Looking for some Opinions on Education

31 Replies

I was wondering what the BP community thinks about these types of certifications: 


Mortgage Broker

Specialized Mortgage Broker

Commercial Real Estate Broker

Residential Real Estate Broker

The fastest each schooling can be completed is about 4 months. 

Do you think they are useful not only for personal use as a means to help with investing in real estate but also as something that can help me earn a living? I look forward to hearing some of your opinions. 

I think that understanding mortgages and lending is very useful. Most of us are buying properties with the help of a lender - so being an expert in that area will certainly give you an edge with investing. 

@Andrew Jones

I would say that they certainly all can help you in both investing and as far as just income as a job.  I would just focus on what you might enjoy doing as far as a job.  I would not just get some certification just to have it.  As far as investing, I would focus on a niche and do all you can to gain knowledge in that niche.  So unless you want to jump right into commercial deals, I would not become a commercial broker.  Define your goals first. Proceed accordingly.  Good luck!

These are very useful and also certification of Senior housing specialist a good one.

@Andrew Jones

Sorry for the slow reply, anyone listening?

The fastest and cheapest way to get some education is to go pick up some real estate investing books, if they're Canadian even better!  Then buy a house or two.

I was in that spot a bunch of years ago, after reading most of the rei books I could find I starting taking courses at UBC and ended up getting a diploma in urban land economics with a specialty in property development.  The courses are about $700 a piece and are great way to get university level real estate expertise.

Its not for everyone, but its high quality stuff that ads serious cred to your real estate resume.  You can also become an appraiser, which is very handy in real life.

@Darren Budahn

I agree with what you're saying, they are all jobs. Picking the one that would be more suited to what interests me would be the best option. Having a certain level of certification is needed in my province to be able to work on whole sales and such. I agree just getting it to get it, talking about the certification, isn't really necessary. And thank-you, since I've posted this I've actually signed up for a residential real estate course. I see a huge potential for both income and knowledge that is associated with this field. My goal is to work with investors, yes I'll be that investor friendly agent, and to help them buy their plexs.

Thanks again for the response!

@Debbie Sakson

I didn't see this as an option when I was looking around for certifications but I am glad you brought it to my attention!

Thank-you!

@Greg Eaton

I'm glad you commented on this post, not just for my sake but for anyone else who might find themselves in the shoes I find myself in a couple months ago. I agree the best way to get involved is to get started by buying into it. I am not making excuses but I was and am still a little bit too young to be buying property and renting (I'm 19). I hope that by the age of 21 to be in possession of my first income producing property (aiming for a triplex). I've been doing a lot of research and sadly a lot of the information I find pertains to the American market. At the same time I have never found a way really prove that what I was reading and learning was legit. Having a way to quantify my knowledge (that doesn't require spending large amounts of money) such as tests was a good way of showing myself that I do know what I am talking about.

I'll you what ended up happening, I signed up for a residential real estate course. I'm a little over half way done and have learned a lot. I've learned that it is possible, like you've mentioned, to take courses at a university level. One of my teachers is an appraiser and makes some good money. I've created contacts with a little over 6 other individuals who own/ manage/ are about to jump into investment properties. They have taught me quite a bit about my market, how to deal with tenants and some of the tax breaks I should be taking advantage of.


I've also learned the potential benefits of real estate brokering. Lots of money can be made, if done correctly, in helping sell and buy homes.  I want to go to university and get a bachelors or masters, not sure if it will be related to real estate ( I was accepted in civil planing, something that greatly interests me) but I believe upon having completed this course I will be better prepared to jump into real estate investing.


By the way, could you mention some Canadian Real Estate Investor books?

Thank you for your input!

@Andrew Jones

Hey Andrew, hope your course works out for you, sounds like some of them can be money grabs for the promoters, but some of them are great.  There's lots of good ways to make money in real estate, but you have to look at your skills and personal situation to find the strategy that suits you.

You're not too young to buy a rental.  Lots of people on BP have done it.  I bought my first rental when I was 24, and never looked back.  If your going away for university, maybe look at buying a house to live in and then rent out the other rooms to students?  Maybe your parents or family will help you with the down payment.  You would only need 5% down for that.

Books that I recommend:

1) More than Cash Flow by Julie Broad

2) Real Estate Investing in Canada by Don Campbell

More than cash flow is a must read for any Canadian real estate investor (or would-be investor) in my opinion.  Both are very good books though.

Andrew, if I had your drive and was your age, I think I would try this: buy a rental near your prospective university (maybe even see if folks will help with down/co-signing/etc). 

Then you will have a place to live for 4-6 years (through masters).... Plus, make it a multiplex (like 2, 3, 4 units)... that you can rent to other students so you will graduate with a college degree(s) and a degree in landlording from the school of hard knocks... 

Added plus, there are usually many renters near colleges; the place may appreciate by the time you graduate (maybe enough to help you buy another place where you land a job or decide to live, or I'd say pay off student debt if it was US), and you get 4+ years of practical experience working with renters.....

@Greg Eaton

@Julie Broad's book was an entertaining read and probably would have been more helpful earlier in my investing timeline.

I'm not a fan of Don Campbell and his Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) - they are just a little too guruish / talking head for my tastes.  That said, many have read his books and taken the seminars; some of those have actually benefitted (read: made money).

I found Douglas Gray's "Making Money in Real Estate" and "The Canadian Landlord's Guide" to be more useful reads.

I would also recommend George Dubé and Steve Cohen's "Legal, Tax & Accounting Strategies for the Canadian Real Estate Investor".

If you want a Canadian flavoured references / text book on commercial real estate, then you should shake your piggy bank and get a copy of Pierre & Claude Boiron's "Commercial Real Estate Investing in Canada".   The book has a heavy Ontario bias in it's examples, but is generally applicable across the country (with the normal caveats for Québec's land and legal systems).

Medium greenapartmenthires 1024x1024Roy N., Louer Louer Ltd. | 1.506.471.4126

@Roy N.

We could probably start a whole new post on Canadian real estate books, because there are a bunch of good ones out there.

Its funny that you say that about Don Campbell and his "rein team", I totally agree that he has become too big and diluted his product too much.  I don't read or listen to what they have to say for the most part any longer.  But his original book is still a great book for the introductory investor.  The rein free forum is pretty active and mostly Canadian.

Reminds me of Robert Kiyosaki, I think the guy is arrogant and I've heard bad things about his seminars.  But Rich Dad, Poor Dad is still an awesome book.

@Andrew Jones

By the way Andrew, as good as books are, have you tried listening to any real estate podcasts?  The two I listen to are biggerpockets podcast and the real estate guys radio, put them on your phone and listen to them when your driving, doing dishes or whatever.  They are free (I get mine from itunes) and convenient.

@Michael Boyer

I live very close to the island of Montreal so I am lucky enough to not have to travel more than 30 minutes by public transportation to make it to one of the several universities around the island. I like your idea though! I would gain a ton of practical land lording experience. 

@Roy N.

Long time no talk, thank you for the names of those books! Good to see you are still on the site!

@Greg Eaton

I've listened to almost every one of BPs podcasts and I am always glad to see when there is a new episode. Thanks for the new podcast suggestion. I'm subscribing to them as I type this. I'm glad I'll have something to listen know that I'm up to date on the BP podcasts. Do you believe there is a place I should start in this new podcast series? I see that the oldest dates back to 2010, would you consider the information to still be pertinent? 

Talking about "Rich Dad Poor Dad", I've listened to the e-book 3 times and have to admit it is full of great ideas. Not all that much piratical real estate knowledge but it did help me understand the need for assets. I agree though it is a good book!

16 months and you can have them all!

@Andrew Jones

Hi, I hope your residential real estate course is going well.  It's been said often that knowledge is power but don't stop there. Take action. 

Have you read Dave Van Horn's blog "The Real Estate Investing Strategy I'd recommend to newbies (as a seasoned investor)?  Hint: his strategy is similar to what both@Greg Eaton and @Michael Boyer have suggested. 

On a personal note: I am not a realtor, have never taken the licensing course but I buy real estate with the help of a power team: realtor, appraiser, home inspector, legal professional, contractor, architect, mortgage broker (moi)...you get the idea. 

Legal stuff first: I am a licensed Sr. Loan Originator NMLS# 1157855 and am currently licensed to originate in IN, OH, KY, FL. If you are not in those states what I say may or may not apply to you. Please consult an advisor in your state.

In the US it is not worth the time to get licensed if you are not originating. It is expensive and you have to be tied to a functioning office. If you want the knowledge just read the guidelines and save yourself money and time.

@Andrew Jones

Hello Andrew!

There are GREAT meet-ups here in Montreal with Le Club D'Investisseurs Immobilier du Quebec. They are held every FIRST  Tuesday evening of every month. It is free for the first time and then $20.00 the next.Thy are filled with inspiration, education and connections.

GREAT place for networking.

This is where my Master Mind team developed!

They also offer courses for a reasonable amount.I took a $4000.00 course which I am completing next month.It includes mentoring and coaching.I am just loving it !

Much like you, Andrew, I was unsure of what path to take. Now, my vision is clearer; I am focused, andI developed confidence. I am now taking action, making offers and having fun  doing this!

You are very young...I am 62(also very young,HA!)

I don't think age has anything to do with what your dreams and passions are!

And like thy teach us on BP, a good mind-set, commitment, determination ,passion flexibility, planning, and last , but not least patience is what you need to get into this game!

Good luck, Andrew ,and reach out any time.

Alex, sounds like you have more common sense than most of the older ones at 19! Learn conventional real estate, from the beginning, most in public forms or at investor meeting can't give you a 25 word essay on why real estate is valuable and mention the basics. 

I don't know what is required in Canada, but an agent has about 2 1/2 weeks of school, brokers another 3 to 4 days. Not 4 months. 

Get an agent's text book up there and study it, start with residential. 

Money is the key to the door in RE, the more you know about RE financing the better off you'll be. 

As to books, stay away from systems, step by step, how to get rich guru junk. There are many good authors who are qualified by education and experience that give good opinions based on sound economic, financial and industry aspects.......learn to recognize the difference.     

I made a lot of money from peanut gallery investors and Realtor investors from them screwing up, God love them, when you have more knowledge than they do, they can feed you more deals than you can get going out and finding them. 

Know all you can in any profession you choose. Formal basic and advanced areas, then the sizzle niches in your market. Good luck :) 

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

hi to all, le club d'investisseur immobilier is a pretty good place to start your education.

As of becoming a broker, since you are part of ACAIQ you will have more rules to follow than just being an investor.

i believe the best way to learn is to get to work with some active investors around your area ;)

@Paul Stout

I'm thinking about going to get my commercial brokerage licence because it only requires an additional month of schooling. I'm sure the rest wouldn't take to long neither. I've learned that there is an advantage to having them all. It is a requirement, in addition to another set of courses specifically design to help, to become a director of a real estate agency. The more you know!


Thank-you for your input!

@Julie Toh

It was great talking to you last night about real estate mortgage brokering! I will add that blog to my To Read list!

Thanks again for your insight!

@Aleks Gifford

No matter the license I attain I am only able to practice in the province of Quebec. Also I am required to be a member of an established agency for 3 years before being able to become independent. In my opinion it is a great idea to still be associated with a well known agency because I don't have to sell both myself and the agency, I only have to sell myself as a qualified broker. However, to play devils advocate, I've heard that a very small percentage of buyers and sellers really care about the agency behind the broker. Something to think about when deciding to go with an expensive agency over a more affordable one. 

I initially started studying because I thought it would be a way to learn more about my area in terms of investment opportunities as well as to make some contacts. I've begun to see the advantages that come along with the career. I am sure you are aware of how profitable this profession can be if someone is serious.

Even if you are an American I can still see similarities with how we are expected to conduct our business.

Thank-you for taking the time to write a response!