The Guide to Free or Low-Cost Education for Real Estate Investors
In my previous blog, I spoke about where to start in real estate investing, where I discussed some of the pro’s and con’s of going the “Guru” membership route or the doing it on you own method. No matter which route you chose, the common requirement in Real Estate Investing is to continue to educate. So, I am going to talk about the free or low-cost education tools you can use. I won’t speak about the continuing education provided by your Guru memberships or some of the pricier focused courses offered by companies like REIN Canada. Again, both are excellent resources, just not what we will speak about today.
So, what are some of the free to low prices resources out there? Some of my favourite include the following:
- Website File Sharing
I know there are many more resources out there, but I’m going to focus on these ones today, and to be completely honest, if you can make it through the free to low cost education, I am about to show you, you will be well on your way to being a sophisticated and knowledgeable Real Estate Investor.
Like any topics, there are vast amounts of amazing books to choose from on Real Estate Investing (REI). The question is where do I start? My recommendation is to start with the book that you’ll hear many successful Real Estate Investors say changed their lives. It changed the way they thought about REI and it is the book they attribute to getting them started on this amazing journey to financial freedom. The book of course is Rich Dad Poor Dad (RDPD) by Robert Kiyosaki. RDPD is a mindset changing book that changes the way you think about money, making money and how to create passive income. An excellent follow-on book to RDPD is Robert Kiyosakis Cash Flow Quadrant, where he expands many of the ideas that he introduced in RDPD. Now like I said, these are mainly mindset books and although they evolve your mind into idea of Real Estate Investment as a means to create Financial Freedom, they won’t give you the step-by-step instructions on how to invest.
Two great books to start off with to learn the nuts and bolts of Real Estate Investing and provide you with the Road Map to get started are, Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller and How to Invest in Real Estate by Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turner the creators of BiggerPockets. These books talk about creating the systems to get started, including how to analyse a deal, how to fund a deal, the importance of networking etc... The third getting started book I would recommend would be Set for Life by Scott Trench.
This is the book that every parent should give their child on their 17th or 18th birthday. This book spells out how to first prepare yourself financially prior to getting started, and then takes you step-by-step from zero net worth to financial freedom and living off your passive income. It is a great read, and one I would highly recommend for young adults just getting started on their journey.
Like I said, there are almost an infinite number of books on the market, and I’m sure not going to speak on them all, but here is a list of a few more that come recommended:
- Retire Early with Real Estate by Chad Carson
- The E-Myth Re-Visited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
- The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
- Real Estate Investing in Canada by Don R. Campbell
- Real Estate Joint Ventures: The Canadian Investors Guide to Raising Money and Getting Deals Done by Don R. Campbell
- The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing by Martin Stone and Spencer Strauss
- The Book on Flipping Houses by Jay Scott
Based on the fact you are reading one right now, I assume you understand what a Blog is. It is a means for people to share ideas, provide short recommendations and basically a way to share information. There are numerous sites and locations to find Blogs on the internet and Google will help you find them all, but other than mine of course, the source I recommend is the BiggerPockets Blogs
BP advertises they have +8700 Blogs collected, organized and ready for you to dig into, and they don’t disappoint. You can easily search through the main categories like Starting Out, Finance, Flipping and many more stories. Again, there is almost a limitless amount of information available, and the stories are vetted by BP so you can be sure the information given is valid.
In Canada REIN has their own BLOG site that although not nearly as extensive as BP’s, provides some excellent Canadian Content.
Forums are a great place to discuss ideas, share information and even network. It is likely, if you joined a membership like #Keyspire or #REINCanada, you will have access to their forums, which provide you direct access with thousands of like-minded individuals, most of which are equally as motivated as you are. It was through these forums we have met numerous potential JV partners and have asked numerous questions on how to get started. Questions like book recommendations or where can I find out how to evaluate a property? But if you are not a member, there are some great free forums offered as well. Again, #BiggerPockets is likely the most in-depth and with out a doubt offers the largest forum available. There is a member/paid access as well as free access. Even with the free version, you have almost unlimited access to thousands if not millions of posts, and most importantly you can put in a keyword alert, which emails you when a topic you want to read about is being discussed. In Canada, once again REIN is likely your best resource. The big issue with their forum, is they have some tighter restrictions for non-paying members, but it is still an excellent resource.
Podcasts have likely been the main source of education for me since I started this journey. Not necessarily because the information is anymore valuable than what you can find in books or online, but because of the mode of delivery. Currently, I commute 40 minutes each way to and from work. That used to 80 minutes a day of country music, but now I fit in almost an hour and a half of free Real Estate Investing education. So not only is that gas I’m paying for, allowing me to make a salary at work, but it’s also helping to pay for my education, and I promise the information you are getting from these podcasts can be on par with the information you will pay for during the weekend seminars. The downside of course is you are losing the networking and face to face of a seminar, but it’s still an excellent and free means of educating yourself. So which ones do I listen too?
The main one is the BiggerPockets Podcast, which this week I can finally say, I’ve listened to all 307 episodes. That’s over 400 hours of free education over the past 8mths… all while stuck in traffic. Did I mention, I don’t hate my commute nearly as much as I did prior to creating this learning opportunity.
Another podcast I regularly listen to is, Breakthrough Real Estate Investing, which is likely the largest Canadian Podcast. It’s pretty good, a bit slow at times, but worth the time to listen as they have some great guests o the show.
The number of Podcasts out there is mind boggling, but for the past 8 months I focused on the two mentioned, but as I have 203 days left until I leave my current 9 to 5 job and BP only releases one new show a week, I guess I better find some new shows to listen to. I’ll be sure to update this Blog as I find worthwhile content. To find others on your own simply go to iTunes, download the Podcast App on your iPhone or Google play on your android device. Then use their search function to find what you are looking for.
Webinar is simply a seminar over the web. They are usually run live, where you can login, watch and listen to the presenter present their information and ask questions via text messaging. It’s a pretty valuable tool and you can get some great content. It’s particularly helpful when speaking about evaluating properties and doing the math associated. It’s a huge help to see someone break it all down on the whiteboard and explain everything step-by-step. Once again, BP leads the pack on this content. They usually run a webinar each week, and if you sign up for it, you can either watch it live or a replay within a few days of airing. Unfortunately, you must pay for their membership to have access to the past webinars.
Another lesser known group that is putting out some great content is Build You Own Network University, they run a Facebook page that once you are accepted into, offer a daily webinar on everything from networking, financial guidance and my favourite Real Estate Investing. The best part is the REI webinar is run by a local pair of guys that run our local meet-ups, the RE-Investors. It appears most of the presenters are newer to webinars, but they are smart and keen individuals putting out great content. Lastly, most of the “guru” memberships offer some free webinars, with the hope they can up-sell you into a membership, again pros and cons to the memberships, but at least take advantage of the free offerings they give you.
The last thing I wanted to mention was Online File Sharing sites. The one thing about Real Estate Investors is they like to share. They share their stories, lessons learned and experience via podcasts, blogs and books, but also, they are not afraid to share the tools they use. Anything from checklists to evaluation sheets, Real Estate Investors love to help and share what they’ve created. One tip I have, is never attempting to do it all on your own from scratch. I guarantee the spreadsheet you are struggling with, has been done by someone before you. So, find a site and copy their ideas. It’s not plagiarism if they are offering to share it. I recommend you take my advise and take advantage of what is already out there, and once again BP FilePlace is likely the best place to start.
Ok that’s it… that’s all I have on free or low-cost education. The big thing to remember is there are many ways to learn this stuff without shelling out the big bucks. Again, there are many good reasons to join these memberships or groups, but I have to say, education is likely not the main reason. As you can tell, I am a huge fan of BiggerPockets. They have taken sharing of REI information and educating to a new level and they continue to evolve.
For us Canadians, yes you need to translate some of the info they talk about, and no we can’t find houses for 35k that you can put 20k into and sell for over 100k… but we have our own deals and our own ways to become financially free with Real Estate.
So the next time your stuck in traffic, maybe think about running a Podcast instead of listening to Kid Rock screaming at you. You never know what tip you’ll hear… it may help you on your way to becoming #timewealthy!!