As a beginning or budding investor, you learn from real world experience that this business will expose your weak spots of know-how. This translates to lost opportunities, lost deals, and smaller paychecks. The goal of BiggerPockets, of course, is to give you an open forum of knowledge, unmatched in the real estate investing world, to close those gaps.
To that affect, it’s important to embrace the idea of, if you’ve never been a “reader” in your life, work on becoming one. If for nothing else, reading contracts, title reports, forums, articles, and blogs will heavily influence your success rate and knowledge base. Simply put, it’s nearly impossible to get by in this industry without understanding the in’s and outs of what it is that you’re actually, well, doing.
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Best places to start your Real Estate Education
You’re reading this article because you belong to BiggerPockets, or you found it online. That’s a wonderful step in the right direction. Online blogs and newspapers are a great way to get the current grind on what’s happening in your industry. Find sources that have heavier “weight” to them, meaning, lots of current information, updated often, large audiences, and content with facts and opinions.
I would set up feeds from local and national blogs to come to you daily or weekly, so fresh content from your market and nationally is fed to you on a consistent basis.
(If you don’t know what a feed is, if you go to a blog or forum, there is usually an icon that allows you to subscribe via a “feed”; it sends you updates as new articles or posts are published).
As well, tuning into talk radio that hosts shows on investing, money management, wealth strategies, and real estate are great to have on in the background while you work.
Digging in further
Curling up with a informative non-fiction book is delightful for me, but I can understand how others might not find the entertainment in it. However, there are so many relevant and educational books regarding real estate investing, it’s passing over valuable and timeless information to not be utilizing them.
Drive a lot? Books on CD are a popular way to get an education on the road. (I find it distracts me enough to stop being mad at traffic, too!).
Included in this is motivational book and CD’s, which doesn’t have to be all hype and no punch.
Looking for a great place to start? Here’s a few suggestions: (Do I feel a book club coming on?!)
Ladies, I found these books to be worth reading:
Most all of these can be bought for pennies on the dollar online at Amazon, downloaded cheaply through Kindle reader, or even just borrowed for free from your local library.
Even spending 30 minutes a day, a few days a week reading and listening to these types of materials I find elevate my mood and get my mind going. Keep pen and paper handy to write down ideas and “ah ha’s!” as they come.
Events and Seminars
As much as there are jokes and eye-rolling towards the huckster gurus out there, I have invested a handsome “tuition” on events and seminars, and found them to be worth every penny.
Now mind you, these aren’t the fluff and puff speeches and showy events, these are 2-5 day intensives with mounds of precise, actionable, and content rich information and paperwork I might not have otherwise had access to. Plus, it expanded my network and gave me more tools in my tool box to buy, sell, remodel, lease, wrap, (or anything else you could possibly due with a single or multi-family dwelling!)
Local Title Companies, Attorneys, and RE Investing Associations are constantly hosting events in your community for little to no cost, looking to educate the public in their own backyard.
Bottom line, be a purveyor of knowledge, a seeker of information, and develop an appetite for content. When there are local libraries, free podcasts, blogs, and other information sources, investing that time in yourself and career has exponential value. The wealth comes from being able to apply what you learned in a real world way, and turning that information into profits.
Do you make it a goal currently to try to read a book, attend an event, or listen to a CD series every month or so? How has it helped you? If not, what do you do to keep your continued education fresh and relevant? What books are you reading now?