It’s been a while since I explored my options for real estate investment classes here in NJ. Still, when a former co-worker, Pat, approached me about the local training opportunities he’d researched, I agreed to look them over to see how they compared with the training I ultimately settled on. It seems a lifetime ago that we worked together, but I remember being impressed with his work ethic and his ability to take charge. So, I was happy to hear he was finally quitting his corporate job to pursue a career that would better suit his entrepreneurial spirit, just like I did years ago.
Pat and I sat down for coffee one Saturday to review his real estate investment plan and to determine if the classes he’d found would actually help him accomplish his goals. Afterward, we talked about the training I received and how it jump-started my career almost immediately. It was a good, long chat. Here’s how that discussion went and where Pat finally ended up.
Where to Take Real Estate Investment Classes in NJ
Some real estate investment classes only cover one subject in detail, while others provide a broad overview of multiple topics. But, when you’re starting a career in real estate investing, you’ll want to take part in a comprehensive training program that digs deep into everything you need to know to become an investing pro. This includes how to find a great investment property, evaluate repair costs, decide on an exit strategy, and determine potential returns. The program should also advise on how to handle any hiccups that happen during a renovation and how to market your property once the rehab is complete. In short, it should set you up to invest in real estate right away so that when your coursework is done, your career has begun.
So, do the real estate investment classes we reviewed dot all those i’s and cross all those t’s? They don’t, unfortunately. But, it was worth our time to check them out because each had something to offer. They also helped Pat narrow his choices. If you’re thinking about training as a real estate investor, looking at these options might help you choose the right course as well.
Acropolis School of Real Estate
The Acropolis School of Real Estate has multiple locations throughout New Jersey and offers one-day investment seminars that rotate between each. The classes are taught by a real estate investor with over three decades of experience and include how to invest in real estate without money or good credit, how to build real estate equity with a property portfolio, and how to use contracts and certain clauses within them to your advantage. The cost for the seminar is $995, which is expensive. But, the topics that are covered are certainly key for new investors to grasp.
The problem with all one-day seminars is that a single eight-hour day isn’t enough time for any instructor–regardless of how experienced they are–to teach all there is to know about successfully investing in real estate. And, this particular seminar is only four hours long. At a cost of almost a thousand dollars, you’re better off saving your money for a program that takes the time to teach you more about investing in real estate than it does about spending too much on seminars.
Real Estate Investors Association (REIA)
This association hosts a variety of evening classes, workshops, and special events on real estate investing for its members and visiting guests a few times a month. And, with multiple REIA chapters throughout the state, including South Jersey and North Jersey, there are opportunities to learn no matter where you live. For an annual fee of $150 for individuals, or $495 for business affiliates, you gain access to courses on real estate investment analysis and valuation, online foreclosure auctions, and using hard money–just to name a few. You also get discounts on products and services supplied by REIA sponsors and the chance to mingle with other investing colleagues. Because the REIA is one of the better known, and more widely respected, associations out there, it’s not a bad place for good classes.
But, even with the REIA’s broad selection of real estate investment classes, you won’t get your investing career off the ground and running anytime soon after joining. The courses are just spread too far apart and often serve double-duty as networking events. Each New Jersey chapter has its own event calendar, as well. So, the selection of course and the caliber of teachers will vary depending on your region. The advantage in joining, then, really lies in meeting industry colleagues and having access to refresher courses on specific topics–if you need them. However, if you’ve already been trained by a great team, have access to a local real estate investing mentor, and possess a solid work ethic, you should have all you need to succeed.
New Jersey City University (NJCU)
NJCU offers a basic online real estate investing course that’s available to any new investor with an internet connection. A new class begins roughly every month and students have access to their web-based classroom and materials for six weeks. The class is run by a real estate investor and developer who tailors the lesson according to the individual student’s investing goals. With more than 15 years of experience to back him up, his lesson plans include information on foreclosures, project management, building a network, and the impact of interest rates. It’s a lot of material to cover for only $100. But the price, and the self-paced online environment, might make classes at the NJCU seem appealing if you’re tight on money and time.
Except that a more productive use of your money and time is to get the most of your real estate investment training as quickly as you can. Whether you intend to start your career by investing full-time or part-time, spreading one class over six weeks will put you behind the curve. Even if you strive to knock the NJCU course out of the park in a few days, there isn’t enough material offered to cover all of your investing bases. You’ll have to take more classes somewhere else to fill in the gaps. In this case, it appears you get what you pay for.
In order to jump-start a new investing career as soon as possible, you’ve got to get the best training available from the most experienced team starting on day one. Otherwise, you risk spending money and wasting time on courses that get you nowhere. Unfortunately, these local real estate investing classes don’t provide the educational resources you need to get you out of the classroom and on the road to reaching your investment goals fast enough. But, luckily for would-be New Jersey investors, there is an all-inclusive training program that will.
The Best Training for Reaching Your Investment Goals
Some of the most informative chats happen over coffee. When I quit my corporate job years ago, a successful real estate investor took the time to educate me on my options for training as an investor over a cup. He was an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee and, after our discussion, I decided to become one too. More than just offering a smattering of real estate investment classes, HomeVestors® gives franchisees the opportunity to really learn the ropes through a comprehensive week-long training program and one-on-one mentoring with a seasoned Development Agent afterward to help you reach your investment goals from the moment you open your business doors. All you have to bring to the table is the strong work ethic and the entrepreneurial spirit that drove you to leave your corporate job.
After another good cup of joe, Pat decided to take charge of reaching his real estate investment goals by becoming a HomeVestors® franchisee, too. If your goal is to become a successful New Jersey investor, make a plan and contact HomeVestors today!
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.