Should you attend a real estate boot camp to learn about investing?

Should you invest in fixer upper rental houses the old fashioned way, or try to learn it all in 2 days?

Yesterday, I received an email announcement inviting me to a real estate boot camp. It read,

The Ultimate Investor’s Bootcamp!

“You’ll Be Spoon-Fed Cutting Edge Tactics & Insider Secrets. And You’ll Walk Away Knowing Exactly How To Create Stunning Business Success & Vast Amounts of Positive Cash Flow.”

New investors must wonder, “Do I need to attend workshops like this to learn to invest in real estate?” It sounds tempting to be able to learn everything you need to know about investing in 2 days. Who wouldn’t want to take a shortcut like that?

My response is that you might learn some good techniques on investing at a bootcamp, but is it worth the money? I’ve been to free introductory presentations that say you will learn money making techniques about real estate investing, but it turns out to be a sales pitch to get you to sign up for an expensive “mentoring” program. Since the email with the above ad did not mention any price for the bootcamp, I imagine its not cheap. The important thing about bootcamps and mentoring programs is that you can spend a lot of money and only learn a little information. Worst of all, you can get roped into buying a program that sounds good, but may not be as good as it sounds.

My philosophy is more of a “do-it-yourself” approach. I like to cut corners, save money, and not take too many chances with my money. I’m the kind of guy who wears both a belt and suspenders to hold my pants up. I really like play it safe.

To get started in real estate investment, I would recommend to start by reading some of the excellent books that are available, such as “Investing in Real Estate” by Andrew McClean and Gary Eldred. I think you can learn more from reading a book like this than you can from going to expensive seminars. It provides information on many aspects of real estate that investors should know, without having a hidden agenda to get you to buy something more. I have mentioned other useful books in earlier blog postings, such as those by Jay DeCima, Bryan Wittenmyer and John Schuab.

You can also learn very useful information by taking real estate investing courses taught at local community colleges. I took one when I was just starting to invest, and it was outstanding. It was taught by a real estate agent who was an investor. The students learned all of the basics from someone who was actually investing in the same community where we would invest. I learned basic techniques that I am still using.

You learn by visiting a lot of houses and talking to owners and real estate agents. Practice calculating how much monthly payments would be for houses that you visit. Talk to other real estate investors. After you have a idea of how the process works, and when you can recognize a good deal from a bad deal, buy a low-priced fix-up house and learn to repair it as you go along. That’s what I did, and 7 years and 6 houses later I am still going strong.

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2 Responses to “Should you attend a real estate boot camp to learn about investing?”

  1. […] 3. Investing in Real Estate, by Gary Eldred. […]

  2. […] can learn from others, but you have to rely on yourself to get ahead. Like the novice swimmer who is tossed in the pool, sometimes it’s sink or swim. You must learn […]

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