Let me make this brief and straight to the point. Real estate investors . . . your time is your most precious asset. You CAN invest in real estate without money but you cannot invest if you do not have time to find, evaluate and consummate deals.
Now, we all know that quite the little cottage market has popped up with people peddling real estate “education”. Yes, education is important — absolutely critical. However, I’ve noticed that many real estate classes are about 75% filler and 25% usable information. We need to change that from within.
I’m a seasoned investor. I am very confident in my real estate knowledge but I still want to try to get in a few classes under my belt to get the creative juices flowing and maybe learn some new tricks. Last year I made a commitment to get myself to the local real estate investor association meetings. On several different occasions I got up and left early out of sheer disgust. In one instance I distinctly remember listening to a guy for over an hour and not hearing one thing on the topic on which he’d claimed to be an expert. Instead I heard about how he was a college slacker that got a job in middle management and was miserable. He told me at length how getting laid off from that job was the best thing that ever happened to him. He told me that real estate investing was a great way to make money. And, of course that we should not be afraid to make a significant commitment to our real estate education, like the small investment needed to obtain his course or mentoring program. Meanwhile, the time commitment on my part was significant. The meetings were twice a month and consumed an entire evening. I noticed a drastic drop in the number of offers I was putting out and therefore I literally found myself with nothing in the pipeline and scrambling for deals.
Ladies and gentleman, most of us put a lot of time into our investing. Many of us have second jobs. We need education but I think we need to push back against this kind of fluff. To all the real estate gurus and educators I say please save us your life stories or at least get them down to 5-10 minutes. And, by-the-way, we already know that real estate investing is a great business, that’s why we’re sitting in that meeting on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Quit trying to sell us on real estate and get down to business. I would really appreciate an educator who could get his lecture down to about an hour. One action packed, straight to the point, hour of education. I’ve yet to go to a 3 hour seminar that I didn’t think could be trimmed down to an hour of actual information. 3 hours is great as long as there’s 3 hours of useable information.
Things to keep in mind when evaluating your education options:
• Topics: Is the subject you’re going to learn about within your investing model? Are you lacking in knowledge in that specific topic? Sure you can always learn something else but is that one new nugget of information worth the time away from your actual deals or family. The answer may depend on current circumstances but be cautious about taking time away from actual money making activities.
• Opportunity costs: What money making activities are you potentially taking time from to attend the class? Could you be spending that Saturday viewing properties, making offers, or just spending a little extra time managing the deals you already have?
• Avoid the Trap: Too many of us meander into seminars like mindless cattle because from the very beginning of our careers someone told us that we’re slackers if we’re not constantly taking courses or attending seminars. Remember, the guy that told you that was probably selling real estate seminars or classes. There are many ways to get educated. Seminars do have an added value of networking with other like-minded professionals but be deliberate and active in your selection process.
• Don’t fall into the NETWORKING Trap: Yes, knowing people is an awesome tool in real estate but I will tell you that there are a lot of pretenders at these seminars and meetings. In fact, if I talk to 10 people at a meeting one (maybe) actually does or can do what they claim. The best way to meet real legitimate investors is to do deals. Ask any self proclaimed investor if they buy homes and they’ll all say yes. Go find a great deal and then start asking around. Then you’ll really find the legit buyers.
• Reality: Keep these factors in mind as you evaluate a speaker and in selecting any real estate education.
- Real estate is not easy money!
- There is no such thing as PASSIVE INCOME! You have to mind the store or pay the price.
- There is no such thing as RISK FREE!
- Real estate is a get rich SLOW business. Be skeptical of anyone that says otherwise.
- Speaker, don’t waste my time!
Education and networking are so very important — don’t get me wrong. Make time to network. Make time and invest in your education, but be deliberate about selecting the topics and speakers. Do not just go through motion because you’ve been told you should. Going to a Saturday Seminar for 6 hours is a huge commitment. Those 6 hours equal more time than many real estate investors spend on their business in an entire week. Please do not undervalue your time!