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How to avoid the real estate “gurus”

Kevin Guz headshot for WordPressI have a colleague, an independent investor (which I was, too, prior to becoming a HomeVestors-Dallas franchisee), and he has strong opinions about real estate investor “gurus.” As do I, particularly with regard to the intense advertising these individuals run on social media, radio and TV spots, and even billboards.

People often will realize, correctly, that they need education and training to succeed as a real estate investor. Some of these people then turn to any number of real estate professionals who sell real estate investing education. As a group these people are often referred to as “real estate gurus.”

The promotions often highlight an exclusive three-hour seminar – held almost always on a Saturday – where people will learn the “secrets to becoming a successful real estate investor.” In a word: Nonsense.

My colleague understands the truth because you cannot learn at least a decade’s worth of wisdom, of having bought, renovated, rented or resold hundreds of properties, and reduce this knowledge to a bunch of catchphrases and bullet points. It would be like “learning” calculus in an afternoon, when, in fact, you haven’t cracked a math textbook in years.

Unfortunately, I expect to see more of these gurus hyping their books and classes, for two reasons. One, as the residential real estate market improves these individuals have an incentive to more aggressively market themselves; they can point to rising home prices as proof of the urgency to start investing immediately because, to paraphrase their words, “now is the time to make big profits buying and selling homes.”

And secondly, there are more mediums

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– from Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to online pop-ups, banner ads and sponsored content – for these groups to secure their visibility. We see them more places because they have more places to hit, plugging their services.

You and I may agree on this point, but we need other investors to raise this matter with their contacts, and tell their clients what we already should know: That, left unanswered, people will believe you can become a real estate investor – a pro – by do nothing more than writing a check and taking good notes.

Instead, try to join some of the meetup clubs in your respective cities – free gatherings, where you can interact with a variety of professionals – as well as some of the open receptions at nearby business schools or universities. Call an information officer at these places, and ask to receive their calendar, which lists guest speakers and panel discussions involving real estate investing. Also, contact people like me – you can email me – who know this industry well, and want to help others.

Tell the public there is no instant path to wealth. Tell them this news – repeatedly.

Agree with Kevin? Disagree? Let him know by posting a comment below in the Leave a Reply area.

You can visit Kevin’s website here.


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