Where To Start Your REI Education
Starting your real estate investing journey can be scary. You don’t know what you don’t know and it often requires spending large chunks of money that you don’t regularly deal with in your day-to-day life.
But for a few shekels, or some of the cost of your time to get a library card, you can flatten the learning curve and reduce or eliminate time you would have spent reinventing the wheel. That’s why I created the GET SMART section of MsFIRE Mama. These are the resources, tools and books we invested our time in to help kick start our REI.
If you’re stuck and aren’t sure where you want to start, educating yourself is the best way to work through any obstacles that are paralyzing your efforts to move forward. For me, the more I know, the easier it is for me to make a decision.
“…you can sit on your hands, or you can get started learning, improving, and eventually, scaling.”
DAVID M. GREENE
REAL ESTATE INVESTOR, AUTHOR AND BIGGERPOCKETS PODCAST HOST
Our information gathering took on many forms. We started with some books that progressed into podcasts and then we added networking groups. Networking is largely my territory and Chad continues to educate himself through podcasts that include other types of investing. This can often lead to other books and new websites. The point is the education portion of real estate investing doesn’t end as you get more experienced. It just evolves.
BUILDING COURAGE RESOURCES
Many real estate investors contribute their start to Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and a number of his other great books on business, investing and real estate. He and his wife Kim achieved financial freedom in the late 40s and 30s, respectively. Another one of my favorites from Kiyosaki is Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant. These two books got me very excited about taking control of our income and building the life we really wanted.
Gary W. Keller, the founder of the real estate company Keller Williams, also has some excellent books including The Millionaire Real Estate Investor and The Millionaire Real Estate Agent. Both of these books not only provide information to grease the wheels for your investing, but also for building great systems and improving how everything works in your life from priorities, values, relationships and more. I have a healthy obsession with both Keller and David M. Greene, who I will talk about a little later.
Supplementing your reading with the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast, and you’ll have the fuel and the flint to start your investing fire. The BP podcast provides stories from all types of people who have succeeded in different ways in the realms of real estate investing from buying properties to AirBNB to multifamily and more.
Once you’ve got your real estate mojo in high gear, you need to narrow down your approach. What will you buy? How will you finance those purchases? Which techniques will you use to keep your real estate pipeline flowing?
As a construction professional, it’s no surprise that one of the first books to cross my path was Jay Scott’s The Book on Flipping Houses. Chad thought this would be a good place for us to start since I am familiar with the construction process and this method of real estate investing can generate nice chunks of change, if done properly. Jay and his wife Carol also have a podcast off the BiggerPockets platform that focuses on business. I’ve listened to some of the episodes, but never really got into it. Chad and I went to a BP event where we got to meet them. They are fantastically knowledgeable and real people. We left with the aspiration to be them in the next 10 years. That was about six years ago and I think we are on the right path.
The second book I read, which may have been a recommendation from a podcast, was Inspecting a House: A Guide for Buyers, Owners, and Renovators. I didn’t know this at the time, but this book is actually written by a home inspection company. This book helps you understand the systems in a house, what the results of an inspection mean, what issues appear scary and which actually are.
Then David M. Greene came into our lives. He is actually one of the hosts of the BP podcast and aside from being an incredibly inspiring person, he is also an excellent writer. He is a police officer-turned-real estate agent for none other than the Keller Williams franchise. I first read his Long-Distance Real Estate Investing book and I just wrapped up Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat (BRRRR).
I also read Raising Private Capital by Matt Faircloth. He and his wife Liz (yet another power couple) have a real estate business and provide education. This book focuses on ways to get money to start, fuel and accelerate your investing.
TAKING ACTION AND FINDING COMMUNITY
For us, finding the community actually led us to taking more action. Our first foray into investing was an AirBNB purchase through a partnership. Then I met an investor at a long-distance investment group who had several properties in a market we were interested in. A lunch, some texts and emails, a trip to Oklahoma City, and a few months later, we purchased two single family houses that we planned to BRRRR.
I joined a local women’s investor group that our former AirBNB partner runs and a meetup group that became a Facebook group after COVID hit called Long Distance Real Estate Investors. Recently, I joined another on Facebook called the W2 Real Estate Investors. Send me an email or message me on Facebook and I’d be happy to send you an invite. I’m also a member of numerous Facebook groups for the market we invest in. I’ve used all of these groups to find resources, do a gut check and tap others’ experiences.
Real Estate Investor Associations exist in almost every city and of course, BiggerPockets has a huge community. Some people like Reddit, but I find that both the BP community and Reddit can sometimes be a giant black hole of amazing but overwhelming amounts of information that I haven’t developed a good way to sift through. It’s also a great way to make connections, but Chad is much better at working in those types of spaces than I am. You need to figure out what educational sources and methods work best for you and keep engaging.
The GET SMART section of MsFIRE Mama captures all of these resources and will continue to grow and change as we find new notable ways to educate ourselves on our real estate journey. Check in often as we add more ways to get smart in REI.
Share the real estate investing resources you love in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.