Even if you have experience with real estate investing, the reality is you probably aren’t an expert.
Real estate investors who really want control over their investments must dig into the industry, know their market and understand the risks and rewards from an investing standpoint. This personal and professional growth requires continued learning from multiple angles.
There are several ways to make money as a real estate investor, such as generating passive income from rental properties, property development, house flipping or investing in real estate investment trusts.
Whether you’re a new investor in this space or you have years of experience under your belt, there is always something new to learn in real estate — but it can be challenging to navigate the multilayered market. Investors should be up to date with their industry knowledge and know the unique risks to help develop their strategy and make sound investment decisions.
Here are a few resources that allow you to build your real estate investing knowledge:
— Roofstock Academy.
— University online extension courses.
Founded in 2015, Roofstock Academy is a training program designed by veteran real estate investors to help retail investors who are aware of the merits of real estate investing but don’t know how to get started.
Roofstock also has a marketplace of single-family rental homes in which investors can buy and sell real estate online within a range of markets across the U.S.
When asked about what makes a good real estate course for beginners, Gary Beasley, co-founder and CEO of Roofstock, based in Oakland, California, says, “A good real estate course for beginners defines and dissects critical concepts, processes and principles into bite-size chunks, providing real examples for each topic.”
Accord to Beasley, “Learning should be a combination of on-demand lectures and group or one-on-one coaching.”
In its repository of online materials, investors who use Roofstock can access interactive lectures and one-on-one coaching for real estate investing guidance and find a community of other real estate investors to interact with.
Roofstock offers a Mastery Program that includes lectures, one-on-one and group Roofstock marketplace credits, and other features. Their second option is coaching only, where investors get to speak with an experienced real estate investor on strategies to meet their investing goals. The Mastery Program costs about $1,250, at the time of this writing, although there is also an installment plan, which is slightly more in total.
This price may sound high, but course prices can vary depending on your investing goals and what you want to get out of the learning experience.
Before you commit to making a learning investment, Casanova Brooks, founder and CEO of DreamNation, recommends learners “make sure the teacher/mentor has proven they can get results and has a solid track record of helping other people get results.”
This training program can appeal to investors who need guidance from seasoned investors who have the knowledge and experience of dealing with the complexities that come along with navigating the real estate market.
Udemy is an education marketplace that offers online courses on a host of subjects, real estate investing being one of them. Through Udemy’s courses, you can develop skills by starting from the fundamentals of real estate investments and working up to advanced real estate training.
To determine which online investment course is best for you, Brooks encourages investors to assess their current situation to judge whether a particular course helps reach the results you’re looking for.
“Ask yourself, why do you want to invest in real estate? How does that look in your current situation? Do you have a steady income? If so, you could take more risk. If you need immediate cash flow to quit your job, then you want to make sure the course has tangible advice you can implement immediately,” Brooks says.
Individual investors can target their real estate niche by reviewing courses in commercial, residential and retail real estate by learning the fundamentals and eventually graduating to more challenging subjects in the field.
Some Udemy real estate investing courses even offer a certificate of completion.
Brooks recommends reviewing course FAQs and student testimonials. He also says to look to see if students comment on what they didn’t know before the course and what they learned after.
As you browse Udemy to find which real estate investing course best suits your learning needs, keep in mind that some courses are free of cost when you enroll, while others come with a price tag.
University Online Extension Courses
Universities offer extension or continuing studies courses for those who would like to build new skills cost effectively.
Harvard Extension School offers an online real estate investment education course through its division of continuing education. To finish the program and obtain a certificate, you need to complete four courses. The average cost is $11,600 to complete the certificate based on current tuition rates, according to the school’s website.
UCLA Extension, which is focused on continuing education, offers a real estate certification with a concentration in investments. According to UCLA Extension’s website, the estimated tuition for the program is around $6,700.
Online extension programs or continuing study curriculums may carry a hefty price tag, but the benefits could be worth it. According to UCLA’s Extension site, one in four students who achieved a certificate in their real estate investment program received a salary increase after starting the program.
Compared with free content, extension programs offer a more structured, detailed and extensive learning experience. If you prefer to take control of your real estate learning knowledge, maybe a self-directed learning experience would be better and more economical for you.
Coursera is an online learning platform that partners with universities and companies for students to increase their knowledge and skills in an industry, such as real estate. Coursera’s real estate investing content comes from affiliated universities like Duke University, Rice University and Columbia University, among others.
The first step is to create an account, sign in and peruse the real estate course offerings. Once you’ve narrowed down which course you’d like to join, you can enroll. Some courses give you the option to pay for the service and receive a certificate upon completion.
You can also bypass paying for a course by choosing the “Audit Only” option. This allows students to enroll and see course materials for free, but you won’t be able to submit assignments or receive a certificate of completion.
Jess Lenouvel, founder and CEO of The Listings Lab, a virtual training and marketing mentorship program for real estate agents based in Ontario, Canada, advises how to find a real estate investing course. “(It can help) people to take their skill set to the next level, while also implementing creative tools and veering away from traditional real estate tactics,” Lenouvel says.
Real estate investing can be a great way to earn a living, but the field requires you to grow and refresh your knowledge, build new skills and possibly collaborate with experts in different real estate investing styles.
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