Before You Spend Thousands with a Guru…

GuruYou went to the free seminar and now you’ve ponied up the $200 - $500 for the weekend “training.” And it seems like you are getting a TON of great information. The speakers show you how easily you can make thousands of dollars and they trot out case studies of successful students who are living the dream of a lifestyle business and financial freedom. It can all be within your grasp if you upgrade to the boot camp and mentoring program for $20,000 or so. Which you’ll make back with JUST ONE DEAL!

Everyone in the room is excited. People are going to the back to hand over their credit cards and they are quickly congratulated on their “smart decision.” You are reminded that being able to make a fast decision is one of the most important traits of successful people. You are doing the math in your head. Is there room on your credit card? Can you do the E-Z payment plan?

I URGE you to run to the back of the room. But don’t stop at the tables. Head out the exit and keep on going.

Here’s the deal: In the space of about a week, you have gone from maybe being interested in real estate investing to willingly dropping a rather large chunk of change to learn about investing. But you don’t even know if you’re going to LIKE IT YET! You haven’t done any deals. You haven’t checked out your local market. You probably haven’t talked to other local investors to ask them about their investing business. That’s like paying for master’s level college classes before you even know if you are going to like college, never mind knowing what you are going to major in.

Here’s the analogy I use when people ask me about spending big bucks on real estate training. Think about how the education system works in this country. Most people graduate from high school. Public high school is free. If you are so inclined, you may go on to college. A two year college is less expensive than a four year university, but either way, that education costs money. If you are very interested in your major, you may opt to go for a master’s degree. Masters level courses cost more than undergrad courses. You are specializing in an area. Your teachers have more experience in your field, the curriculum is more intense. You like your subject so much you decide to press on for a Ph.D. Doctorate level courses are even more expensive. You work one-on-one with your advisor. You have faculty members that take a personal interest in your work. As you go higher and higher up the educational ladder, the classes and training are more expensive and the material is more complex. But you are also better prepared to understand that material because of the work you did as an undergrad and in getting your masters degree.

Now, back to that $20,000 real estate training. Don’t you think that if you had some background in real estate investing you might get more out of the boot camp and mentoring?

Here’s a thought. Start by getting some books on real estate. Not thousand dollar home study courses. Start with something like John Schaub’s Making It Big on Little Deals. Nothing flashy or sexy in there. Just steady, solid real estate investing advice. Find an old copy of Ed Beckley’s No Down Payment Formulas. Some of his formulas are no longer workable (i.e., LEGAL!), but they will open your mind up to different ways to acquire properties. Troll garage sales, resale shops and ebay for expensive courses marked down to almost nothing.

Most importantly, go to some local real estate meetings and talk to local investors. (You can find local meetings by going to Meetup.com, NationalREIA.com or CREOnline.com.) Learn your local market by looking at 100 houses. Learn what houses retail for. Learn what the rents are. Maybe even make your first deal.

In short, get a feel as to whether real estate investing is for you. If you like real estate investing, get some local training. Most real estate groups offer low cost seminars and trainings. If you’d like your education to move along at a faster pace, look into finding a mentor who knows your local market. You will get to know the local players and you will learn who to talk to and who is just blowing smoke.

As you move up the investment ladder, you may seek out national speakers who specialize in various niches. But now when you pay the big bucks for that training, you are going to ask better questions, you will understand more of what’s being said. You will be able to apply what you learn directly to your real estate business.

More often than not, you will learn that you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars for general real estate investing information.

You will spend money on your education and you should. Just don’t sign up for the graduate classes before you’ve decided real estate is going to be your major.

If you’re in the Sarasota, Florida area, come on out and meet local investors and start your real estate education. Our meeting is free for first time attendees. Click here to register.