Why do so many people who get into real estate teach real estate?

37 Replies

I've just noticed Sooo many people who get into real estate want to teach it and become some sorta guru. I'm honestly not sure why this happens so much. My uncle owns a billion dollar real estate company and just took it public, and I guarantee you he's not 'teaching' anyone. Maybe if the people that are waisting so much time teaching, instead spent their time and resources actually growing their business and making it better, they'd be a lot better off.

It makes perfect sense to me. If you're an "expert" in something you can teach it to others for money. I guarantee you the profit margin on selling courses you create, consulting, or just building a YouTube channel and an audience of people who love what you're about will be so much greater than profits made from real estate. Then you could easily use those profits to buy more real estate at such a faster rate then holding a job or just waiting for funds to accumulate from real estate cash flows.

Because the market is out there and if you have a passion and you know others have the same passion...how did you start...did you want someone to tell you so you could ask questions... or go read a book...when you share your knowledge to promote wealth for others...it comes back 10 fold...you should want to encourage others to be successful just as you are...!  

And I agree with all the other answers for more reasons...!

People need mentors...not gurus...but every label is there for anyone who wants it...and all different levels of what they can teach or how much value you get from their information...

If they offer free value before selling you on something, this would be far better than here I am the guru expert buy this...

Generally what they are selling is the tips and tricks they have learned along the way...

General info free and valuable but the insider knowledge you have to pay for...that is the key component to being successful...and the bait to buy!

Also consider that education can compliment another investing strategy.  For example, if you are teaching new investors how to source deals and wholesale, they are not going to have an extensive buyer network (at least not in the beginning).  So once they find a deal, they will probably bring it to you.  You can then work out a split on the wholesale fee when you sell.  A lot of educators in Phoenix are essentially building a network of people to do the daily grind of cold calling, direct mail marketing, etc.

Who are the "so many people" you are referencing? It's hard to answer your question without examples. Personally, I think there are relatively few "teachers" or "gurus" relative to the size of the investment market in real estate - far less, in my un-scientific opinion, than there are for stocks or other investments. I believe this is largely the result of RE generally having a higher barrier to entry in the form of initial investment. 

Also, consider this: if you have learned to do something successfully, and you see other people struggling, how willing are you to try to pass on the things you've learned to others? Humans are naturally altruistic, despite our self-interest, and the vast majority of teachers are not gurus looking to scam you out of your money. 

There's waaay more suckers out there than good deals. Also guru-ing is scalable. To do real estate right you need to be local, but you can go on a seminar tour in every city in America. Gurus go where the money is. 

They're definitely not wasting their time, there's way more money in teaching than in doing. 

I have a podcast and do some coaching. I don't have a course or travel the country charging money teaching. Why do I do it?

First, I would consider myself fairly successful as a RE investor and still very active. There are others that have done much more though

1. I love to teach - I used to be a high school teacher and that passion to teach is still there

2. I love to learn. When you teach, you learn, when I interview others, I learn so much

3. Networking. Over the past year, from my podcast alone, I have met hundreds of amazing people. I have had the pleasure of interviewing over 60 amazing business owners/investors. 

4. Building a brand - People get to know you and what you stand for. It is a form of marketing, but with giving back. I run a syndication business, so building my investor list is important. The more people hear from me, the more they get to know me. You're true colors will show through, so if you are a good person, people will see that. 

5. Multiple streams of income - I don't make a killing on coaching or my podcast, but it does allow for some additional income to come in outside of RE investing and it plays well into what I do daily. 

@James McCray simple answer is money. Get a blog, podcast or write a book and it is an easy stream of money. Same with the retire early movement, none of them live only off their investments, they make money teaching... 

Look at it another way. If someone isn't teaching, you wouldn't notice them, so of course it seems everyone is teaching. There are thousands of quiet investors like your uncle that you will never know. 

There is an argument to be made that if you are good at investing, your time is best spent investing, not teaching. So following that argument, the best investors are not teaching. 

The flip side is that some people are better at teaching than doing. I have known many mediocre sales people who made great sales managers. Mediocre football players who make great coaches. Teaching and doing are two different skill sets. I can tell you to knock on 100 doors, but I may be afraid to knock on one. 

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

@James McCray simple answer is money. Get a blog, podcast or write a book and it is an easy stream of money. Same with the retire early movement, none of them live only off their investments, they make money teaching... 

Look at it another way. If someone isn't teaching, you wouldn't notice them, so of course it seems everyone is teaching. There are thousands of quiet investors like your uncle that you will never know. 

There is an argument to be made that if you are good at investing, your time is best spent investing, not teaching. So following that argument, the best investors are not teaching. 

The flip side is that some people are better at teaching than doing. I have known many mediocre sales people who made great sales managers. Mediocre football players who make great coaches. Teaching and doing are two different skill sets. I can tell you to knock on 100 doors, but I may be afraid to knock on one. 

 I agree with this. By most accounts Ted Williams, who was one of the greatest baseball hitters of all time, was a terrible batting coach and terrible manager. Tommy Lasorda, who was a lousy major league ball player, was one of the greatest managers of all time. The skill sets needed for each are different. 

Cyclicality. When the market is hot, finding great deals becomes harder, margins and rates of return decline. Though time for (conscious) RE investors. On the other hand, when the market is hot, a daily flow of new RE investors enters the sector, all wanting to learn the ins and outs of the game as quickly as possible. Best time for RE teachers (or gurus)

We are in a very hot market right now.

@Carmen Severson I understand what you're saying. You're making good points. I understand the value of education, which is one of the most important things. It's true no one can learn anything until someone steps up to share their knowledge, whether in a book, a speach, etc. Courses do have value. I've asked a lot of people how they got started in real estate, and they said, "oh, we bought such and such course." Courses do work, and I'm not saying don't educate at all ever. But if all someone does is educate then they have a lot less time to focus on their real estate business. For me, most of the stuff I learned was online, then when I bought a course, it turned out I already knew and heard everything they were saying beforehand because I had already found it online first, so I basically waisted money, aside from some contracts that were helpful. There can definitely be value in someone teaching obviously, that's the only way anyone knows anything is if someone else shares it.
Originally posted by @James McCray :
I've just noticed Sooo many people who get into real estate want to teach it and become some sorta guru. I'm honestly not sure why this happens so much.

My uncle owns a billion dollar real estate company and just took it public, and I guarantee you he's not 'teaching' anyone.

Maybe if the people that are waisting so much time teaching, instead spent their time and resources actually growing their business and making it better, they'd be a lot better off.

 Pay me $1500 to attend my guru course, and I'll tell you all about the $5000 package that will teach you all about how to be a guru. Once in a lifetime opportunity! :P

Parkinson's Law - This law says that, no matter how much money people earn, they tend to spend the entire amount and a little bit more besides. Their expenses rise in lockstep with their earnings. Many people are earning today several times what they were earning at their first jobs. But somehow, they seem to need every single penny to maintain their current lifestyles. No matter how much they make, there never seems to be enough.

I believe this law is what forces many investors into education. As their business model loses viability, their income sources thin out. But their expenses don't change, they need to find income and its not coming from finding more deals.


One common trend is most of the educators were flippers / wholesalers. Not buy and holders. They are hunters, not farmers. As their real estate business struggles to find a working model in a changing market with fewer available homes to flip, they need to find an income source.

As interest from the general public blooms in real estate investing they head towards offering educational services. They've found their new prey so to speak. While the farmers sit back, tend to their crops and reap the rewards year in, year out.

The successful buy and holders have created cash flow to operate their lives without the need to find something new. So many of them sit back, cherry pick the deals they see and wait patiently collecting their rents until they see new opportunities. The flippers / wholesalers with big monthly expenses need to find an income source and this is one of the most lucrative in a mature market. 

@James McCray Good post, I've often wondered the same. Has always made me wonder if they are really doing that good or they just selling. I'm sure many just have a passion to help others but I tend to think for most it's an easier stream than walking the talk.

Not a ton of people end up teaching but the ones that do , do it for different reasons.  1. To give back 2. Money 3. Ego 4. Never made it as an investors

The reasons are endless