Successful real estate investing requires thorough planning and understanding of different investment types. After researching, we found the top six education resources for aspiring investors. Here is a beginner’s guide to real estate investment.
6 Types of Real Estate Investing Resources – Real Estate Investment For Dummies
|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|
Real Estate Investment For Dummies 1. Books
Books offer valuable insights into various aspects of real estate investment, enabling self-paced learning with minimal distractions and a low initial expense. Numerous real estate investment books are priced below $25, and they can be obtained at an even lower cost when purchased used or borrowed from the library.
Learn How to Invest in Real Estate With Books
Learn real estate investing from books. Study terms, contracts, and leases. Find a book by a successful investor for guidance.
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 selecting a real estate investing book, allocate two hours for every 100 pages. Make time for workbook exercises, contract practice, and budget drafting. Additionally, dedicate 5-7 hours per week over three months for comprehensive studying to explore various perspectives.
Top Real Estate Investing Education Book Resources
Finding the right real estate investing books can be overwhelming with so many options available. Choose books that match your interest, like rental property, fix and flips, REITs, or commercial properties, as each has its own buying process and difficulties to grasp.
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 prices of real estate investing books vary based on the author and included resources. Some can be obtained for free at public libraries or online for under $25. Real estate investing ebooks can be found for under $15 and audiobooks for under $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:
- 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
“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.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies 2. Online
The internet provides various ways to learn real estate investing online. Investors can read blogs, watch tutorials, or listen to podcasts. These options are ideal for on-demand learning. Online instructors offer free or affordable tutorials for easy understanding.
Learn How to Invest in Real Estate
Online real estate education is convenient and affordable for investors. It offers various mediums and methods of instruction, making it easy for most investors to find a suitable approach that matches their schedule and learning style.
Time Required to Learn Online
Online real estate investing instruction is available 24/7, allowing flexible learning at your own pace. Lessons are typically 10 minutes to an hour long, and you can easily start, stop, and resume where you left off. This convenient format enables reading at night, watching videos for extended periods, or listening to podcasts during your morning commute.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies: 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 Stephan||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 podcasts. 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.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies 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 seminars provide investors with learning opportunities on terms, strategies, and marketing. They also offer the chance to hear success stories from experienced investors. Seminars, also known as workshops or classes, are accessible for all budgets and can be attended online or in-person to suit 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 lasts 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’s class.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies: 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|
|Fortune Builders||Investors interested in wholesaling|
|Grant Cardone||Investors who want real estate expert Grant Cardone to teach his investing strategies.|
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 multi-day 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.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies 4. Mentors
Learning real estate investing from a mentor offers personalized guidance from an experienced investor. Mentors share tips, tricks, and resources like banks, contractors, and sales leads. They can be someone you know or someone you hire.
Learn How to Invest in Real Estate With Mentors
Learning real estate investing from a mentor is the most personalized and valuable option. It provides hands-on learning and opportunities to practice various transactions. Experienced mentors can guide you through unique challenges, unlike books or seminars.
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. This is 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.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies 5. Investment Clubs
Investment clubs help new real estate investors network and learn through local meetings. Members pool money to invest in real estate, with annual membership fees ranging from $150 to $350.
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.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies: Top Real Estate Investment Clubs in Major Cities
|Investment Club Resource||Best for|
|REAI||Investors in Chicago|
|REAINYC||Investors in New York City|
|Charlotte REIA||Investors in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area|
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 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.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies 6. University Courses
Real estate investing is taught in universities for potential investors who want college credit or to learn about investing. Classes cover different types of real estate investing, contracts, and deal analysis. Classes last from five weeks to one semester, costing at least $129.
How to Learn Real Estate Investing With Real Estate Courses
Real estate courses at universities provide a classroom environment for students to learn. Unlike books, which are solitary, the classroom setting allows for interaction with instructors and classmates. These classes can be taken in-person or online for added flexibility.
Universities offer real estate investing courses covering general principles and specific topics like commercial real estate, rental property, apartments, and REITs. Community colleges, real estate boards, and online colleges also provide such courses for 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 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.
Investing Courses – Real Estate Investment For Dummies
|Real estate investing course resources||Best for|
|Real Estate Investing at University of Phoenix||Investors who want an online real estate investing classroom and college credit|
|Estate Investing Continuing Education||Investors looking for a non-credit course that teaches investing fundamentals in a classroom setting|
|Cornell University||Investors looking for a six-course certification in commercial real estate|
Tips For Learning – Real Estate Investment For Dummies
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.
Take Action – Real Estate Investment For Dummies
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.
“THE GREATEST WISDOM ON INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE MOST PRODUCTIVELY IS CREATED FROM THE REAL WORLD, AND WE HAVE DISCOVERED THE 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
Real Estate Investment For Dummies 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.
“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.
Real Estate Investment For Dummies 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 your time by providing something of value in return.
“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
Real Estate Investment For Dummies: Bottom Line
To learn about real estate investing, choose the right resources. Use a combination of fundamentals, your preferred sector, and a suitable medium. Each resource has pros and cons, but all will help you understand real estate investing.