You've heard it all before: “YOU can become rich with real estate!” “Live the life you want with real estate!” “Come to my seminar on how to make money from real estate!”
It seems that when you're interested in real estate investing, you find yourself inundated by large font titles with glaring colors promising you the sun, moon and stars if you take their seminar (a bargain at $2,999), or buy their inspirational CDs (a deal at $199), or purchase their motivational DVD and book combo (practically giving them away for only $99).
When the eager investor signs up, the “guru” delivers speeches and media that are long on fantasy and short on reality. Many of these people prey on greed, pure and simple. They capture the attention of wanna-be investors who want to believe that the path to riches is easy. In reality real estate investing is paved with long, hard work — at least in the beginning.
It's certainly true that real estate investing can improve your finances and diversify your portfolio. It is also true that there are many people who are quietly building their wealth as a result of careful investing in real estate. The fact is, most of these people worked hard, gave up many luxuries and invested wisely instead of falling for claims of easy money.
What the “gurus” will do is emphasize the life you “could” have and gloss over the work real estate investing takes. They describe themselves with as many adjectives as possible instead of actually giving you verifiable information as to their competence. Often these gurus do not have first-hand knowledge of the different methods of investing. Therefore the challenges and problems common to investing are glossed over because they simply do not have the answers. They don't make money from your success. They make money when you buy their product.
Fake gurus also don't want you to talk to real professionals, like real estate agents and real estate investment companies, because these experts will quickly inform you about the truth of your position in the real estate world and then guide you to sensible investments that are likely to give you a good return on your investment and time.
There are presenters out there getting rich by holding seminars with an emphasis on motivational material instead of facts and strategies. They throw a lot of buzzwords into their speeches. They intimate that you are a fool and are going to stay POOR for the rest of your life if you don't understand their ‘vision'. If you show any sign of critical thinking, they will attempt to deflect your questions with more buzztalk and unverifiable claims.
Now don't get me wrong, there are many reputable gurus with solid information. I have attended their seminars and bought their CDs. Much of it was quite good and I would recommend them to others seeking the knowledge they teach.
Look for educators who don't promise you the moon and don't use flashy buzzwords but instead use facts and have verifiable references. What is the focus of their seminar? Are they really giving you useful information or just trying to sell you something? Do they have references? Find out if they work in the real estate industry. Someone who is willing to give you the facts on what could go wrong is much more valuable to you than someone who charges you a grand and tells you little about what you really need to know.
Education is very important and you should build your knowledge on an ongoing basis. Therefore, you must pick your educational sources carefully to ensure you get true value for your money and time. Additionally, you should put your trust in a competent agent or real estate investment company that will make your investing goals a priority and won't charge you for their knowledge.