How and Where to Educate Yourself on International Real Estate - dummies

How and Where to Educate Yourself on International Real Estate

By Nicholas Wallwork

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. But knowledge also is a tool — a tool for building wealth and personal freedom. A bit like a spanner or a wrench, only slightly more glamorous.

real estate continuing education
©goshutter/Shutterstock.com

In most professions, continual education is key to staying on top of your game. The people who progress well and succeed are the ones who are continually evolving. Real estate is no different, and if you want to become (and remain) a successful real estate investor, you need to invest time in your education and improvement.

Even as your real estate portfolio becomes more established, never be fooled into thinking you know it all. You’ll be missing out on so many important opportunities to grow and learn. I love learning from those who know more than I do, whether that comes from networking, reading books, or wherever. Even if I only get one useful nugget from a book — a tidbit that changes my mind-set or improves the way I do something — it’s well worth my time.

Tap into a wide variety of educational sources

Well, real estate is a very accessible industry with little in the way of formal qualifications needed to succeed, so you’ll have to think outside the formal education box when looking at ways to continually learn and grow.

Thankfully, these days it’s easier than ever to access information quickly and easily, often for free or extremely cheap. Your mission is to make like a sponge and soak up all that information. This may include

  • Reading as many books as you can get your hands on about your chosen real estate strategy: If you struggle to find time to read, try listening to audiobooks in the car or while you’re at the gym. If you commute to work every day for 30 minutes each way that’s a potential hour of audiobook training time every day, which equates to 240 hours a year! It soon adds up… .
  • Becoming a general business, entrepreneurship and self-help book junkie, like me: I love reading both the practical how-to-succeed-in-business types of books and the more mind-set/self-help kinds, and even autobiographies by business leaders and entrepreneurs. I find it particularly inspiring to read about how people became successful and their personal formula for success. You’ll be surprised how many similar traits successful people have — and you can learn these traits and techniques, so keep reading!
  • Staying alert to potential new real estate strategies that are a good fit with your portfolio, skills, and passion.
  • Keeping up to date on the latest technology developments, from social media platforms to productivity apps and software for managing your real estate investments: You don’t need to be a tech genius to thrive in real estate, but you don’t want to miss out on opportunities to connect with people more easily and streamline your processes.
  • Harnessing the wealth of information available for free online by joining property forums, delving through relevant thread archives on forums, signing up for relevant industry newsletters, and subscribing to blogs.
  • Attending education seminars held by property investment and development companies: These seminars often free to attend because the goal of the seminar is usually to sell you a product or investment. So, although I wholeheartedly encourage you to tap into these free sources of education, never buy anything on the day. Always go away and do your homework after the seminar because there are plenty of paid courses not worth the paper they’re printed on.
  • Signing up for online real estate and business courses, such as those available through Udemy and Coursera.
  • Attending big annual property shows and exhibitions: These shows provide fantastic educational and networking opportunities and are a great way to immerse yourself in the market and to learn what others are doing.
  • Being open to new mind-set-related, self-help techniques and approaches (for example, positive affirmations, visualization, the law of attraction, and meditation).
  • Taking the time to build mind-set-related, self-help techniques into your daily routine:

As in any industry, there are operators out there looking to make a quick buck from inexperienced real estate investors who are keen to learn. So, don’t automatically believe everything you’re told by someone in a seminar where the end goal is to sell you something. Soak up their information; then assess that information against other sources as well. If multiple different sources are telling you that Morocco is a great place to invest, that’s very different from one guy pushing Moroccan investments at a seminar.

Take time for education before you put your real estate investment money on the line

Although continual education is an important part of success, take the time to immerse yourself in real estate and learn as much as you can before you embark on your first investment. Learning as you go is great, but mistakes in your early days can be costly.

Immerse yourself in property education for at least six months before you put your money on the line with an investment. Why not set yourself some education targets to hit before you start seriously scouting for investment opportunities? For example, you can set yourself a target of reading one inspirational book a month, attending six property shows this year, and participating in property forums once or twice a week.