How to Gain an Online Real Estate Education

Without formal training students will have a hard time entering the real estate industry. Online accredited colleges and universities provide students with a variety of degree programs that prepare them for a career in the field. With formal training students are able to work in various parts of real estate.

The selling and purchasing of a house is not a simple process and many individuals are involved in finalizing a sale. The main careers that are available to students that complete a degree program include:

  • Brokers
  • Appraisers
  • Inspectors

Each career option plays a different role in the transaction of buying a home. Brokers work directly with buyers to purchase a home. Appraisers estimate the worth of a home and inspectors guarantee that a home complies with all building regulations. Online training programs offer all the necessary skills to enter each career. Students can gain a real estate education by completing a degree program and earning state licensure.

Degree programs are offered at the associate’s, bachelors, and master’s degree level. All educational levels prepare students to become trained professionals. Associates degree programs teach students the basics of the field. A foundation is gained that includes the legalities and finances of real estate. Students that complete a bachelor’s degree program learn the practices for commercial, residential, and rental properties. Marketing and sales education and investing courses are examined as students learn the ins and outs of real estate law. Most online programs are available at the undergraduate level. Master’s degree programs are only offered by a small number of online schools. Advanced concepts are explored in a master’s degree program as students learn about the theory and procedures behind real estate. Each level of education allows students to choose concentrations. Training divides learning into core and specialization classes. Common concentrations offered online include:

  • Appraisal
  • Property Management
  • Consulting

Specific training focuses on these areas and more to give students a complete understanding of the field. Business mathematics, legal aspects, financial institutions, mortgage markets, construction operations, and more are subjects covered in each level of education. Depending on the concentration chosen students may learn advanced practices. For example, students that are working on a consulting concentration can expect to learn finance management and capital markets at a deeper level. Education at every level trains students to confidently step into the next phase of schooling, which is the licensing exam.

To officially gain an online education, students will have to prepare and successfully pass a licensing exam. The national exam covers all foundational areas that are learned inside a degree program. Licensure is gained from the Real Estate Commission. Each state licensing requirement may be different so students need to be sure to contact their local commission to find out requirements.

Training programs can be completed from the comfort of home when students enroll in an online school. Explore the different concentration options and begin the process of gaining an accredited real estate education online. Full accreditation is awarded to quality educational programs by agencies like the Distance Education and Training Council (http://www.detc.org/) to quality training programs that meet certain requirements.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

The Importance of Real Estate Education

Real estate is said to be one of the best investments that an individual can make, but if this is true, why do so many people fail at it? The truth is that an adequate real estate education is needed in order to help you out along the way because the real estate industry can truly turn on you in a real hurry if you are not prepared. Real estate investments are very likely to yield a generous return if the proper steps are taken, but too many people simply do not have the skills to make these deals happen. These are the people who did not take the time to get a real estate investing education and, therefore, will be more likely to fail when things do not go according to plan.

A proper education will prepare these investors for the problems that they will deal with along the way and give these people the skills that they need to work through these problems. In addition, this education teach innovative techniques that many more seasoned investors might not have, which will give these students an advantage in this very competitive industry. During the course, the real estate investor will also be introduced to lenders, builders, attorneys and bankers who can help them close the deals in an efficient manner. Having these connections could be the difference between succeeding and failing, so this is reason in itself to get a real estate education. These courses can even be broken down into specific types of investing, which can cut down on your classroom time and get you into the game even faster.

Even with a real estate investing education, there might be some bumps along the road, but this education will give the investor an idea of how to deal with these bumps without losing too much. There is so much more that goes into real estate investing than simply buying properly, developing it, and selling the finished product and all beginning investors need to know about these nuances before getting involved. Even more seasoned real estate investors are now taking these courses to refresh their memories and possibly even add new techniques to their knowledge base. All successful businesspeople will tell you to never stop learning and this education is one way to stay on top of things.

A real estate education is becoming almost mandatory for those who wish to become real estate investors because so many successful people have already been through these courses. Therefore, taking them can level the playing field somewhat because you will have access to the same techniques as people who have already made a lot of money. This field is not for everyone and it requires a great deal of risk when starting out, so it is extremely important that you are aware of these immense risks. This education will also help you make you aware of what you can lose during this process, which will allow you to make the best decision possible for yourself.

Investment Real Estate Marketing Plan – Putting Details Into Action

Marketing is one of the most important things a real estate investor can do to grow his business. It is also one of the areas that is easiest to make multiple mistakes. From failing to properly plan, failure to track your results and even worse, failure to control spending; marketing is fraught perils that beginning investors and long time investors alike must be aware and prepared to avoid.

There are 3 main areas of marketing to concentrate on when seeking to grow sales and revenues. The first is education, the second is planning and the third is tracking for adjustments and success. All three are important for investors to watch as they seek to grow sales and revenues and more importantly, build a business model that is sustainable through any real estate cycle.

EDUCATION

Educating yourself as a real estate investor and marketer is absolutely paramount if you are going to have success and grow your business. There is simply no excuse for not understanding the basics of each as they both are extremely important for the longevity and ability to stay relevant and profitable. Here a few examples of places to become educated on good marketing techniques for real estate investors.

1. Local Library – There may not be a better place to become educated on real estate marketing than the local library. Break the topic down into two subjects and you can have the basics down inside of a week. Under the real estate section there are multiple titles that explain the basics of real estate investing from beginner levels to expert levels. In addition, many of these books will give a basic outline of some simple marketing techniques and tools to get you started. When you combine that knowledge with a good Marketing 101 book from the library, you can quickly pick up the basic outline of why marketing must be done and how properly set up a marketing plan. The best part about an education from the library is the cost – practically free!

2. Real Estate Investment Clubs – Often times, these clubs are referred to in the industry as REIA’s. Associations of local real estate investors who come together several times a month to discuss topics relevant to real estate investing. These are great sources for so many things related to real estate investing, including marketing ideas and plans. By attending and immersing yourself into these groups, it is easy to develop friendships, partnerships and even mentors who can answer questions and provide guidance. By paying attention to what the top performers are doing in the field and how they are marketing their businesses, you can pick up ideas and integrate those ideas into your marketing plan. It is called modeling and it is one of the best ways to educate yourself on what is working in a particular real estate market. The biggest upside to becoming educated at a REIA is that you are surrounding yourself with the type of people that are going to be vital to your future success. The costs are usually very affordable and you can often avoid mistakes made by other investors before you.

3. Go it Alone – There probably does not need to be a tremendous amount of discussion under this heading. It speaks for itself and generally goes against all advice I could ever give any business person, especially a real estate investor. As far as education is concerned, it is an approach that many investors choose to take and often at a tremendous cost. Going it alone means deciding to jump into the deep end of the pool with both feet and learning as you go. Trial and error can be good and can sometimes lead to good results, but often after many hours and many ups and downs. Strictly looking at costs, many investors have experienced huge losses in the areas of marketing to learn what works in their particular market and often are a little behind the actual trends due to not properly learning to track and adjust.

My suggestion when it comes to education to use all the resources available including those that come with little to no costs. When you are becoming educated on how to set up a proper marketing plan complete with tracking and adjusting, then I would make sure I was a part of a local real estate investors association so that I am always up to date with the latest marketing techniques.

PLANNING

When I talk about planning and marketing, I mean to process of laying out the actual strategies you are going to use to market your business, the time frame you are going to use those strategies, the way you are going to track those results and the possible adjustments you are going to make as your results come in on your plan. One of the biggest mistakes that we see today in the real estate marketing world is not a complete failure to plan, but a failure to lay the full plan out from beginning to end. That being said, here are a few tips to properly develop a plan.

1. Know what you are currently doing and what results you are currently achieving. Even if the answer is that you are doing nothing, you can not work on where you are going if you do not know where you currently are starting from. You should be able to pinpoint today any marketing you are doing and the cost of that marketing as well as any results you are seeing.

2. Know what results you are looking for before you begin. So once you know where you are starting from, the next question is were are you going? Lay out concrete results you want to achieve and be specific. One of the glaring mistakes in this area is not being specific enough. You cannot track abstract goals. Your goals must be specific and detailed so that you can verify if you are achieving them. An example would be a specific number of new leads you want to bring in from each marketing source.

3. Give yourself set time frames to test your marketing. This is definitely the second biggest problem for real estate marketers and most marketers in general. Marketing plans must be given time to take shape and develop. Most real estate marketers are developing marketing plans which are call to action in nature. They are asking their target audience to take a particular action so that they can capture that action and develop a new lead. An example would be to “Call Today to Sell Your House Quick!”. This is a call to action marketing phrase. Often times, there will need to be multiple impressions of that message before the action is followed. Failing to plan a specific amount of time such as 60 days or 90 days, leads to a marketer stopping his action before his target audience responds. If you allow your plan to last longer and stick with all of your marketing pieces and techniques longer, you give yourself a greater chance for success in the long run. It allows for you to see over a longer period of time the results you are getting and that provides a clearer picture of what works and what does not work. DO NOT quit marketing after a couple of weeks simply because your phone is not ringing off the hook. Set your time period on the front end and then let your marketing plan work.

4. Failing to get input from other experts can be costly. If you have access to other real estate investors, I would definitely get their input on your marketing plan before implementation. If they are able to give you advice and direction it can often times help you to figure out the best route to take or at least if you are on track for success. If you have taken your time and all the steps necessary so far to put together a quality plan, then take advice from other experts, but do not be persuaded to change everything. Simply let others take a quick look for feedback, but be prepared to move forward with your plan and any adjustments they think would make a difference.

TRACKING

Tracking means having a way to actually follow and measure all of the marketing activities you are doing and the number of results each gets you. Here are some examples of the things that real estate marketers need to track for every marketing action they take.

1. What are the total number of leads generated per marketing technique tracked daily, weekly and monthly.
2. How many of those leads turned into qualified prospects daily, weekly and monthly. (qualified prospect means you were willing to invest more time to develop the lead)
3. The number of offers made to purchase property daily, weekly and monthly.
4. The ratios of offers made to where the original lead came from.

I am going to insert a quick note here to make sure everyone understands exactly how to track. It is not enough to simply know how many calls you are getting or how many leads are generated or how many offers or deals are being done. When you actually purchase an investment property, you MUST know where that lead came from at the very beginning. Tracking ratios is extremely important to this. It is important to be able to track and measure not only the leads but the quality of those leads. You can have one lead generator that gives you a majority of your leads and another that gives you a majority of your transactions. It should be obvious that you would want to spend more time and resources with the marketing technique giving your more transactions unless you are in the business to simply feel busy and not necessarily to earn a living!

5. What is the cost per lead generated, per marketing technique daily, weekly and monthly.

6. What is the average income generated from each transaction generated by each marketing technique daily, weekly and monthly.

When you are able to track your business in this way, it makes it much easier to make adjustments as you go and it definitely gives a clearer picture of how well you are spending marketing dollars. Often times, as legendary basketball coach John Wooden would say “we mistake activity for productivity” The entire reason for developing and implementing a proper marketing plan is so that we can determine what works, what does not work and what changes we need to make so that we are spending the fewest dollars possible for the greatest impact and result. If we fail to implement any part of this type of marketing plan, then whatever success we achieve cannot be measured against any activities and therefore cannot be duplicated.

I am a big proponent of education and immersion as the best learning tools available and I believe that when it comes to marketing, it is simply too easy to learn the proper way to plan and track. When you have the basics down and solid plan to follow, success will follow.