminar that sounded great. They offered systems, automation, and access to all kinds of people and list for ONLY 15-30K. I would be lying if I said we didn’t think about it, but you made a great point in one of your comments, that money could be put towards the purchase of our first property!

  13. My husband and I are on our 5 & 6th flips. I’m wanting to become a real estate agent so that I can manage our listings and make more profit. I’m not sure how to go about finding a broker to work with. How would you find a broker with flat fees? Or just otherwise investor friendly?

    • Brett Snodgrass

      I would go to REIA Meetings in your area, and look on BP for a Broker. Many times those Brokers will be independent and won’t work for the Large Well known Broker companies like a REMAX. I would just interview many Brokers until your find what you are looking for.. Thanks

  14. Good information, Brett. I left a 25-year career in sales to pursue my dream of living off passive income through real estate. I own both commercial and multifamily properties that are doing very well. I recognized 20-years ago that buying a real estate course (particularly “no money down) was more about making the course creator wealthy and not me. The two items that have served me well are (1) knowing what I don’t know, and (2) aggressively and surgically pursing that knowledge. This strategy involves a holistic understanding of the challenges one faces in real estate investing, and ultimately creates a database of useful and effective techniques to grow your portfolio. It’s been a fun ride!!

  15. David S.

    Excellent commentary as always PH. As one that has had some success in partnering with you on a personal/business level, your insights and overall outlook always inspire. Looking forward, more and more to a brighter future.

  16. Carlos Rodrigues

    Thank you for this great article, Brett. I will be referring to it often in order to remind myself to stay focussed on my goal and to take action on it.

    Thank you too for mentioning “The One Thing”. It is definitely going to the top of my reading list. As a beginning investor, I definitely suffer from diversity and range of information that is available, and chase that (until I eventually get distracted by something else), instead of focussing on the one thing that I can do today that will forward my investing goals.

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