I attribute all of my success in the real estate space to receiving a thorough education through mentors, coaches and training programs. The education allowed me to shorten my learning curve dramatically, as well as saving me tons of money by avoiding needless mistakes. Life in real estate was painful before I sought the proper training. In this article, I would like to dive into why it is necessary for every novice to seek out professionals to teach them about real estate investing and how education will lead them to success quicker. I will also explore different options on what to look for when choosing what platforms or training programs a novice should consider.
I interviewed Mark Podolsky, the Land Geek on our PODCAST!, and he introduced me to a simple, yet useful model that he employs in his life. It is called the Project Management Triangle, and the triangle states that there are three properties to consider when choosing something in life: speed, cost and quality. You can only achieve two, so be sure to pick wisely. Speed relates to how quickly something can be accomplished. Quality refers to whether it is constructed well. And money reflects whether something is going to be cheap or expensive.
We all have choices in life. We can design something quickly and with quality, but it will not be cheap. Secondly, we can design something quickly and cheaply, but the quality will be lacking. Finally, we can design something with high quality and cheaply, but it will take longer to produce. Most activities in life revolve around these three properties.
When choosing to enter a new endeavor in life, which one would you choose? When I first began investing, I chose to jump in to real estate with very little education (AKA cheap). I jumped in real quick, but the end result was that my investing was poor. I had not done my due diligence on the investments and my returns were poor because I had not learned how to invest in the multifamily space.
After my last debacle, I decided to slow down and seek out a coach and training program. Was it cheap? NO. But did it turn around my investing career and usher in a new level of success? Definitely. I would never have been able to acquire almost 800 units in four years and quit my business to focus on real estate.
I would like for you to consider evaluating these three properties very carefully if you are considering entering the multifamily space. I find it amazing that parents will spend thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars for their children’s college education, yet will hesitate to spend a few thousand dollars on their own education. If you want to succeed in life, the easiest path is to follow someone who has already journeyed down the path and can show you where to go. It is always easier to follow a recipe from a master baker and achieve the identical product than trying to go it alone.
Where should you begin to look for education? Jake’s first stop was a partner, namely me. It was a marriage made in Tennessee. He had the ambition, the energy, the willingness, yet lacked the education. I possessed the education and the experience, and we joined forces to begin investing in his market. He was willing to put in countless hours to learn from me, and self manage the properties for additional experience. Our combination of education and ambition has led to both of us pursuing real estate full time.
What if you are unlucky and can’t find a partner? Begin by listening to podcasts, attending REIA (Real Estate Investment Association) meetings, visiting investing sites such as Bigger Pockets, Flipnerd, Jake & Gino and Rei Club and consume as much content as possible.
My next step was to seek out investors who were selling their real estate knowledge online to students. I am a program junkie, and have purchased dozens of real estate courses and attended seminars to increase my knowledge on a particular niche in real estate. I was not only looking for knowledge, but a community to join where it would be easier to network and locate potential partners and money for my deals. The key is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals to help push you towards your goals.
Once you are dedicating several hours a week to your education, I would reassess your dedication to investing. If you are totally committed, the next step is to seek out a mentor or coach. This can be done a couple of different ways. If you are young and can’t afford a coach, then try to find a mentor who you can work for and learn the ropes from him. It has to be an equal and fair trade of benefits. You need to bring value to your mentor. Don’t expect a mentor to teach you without offering value back to him.
After I purchased a couple of programs, I wanted more personal training. I turned to coaching, and although it can be a costly decision, there are huge benefits. For those who like to have their hand held, this is the right option for you. A coach will hold you accountable and will develop a plan of attack to achieve your goals. A coach normally has a system for the student to follow and more importantly, has a network of professionals that the student can leverage. Most novices make the mistake in thinking that they can do everything on their own. Real estate is a team sport, and the stronger and more knowledgeable your team is, the quicker it will be to achieving your goals.
You have to make the decision. Do you want to try and pursue real estate alone, knowing that it will take much longer and costly mistakes will be made? Or do you want to spend money on your education, shortening your learning curve and avoid some of those costly mistakes while reaching your goals much quicker? I wish I had chosen the latter, but I’m still thrilled that I came to my senses and invested in myself.
Decide if real estate is the right path for you. Once the decision is made and you have enough reasons why, the answer of HOW will come to you. Next, begin to consume free information from real estate sites. Once you feel comfortable with understanding basic concepts, begin to browse for educators that focus on your specific niche. The educators need to have a proven track record, and more importantly, need to be investing in the current market. Finally, consider a coaching program to personalize your learning and help you with networking with other real estate professionals.