Take one look at Google and you’ll see that there’s content for days on real estate investment. Anyone looking to learn has a wealth of resources at their fingertips. The problem, naturally, is that it can be information overload!
With so many people out there throwing their two cents into the ring, it can be difficult for an investor to know who to trust. Just about anyone can start a blog, publish an ebook, or make a video to put up on Youtube.
How do you know your sources are good? How can real estate investors curate the best educational resources not only so they don’t waste time wading through sub par content, but so they aren’t misled by bad or unbalanced information?
Here are a few tips.
5 Signs an Educational Resource is Worth Following
They Speak from Experience
You should be able to tell fairly quickly whether or not a resource is speaking from experience. There are a few ways to tell. One, detailed anecdotal evidence. They may tell stories about their investment career, their successes and failures, the processes involved, and how they do it all in detail. These kinds of investors, the ones who give you a real look into what they do, are the kind you can trust to give you good information. They actually pull back the curtain and let you see it all—good and bad. The other thing you can look for apart from anecdotal evidence is simple technical knowledge.
Do they know what they’re talking about? If you’re new to real estate investment it may be harder to discern. Even if you don’t personally know from your own experience when something is “off,” there are a few indicators that they might not be leading you in the right direction.
- They directly contradict numerous sources in the same sphere of investing they inhabit.
- They appeal to emotions rather than intellect or facts to convince you of something.
- They do not have any credentials to speak of.
Be on guard!
They Offer Substance in Their Content
When you take the time out of your day to further your education, you want the sources you use to be worth your while. Have you ever read an article or ebook and realized it was just a big waste of your time? It just didn’t offer you anything of substance.
Here’s a common tactic real estate gurus will throw at their audience: they wrap up a lot of emotional appeals and hopes of getting rich in technical jargon that isn’t really saying anything. It’s a lot like listening to a motivational speaker.
Imagine trying to learn how to drive a car, but instead of telling you what to do, you instructor just keeps telling you about all the amazing places you can drive to when you learn, how cheap gas is right now, and how easy it is to qualify for a car loan. It doesn’t help you learn how to drive the car!
They’re selling you on the experience but they aren’t actually helping you do any of it effectively. When you’re building a library of resources, look for the authors who dispense real information.
They Don’t Make Crazy Claims
We’ve all heard crazy claims about real estate investment. The get-quick-rich claims that leave a lot of investors with hurting bank accounts and dashed dreams. Real estate gurus don’t actually care whether or not the people listening to them succeed. They aren’t mentors, they aren’t teachers—they’re just out to get your money.
If you’re running a resource through a litmus test, consider their claims: are they offering a realistic picture of the investment experience? Are they honest about their struggles and setbacks? Or does it sound like a risk-free, stress-free, instant path to money?
They Produce Regular Content
Even good blogs suffer from this. You can find really great information on inactive blogs. The problem is following them! As a real estate investor following digital resources, the best way to keep up with it all is to get notifications in some form or another. You can set up on RSS feed or sign up for individual newsletters. However you do it, the content is delivered to you and you can count on them to remind you when there are updates.
But as a busy professional, are you going to remember to look at an inactive blog? Probably not. If you have extra time on your hands, you might go back through some archives. And for some resources, that’s definitely worth doing! But not all resources are timeless or worth dedicating a marathon to. It’s more beneficial to you to focus on active resources so that you can stay up-to-date on current market trends and information.
They Stay On-Topic
Active or not, following resources that don’t have a clear, dedicated focus can be a waste of your time. You can benefit from expanding the topics you read—after all, we all could stand to expand our horizons! That said, when you’re a real estate investor looking specifically for educational resources on investing in real estate, you need those resources to have a laser focus.
If you find those resources going on tangents and consistently producing content that isn’t relevant, it might be a sign that they’re not for you. Think about what you need to know: obviously, there is real estate investment itself and then topics that rest in the peripheral. Marketing, business advice, financial advice, so on and so forth. You just have to ask yourself: how does this apply to me? How does this apply to what I’m doing?
If you curate the very best resources you can find, regardless of medium, you will be equipped to further your real estate education and succeed as an investor!