If real estate investing has a lot of anything, it is self proclaimed gurus who are trying to sell you something! In general, I really believe in training and further education in your chosen field. Here is some advice I have and the research I would do before I would pay for any training.
How the Bad Real Estate Trainers Typically Make Money
Training is a business model in itself and usually more lucrative than doing deals for the most successful trainers. Most setups, especially the scammy ones work like this: they start you off in a free or low-cost training seminar (cost $0-100), this is very hype based, they usually have a power point and flash some big checks. At the end they let you know at the back of the room you can sign up for a 1-day training event (cost $995 – with $8,000 value). Most of the time they say they are only selling 39 spots or 99 spots. If you are one of the lucky ones to pay the $995, you will get 8 hours with a little bit on information and lot of hype up-selling you to their gold level training (usually 10,000+). So when everything is said and done, you can get sucked into spending a lot of money with very little value.
Before paying for training from anyone I would recommend the following:
Do Your Research
Before you pay for anything always Google the trainers name. You can also check for their name with the word scam added to the end (e.g. “Armando Montelongo” scam). Read the reviews carefully. Obviously, people can publish anything they want on the internet, but if they have a lot of negative reviews from multiple sources I would steer clear of them.
Be Careful of Training Information Overload
If you are new to this business, it is overwhelming. I would suggest you spend at least 20 hrs practicing the real estate business for every hour of training you pay for. So many people I have talked too, come to the clubs and one day seminars. My first question is almost always, how many properties/deals do you see in a typical week? Too often the answer is, I am “building my team” or I am trying to get xyz accomplished first. All the training in the world isn’t going to make a stellar deal fall onto your lap! You must get out and practice this business. If you find a great deal, the rest of the pieces of the puzzle will come together. When I bought House #1, I didn’t have a lender, I didn’t have any repair crews, etc. I have learned so much since then, but the deal still came together.
Get Training on Specific Topics
Rather than going for generalized training, I would suggest for going to specific topics that you want to learn more about. For example, I would be very inclined to go “Raising Private Money for Real Estate Investing” versus “All you need to know about Buying/Selling Real Estate.” I do this same tactic with the real estate clubs. If I am interested in the topic and the speaker I go to the club meeting, otherwise I typically take the month off.
Only Get Training from Active Investors in your Area
My favorite book is the “Richest Man in Babylon.” In one of the early chapters it brings up a contest about who you trust with your money. “Why invest in a chariot maker to go to a far-off land to buy rare jewels?” The same concept applies to real estate, why would you trust a professional speaker to educate you on how to buy a house at a discount?
Look into Real Estate Clubs First
Oftentimes, gurus come and speak at real estate clubs for free. They provide a condensed version of their typical training or a teaser. You will get a feel for the speaker without paying very much. Typical club entrance fees (at least in my area are $20-$30).
Never Stop Learning!
As much as I am giving the gurus a bad rap, I am a big believer in education. One good concept can save or make you millions in this business. So you better get out there and learn from the reputable educators!