Are Those Big Events That Come to Town to Teach You Real Estate Real?
I get asked a lot whether the big real estate events or "roadshows" touting how to learn real estate investing are real. These are the Are Those Big Events That Come to Town to Teach You Real Estate Real?"gurus" who roll into town to educate you on a 1, 2 or maybe even 3 day real estate boot camp where you will learn how to invest in real estate.
I have personally attended many of these, but my motivations tend to be a little different. As a real estate investor and broker I always consider who hangs around these events. There are always plenty of fellow investors, lenders, title companies, etc. Indeed, they are a great way to meet like-minded local people and perhaps create some strategic business alliances. If this is what you are looking to accomplish then, yes indeed, they are a great training to attend.
How to tell if attending these events is a good use of your time
It is pretty rare to go to an event and not come out of there with some new information. As long as you are an open minded person and open to learning, learning something new or meeting someone new means you can find value in these events.
Will you come out of there ready to advance to the next level and be a great real estate investor?
The answer to that is simple. It depends on whether or not there is a fee associated with the event. As the “ole” saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Events take a great deal of time and money to put together so if they do not have a fee attached to the event, you can be guaranteed this is a selling event!
Now there is nothing wrong with this, you certainly cannot expect a person to put out a great deal of time and expense without trying to get into your wallet somehow. The key is to understand that if you go to an event for free, there will be a fair share of time devoted to selling you an additional boot camp or training course of some kind.
Sifting through the sea of information
There are hundreds of investing techniques that can be used today and only you can determine which is right for you. I would not suggest there is a right or wrong way to invest in real estate. There is simply an investment style that you may or may not be comfortable with.
Some investment education, in my opinion, is not even about investments. Strategies like flipping may suit you well, but buying a property short term, spending time and money to fix it up and then quickly selling it for a profit is more of an act of buying yourself a short term job and then getting paid on that job. Uncle Sam will even tax that income as earned income as opposed to passive income. However, this is a great tool to earn some quick money on the side so you can use this chunk of money to invest in a long term hold investment. In fact, many people call flipping the chunkier strategy.
There are a lot of courses teaching you how to wholesale properties. Again this strategy teaches you how to send out thousands of post cards to find motivated sellers, then teaches you how to tie the property up while you find a buyer who will pay you more money than you offered to pay for the property. This too is basically earned income just like having a job. Of course there is nothing wrong with these strategies if they appeal to you, but make no mistake about it, you were not taught to invest, you were taught how to buy a job.
I have attended events that were selling boot camps where you had to fly to Vegas to attend the next event. The boot camp fee was a whopping $28,000 and then you had to pay for airfare and lodging on top of that. The interesting part of this very expensive course is it was teaching an investment strategy that had the potential to make great money, but fell short of encapsulating all 5 of the wealth building principals to invest in real estate.
Income = cash flow from rents
Deductions = Tax deductions and depreciation
Equity buildup = Tenants paying down your mortgage principle
Appreciation = property value growth
Leverage = the ability to gain the above with large amounts of borrowed money
This event that cost $28k to attend plus transportation and lodging, was a course to teach you how to control property that you did not own. Indeed it a cool concept that can make you a great deal of money for those who are successful at it. It did omit however, deduction income as well as the equity buildup and leveraged income.
So to answer the question FOR YOU, are these events the real deal?
You want to determine what you want to accomplish within the 5 wealth building principals. How many of these wealth builders do you want to incorporate into your investment portfolio? Then ask yourself if the event you want to attend is going to be able to teach you these steps to invest in real estate.
With that all having been said, attend with an open mind. Go to pick up at least 1 or 2 new ideas and by all means network with people. Find out what they have done in that world. Most importantly find out what they have done that does not work. People are quick to talk about their successes but learning about their failures is what will give you a great lesson.