Growing up in Seattle the 80s and 90s, I always felt we were way ahead of the curve. Our music, our scene, our ethos—and our coffee—kind of took over the country. I felt that way again this year, under much sadder and stranger circumstances, when Seattle was the first U.S. city to deal with coronavirus. Being ahead of the curve has helped us plan ahead.
This is true of public health, and it is also true of real estate. I’ve used my years in the business to become adaptable to anything the economy throws my way and grow in times of exciting potential for the market. If you are newer to real estate investing, a great way to see ahead of that curve is to take classes. But, as a lot of people have asked me, can you do that this year?
No, and yes.
We don’t know exactly what size groups it will be safe to gather in for the rest of the year. But, we do know that this virus hasn’t stopped communication; indeed, it has made it stronger. There are ways to learn even while social distancing.
So, when you ask if you should attend real estate investing classes in Seattle this year, I say yes. You just have to pick the right ones, make sure that they are worth your time, and figure out how to fit them into your overall business plans. That’s the best way to make sure that, like Seattle, you remain ahead of the curve.
Why Attend Real Estate Investing Classes in Seattle
As we’ve all gone through the stages of the quarantine, we’ve all had to take stock of what is truly important. One of the things I know that has been important in my career is the classes I took when I was starting out. It was an unforgettable education that put me on the path to success. After all these years, it is still vital.
The Seattle real estate market was already in an interesting spot before the pandemic hit. It is absorbing more and more “rent refugees” from California, and that is beginning to impact prices. Already a tech haven, our city is growing at a rapid rate.
And now with the pandemic, there is a ton of opportunity to buy houses from distressed homeowners. With many people losing their jobs, they’ll also reassess their finances and get rid of what they don’t need or can’t afford. For many, that will be their house. They’ll be looking for a quick cash infusion, and real estate investors will be there for them.
That’s a good opportunity. The continued influx of good jobs and the opening up of houses means a chance to be successful.
But that means knowing how the market works. It means knowing what neighborhoods will be good investments. It means having a real-time understanding of changing conditions. And that means taking real estate classes in Seattle.
What to Look For In A Real Estate Investing Class
There are two types of real estate investing classes in my personal taxonomy.
1. The kind that tells you you’re going to get rich, quick!
2. The kind that teaches you.
Now, maybe it is just me, but I prefer classes that actually teach. A good real estate investing class isn’t going to sit you in a classroom for an hour and offer you the world. That’s not how it works. Real estate training and education has to prepare you for the reality of the business. It has to offer you guidance on the most important aspects of real estate investing.
This is more than sourcing Craigslist or driving for dollars. You need to know the best way to find houses in neighborhoods with potential where there isn’t a ton of competition jacking up the prices.
Evaluating potential ROI
This crucial step helps you know how much work you have to do to a house to make it sellable compared to how much you may be able to sell it for. If you go into it thinking you’re going to slap on a coat of paint in Seahawks colors, but you really need to redo the foundation, you might be in trouble.
Calculating the cost of the work needed in the house, as well as what the market will look like in a few months, is crucial to understanding potential ROI.
How do you find the right hard money lenders that can make the deal happen without you getting hosed on the backend? Believe me, there are plenty of “lenders” out there who will happily let you borrow—and then sneak that house right out from under you. You need to know how to vet lenders to be sure you are dealing with a reputable company.
There is a psychology to gaining trust and making the right offer. People don’t want to deal with pushy types, and rightfully so. How will you help the homeowner in an “ugly” situation?
You need to be able to find the line between motivation to grow your business and meeting the needs of the homeowner. This takes skill—and training.
Planning an exit strategy
Knowing the when and how to sell isn’t as easy as it seems. Are you going to fix it, or wholesale it? Do you think it makes sense to rent it out and earn money while the market picks up again? Do you want to flip it right away so that you are selling in the same market, with the certainty that immediate turnover brings?
Each option has pros and potential drawbacks. You have to have an exit strategy before you even enter a deal.
All of these steps are work, and all of them are evolving fields. If your class just offers stuff like “boost your confidence” and “5 quick tips to buy mansions for cheap in Broadmoor,” run away. Run very quickly.
Taking Classes in Seattle This Year
So the big question is, what’s going to be happening to real estate investing classes in Seattle this year? Well, there are three options. One is that in-person classes will happen, which may or may not be safe. The second is that some classes will go virtual, and you’ll have to find a good one. Or, they might not happen at all.
Looking at some of the more popular real estate investing classes in Seattle, we see that there are some grim options.
- REIA Washington. As of right now, all events have been canceled through June. There are no Zoom events either, because, as the site says, they don’t want their information copied and put online. So in a market with huge potential, you don’t get training. Sorry!
- Real Estate Association of Puget Sound. Their website doesn’t mention anything about COVID, or anything about differences in their class schedule due to the virus. I don’t know, maybe they don’t watch the news? So, either they are going on as if things are normal or they aren’t keeping you up to date on how to take classes and network differently.
- NWRealtor. This option is a little more promising. They do have online classes, though a lot of it is for real estate agents looking to get their licenses up to date. The classes are a bit of a hodgepodge, without any unifying theme, but there are some good ones. One or two might even be possibly worth it.
But of course, if we are going to go virtual, “maybe worth it” isn’t good enough. Going virtual has altered our time commitments, so we have to be pickier. Sitting in front of a computer for four hours and learning only a little bit is a waste of time. You don’t even get to network.
So, my advice, if you are going to spend time and money in a virtual class, is to take classes that:
1. Are taught by actual working professionals, not professional “gurus”
2. Offer great opportunities to expand your network
3. Are part of your overall business plans; that is, do the classes also help you find leads and support you through the investing process
How can you do this? There is a way.
The Best Way To Take Virtual Real Estate Investing Classes in Seattle
HomeVestors® has been in business since 1996 and knows a thing or two about real estate investing education. As an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I received industry-leading training and been able to learn from my fellow working professionals over the years of my career. While the deeply-helpful week-long training for new franchisees usually takes place in person, this year it is going to be virtual. And, you’ll still get the same top-notch education you need.
But it’s not just education. You meet your peers. You grow your network. You learn how to use proprietary valuation and financing tools. And, you don’t just learn how to get leads and buy houses; when you are a franchisee, you actually get qualified leads.
See, that’s how education does more than fit into your business plan. With HomeVestors, education is a key part of the package. It is part of your plan. It’s as close to you as I still am to my flannel shirts.
If you want to become a franchisee and receive virtual real estate investment classes here in Seattle this year, request information today. Everything might seem different here in Seattle, but the need to learn about becoming a professional real estate investor hasn’t changed.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
HomeVestors of America® is the nation’s only real estate investing franchise, providing business opportunities to real estate and investment professionals across the nation.