Real Estate Investing – Books,TV Infomercials, and Seminars

Real estate investing has become popularized today because of real estate investing TV infomercials and traveling seminar circuits. But real estate investing has not always been so popular.

In the 1960s, William Nickerson wrote, “How I Turned $1000 into Three Million in Real Estate” and “How to Make a Fortune Today Starting from Scratch.” It was one of the first real estate investing books to get national attention. A little later, Al Lowry authored “How You Can Become Financially Independent by Investing in Real Estate.” Al Lowry might be called “the father of the modern-day real estate seminars,” because he was the first to hold seminars as a result of his book sales.

But it was Mark Haroldsen who carried the real estate investing book/seminar thrust to the next level. Haroldsen wrote, “How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You.” If you were tuned in to real estate investing at that time, you remember the newspaper and magazine advertising showing a picture of suave and bald-headed Mark leaning against the front hood of his Mercedes. The picture appeared everywhere in full page ads of major publications. And as Mark began selling his books, he began holding real estate investing seminars. I have had lunch with Mark and Al Lowry as they swapped stories of the advertising blitzes that vaulted them into national prominence for their real estate investing prowess. Mark later wrote “The Courage To Be Rich” and “Tax Free.”

But it was Robert Allen who capitalized on the previous groundwork by Lowry and Haroldsen. Robert Allen was reportedly paid $1 million advance royalties for his best-selling book, “Nothing Down,” a compilation of 50 techniques for buying property with no money. Robert had learned these techniques from several years experience with a commercial real estate firm. He later wrote “Creating Wealth” and “Getting Started in Real Estate Investing.” The Robert Allen Real Estate Investing Seminars became a phenomenal marketing bonanza. Conventions were held in the major cities across the country, like Orlando, LA, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta. The authors of various real estate investing techniques spoke at these seminars, but their spiel focused on selling packages of real estate investing materials that they offered for sale. Millions of dollars of real estate investing materials were sold at these 3 day conventions. The convention frenzy ushered in what has since become known as “The Nothing Down Real Estate Movement” of the early to mid-1980s.

I keep all of these books in my personal library, and you can probably still find them in your public library and book stores. There’s a lot of great information in these books that can make you very knowledgeable, even though some of the ideas are out-dated.

We are now presented a variety of ways for making money in real estate investing in TV infomercials, books and seminars. Which is best? Who can say? Real estate investing is learned through trial and error. Real estate investing skills and techniques are acquired by practice. I don’t think anyone can dogmatically recommend a technique best for another person. Every real estate investor has unique needs and is in a unique situation. Objectives of real estate investing differs.

However, if you are limited with real estate investing educational dollars and need to generate quick return on investment, I think fixing up cheap houses is an ideal beginning point. Real estate investing in makeover properties generates quick, profitable dollars with low risk.

Easy Action Steps to a Successful Start in Real Estate Investing

If you happen to watch cable or satellite television on the weekends, you can find between 20 and 30 channels early in the day with get rich quick infomercials hawking everything from books, tapes, seminars and even personal coaching services. Most are centered around real estate and I am not sure they are worth the time it would take you to order them by phone. I have spent thousands of dollars on real estate home study courses through the years and will continue into the future. I am always looking to further my education and understanding of what is really working in the investment real estate world.

Because of the time, energy and dollars that I have spent in the past, I have a pretty good idea of what a real estate investor wants to avoid as well as the best steps to take for a successful start. Education definitely plays a role in the success of a real estate investor as well as business savvy, attitude and at times, luck!

Here are a few detailed steps that an investor can take to improve the chances for success.

– Learn the basics of real estate in general.

As with any investment strategy or business, real estate comes with its’ very own lingo. There are terms and phrases that many of us have heard in the past, yet may not know the exact meaning. It is very important from the get go to do the research and learn the basics such as the meaning of the terms and phrases that are used in the real estate industry every day. You can start by using a search engine and searching the phrase “real estate definitions”.

– Begin home study education.

There are great benefits to home study and I do not mean the courses we eluded to on weekend cable T.V. At your local library, in the real estate investing section, there will be multiple titles recently written by authors with experience in their topic. Check out as many titles as you can read in a week and o to work reading. Write down sentences and topics that come up in the books that interest you and that fit into your reasoning for starting to invest in real estate. This will be the start of your plan for getting started.

– Develop a game plan.

By this point, you have an idea of the general terms and phrases for the property investing world and have begun to grow your interest and understanding of the specific strategies for real estate investing. It is time to formally develop your plan and start taking action. Each of the real estate investing books that you will be reading give specific advice about team building. It is a crucial step for your success and the best books offer advice about who to put on your team, where to find them and how important they are to your over-all success. Before you can start investing, you must have a plan for where you are going and how you are going to get there.

– Join local organizations for investors.

In every city, county and state there are multiple organizations whose missions are to assist real estate investors. Each of these organizations holds monthly meetings and some of the best even hold weekly meetings, where investors can network and learn. These meetings are crucial to a beginner investor because they offer the opportunity to build your team with experienced members. They also are fantastic groups to attend for tips, tricks and education. Join a group close to you and make your attendance mandatory. Attend as many meetings as possible each month. Often times, the simple step of surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are positive and re-enforce your determination to succeed, can have the biggest benefit on your future success.

– Find partners & Do not fall for get rich quick!

One mistake that is easy to make in the beginning is to set off on the path of “go it alone”. Another is to believe that just around the corner is a pot of gold if I can just find a deal like those guys on T.V.! One thing that is seldom talked about is the fact that most real estate investors have used partnerships in the past if they are not using them now. Partnerships are a great way to spread the risk of investing while learning the ropes. Those risks include using less of your available capital, credit and time. Partnerships can also be structured to be a simple 50/50 partnership splitting all costs and profits or a slightly more complicated partnership with one partner providing money and the other providing the deals, follow through and managing the investments. Either way, going it alone can be a lonely, long and expensive way to get started investing.

– Do not quit your day job!

This is a biggie and is a MAJOR mistake made by some first time real estate investors. Investing in real estate requires a total commitment – a “burning of the boats” mentality. There is no turning back when you decide to go all in. And in that statement lies the problem with leaving your day job first. Take time to develop your team, to build cash reserves, to learn the ropes. Take time to make small mistakes before you leave your full time employment and make a big mistake! Investing in real estate is a big picture endeavor and as an investor you have to be able to clearly see your future and plan accordingly.

These last two tips really go to the heart of why some investors not only fail, but fail miserably. Many times you can overcome the mistakes with the first few tips here by perseverance and a little luck. If you make one of the following two mistakes, they can quickly break a new investor and sour the experience for a good long time. Then again, if you follow all the previous tips, chances are you will have the team around you to guide you right past these last two tips and onto smooth investing.

– Once started, DO NOT under estimate repairs.

When you are estimating the repairs to a property for investment, unless you have an experienced contractor and trusted advisor on your team, you can miss the mark wildly. Even the best home study courses are not able to provide you with an accurate ability to estimate costs. It takes experience and time before you can accurately guesstimate repair costs. Missing the mark on estimated repairs can quickly break a bank account and take a property from profitable to money pit quickly!

– Do not purchase investment property for equity or appreciation

There is no bigger mistake an real estate investor can make today than to purchase property for its equity holding or future appreciation. Long-term investing today is centered around the ability of a property to perform with a positive monthly cash flow. In my home city for investing, Memphis, real estate investors purchase properties at extreme discounts, but over look those discounts if the property does not provide a high enough monthly cash flow. Equity and expectations of future home values are not good reasons to purchase investment property.

Many individuals will purchase their first investment property in 2010. Some will view their purchase as strictly an investment and others will look for real estate to provide a new profession. Either way, it is extremely important that first-time investors seek all of the help, advice and experience they can get from other investors.

Real Estate Investing LIES Unveiled

Let’s get REAL about something – and quelch the LIES you have been told about Real Estate Investing!­

What I am going to reveal to you are some basic
truths about Real Estate investing – truths that may
totally affect the Real Estate investments you have
now – and certainly I intend to modify the way you
do Real Estate investing in the future.

Let’s get right to it – and into the heart of the real
estate investing issue.

You have been programmed all your life to become
what you are today – from school, friends, relatives
and, yes, your parents.

Recent studies show that you are who you are now,
more from what you learned prior to age 8 than in
anything else you have learned since.

Now, that may surprise you, but it is true that what
you learned at the earliest ages affects the way you
make Real Estate investments today, and the type
of Real Estate investing success you will have going
forward!

Yes, that’s a bit shocking.

You see, if you grew up in an environment where
you heard things like

“We can’t afford it”, “Be sure
you have saved enough and have the cash to buy it”
(i.e., never use credit), or numerous other phrases
that you now hear yourself saying (you know what
I’m talking about – those times you catch yourself
“becoming your parents”), it is because of your
early programming (from 0-8 years) and what you
were told about money, success, and life in general.

That is controlling your current income – and your
success – or lack of it…

The things you were told at that early, most
influential age, are now creeping out and affecting
how successful you are in business, in life and yes,
in your Real Estate investing.

THERE IS GOOD NEWS

The greatest thing about this fact – as horrible as it
seems – is that you can change the ‘programming’ –
you have the power to do it!

You can reprogram yourself in any way you want –
have anything you want – do anything you want.

All it takes is simply to ‘reinstall’ the right kind of
thinking.

And, it is easier than you might think!

One of the best ways to do that is to get a CD audio
set from someone you like to listen to – someone
that thinks positively and speaks of the life you want
to live. Many home study courses are available (yes,
including mine) that are designed to inspire and
motivate you, while they teach you the methods and
secrets of real estate investing.

Purchase one – listen to it, over and over – until you
hear yourself speaking that way, too.

You see, we are all simply creatures of habit and
environment – if we allow junk to get into our heads,
all we will ever say is junk coming out.

If all you listen to is the bad stuff in life (like the TV
news, most ‘talk radio’ shows, those TV ‘real life’
shows that end up in fights – you know the ones.,
and even violent movies where the language is
nothing you’d ever expect to hear from your own
lips.), that is exactly what you will wind up sounding
like!

It is true – ‘you are what you eat’ – and that counts
just as much for what you put in your ears as it does
for what you put in your mouth!

If you spend your time around ‘bar people’, you’ll
speak and act like them. Not that there’s anything
wrong with that, as long as you made a conscious
thought that it is what you want, but I think you’d
be much more successful at Real Estate investing if
you were listening to a successful person teaching
you about Real Estate Investing!

Now, let’s get right to the point about the various
methods and concepts you have learned about Real
Estate Investing.

You may call yourself a ‘real estate investing expert’,
but if you have to get up every morning and wonder
where your next check is coming from, you aren’t
making real estate investments, you are being
employed in a Real Estate Investing JOB!

Yes, that’s a hard-hitting statement.

You see, I want you to ‘get real’ with yourself and
simply admit it – Real Estate investing is when you
put money into a Real Estate investment and then
get some money out – ‘real estate investing’
defined.

Yet, it seems that most people I meet want to
attend my real estate training or purchase my real
estate courses that have to do with ‘No Money
Down’ (NMD) real estate investing.

Now, that kind of talk just proves the point – you can
reprogram yourself to speak a different language –
even if it doesn’t make sense!

A bunch of ‘gurus’ have told you over and over again
that ‘No Money Down’ is real estate investing – even
though you learned at an early age that ‘invest’
means to put money into something and get money
out (see http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=invest for other definitions – none of them say ‘No
Money Down’…)

Now, it’s not that ‘NMD Real Estate investing’ is all
bad – heck, my students and I make several
thousand dollars from these types of ‘Real Estate
investing’ transactions every year, too.

Just don’t lie to yourself and say they are ‘real
estate investments’, we know very clearly that these
are simply ‘earned income’ from one portion of your
real estate investing business – the real estate ‘job’
portion – earned while in transition from your
‘corporate job’ to your ‘real estate investing job’ and
on the road to true Real Estate Investing.

In other real estate investing articles, I cover some
of the methods and techniques you, too, can explore
while moving from your ‘corporate job’ to your ‘real
estate investing job’ and you’ll learn some insider
secrets for taking that leap quickly.