I’ve been in real estate investing a long time. And because of my experience and my willingness to share my knowledge with others, many in the industry look up to me. When it comes to sharing my knowledge regarding real estate investing, I’ve been called teacher, mentor, friend, and even “that old guy who’s always telling us to read his blog.” It’s flattering, but I feel like it is part of the duty of experience to help other people out. So that’s why I don’t mind the titles.
Though, there’s one thing I won’t ever like to be called: guru.
To me, a real estate investing guru is someone with a TV show or a wireless mic charging you to listen to them talk about themselves. They offer you a chance to “get rich quick” but are often just lining their pockets. There are much better ways to learn about the business and potentially build a sustainable real estate career.
That said, there are a few things you can learn from gurus. They just aren’t all good things…
4 Big Lessons to Learn From Real Estate Investing Gurus
So you’ve done it: you’ve bought the book, purchased the video, or signed up for the webinar. Good for you: you’re actively searching for the resources to embark on a new career in real estate investing and trying to become your own boss. I think that’s great. But, before you open that book or watch that video, be prepared to think a bit deeper about what that real estate investing guru’s “secrets for success,” actually mean.
Here are a few lessons you may learn:
Consider the Competiton
You may have purchased the “#1 bestseller” or the most downloaded video of the year from a real estate investing guru who’s probably pretty famous. But here’s the thing. Everyone who reads or watches or downloads the content will likely be doing the same thing and going after the same leads. The most important currency in this business is quality leads, and one of the biggest threats is competition. If everyone is doing the same thing, going to the same markets, then you have more competition and fewer quality leads.
When there is competition, prices go up. Leads get harder to come by. You might as well be wasting your time at a real estate auction. If everyone is doing the same thing, you sacrifice any advantage you might have.
But hey: the guru has an answer for that. They have the “secret.”
Recognize the Gimmicky Language
There is no diet book that says “eat healthier and exercise.” Everything has to have a gimmick because common sense doesn’t really sell. It’s the same with gurus. If they said to work hard, build slowly, learn as much as possible, and get involved with a good network, no one would pay them.
Gurus become gurus because they always have the “one big secret” to getting rich quick. They’ve figured out the market. They know what it takes. And for a fee, you’re going to learn it too.
Obviously, that’s pretty self-refuting; if they knew how to beat the market every time, they wouldn’t be giving speeches in an airport hotel. But even if their secret has validity, it’s not universal. The market is always changing. Circumstances change. The only real secret is knowing how to adjust. But that’s not going to get you attention.
Gurus want attention.
Don’t Forget You’re Working With People
One thing I’ve noticed about gurus is that they always, always talk about “winning” or “crushing the deal” or something like that. They offer great ways to buy from a homeowner in order to spend the least possible amount of money, There’s a lot of sleight-of-hand and fast-talking and all that.
And yes, you want your offer to leave you with a good profit margin. And sure, there are some people who can sell snake oil to a cobra. But most of us only succeed by treating the seller like a human being who might be in a tough spot. That’s not just kindness or anything; that’s how you get to a confident “yes.”
When you work with a guru’s buying system, you tend to see sellers as obstacles, problems to be dealt with, pieces to be moved around. That’s not really helpful. Most people can see through that, and don’t want to work with someone who is trying to strong-arm or flim-flam them. Would you?
Offer clients a fair deal—that’s the best kind of win.
Don’t Think You’ve Got Everything Figured Out
I’ve seen what a recession looks like. Rebounds are different. Buyers behave differently. Prevailing despite a decline in the market helped me understand how, say, the coronavirus could affect real estate investors. But I never think I have everything figured out.
That’s what gurus do. They sell certainty. They peddle easy answers. They want you to think that you won’t have anything else to worry about if you listen to them. That’s comforting, but it isn’t reality.
This business requires adaptation and lessons learned. Lessons build on lessons, and that helps you become flexible. Different people offer different advice, and that helps you pick a path. Absolute certainty is the best way to fail. That’s one thing about which you can be certain.
Beyond Gurus: A Better Way to Get Better at Real Estate Investing
If it’s not already obvious, I’m not a fan of gurus. I think the best way to get better is to get out there and do it. And in my experience, the best way to set yourself up is to become an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchise.
As a franchisee, I get great leads from our national “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing campaign. Those are quality leads, every time, with minimal competition. For new franchisees, there is incredible training, high-quality education, and a true mentoring program. That’s a great way to pick the minds of people who are actually out there in the field.
Qualified leads. Assistance. The benefit of a lot of experience. That’s what I think people in real estate investing need. Gurus might be exciting, but this business is about getting out there and doing the work, with the support of a network behind you. If you want to break away from gurus and break into a solid network, request information about becoming a franchisee today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.