6/30/13: How To Find Real Estate Investment Training That’s Right For You

As any insomniac can attest, there are lots of choices when it comes to real estate investment training.

Once the purview of late night TV infomercials, promises of real estate riches are now abundant on-line, in your email inbox, and even in your postal mailbox.

But how do you know which program is right for you?

In the studio to contemplate the considerations any aspiring real estate investor should cogitate on before committing to a real estate course, coach, curriculum or club:

  • The king of late night and your host, Robert Helms
  • Your still-using-training-wheels co-host, Russell Gray
  • The Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms

Okay, we’re the first to admit we’re suckers for any real estate seminar, book, video or training course.  After all, what’s the value of just ONE good idea?  We almost always find something useful in even the worst offerings.

Still, when it comes time to pick a program and commit your time and money, we think there are a few important things to consider.

First, what are YOU trying to accomplish?  Do you want to go full time fast?  Do you love your job, but want to build up a reliable stream of passive income?  Do you want to merge your investing and lifestyle, so you can travel and enjoy your properties when they’re not being rented to others?  Or maybe you don’t want go near a tenant and you’d rather be on the paper side?

Yes, there are lots of choices before you even think about a market, property type, price point or financial performance!

So, it’s easy to say, “I want to make a ton of money!” and take on whatever the next fast talking pitchman introduces you to.  Often the desire for money is rooted in the false notion that given enough money, you can live how you want to live.

While that may be true if the money comes in without you doing anything (including managing it), but unless you’re a trust fund baby, there will almost certainly be a lifestyle ramification on whatever type of vocation or investing you engage in.  Our point is that you want to think about how YOU want to spend your time, and then look for investment vehicles and strategies that will facilitate that best.

Once you figure YOU out, then you can go look around for a course, coach, curriculum or club to teach you how to build an investing lifestyle that suits you.

Another consideration is how YOU learn.  Are you a bookworm?  Can you sit and watch videos or presentations and absorb the information?  Are you a self-starter or do you need some accountability to stay on track?

Great content delivered in a format that doesn’t fit your learning style will be inefficient at best, and possibly ineffective.

What can you afford in terms of time and money?  As anyone who’s ever dated can attest, fast and easy can be tempting at first, but doesn’t necessarily make for the best long term situation.

Conversely, as many who are graduating with fancy degrees from expensive colleges can tell you, just because you spend a lot of time and money doesn’t mean you get an education that will make you a lot of money in the real world.

Maybe you need someone to show you.  You learn by watching, doing and asking questions in the middle of the action.  Many people learn best this way and this is often the most elusive and expensive of all training.

But don’t focus solely on price.  Focus on value.  And think of your investment in education the same as you would any other investment.  How long until you have a positive return on investment?  If you pay $10,000 for a course, and do a deal in 12 months that makes you $100,000,  is that worth it?  Sure! That program didn’t cost you money. It MADE you money.  Those who lost are the ones that passed it up.

Now, usually to turn those kind of profits quickly, you’ll need to be working for capital gains (flipping properties and/or notes) or syndicating a fund where your management fee and profit sharing (even on a cash flow portfolio) can earn you six-figures a year or more.  Long term cash flow investing can get you to the Holy Grail of more passive income coming in than you need to live on.  It just takes longer.

So what’s the difference between a teacher, a coach and a mentor?

A teacher is simply someone who imparts INFORMATION.  How to do something.  Technical details, strategies, etc.  You can get this information through books, recordings, webinars, seminars, etc.  It’ s often a one way delivery from their brain to yours.  A teacher provides HARD SKILLS.

A coach is someone who provides ENCOURAGEMENT and ACCOUNTABILITY.  You tell them what you want to do.  You talk through HOW to do it (your coach may also teach, or may support the work of another teacher), and then create an ACTION PLAN.  The coach will remind you of your goals and challenge you to keep progressing through regular touch points.  A coach provides DISCIPLINE.  He’ll keep you on track when you enthusiasm and focus dwindles.

A mentor is someone who MODELS for you.  You watch them.  You may work with them.  A mentor can help with both hard skills and SOFT SKILLS.  That is, they help YOU become better, so you produce better results.  Of course, a good mentor will also provide accountability, but mostly a mentor provides WISDOM based on their own experiences.  It’s very real life.

Which do you need?  It depends on you.

We often see people mistake teaching for coaching or mentoring.  While each has characteristics of the others, each has it’s own focus.

If you know what to do, but can’t seem to make yourself do it, then you probably need a coach or a mentor.  Maybe you’re easily distracted or lack confidence.  Coaches and mentors are great for pulling you through.

If you’re a self-starting, motivated and disciplined person in other areas of your life and want to apply those talents to real estate investing but just don’t know what to do, you might be fine with just a teacher (or two or three).  Ultimately, your professional advisors and service providers will be among your most important teachers.  So one of the most important things to learn early is how to work effectively with your advisors and service providers.

Joining a club can be a great way to find peer teachers and mentors.  And if you have a friendly group with some camaraderie, you might find all the accountability you need simply by sharing your plans with your club mates.  Friends won’t let friends slack off or stay down long.  And when your idea factory is running low, a brainstorming session with other investors can be invigorating!

If the club gets big enough, you can probably attract the attention of teachers, advisors and other subject matter experts to come and address the group.  Maybe there’s not a club that suits you in your area.  Don’t give up!  Why not start your own?  Visit our special reports section of our resource center and get a copy of 12 Questions To Ask When Starting Your Own Real Estate Club.

Again, there are lots of options when it comes to learning the game of real estate investing.  But don’t let picking the perfect program keep you thinking about things too long.  Better to pick the best one available to you now and get started, even if it isn’t perfect.  You’ll surely learn something, meet some great people, and you can take that knowledge and relationships forward into subsequent learning environments.

After all, when you’re a real estate investor, the learning never stops.  So keep advancing your education, starting with listening to our discussion on How To Find Real Estate Investment Training That’s Right For You!

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