Why You Can’t Learn Real Estate in a Classroom (or on a teleseminars, or from a book…)
Show me a guy who has $10,000 in real estate education under his belt, and I’ll show you a wannabe.
Show me a guy who’s made 100 offers, and I’ll show you someone who has real world experience, a set of reasonable questions to ask, and a budding real estate career—even if he’s never done a deal.
Until you’ve actually gone out into the world and looked at properties, talked to sellers, and presented offers, you haven’t even set foot on the path to being a successful investor.
I don’t care how many $7,500 bootcamps you’ve taken or how many $997 courses you’ve read or how many group meetings you’ve attended, you don’t even know what you don’t know until you’ve heard a bunch of “no”s and felt red-faced stupid in front of enough sellers.
Until you’ve done this, you aren’t even asking the right questions of your highly-paid guru or mentor—in fact, you’re wasting your time as well as theirs.
As someone who’d like to sell you thousands of dollars in books and seminars, it’s hard for me to say this, but the truth is, unless you have the intestinal fortitude to get out into the market and try what you’re learned, there’s no amount of education that can make you into a financially independent real estate entrepreneur.
Why No Homestudy Course, Bootcamp, or Software can “Do it for You”
If I were to write the most thorough, easy-to-understand encyclopedia of real estate investing in the history of the world, I’m STILL not precognitive enough to know what particular problems you’ll face, or which rejections will stick in your craw, or what odd seller objections you’ll run into.
If you’re waiting for the day when you’ve “learned” every possible scenario before you risk making an offer, you’ll wait forever…there’s just no way around finding out for yourself where your own problems and talents lie without getting some real-world experience. And until you start to explore this on your own, it’s not even fair to call yourself a beginner–you’re just a student trying to be a beginner.
In this way, real estate is quite a bit different than other professions. Doctors don’t get to go straight from the classroom to the operating room; CPAs don’t get thrown straight into full-blown tax prep; electricians don’t leave trade school and start wiring houses all by themselves the next day. In your “real job”, you aren’t given enough responsibility to really, really screw up until you already know enough that it’s not going to happen–and you almost always work under someone whose job it is to help you out if you get into trouble.
The fact that there’s no true “apprentice program” for real estate investors just adds to the intimidation factor of moving from the classroom to the real world. When you’re out trying to make deals, it sometimes feels like there’s too much to remember when no one standing over your shoulder to clarify what you should say or do next. Like it’s all up to you to make a particular deal or break it…and you have no idea whether you’re “doing it right” or not.
I’ve worked with a lot of new investors for a lot of years, and have never, ever, ever met anyone who “learned it all” through books and tapes, then went out and got it 100% right from the first offer.
Things That Can Help…
Having a mentor certainly helps, if you can afford one and have enough access to that mentor to run scenarios with him or her prior to making an offer.
Having the right contract—with reasonable contingency clauses that will get you out of the deal if you find out (again, from people who know more than you do) that it’s the wrong deal—is another safety net.
But if you’re one of those people who has to know EVERYTHING before you’re willing to go out and start trying to make deals, get over it or hang up your spurs right now.
The fact is, most of your worst “failures” in real estate will come not from buying a bad deal or the wrong deal, but from missing opportunities or not having the experience to put deals together. In a sense, you’ve only “failed” when you haven’t made an offer at all! To paraphrase the bard:
“’Tis better to have made and offer and been rejected, than to have never made an offer at all.”
Everything you do out in the real world, from talking to agents and looking at houses to making offers and being rejected adds things to your bank of knowledge and experience that no guru can teach you. Even when things seem to be leading nowhere, you’re always learning, learning, learning. And this experience is far more important than any “book knowledge” you could ever get.