Real Estate’s PhDs and MBAs


Real estate investing does not require an advanced degree. You don’t need a college education, high school diploma, or any formal schooling at all. Equal opportunities exist for all regardless of ethnicity, economic class, social standing, sexual orientation, or religious preference. But if you want an MBA you’ll need a PhD first.

An MBA has nothing to do with college or any business training. An MBA is simply a Massive Bank Account. So many wanna-be tycoons enter into real estate with visions of becoming wealthy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that; it’s actually a worthwhile goal. Where many of these neophytes are wrong in their thinking is that they desire instant riches. While there are plenty of tall tales, and a few real ones, about individuals who hit a homerun and made a fortune in a rapid fashion, that is rarely the case.

Invest in Yourself First

Before jumping in you need to learn about the business. This is a process that takes a long time regardless of what a guru pitching a weekend boot camp might say. There are so many facets to this business that it is impossible to learn it all from a few books, seminars, or weekend trainings. How many successful professionals spent years learning and honing their craft? The answer is most of them. Real estate is no different, you may get lucky right off the bat but that doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing.

 Start the learning process by expanding your real estate contacts. Join your local real estate clubs and go to as many meetings as possible. You’ll quickly learn which clubs are legitimate networking opportunities and which are simply sales pitches.  Seek out successful investors and get to know them. How do you spot them? It’s not that hard. The ones that are pitching some hot deal, or trying to impress people by stating how successful they are, are the ones to avoid. Truly successful investors usually work the room quietly and seem to know everyone. You’ll figure it out pretty quickly. You should also use as many free or low-cost resources, such as BiggerPockets, as possible to learn from other investors. There may be adult education courses on real estate investing offered by colleges in your area.  

Another hole in the boat of many newbies is their financial condition. They’ve been told, and they’re all too eager to believe, that you don’t need any money or credit to begin investing. While technically true, inadequate finances will put you squarely behind the eight-ball right from the start. Rather than trying to make deals that may be impossible to complete, work to get your financial house in order.    

About that PhD

The whole point is that there are no shortcuts if you truly want to be successful. You need to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. So if you want that MBA, use your PhD. A PhD is simply Persistence, hard work, and Determination.

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. – Aristotle

Photo: joeshlabotnik

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  1. Great post Richard. Too many people (including me) waste thousands of dollars on their real estate “education” only to be disappointed when they found out the “system” they purchased from the guru doesn’t work in their market. A fairly prominent real estate attorney here in Phoenix gave me some great advice early on in my investing career. He told me to stop wasting my money flying all over the country to attend seminars. His suggestion was to find a successful local real estate investor and help them out any way I could. That little tip saved me thousands of dollars and has helped me grow my business exponentially.

  2. I was kind of interested in learning more about the real real estate MBAs out there, but your article is a good read and has good advice nevertheless. I know there are PhDs in management, but I wonder if any of them have a concentration in real estate. Probably not, since so much of one’s real estate education should be based on experiences, and not so much on classroom instruction.

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