If you’re new to real estate, it may be tempting to attend the free seminars you read or hear about. What you need to know is that they’re a waste of time. In fact, it can really hurt you in terms of your real estate career. In this business, the strategies you use, and the way that you do real estate, is going to depend widely on the information that you consume. In order to make good real estate decisions, you need to be soaking in the right information. If you’re not going to soak in the right information, at least don’t attend one of these seminars where you are sure to soak in wrong information.
Some promoters of free property investment seminars will send an “exclusive” invitation through the mail, or to your e-mail, “inviting” you to attend a free real estate investing seminar. There will be motivational speakers there, and they may claim their financial secrets have the power to turn you into a millionaire within a few years. Keep in mind that term, “motivational speaker,” because that’s what they are. They are salesmen. They are not actual real estate investors themselves. Claims like these turning you into a millionaire overnight sound great, but they are almost always over-hyped or misleading. The recommended investments can be expensive, high-risk, and lose you money. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. You do not become a millionaire in real estate overnight. It just doesn’t happen. Probably not even within a few years.
There is always, always going to be a catch
It takes time to get your real estate license, learn through a mentor, start a business, and really master the art of it. Anybody who becomes a millionaire through real estate did so by luck, and that lucky streak probably won’t continue past that investment. A lot of mistakes will be made afterward because they really don’t know what they’re doing yet and will probably blow the money trying to start new investments and failing at it. That’s always sad to watch.
Think about it. How do you hear about these seminars? Generally, you see them in advertisements. And, they’re usually not small-time ones. They’re usually a reality tv character, or someone else of the same type personality nature. These seminar companies will shell out between one to three hundred thousand dollars advertising for these seminars so that you can come for free. Keep in mind, that this money spent is not annually, its per seminar. Does that sound odd to you? If you think about it, it isn’t. Each seminar has an angle. Otherwise they wouldn’t be putting on such an expensive workshop at no cost.
Here’s the deal. Free seminars always, always, always have a sales pitch. Even the paid ones have got a pitch. Free simply gets you into the door. Either way, there is never any real “meat” to these seminars. have two basic seminar types, free that will always have a pitch, and paid, which will generally have a pitch. You can find as much information on your own, free, if you just take the time to do your research. And, you won’t be listening to garbage. Learn real estate first, then you can spot the bad apples. You’ll know exactly how to avoid trouble, lost time and money, major fines, or even something worse like a lawsuit.
How are they making their money?
The question, then, is how are they bringing in cash? The answer is the easiest one: they are trying to sell you something. Now, that something may be another seminar, or another course. Either way, to cover the hundreds of thousands they’ve spent on the seminar, they’ve got to make sure that they’re successful in selling whatever they’re offering to you at the free seminar. Now that you know this, it makes sense that the people putting on this seminar are likely more interested in selling you something rather than displaying a genuine interest in whether or not you have a successful real estate career.
The point is, if your plan is to attend these seminars with no plans to purchase some piece of salesperson paraphernalia or following course, you’ll be wasting your time. Many people wonder if they should attend or not, and feel like if they don’t that they aren’t making an effort toward their career. Know for certain that you really aren’t missing out on anything because what they’re really going to share is just “noise.”
They’re going to tell you about all of the great aspects of the business and leave out any of the negatives, because then you won’t buy what they’re selling. Realize that just about every word that the speaker will say is carefully calculated. They’ve scripted it to be certain that most people attending the seminar will purchase what they’re selling. Make no mistake, these salesman are highly intelligent people.
They are not real estate investors
You need to know that more often than not, these seminar speakers are not real estate investors. This might be shocking news, and naturally, you may feel a little betrayed right now. For example, if they have the time to travel, they wouldn’t have time to constantly be doing huge real estate deals. Every now and then of course, there will be a retired investor who really is dedicated to helping others now that he has the time, and genuinely enjoys giving back.
So, if these speakers aren’t investors, that makes them salespeople. Sometimes, they aren’t even good ones. Everything about the seminar is designed to sell you something. They prey on human psychology to ensure they do so. All they have to do is get you physically at the event, which they spend a fortune to do. You might be surprised to hear that one company quite some time ago from 2002-2012 made five-hundred million dollars in total just from one of the seminar companies. Feel free to look it up if you don’t believe it.
So, then what should you do instead of attending these seminars?
Your time would be much better spent on the internet. Yes, there’s a lot of misleading or wrong information on the internet too, but its much more useful than even one of those seminars. Videos are indispensable when it comes to teaching yourself about real estate investing. These videos are where you can learned what is known as “signal.” These types of tools are so useful, because you can choose what you want to hear, what you don’t, and when.
At a seminar, you’ve got no control of what you’re hearing; you can’t turn it off unless you physically leave the building. Think about a book. You can skim through a book to see if you like it, but if you’re at a book reading, you’ve got to sit through the whole thing. You can’t decide which parts you want to read, or if you want to read it at all. By watching real estate videos online, or reading an investing book on your iPad, you can gain more relevant information from your bedroom. You don’t have to absorb any information that you don’t want to.
Other fantastic ways to learn information that will prove a better use of your time are through:
Articles: Real estate investing articles will give you access to detailed information on a variety of topics related to investing in real estate. You can learn how and where to invest in real estate, and learn how to avoid mistakes. If you’re wondering where to invest in real estate, the answer is almost always locally. It’s hard to oversee a renovation on a property from long-distance. Also, you have a local advantage regarding investing in properties. You’ll know about which properties to buy just by reading your local newspaper. For example, if there’s a great deal on a house that seems perfect for your portfolio, you might have read in your paper that there was a murder in front of it last week. There’s a whole other article on this website about why you should invest locally. Getting back to the point, if you have a question about real estate investing, someone has probably done the research and written an article about it. It would behoove you to read it.
Videos: Online videos about real estate investing have been extremely popular for quite some time. And these days, live streamed video is on the rise. With these videos so readily available (think: YouTube), it’s very foolish to not utilize them. Videos are so helpful. Again, learn to weed out the nonsense.
Technical information: Real estate investors deal with a whole pile of technical information and terminology. It’s very important that you read up on that info. Of course, you won’t learn how to put those ideas into practice until you experience them. But at least you’ll know the basic technical terms so that you don’t look like an idiot in front of a buyer, a seller, or another investor. If you don’t know what you’re talking about yet (and it’s assumed, because you’re new to investing), that’s okay. What you don’t want is a situation it’s obvious that you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to get ripped off or taken advantage of.
eBooks: While there are eBooks for sale, there are many free eBooks with lots of great information. However, you generally do not need to pay for an eBook. If you’re going to, make sure the author is a highly intelligent, successful real estate investor; or a highly successful money manager, like Warren Buffett.
Podcasts: Podcasts about investing in real estate are extremely popular right now, and for a great reason. They make it painfully easy to learn information while doing tasks such as driving where you otherwise would just be listening to music. You can listen to one while you’re falling asleep at night. Again, make sure you’re not listening to a bad podcast, because we tend to soak up information that we listen to frequently. Make sure the podcaster that you’re listening to knows what they’re doing. You want to follow of the advice of successful real estate investors if you want the same thing.
To wrap this section up, you really do not need to attend free seminars. The internet and your iPhone are going to be your best friends when it comes to learning about real estate. Many people like to go on and on about how the reason that they aren’t successful at real estate is that they’re not good with the computer, or they don’t have an iPad.
This is also nonsense. Plenty of people do very, very well in real estate without an iPad. There was one girl who went out and bought an iPad, and a new MacBook Pro because she “needed it” for real estate. Bull.
If you really want to learn, get a real estate investment mentor
Your mentor will also suggest areas where you can improve as a real estate investor, and point out potential mistakes. A mentor is a completely invaluable experience; one that you want to explore. Behind just about every great real estate investor was a really great mentor. Nobody is completely “self-made.” Everybody had someone behind them showing them the ropes, or guiding them in the right direction. There’s a whole other article on why you should be sure you don’t get a local mentor. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll keep it short. Make sure you don’t get a local mentor.
Sometimes, the information online is better than even a paid seminar. The people who talk at these free real estate seminars typically have signed a licensing agreement. They are simply licensing their name. This means that they sell their name for a percentage of the earnings. If one of the seminars you see advertised is a small one, where you pay a small fee, about a specific topic, that’s great! You should consider attending. But the giant free seminars you hear about through advertising…steer clear.