Real Estate Investing Education in the Information Age

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I’m a sports junkie.  I mean the real sports – football, baseball and basketball.

Soccer is not a sport because as the late George Carlin explained, you can’t use your hands.  Ditto for hockey.  Running isn’t a sport either.  If I can ‘run’ to the store for a loaf of bread it’s not a sport.  And swimming?  Swimming isn’t a sport.  Swimming is a way to keep from drowning.

Being a sports junkie means I’m also a sports talk radio junkie.  I listen almost non-stop all day.  At my computer.  In my car.  On my phone.  About the only time I don’t have it on is when I’m writing a post for my blog or BiggerPockets.com.

The end of the regular season in major league baseball is near and there’s a lot of talk about the “magic number”.  My favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, lead the division and their “magic number” is 2.  But as much as I thought I knew about baseball I’ve never really understood how this number is calculated or what makes it so magical.

A quick Google search and I had my answer.  It’s simply the number of wins the 1st place needs, or number of losses the 2nd place team must incur, or combination of both, for the 1st place team to clinch the division.  If you’re a real numbers geek click here for the formula.

This little research project got me thinking.  In the information age we live in now there is no excuse for ignorance.  There are books, blogs and YouTube videos that explain how to blow glass, make jump ropes, roll up long extension cords, grow tomatoes that don’t split in the heat and sharpen knives (yes, I really wanted to know how to do all of these things).

Likewise, real estate investing education in the information age is easy to find.  Best of all, for the most part it’s free.

If you’re reading this post you already know how valuable a resource BiggerPockets.com is for how-to’s, tips and lessons.  On my blog, FreeRealEstateEducation.com, I write posts and produce videos on everything from structuring seller financing deals to using an online bidding service to buy houses at the courthouse steps.

Every contributor on BiggerPockets.com has their own blog or website.  There are countless other successful real estate investors online that offer information for free.  Here in Phoenix there are two well respected housing experts that give away detailed, up to date market recon on their main sites – no login information or money required.

And if for some reason the information you’re looking for isn’t in cyberspace, chances are the person who has the answer to your question is.  Just yesterday I had a local real estate appraiser send me a tweet.  He wants to get into real estate investing and was curious about how I raise capital.  I answered all his questions in a 15 minute phone call (if you don’t know how to use Twitter there’s a YouTube video for that too.)

My Dad likes to say, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”  Well, thanks to Barnes and Noble, Google and YouTube, education is no longer cost prohibitive.  Too bad for me.  My wife wants me to sharpen the kitchen knives and I can’t say I don’t know how.

About Author

Marty (G+) is the Chief Financial Officer for Rising Sun Capital Group, LLC, a real estate investment firm based in Gilbert, AZ. His firm purchases homes at the courthouse steps and public REO auctions. They have two exit strategies, either fix and flip or seller financing.

7 Comments

  1. In today’s world knowing the answer isn’t as important as knowing where to get the correct answer quickly. I see our country’s drive to push college education as bypassing the original purpose of higher education. A piece of paper can help you get in the door but true knowledge and skills is what counts and brings value. Information is availiable everywhere as you showed, we just need to keep encouraging people to put in the work to get the knowledge, buying it doesn’t work…

    • Excellent point Kyle. I agree. What’s the point of filling your head up with a bunch of useless knowledge that can be found on the internet or in a bookstore? Albert Einstein once said that he never memorized anything he could look up. He didn’t know his own phone number or address.

      Some times knowing where to go to find the answers is a more valuable skill than actually having the answers.

  2. Hi Marty!

    I like the saying at the end from your dad and it’s SO true! You never, whenever someone asks me a question, I usually go straight to Google, whether I know it or not. Mainly to show them that Google is an unlimited source of information and to see if I can find a better answer than my own.

    The internet is surely vast and there’s really no reason for ignorance anymore. Of course it’s important to realize which sources of information are actually reliable and others aren’t, and that can take a bit of digging sometimes, but it’s certainly worth it in the end!

    And kudos to you for providing so much FREE real estate information. 🙂

    • Morgan, I love to use Google to prove people wrong. I’m taking a trip down to Mexico this weekend and a friend of mine is afraid to go. Too much violence down there he says. I challenged him to go online and find any information he could about bad stuff happening to tourists in the region we’re traveling to. He couldn’t find anything negative. Not one thing. He actually found some positive comments/reviews.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  3. You are absolutely right. There is no excuse to ignorance, yet we see many people who still resist the fact that technology is a must in every life aspect. In the other hand, the problem which seems to be arising these days isn’t at all about information, it’s rather about information overload. With the huge amount of non compiled information out there, it’s really hard to filter and take action accordingly.

    Thanks for the great post Marty;
    M Stephanie

  4. How sharp were they once you’re done with them? 🙂

    One thing I’d like to point out about the information available online is that there are plenty out there that you should not trust. Always cross-reference to be really educated in real estate or sharpening knives.

    P.S.
    A fellow Carlin fan here.

    P.P.S.
    The late Mitch Hedberg would like to tell you that a jump rope is actually just a rope. You have to do the jump part.

    P.P.P.S.
    What do you think about the NBA lockout? I’m playing the wait and see game.

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