You heard real estate investing is a great way to make money, millions of dollars even. You are tired of working your boring 9 to 5 job, dealing with pompous bosses, and making other people rich. So what are you going to do about to change your life? As luck would have it, you over heard one of your blabbering coworkers, in the cubical next to yours, talking about this real estate investors club meeting he is going to tomorrow night. This could be the answer, so you attend.
Like many other people before us, we all found our way to that first Real Estate Investor’s meeting or Googled REI in hopes of finding a place to start or even got your hopes up watching a late night info-mercial. There is so much propoganda out there that it’s over whelming for sure. Not only is the information aplenty, but also the number of courses out there telling you how easy it is to make millions in real estate in just 3 weeks is staggering. Where to start? What course to get? Should I even shell out the money for a course? It’s so expensive!
Before you start getting your hopes up, STOP! One of my favorite ways to keep myself from an impulse buy is to step back, sleep on it for about a week and then make my decision. I’ve rarely missed out on a deal and I’ve almost never regretted my purchase after that week. The same can be applied to purchasing a real estate investing course. Here are the 5 things I do, while “sleeping on it”, to make sure I won’t regret my purchase..
1. Slow down and remember I have time
You don’t need to rush into buying a course or getting started in real estate investing for that matter. You ever her the saying, Fools rush in? If you don’t know what you are doing it’s very possible to get into deep financial trouble. That’s why we are buying the course though, right? To guide us through the process and tip toe over the big mistakes? Yes that is true, but not all courses are created equal and some are down right terrible!
There are many con artists out there looking to take your money. I recently heard a story of a motivated fellow who attended a real estate seminar. On the first day of class the speaker told everyone that their home work was to call up all their credit card providers and get their limits raised. The reason was, if you needed to move fast on a deal, you’ll have the money to close quickly. Makes sense about the money part, right? Well the very next day the speaker pitched his $15,000 training program by asking if everyone was ready to make millions. Needless to say there were a room full of people who had some new found money to spend and bought the into the training program. It was later found out that this speaker was an ex-con who is banned from speaking in many places across the country for similar tactics.
In short BE CAREFUL!
2. Take a look with a skeptical eye
People who can’t do, teach. This is not a blanket statement covering all teachers, but in Real Estate Investing the good money is in actually investing. So why would anyone stop investing and tour the country giving seminars to pitch a product? They say it’s because they love to teach. I say it’s because the failed as investors. These self proclaimed GURUS bound from one club meeting to the next pitching their Get Rich Quick Products. I honestly stopped going to REIA meetings for that reason alone. I could not stand listening to one more guy pitch his regurgitated course only to up sell me to a $20,000 personal mentoring program.
3. Research the Product Before You Buy
This should go without saying. Don’t get pulled in by their special, one time, limited offers that will end as soon as you walk out the door. In many cases I have found just as good a deal by going to their website days after the event. So don’t panic and think you are missing out if you don’t buy now. You should be able to find out very quickly if the product is any good by doing a Google search. The negative comments always seem to rise to the tops of the results. Also if there are very few comments about the product and or the guru, I’d avoid that as well. There is no need to be the test dummy unless you get the product for free. One very good website that I always check out first is RealEstateCourseReview.com. It contains actual user reviews of many of the GURUS and their products.
4. Join The Guru’s Community
If you don’t listen to anything else I say, listen to this suggestion. Most well respected teachers of Real Estate Investing have blogs, twitter accounts, facebook accounts, forums or some other assemblance of a community. Find it, join it and participate in it. Here are my criteria for a good guru based community
- The teacher participates in the conversation frequently (once a week minimum)
- They don’t just post about their product or some affiliate products
- There is an active community of other investors who follow the teacher and can help you
- The teacher will respond to emails or questions in a timely manner (1 week)
If there are active, successful investors participating in the community, then you can be 100% sure that this teacher is the real deal. If all the followers are beginners, just asking questions and only the teacher is there to help out, there is something wrong and I would move on. Here are some examples of great communities.
- Steve Cook with FlippingHomes.com
- Vena Jones Cox (Facebook Page)
- Nick Johnson (Twitter and Subject2.com)
- Stephani Davis (FlipThisWholesaler.net)
These are all great people to learn from and best of all real life active investors.
5. Can the Information be Found For Free?
There is nothing taught in those courses that you can’t find for free by browsing the internet and joining a few great community forums. These forums differ from the above mentioned Teacher Communities because they aren’t selling anything, just providing a great place to meet and talk with like minded people. This course of action (excuse my pun) will take the longest for sure, but will give you the most well rounded REI education you will ever get. The bonuses are endless because of all the people you will meet and having that network of friends will be invaluable to your success. Just imagine having a group of friends to ask about That great house you found on main street that can be had for 50k below ARV.
Here are 4 great forums that you MUST JOIN!
I spent months in these forums before deciding to buy a course. The great part about the path I took is I understood all the concepts and terms within this course just from reading the post and participating in the forums. The one thing that I truly gained from reading the course is a plan of attack. Where I should start, what I should do second, third, fourth and fifth. It gave order to all the chaos in my head and filled in the tiny gaps that I needed it to. That is the true value of getting the perfect course for you.
In the end, the course you buy will not determine whether you succeed as an investor. The real secret to the sauce is taking action. What ever course you do decide to buy, it will be a waste of money if all you do is read it.
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Another great post Scott. Many people fall victim to scams. The first thing I do before buying any course or any intellectual property is to do a scam search on google. I type the name of the product followed by scam and fraud in the search. If they are a scam artist, this is the quickest way to find out.
Many of those Gurus make 95-100% of their money off their great seminars. I will say one thing. Try attending a seminar without your wallet. Nearly every seminar has good information to share. Half the time the only information worth paying for is freely given to you in order to get you to buy their course. When your starting out and have more time then money, its a great way to learn the lingo and get a feel for the field of real estate without spending a dime.
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Awesome post, Scott. I get tired of hearing someone tell me that they spent their last available cash on some course because they got over excited by the pitch. Inevitably, most people who get caught up in the nonsense will regret it.
That said, I should add that while there are many “review” sites out there, I urge users of these to be cautious. Many of these are run by GURUS — who tend to look out for one another. I'm just sayin'
I've become such a skeptic of most systems that I just can't stand listening to people contently pitch me on their products. It's a shame that there are so many hacks out there that it makes it very tough to truly find the products with great value.
Great point about the review sites Joshua. Some great examples could be found in the electronics world where the review sites rate products dependent on the referral fees they get. The best review sites are ones that allow user comments. In fact I use amazon quite often for reviews.
There's a lot of funny business happening on real estate review sites as well.