With all things that are done intentionally as a real estate investor your education comes first. A real estate investing education is primary to your success in business, and in all circumstances there is an identifiable pattern of learning that leads from thought to action. When experiencing something new, first you hear about it or learn of its existence. Next you learn what it is. Then you learn how it works. And finally, you practice it, which is where experiential learning begins.
This article is intended to discuss education, separate from experiential learning (but a little more on that below). Your real estate education should not be looked at as a phase you go through, but rather as an ongoing process. This is a requirement to stay in the real estate business and to excel. There are at least three very good reasons why your real estate investing education should be continuous and ongoing. One is that having new information can allow you to improve the process of what you’re already doing, so that you can do it better. Another is that having new information can allow you to do new things that you’re not already doing, such as implementing new profit centers in your real estate business. A third is that the world is always changing so that knowledge needs to be continually updated to be useful.
The fastest way to develop yourself educationally is to actively seek out as many sources of education as possible on a continuing basis. There are three common modes of education to be aware of that can help inform your search. One is private education that you digest on your own, which can include books, audio recordings, video recordings, websites, and online and offline real estate investing newsletters. Another is participatory education, which involves some sort of interaction with an educator, and can include seminars or boot camps, conference calls, and webcasts.
Yet one more is hands on education, which can be gotten by working with others already in the business. This could take the form of a mentorship or an apprenticeship with another investor. You could also take advantages of all the resources of a local real estate club, either online or offline, which is dedicated to helping investors further their education in all sorts of ways. As an ongoing business activity, your real estate education deserves management and balancing against the other ongoing activities of your business as well as all of the other demands on your time.
You should work it out however is best so as to ensure that a dedicated portion of your time and resources on a regular basis go to furthering your real estate and business education. A final word on education from experience, or experiential learning, comes last. Education can be overrated by beginning real estate investors. While it does have a large role to play in your overall progress and success, the amount you actually learn from studying educational materials is negligible compared to the amount you learn from actually performing an action or having an experience.
Keep this in perspective if you feel paralyzed by an insufficient real estate investing education.