December 16th, 2006 5:02 pm
Real Estate Investing College
It’s now Saturday and I finished all the classes for the week. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the education in this Real Estate Investing College as compared to other investing gurus and seminars I’ve been to. I learned a lot of good / new stuff that will help me stop foreclosure, make money and hopefully avoid bankruptcy.
Even though the basic idea of a week-long intensive real estate investing “boot camp” is similar to other guys out there, the execution here is much better. Rather than just a “seminar” concept they truly are more like a “college” or “trade school”:
- Complete college-style real estate investing education from 100 level classes like “Understanding Mortgages” to 400 level classes like “Short Sales”
- Courses are taught by experienced full-time real estate investors. Not just some seminar promoters. These guys make all their money in real estate and teach you the stuff that really works “in the trenches”. Furthermore, every teacher provided us with their contact information for future support and mentorship. Definitely not a fly-by night operation.
- Many of the courses give you college credit and are approved by the American Council of Education. You can transfer the units to most other regular colleges. (This is definitely a first in the real estate investing education industry.)
- Each student follows a customized curriculum based on their level of knowledge and experience
- Each class starts with a pre-test to measure your knowledge level. The results are scored within minutes and the teacher knows which topics to emphasize
- Taking a post-test is required to pass the class. It also helps you see what you learned and provides valuable feedback to the college and teachers to improve future classes.
- Bonuses: 1) Every class can be repeated for free as often as you like for up to a year. 2) You can bring a partner for free. 3) You get all the classes on audio CDs for free. What real-world college or seminar company is going to let you do that?
There are also some additional benefits that you will not find in any other real estate investing seminar company:
- Cash Flowing Properties: All students have access to a private website with packaged real estate investments. The company has experts in different cash-flowing markets around the country. The experts find properties with positive cash flow, line-up tenants and secure financing. All you have to do is click a mouse and buy a house. Ongoing management is included. That’s awesome for somebody who doesn’t have a lot of time and just wants to be a passive investor!
- Strong Community: There are local real estate investment communities throughout the country. Great for learning about the college, networking, sharing deals and helping each other succeed. There are also weekly mentorship calls to get help with deals. Additional student benefits include: in-house mortgage company, in-house credit-repair company, in-house accounting and legal firm.
- Marketing Income: Students who refer their friends and family to the college get 50% commission for spreading the word. That’s pretty generous. They call it a scholarship program - you earn while you learn. Also, the extra income is nice to help with real estate deals so you don’t have to do crazy “no-money-down” or “cash back at close” deals out of desperation like I did.
Even with all these benefits, I was a little bit hesitant in going to this real estate investing college thinking, “Why do I need to go to another seminar? I already know all this stuff. How much better can this be?”
Now after completing the winter session, I’m convinced this is not just another “seminar”. The combination of college-style education, properties, community and marketing income is something very unique and costs just a fraction of what the other “gurus” charge.
The cost/value is much better than anything else out there and it’s not just one strategy or topic but rather a complete REI education from start to finish. I have spent something like $30,000 on real estate seminars before this college and have already seen a lot of stuff out there. Some stuff was good but a lot of it was “fluffy”. So I had high expections coming in.
This investing college has exceeded my expectations and if I was to start all over again I would save money and do this instead of all the other stuff out there.
Here are the courses I took this week and what I learned that will help me with my foreclosure situation:
This was a fairly basic foreclosure class. I say “basic” because I already knew most of the stuff from my own foreclosure experience and past seminars. However, my friends who are new to real estate found this class to be very helpful. I did pickup a few good nuggets there and here that will help me with my own foreclosure and with buying forecloses in the future.
Tuesday and Wednesday: Short Sales
After getting a good review / overview of the entire foreclosures process on Monday this was a great class that just focused on short sales. A Short Sale is when the bank takes a discount on the mortgage to sell the house quickly and avoid having to go through foreclosure. This is a strategy we’re going to need in our current cooling market because of all the overleveraged and “upside down” properties (like mine).
I already knew a lot about short sales because I’m involved in a couple of them right now. However, I learned a lot of additional tips and techniques for getting the bank to approve a discounted sale, how to free up additional equity and how to sell the house quickly. It was a very detailed 2-day “meat-n-potatoes” class.
Another great “meaty” class on buying houses “subject to” existing financing. This allows you to buy a house without using your own credit (good for me!). We were taught how to find motivated sellers, how to catch-up their loans and take over their payments.
Then we learned how to turn around and sell the house to a credit-challenged buyer via owner financing or on a lease option and make a profit on the spread. I am already using some of these creative selling techniques to sell my own houses. I picked up a few new “nuggets” and tips in the class that will help my stop my foreclosures and sell fast.
Wholesaling is the only true “No Money Down” technique. We were taught how to find motivated sellers, negotiate a low price and put the deal under contract. Then we were learned how to find rehabbers (fix ‘n flip investors) and cash buyers to buy the contract from us and close on the deal. I brushed up on this technique and learned several new ways to do wholesaling. This is something I want to focus on in 2007 to make some quick cash and get out of my financial trouble.
Saturday: IRA and Retirement Plan Investing
This was an amazing class! I have known before that I can do real estate deals through an IRA to get tax-free gains. However I always thought I will have to wait until I’m 60 years old before I can access that money. In this class I learned how to take money out of the tax-sheltered account at any time without penalties!
Another cool trick: getting check-book control over your retirement account via an en entity. Even better: putting together a group of investors and pooling multiple IRAs inside of an entity (like a LLC) then using the entity to take down a big real estate deal like an apartment complex or a land development project. All with tax-free / tax-deferred gains. Sweet!
Wow, what a week!
I can’t wait to come home and start planning how I can apply these strategies to my foreclosure situation.
Classes I want to take at the next investing college session(s):
- Building Your Team
- Establishing Your Business Vision
- Business Financial Management
- Understanding Mortgages
- Market Analysis
- Computer Property Analysis
- Negations for Real Estate
- Legal Strategies
- Tax Strategies
- Creative Financing
- Buy and Hold I and II / Landlording
- Managing Property Managers
- Fix and Flip
- Lease Options
- Multi-Family Dwellings
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