Saturday, December 23, 2006

Real Estate Courses and Resources

I've spent over $2000 in the past two years on real estate courses. On the one hand I've used the information to make 2 profitable real estate investments. On the other hand I feel that these real estate guru's charge far too much for the quality and content of the courses they offer. One guru who agrees with that view is John T Reed who has read and evaluated many of the guru real estate courses. His view is that the prices the gurus charge is too high and the information should be sold in books under $100. He offers 21 such books at ~$40 each. So in fact his real estate course costs $840! I've bought a couple of his books and they are quite good, but narrow in scope, so you almost need to buy all of them to get a complete picture and spend as much as for other courses.

Some of the courses I have purchased and my opinion:
  • Ken Preuss - I purchased an e-book from Ken, so the price was fairly reasonable but there is no audio. The information was OK. He emphasizes lease-purchase and I learned a lot about that concept which I used for my rental property. The technique works well - I've got the best tenants I've ever had (ten years experience), I got $3500 from them to get in the house and they pay about $150 more than the going rental rate. Ken had the most up-to-date web resources of any of the courses I've bought. His course is so focused on lease-purchase that it leaves out a lot of other useful information, so not really complete.
  • Don DeRosa - I've purchased two courses from Don ($895 seminar special). The workbooks are useless in my opinion and the two courses have so much common information that I would never recommend purchasing them separately. The spreadsheet he provides is riddled with math errors and I had to write to ask for forms that were supposed to be provided but were not. I don't think that Don has put enough value in his courses to justify the price. If he combined all 3 of his courses (subject-to, private money, short sales) I might think otherwise, but as is this is the worst of the three. I'm supposed to have one year of consultation with him but I have not used that yet. Maybe that will justify the price. UPDATE: see my post on Don's Coaching.
  • Dave Whisnant - Dave is an attorney turned investor. His course is jam packed with information. He has excellent information on public records and covers every topic I have encountered from repairing your credit (quite good), to marketing (very good insights) and rehab (so-so). I was supposed to get on-line help. I used it once but his advice was not especially insightful. John Reed had some criticism of this course, but I found his comments kind of petty. If you were to purchase one course, I would recommend his (I get no commission and have not been in contact with him for 2 years). His course was less expensive and certainly as insightful as Reeds books.
On-line I use Real Estate Investment articles which are a little vague (these are guru's writing hoping to get you to buy their course. But there are enough different articles from different investors that you can get 90% of what you need from this web site.

Paying a lot for real estate courses is kind of a pet peeve of mine. On the one hand, I don't begrudge the gurus from trying to use capitalism from making more money. But, their marketing is so vague that you never know what you are getting until after you spent the money. I'm at the point now that I have lots of experience and knowledge. These guru's mostly focus on new investors.

One of my goals is to use a tool I've come to really like (the wiki) to create a "live" real estate investment course that can be improved by the investment community. I'm sure the guru's will not like this idea. I've tried to create a wiki template to do that RealEstateGuru. At the moment it is only a draft. If you have real estate experience and would like to contribute, please email me. I am only working at this as time allows at the moment, since I am still in the process of developing my business plan and goals.

Update: I recently met and listened to Pete Youngs and review his course here

1 comment:

Toby & Sadie said...

Paul,
Great post and good luck to you! You've been included in the 7th Carnival of Real Estate Investing (http://www.delawareohrealestate.com/archives/221 ). Have a wonderful Monday!

Toby