Tuesday, July 31, 2007


No not me. A bunch of people I have met from my REIA new orientation (yes I finally joined a REIA after years of struggling in this business). Several of them mentioned that they joined the Rich Dad Robert Kiyosaki Real Estate School and they are learning alot from it.

Currently Rich Dad is undergoing an marketing blitz on sharing to others how to become financially free by offering FREE TRAINING in various cities across the country. I am sure this is a good marketing for upselling to their various higher priced courses. While I am not against selling or marketing as I am an entrepreneur myself, I prefer to give abundant value to those who are my clients. In the case of these real estate institutes, schools, and bootcamps it seems like I am paying $10 for a can of soda that I can get for $.50. While I am sure that people are getting something of these educational organizations I question the pricing of these compared to the various alternatives.

Recently one of my family members friend called me to tell me that he is in the business of real estate. I was surprised and wanted to know more. He explained that he was retired and now entering into 2 new business ventures - real estate and travel. I wanted to know what made him jump into them. He told me after retiring from civil service he was bored and attended a Robert Allen FREE TRAINING on becoming a millionaire. IMMEDIATELY a red flag in my head rose and I asked.... "how much"? He blurted out "$15,000" and he is looking to do deals in order to pay for that education back quickly. I was shocked but not surprised by his comment as I have heard this story many times. In fact I was like that. I watched all these late informericals about how to become rich in my sleep buying property NO MONEY DOWN and attending some of these FREE WORKSHOPS and SEMINARS. Going there and finding people selling their wares. Not all are bad as I have met Vena Jones Cox (www.regoddess.com) who was once the President of the Cincinnati Ohio REIA through a Wright Thurston bootcamp.

I do see some value in some of these bootcamps who also offer mentorship. It is surprising to me how people are willing to pay so much and they can easily get education from more accredited educational sources from REIAs or even universities such as Baruch College CUNY or NYU for much lower costs.

For example, I just joined a REIA in my local area for a whopping price of ...............
$125 / year!
Yes I know that there will be materials sold however for the information and networking offered in a major metropolitan area that is incredible value. You can find partners to do deals with or even a course that is 1/4 of what the gurus are pricing for their wares. This month I have some masterminds appearing in order to see what deals are out there.

Another example, I looked into my alma mater to see what classes they are offering in the real estate industry. Here it goes:

Real Estate Finance
Law of Real Estate Transactions and Land Use Regulations
Real Estate Valuation and Market Analysis
Real Estate Capital Markets
Advanced Real Estate Investment Analysis
Economics of Urban Areas
Urban Economic Development
* Each course is 3 credits and each credit is $400 for this MBA degree.

So each course for over 3 hrs a week for a school semester which is about 15 weeks is less than $80 / credit. Now if you join full time it is $4400 for at least 12 credits a semester.

Now you will say, "hey but these don't teach you to flip deals, lease option a house, or even short sale a note!". WAIT! This give you SOLID information and tools on real estate valuation and also understanding how real estate works. In addition, there are more reasonably priced entrepreneurial courses on real estate that don't cost as much. For example:

The Ohio Professional Housing Provider's Program

Course of study
The course of study will be divided into 42 clock hours of core courses and 18 hours of elective topics for a total of 60 hours of formal education. The core topics are as follows:

Appraisal - 2 hours
Including formal appraisal methods (cost, income, and replacement methods), PACE instruction, how to compare properties, etc.

Rehab - 4 hours
Classroom - 2 hours (including estimation, which projects will pay for themselves, etc.). Hands-on - 2 hours (including actual hands-on opportunities and demonstrations)

Fair housing law - 3 hours
Federal, state, and local fair housing regulations

Negotiation - 3 hours
Negotiating with sellers, buyers, renters, contractors and vendors, banks, etc.

Finance - 6 hours
Conventional financing, FHA/VA financing, owner financing of all types, comparing financing, offering financing.

Tenant-Landlord law - 2 hours
Landlord's and tenants responsibilities, evictions, etc.

Contract Law - 3 hours
Basic contract law, using contracts and clauses to protect yourself, developing contracts such as leases, options, purchase contracts etc., that are for the real estate investment business.

Local regulations - 2 hours
Zoning and building codes

Federal regulations - 1 hour
Regulations affecting real estate investment OTHER THAN tax laws, fair housing laws, and EPA regulations.

EPA regulations - 1 hour
Regulations affecting real estate investment such as: lead paint regulations, wetlands regulations, underground storage tank regulations, environmental quality zone regulations, etc.

Management - 4 hours
Record keeping; dealing with tenants; maximizing cash flow; and others

Purchasing - 2 hours
Finding deals and calculating profitability

Inspections - 2 hours
Pre and post purchase inspections, and pre and post move-out inspections of properties held

Tax law (income) - 1 hour
Calculating and minimizing taxes, and tax laws as they affect the real estate investor

Tax law (other) - 1 hour
Property taxes, 1031 tax deferred trades, etc.

Insurance-property - 1 hour
Including what type of property insurance is appropriate for investment property; negotiating for the best rates and renter's insurance

Insurance-worker's compensation - 1 hour
When, why, and for whom to carry worker's compensation insurance

Insurance-liability - 1 hour
Including why and how much

Marketing - 2 hours
How to market properties for sale and for rent; how to market buying services

Ethics - 2 hours
Including enacting and actual use of, national, state, local and personal buisiness ethics statements, policies and practices.

Electives - 18 hours
The remaining 18 hours may include education in any or all of the above topics, as selected by the OPHP candidate.

This is a program that is released in Ohio as a response to the various investors who have taken advantage of homeowners in distress. This course is designed not only to instruct people on the HOW TO STEPS of becoming an real estate entrepreneur but it also gives you legal, taxes, and other supporting information on how to comply with the law. Yes it is in Ohio however consider how many people are flying to LV, Cali, or even NYC to take a real estate guru's course that costs 5x as much and more?

Lastly we have knowledge that you learn through books, CDs, and life experience. There are many books out there so I use AMAZON (www.amazon.com) to shift through them. Home study courses I search through websites like http://realestatecoursereviews.com which does a peer to peer review on various courses that I can purchase from the vendor / guru or on ebay (www.ebay.com). The life experience comes from possibly becoming a realtor, appraiser, loan officer, contractor, etc... as it affords real life practice and experience into a transaction to know how real estate transactions are performed in real life.

If you found this of value, please post your comment and experience. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Learning to Rehab ... THE RIGHT WAY !

This past weekend went to the REHABBING RIGHT bootcamp offered in Cincinnati Ohio by Vena Jones Cox (www.regoddess.com) and Jerry Fink (http://cj-phoenix.com/) who at this time of writing is the President of the Cincinnati REIA. It was a 2 day bootcamp however it was tough to cover in depth and do justice the whole field of rehab.

Day 1 - drove around to look at 3 properties and also the Home Depot to see how to look for various items

Day 2 - went through various topics including - how to find a deal, what is a deal and the various MAO (maximum allowable offers) on each exit strategy, how to make an offer and fund the deal, making up a statement of work, finding a contractor, managing a contractor, paperwork required to make sure you limit liability, preparing the property for sale or rental, finding renters or buyers, etc..., making it a business, diagnosing the health of the business, how to use his purchasing software to buy items from Home Depot and other vendors

Overall Jerry did a good job and getting the material going through and offering best tips. I have various projects going on that I want to use this system. For the price given it is a nice package.