Learning How to Invest in Real Estate 2019



Investing successfully in real estate requires thought and careful planning. Learning how to invest in real estate successfully requires understanding the different types of investments available and how they work. We researched the top real estate investing education resources and came up with the best six for would-be investors.

6 Types of Real Estate Investing Resources

Real Estate Investing  Resource Best For
Books Investors who want inexpensive instruction laid out in one place
Online Investors who want free on-demand instruction through blogs, videos, and podcasts
Seminars Investors who want intense and motivational instructor-led training
Mentors Investors who want one-on-one advice from a real estate investing expert
Investment Clubs People who want networking, educational resources, and opportunities to pool money with investors
University Courses Investors who want real estate investing training in classroom settings for credits or certificates

1. Books

Books provide deep insights into specific aspects of real estate investing, and they allow you to learn at your own pace with no distractions for a low upfront cost. Many books on real estate investing cost less than $25, and you can purchase them used for even less or get them from the library for free.

Learn How to Invest in Real Estate With Books

Learning how to invest in real estate using books offers you a chance to study terminology, look at sample contracts and leases, underline ideas that are important and stay focused on investing fundamentals. The author is your instructor and mentor, so you want to choose a book written by a successful investor with real experience.

Some things to look for in a real estate investing book include:

  • Experience: Look for an author with real estate investing experience in the sector you’re interested in; if you want to learn how to fix and flip, search for an author who has completed projects of their own
  • Project examples: It’s useful to learn the terminology when you’re new to real estate investing, but having real-world examples will improve your understanding of what things mean and how they apply in various situations
  • Contract samples: Many books have sections that allow you to study generic purchase contracts, lease agreements, home inspections, and closing statements; knowing what these forms look like and will help you build confidence
  • Financing chapter: For most, financing is a big part of real estate investing; understanding programs and products available to investors can get you started
  • Resources: Once you’ve completed reading your real estate investing book, you may want to move on to other resources like blogs, seminars, or investment clubs; some real estate investing books have author recommendations that point you to additional resources

Many books offer worksheets for cash flow examples, tax implications, and cost estimates for various types of projects. These forms allow you to practice structuring deals before you make your first transaction.

Time Required to Learn With Books

When choosing a real estate investing book, a good rule of thumb is to allow yourself two hours for every 100 pages of text. You will also want to leave time for working through workbook pages, practicing with blank contracts, and creating draft budgets. More importantly, you probably don’t want to limit yourself to a single perspective, so you may want to set aside five to seven hours per week for three months for studying.

Top Real Estate Investing Education Book Resources

With thousands of real estate investing books available, finding the right ones for you can be daunting. Stick to investing books that represent your area of interest. Rental property, fix and flips, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and commercial properties all have unique purchase processes and challenges that you’ll want to understand.

Four of the top real estate investing books for different types of investing include:

  • “The Book on Rental Property Investing” by Brandon Richard Turner: This book is an excellent book for new investors who want to invest in rental property
  • “The Book on Flipping Houses” by J Scott: This book is best for new investors who want to understand all facets of fix-and-flips; the author has flipped more than 300 properties
  • “The Intelligent REIT Investor” by Stephanie Krewson-Kelly and R. Brad Thomas: This book is for investors who want to learn how to invest in REITs
  • “Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate” by Brian H. Murray: This book is a top seller on Amazon and is best for beginner real estate investors who want to learn how to invest in commercial property and apartments

There are thousands of real estate investing books for both beginner and experienced investors. Be sure to check out our list of the top real estate investing books. For more resources regarding real estate investing education check out top real estate investing books.

Cost of Real Estate Investing Books

The costs of real estate investing books can vary widely based on author and additional resources included. Many are available for free at public libraries and online for less than $25. You might also find real estate investing ebooks for less than $15 or as audiobooks for less than $20.

Pros and Cons of Real Estate Investing Books

Books are a great way to learn about real estate investing. They have a low entry cost, and they allow you to focus on particular areas of real estate investing. However, books also have some drawbacks that you should consider before buying.

Pros of using books for real estate investing education include:

  • Inexpensive
  • Focused learning
  • Additional resources, including workbooks, contract samples, and deal samples
  • Opportunity to compare a variety of authors’ perspectives and experiences

Cons of using books for real estate investing education include:

  • No interactions with an expert
  • Instructions can be misinterpreted
  • Book examples only vs. live examples
  • Potentially outdated content

headshot of Shawn Breyer, Owner, Breyer Home Buyers

“I learned about real estate investing from “The Book on Rental Property Investing” by Brandon Turner. After I picked up this book, I took serious action and bought my first duplex in three months. This was with zero previous knowledge or experience. This property has performed amazingly. The principles found in this book are very helpful and can guide a newer investor on the right path for success in rental property investing.”
― Shawn Breyer, Owner, Breyer Home Buyers

Books offer affordable education and are an excellent place to get started when learning real estate investing. However, if you want one-on-one guidance or more advanced teaching on a particular subject, books may not be the best choice for you.

2. Online

The internet offers many ways to learn real estate investing online at your own pace. Investors can read investment blogs, watch video tutorials, or listen to podcasts. These can be great options for investors who want to learn on demand. Online instructors typically teach in easy-to-digest tutorials that are free or available for a small subscription fee.

Learn How to Invest in Real Estate

Online real estate education can fit investors’ learning styles and availability. Learning at home or on the go is usually more convenient and less costly than traditional classes, and online teachers offer instruction through a variety of mediums and methods. With hundreds of instructors to choose from, most investors can find an approach that suits their schedule and preferred learning style.

Time Required to Learn Online

Real estate investing instruction online is available 24/7, allowing you to learn at your own pace. Most lessons last between 10 minutes and an hour and allow you to start and stop anytime and pick up where you left off. Learning online makes it easy to read a segment at night, watch videos for hours at a time, or listen to a podcast on your morning commute.

Top Online Resources for Learning Real Estate

Online real estate investing education resources Best For:
Epic Real Estate Investors looking to invest in real estate with little or no money
Michael Blank New investors interested in learning how to invest in apartment buildings
Invest Four More Investors who want to learn how to invest in rental properties
Freedom Mentor Investors who want video lessons on fix-and-flip investing
Kris Krohn Investors who want video lessons combining real estate investing education and mental motivation
Graham Stehan Investors who want to create passive income with real estate investing
The Real Estate Guys Investors who want instruction on more than 500 real estate investing topics
Epic Real Estate Investors who want audio lessons on investing in real estate
The Rental Rookie New investors who wish to learn rental property investing

With hundreds of online resources available, choosing the right source takes time and research. To start, decide how much time you intend to invest in your education and what medium you prefer. Then, find an instructor who has an extensive real estate investing background in your preferred sector.

Cost of Real Estate Investing Education Online

Real estate investing education online is available via blogs, videos, and podcast. All of our listed resources are free but do include ads. Some online resources provide ad-free subscriptions for a monthly subscription fee of $30 to $100.

Pros and Cons of Real Estate Investing Education Online

Pros of learning real estate investing online include:

  • On-demand learning with different mediums, including articles, videos, and audio recordings
  • Little to no cost
  • Variety of instructors, subjects, and strategies
  • Ability to interact with other investors through chat groups

Cons of online include:

  • Most free options have distracting ads
  • So many choices make it hard to find the right resource for your needs
  • Questions are typically not answered in real time

Most online real estate education resources offer a combination of tools in different formats. Even if you start with one medium, you can explore another with the same instructors easily to enrich your learning and add variety. Pick up skills in everything from investing in single-family rentals to investing in real estate crowdfunding.

3. Seminars

Real estate investing education seminars are offered online or in person and can last from several hours to a few days. Seminars give new investors a venue to hear guest speakers, learn new tools for prospecting, and build relationships with other investors. However, they can be quite expensive and cost $10,000 or more.

Learn How Invest in Real Estate Through Seminars

Real estate education seminars offer investors several exciting hours of learning terms, purchasing strategies, and marketing techniques as well as the opportunity to hear experienced investors share their success stories. Seminars, also called workshops or classes, are available for all budgets and can be attended online or in-person based on your schedule.

Online real estate investing seminars can be more convenient and less expensive to attend, plus you can sometimes rewatch content you missed. On the other hand, in-person seminars give you the opportunity to network in the industry and can be high-energy events that help build your confidence.

When looking into real estate investment seminars, focus on your budget and the specific topics you hope to learn. If traveling to a seminar is too expensive, you can always try online seminars or join a real estate investment club.

Time Required to Learn With Seminars

Most real estate investing seminars typically start with a free introductory class or workshop that last around two to three hours. Some then offer a more expensive package that includes two or three days of more intense training. Lastly, investors can opt for a master class.

Top Real Estate Investing Education Seminar Resources

Real estate seminar Best for Free Workshop Starting Advanced Seminar Cost
Rich Dad Education Investors who want both inspiration and real estate education $1,299
Fortune Builders Investors interested in wholesaling $197
Grant Cardone Investors who want real estate expert Grant Cardone to teach his investing strategies. $9,997

Most free introduction seminars lay out an overview of how to make money investing in real estate and allow for networking with other new investors. In most cases, you’ll receive details on how the instructor can provide more in-depth strategies in their multiday workshops.

Pros and Cons of Real Estate Investing Seminars

Real estate investing seminars are typically packed with information and motivational speakers making them a great choice for some investors. However, there are some drawbacks to seminars when compared to other resources.

Pros of real estate investing seminars:

  • High-intensity learning
  • Opportunity to meet successful investors and new investors
  • Compact learning

Cons of real estate investing seminars:

  • Can be expensive
  • Potential for scams and upselling
  • Too much information at one time

When choosing a real estate seminar, be sure to protect yourself from scams. You can do this by reading reviews and focusing on reputable providers. Be sure to start with the instructor’s free resources like blogs or videos and work your way to more expensive real estate education options.

4. Mentors

Learning real estate investing from a mentor provides investors with one-on-one guidance from an experienced investor. Real estate mentors teach their tips and tricks and share their valuable resources, like banks, contractors, and sales leads. Mentors can be someone you already know who’s interested in sharing knowledge or someone you pay.

Learn How to Invest in Real Estate With Mentors

Learning how to invest in real estate from a mentor is the most individualized option on our list. This may also make it the most valuable because it offers the most hands-on learning and great opportunities to work through different types of transactions. Mentors with extensive knowledge can also advise you when you face unique challenges, unlike a book or seminar.

Time Required to Learn With Mentors

Learning how to invest with a mentor may take more time than any of our other listed resources. If the average fix-and-flip takes three months, your mentorship could take months. In many cases, mentors and students become partners in transactions, and the learning can go on for years.

Real Estate Investing Mentor Resources

One of the biggest challenges of using a mentor to teach you how to invest in real estate is finding the right person. If you don’t already know a real estate expert, you may feel like this is not an option. However, getting a little creative may help you find the right mentor.

Some creative ways to find a real estate mentor include:

  • Reaching out to mortgage bankers to ask them if they know investors who they could refer you to for an interview.
  • Asking real estate attorneys for recommendations
  • Calling real estate agents you know to see if they work with successful investors who may be interested in teaching or looking for a junior partner
  • Reach out on social media or ask friends if they know real estate investors and would be willing to introduce you.
  • Hire a real estate mentor to oversee your first few transactions — many can be found on blog sites and videos.

When looking for a real estate investing mentor, let others know because they may be able to help with your search. If you decide to hire a mentor or coach, interview them to make sure their experience and personality are a fit for you.

Cost of Real Estate Investing Mentors

Most mentors don’t charge a fee to help you learn about real estate. However, if you want intense training, some mentors may ask for a coaching fee or a piece of any transactions you do.

For example, if you know a real estate investor who owns several rental properties and you want to learn how to own rental property, your cost could be buying your mentor lunch or helping them with maintenance on one of their properties.

Alternatively, you might offer your mentor an equity percentage as an incentive for sharing their time and expertise.

Pros and Cons of Learning Real Estate Investing With Mentors

Real estate investing mentors offer new investors many pros, including valuable insights and hands-on learning. However, relying on mentorship for your education can have drawbacks as well.

Pros of real estate investing mentors include:

  • One-on-one instruction and advice
  • Can work through each project together
  • More specific, detailed advice
  • Leverage your mentor’s resources

Cons of real estate investing mentors include:

  • Harder to find than other resources
  • Could be expensive
  • Personality differences could be a challenge
  • You have to work around their schedule

There are a variety of ways to use mentors to learn real estate investing. Whether you use someone you know, reach out to a source, or hire a mentor, it’s one of the best ways to learn to invest. You can ask questions, experience challenges together, and build a valuable relationship.

5. Investment Clubs

Learning how to invest in real estate using investment clubs offers new investors a way to network locally with other investors and attend educational meetings. Investors in these clubs often form entities to pool their money together to invest in real estate. Most investment clubs charge annual membership fees between $150 to $350 per year.

Learn How to Invest in Real Estate Through Investment Clubs

Real estate investment clubs are found in most communities. These clubs typically meet monthly with the goal of helping investors share ideas, contacts, leads, and investing strategies. Most clubs also offer workshops on topics like profitable rentals or fix-and-flip tips led by experienced investors and vendors.

Time Required to Learn With Investment Clubs

Learning to invest through real estate investment clubs typically consists of monthly meetings, one-day workshops, and meetings you schedule with other investors or educators. Investment clubs are also great places to meet mentors and get recommendations for books, videos, and contacts.

Top Real Estate Investment Clubs in Major Cities

Investment Club Resource Best for Cost Per Year
REAI Investors in Chicago $195
REAINYC Investors in New York City $497
Charlotte REIA Investors in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area $129

Because real estate investment clubs are often local, it’s helpful to use real estate blogs or other online resources to find clubs near you. REIClub.com is a real estate investor resource site that offers state-specific real estate investment clubs web pages as well as other resources.

Pros and Cons of Learning Real Estate Investing at Investment Clubs

Real estate investment clubs have many pros for new investors, including day-long workshops, but there are a few cons that investors should consider when choosing how to learn real estate investing.

Pros of learning real estate investing in investment clubs include:

  • Low annual fees
  • Opportunity to meet investors who may want to pool funds together
  • Limited time commitment
  • Introductions to lenders, builders, and property managers

Cons of learning real estate investing in investment clubs include:

  • May not meet people suited to your investment goals
  • May have the expense of travel
  • Monthly meetings may not be enough
  • Could be a club that tries to sell products to members

Investment clubs offer a low-cost way to learn about real estate investing from other investors through workshops and at monthly meetings. They’re an excellent way to build your local resources and possibly meet other investors who want to pool funds together to buy property.

6. University Courses

Real estate investing is taught at universities and colleges for potential investors who want college credit or to build their investing knowledge. These classes are ideal for would-be investors who want classroom time to cover different types of real estate investing, contracts, and deal analysis. Classes last anywhere from five weeks to one semester with costs starting at $129.

How to Learn Real Estate Investing With Real Estate Courses

Real estate investing courses taken at universities or colleges offer students a classroom setting. In contrast to books, where you fill out worksheets alone, a classroom setting allows you to work through your questions with an instructor and peers. Classes are typically available in-person or online, giving you more learning options.

There is a variety of real estate investing courses available at many universities. Individual classes focus on general investing principles and more specific topics like commercial real estate, rental property, apartments, and REITs. Community colleges, local real estate boards, and online colleges also offer a variety of real estate investing courses and provide college credit or certificates.

Examples of available real estate investing courses at universities include:

  • Real Estate Investment Analysis
  • Real Estate Development
  • Asset and Portfolio Analysis
  • Real Estate Contracts

Learning how to invest in real estate at universities is a more formal way to understand the business. You won’t get the hands-on experience like working with a mentor, but many schools offer students opportunities to meet local professionals in the real estate business, giving you a way to enrich your local contacts.

Time Required to Learn With University Courses

Most real estate investing classes last anywhere from several weeks to a semester and are available in person or online. Classroom time is typically from one to three hours each week. Shorter length classes usually offer completion certificates while semester-long courses provide college credit.

Real Estate Investing University Courses

Tips for Learning How to Invest in Real Estate

Real estate investing education can vary in format, cost, and degrees of formality. Choosing the right approach for your learning style and budget is the first step to selecting the best one for you. Below are a few tips from experienced real estate investors.

1. Learn Real Estate Investing by Taking Action

Real estate education can only take you so far — at some point, you are going to have to get your feet wet and start investing. Start taking action even if it’s small steps like getting pre-approved with a lender or setting up showings with a real estate agent.

headshot of Phil Pustejovsky, Real Estate Mentor, Freedom Mentor

“The greatest wisdom on investing in real estate most productively is created from the real world, and we have discovered our best ideas from our experiences. Once you have developed a basic foundation through easily accessible information sources, taking action with the guidance of a mentor is when the true learning will begin.”
― Phil Pustejovsky, Real Estate Mentor, Freedom Mentor

2. Find a Specialist Mentor

When you start looking for a real estate investing mentor, look for investors who are working in the sector you want to master. If you’re going to learn how to create passive real estate income, look for mentors that can show you how to become a successful landlord.

headshot of Cindy Browning, President, Mac Home Development Inc.

“When I started real estate investing, the first thing I did was find a mentor who was already doing what I wanted to do. I worked with them for about six months for free before I started getting any money from the deals. When I finally started making money, I immediately put it back into flipping deals.”
― Cindy Browning, President, Mac Home Development Inc.

3. Add Value for Those Who Help You

If you’re part of a real estate investment club or find a mentor who offers to assist you, offer something in return. Most experienced investors don’t mind offering advice from time to time, but it’s a good idea to show you appreciate and value their time by providing something of value in return.

headshot of Jonathan Faccone, Founder, Halo Homebuyers LLC, Halo Redevelopment

“There is nothing more frustrating than a newbie investor that first asks what you can do for them. The answer many times is not much, so learn how to provide value and be willing to provide it for free starting off.”
― Jonathan Faccone, Founder, Halo Homebuyers LLC, Halo Redevelopment

Bottom Line

If you want to learn about real estate investing, it’s important to use the right resources. We’ve covered several types of resources that can contribute to your real estate investing education, but it’s important to choose the best ones for you. Most of them can and should be used together. In general, you want to use resources that start with the fundamentals, the sector you’re most interested in, and a medium that suits your schedule and budget. Each resource we covered has pros and cons, but all will get you closer to understanding real estate investing,

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