How Well Do You "Actually" Know Real Estate Investing?

70 Replies

Having just taken the quiz, I realized that I know more than I thought. It gave me a little more confidence to get out there a do my first deal. I think k it would have been helpful,as others have said, to be able to link to a podcast or discussion that covers a full explanation of each question.

Much better. 100%. I didn't get one wrong but if it's set up where a wrong answer gives you the definition that could be helpful for some. 

SFR is residence not rental.

That's what I was talking about;

SFR is not a rental, it's "single family residence" as Stephanie mentioned. Ha, ha, if you got 100%, you were wrong.....

DSCR is not a real estate term, it's a financial ratio applicable to commercial financing, as in; what is the DSCR for this inventory loan for this shoe manufacture?

MAO is guru talk, in reality, for those who actually know real estate and may venture into more advanced transactions that MAO formula isn't correct. Only the buyer can assess their maximum allowable offer.

GSI is "Geological Strength Index" in real estate, which is a compaction test of rock, an assessment of engineering requirements for something to be built on the land. More guru stuff!

The testers missed 4 out of 14, that's 71% correct, which in my class is a big fat "F"!

75, passing to 80-D, 85-C, 90-B, 95 and above A! (But, in high school, 70% may have passed, no honor student, LOL). 

I suspect you're going through with this idea, regardless, at least learn real estate before you try to teach it by implication through testing. :) 

It was fun but a test of acronyms is not all that educational, like I said in my first comment it needs analysis questions which requires the testee to get out a calculator some paper and actually think 

I think quizzes will create a box and many will get trapped in it. We're in the creativity business, and quizzes measure how well you follow suite. The wealth accumulated from sharing makes learning much better, because it keeps us all as students, and we learn to create new ideas from hearing member's experience.

Forgive me if this comes across harsh but it appears that whomever is in charge of putting these quizzes together missed one of the most important comments in this thread, provided by @Bill Gulley which was "what qualifications does the tester/quiz writer have to create these quizzes to educate others". Clearly they failed here again on some very simple terms like SFR. With MAO, that is not a professional real estate term, though it is used often on BP and in guru handbooks, it is a made up term somewhat coined on BP to shorten spelling out the 3 words. Maximum allowable offer is the same as maximum offer amount, and both do not have official or professional acronyms. They both are also subjective to each individual investor as my maximum offer amount may be different than yours on the very same house.

Lastly, real estate lingo is important to know for newbies so they can understand basic real estate discussions without having to hold a real estate terms dictionary in their hands. But that is a small part of a newbies education and if quizzes are to educate, they need to have much more depth.

If future quizzes are being considered, I for one (or 2 if you count Bill) certainly hope that a new quiz maker is chosen and such selection has the capabilities and RE experience to qualify as an educator.

@Will Barnard  

Thank you so much for your input! Always great to hear both positive and negative feedback on anything new we put out, or are testing.

For BP, we want to add new things to the site that are educational, but more than anything just something fun and different. We don't expect these quizzes (if we even implement them at all - just testing the feel from our members) to have life changing outcomes, or even extreme educational effects - but something people can do to brush up on things they aren't super familiar with, or to just give them new ideas of things they can look into in the future. We would love our members to be able to engage in other things than just our forums :)

If this were to go into effect on BP, we would have hopefully a new quiz every week, or bi-weekly. The topic would continually change, and we would most likely ask experienced members to help us write them.

Thank you again for your feedback! Love it! Thanks!

Thanks for the feedback guys. Perhaps it will help to set expectations. This is meant to be a test of a concept for BiggerPockets - the concept we are testing is "would users like quizzes?". This material is directed towards that guy that knows almost nothing about real estate investing, including very basic concepts like leverage, cash flow, appreciation, and not being broke with no job and/or credit and/or knowledge about what the heck they are doing before attempting to buy property. 

We are testing whether users will like the concept of a quiz. @Will Barnard  @Brian Gibbons  and @Bill Gulley your feedback on credentials is noted and your contributions are appreciated. Unfortunately, unless someone with "credentials" (decades of experience? Multimillionaire investor?) wants to volunteer to grow BiggerPockets for free, or for a five-figure salary (apply at I'm your guy and will be influencing content and UI/UX :). My hunch, based on the data and my interpretation and insight from working hard for this company, site, and it's users, is that the most underserved part of our platform are the part-time investors buying their first property, and that's who we are trying to serve with this stuff. So, we are going to test that and see if I'm right, and if there's a chance to help them out more. If I'm right, these folks are not looking to be full-time investors like you three and other top contributors.

My credentials are two investment properties, bought while working full-time, active pursuit of local deals right now on $400-$600K triplex/quad or best deal available in Denver, and I am a licensed real estate broker. 3 years investing in one market --> Denver. Consistent interaction and education from users all over BiggerPockets over the past two years. Face to face time with hundreds of investors all over the country. Dozens of blog articles that have generated debate and controversy, featureships on CNBC, TIME, Forbes, and multiple regional publications with my economic surveys of markets around the country. An understanding that I don't know everything and never will. Same with every investor on this site. 

I hope that qualifies me to help first time investors with no idea about real estate investing at all to get a basic introduction to basic concepts. If not, please direct your feedback up the chain to Josh.

I, along with team members like Mindy and Hilary have been and will continue in the future write content and test ideas, like quizzes, for this site on an ongoing basis, for as long as Josh Dorkin asks us to do so. We are not so naive as to think that we are some masters of investment that can get away with doing this on our own. Nor do we believe that this will be mistake free at first So, we hope to get feedback from the community, including those with credentials such as yourselves.

I haven't worked on the abbreviations one, but we'll fix that SFR mistake.

Now, as for these quizzes, there are two questions that we are looking for answers to

1) Are quizzes something that our users will enjoy? It appears that yes, the majority of new investors that responded to this thread liked the quiz. Testing to continue.

2) Can we employ the help of experts with more experience and different perspectives than our own, to fix weaknesses in quiz questions, including perhaps how to word them better, or with what question entirely to replace them with? Test ongoing. We will use feedback we can work with, and throw out stuff like "get a new quizmaker." We CAN use feedback like "I'd actually write a question like this - here's why." Heck, I'm even open to "You and the staff at BP are unqualified Scott, let me write the quiz!" Of course, then you will need to work on our schedule, according to our deadlines, otherwise, we will do it ourselves.

With this mentioned - we are happy for all the feedback. If a question is subjective, let us know. More helpful, however, would be telling me why an answer is subjective, and what we should do about it.

For example, people don't like the financing question. I'm confused by this. It seems exceedingly obvious that the vast majority of those buying **their first** rental properties in this country do so with conventional financing or financing very much like it, and that a small minority use things like hard money, creative finance, private lenders, or straight cash. Is that really controversial and/or subjective? If that's not nearly universally accepted, that's fine. I can easily poll the next 10,000 investors to join this site and give you some hard data on that.

@Scott Trench

First, I hope you don't think I was just trying to bust anyone's chops, certainly not personal and you're probably aware that my style is short and to the point. That's not because I'm such a sour negative soul but it saves a lot of unnecessary typing. :)

I like the layout of the quiz, it's simple to take and moves right along. 

I also agree with you as to the under served population, my opinion is simply based on my activity here and from what I'm picking up from members seeking answers. I don't have the data that is available to you, but it's clear that a basic knowledge is lacking.

I feel as if I'm an unpaid employee on BP after 7 years of constant and daily contributions, a sense of "ownership" exists for me, that may be misplaced, so forgive my insistence in asking for a higher standard of information to be shared on BP. 

While we, the members, don't see the efforts the BP staff goes through, we do appreciate each staff member's contribution in keeping BP the foremost real estate investor site on the internet, I'm sure I'm speaking on behalf of the majority as well as myself. BP has made huge accomplishments since my early days here and credit is certainly due to you and your staff.

Your two questions, well, absolutely members would enjoy a quick quiz approach in their learning process. There is nothing that builds confidence more than having been tested, be that by fire or by self examination.

From a technical standpoint, holding a broker's license demonstrates knowledge of the basics of real estate. Having the ability to research is also a big plus. However, it does take a long time to fine tune the abstract and appropriately apply real estate principles.

As in most industries, conducting business often spills over into other related areas and expertise or knowledge along a narrow road isn't always the answer, in real estate we get off into other related areas, law, regulatory issues, finance, insurance, estate planning, marketing and business management and that's at the end of the smaller investor/operator scale, go into large developments and things become much more involved.     

Actually, after my first post to this thread I considered making such an offer! I had a Commander in the Army that told me "if you don't have a solution, I don't want to hear about the problem"! So, yes, there is a solution, but that shouldn't be addressed in forums. As to assistance, I'm here every day.

Seems we have similar goals anyway, I've had 9,736 sessions, with 6,698 users with 36,734 page views at a 44.93% bounce rate in the past year, current bounce rate has been in single digits lately....and I'm not really sure what that means either, Lol. I'm guessing BP exposure is 100 times that, I have no idea. So, much of what you might be wanting has already been done. 

So, yes, I'm on board, but it's going to require a much more sophisticated approach. All the best :)




@Scott Trench

I believe folks do need a finance coach if they are working full time for buy and hold, getting their credit understood and DTI in shape, for traditional finance.

Sub2 and notes for acquisition should be a skill set, as lease options in the Dodd Frank era.

Legal ethical wholesaling another skill set.

Analyzing 5plus Apartment investing another skill.

There are all sorts of categories....:) Happy to help BP in anyway:)

The test would be better if it gave instant feedback right or wrong with a full explanation of why each answer is right or wrong. That way it would be educational. This way has only a little value.

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