Take an Online Real Estate Investing Class

That’s because every investor needs to continue their education and learn from someone with more experience in order to succeed. Not only are real estate investing classes a great way to gain this knowledge, but they also provide a great way to network with other investors. Sometimes, professional investors with years of experience teach real estate investing classes.

The cost of these classes is worth the interaction with such a successful figure.

Real estate investors looking for real estate investing classes truly have a wealth of choices. This is great news, because real estate investing classes are an investment of time and money — both of which are non-renewable resources. Before you spend your precious hours and your dollars on any class, you should investigate to make sure that you select the right class.

One of the choices you will need to make when selecting real estate investing trainings is what sort of class to take. Community colleges, professional organizations, and other institutions offer in person classes. These real estate investing classes are the traditional learning experience – you learn in the classroom, and interact with your fellow students and instructor in person. In addition to these, though, there are also real estate investing classes available online.

These distance education courses allow you to interact with your fellow investor peers and investment instructor via e-mail.

There are some advantages to in person real estate investing classes.

For one thing, networking is made simpler by person-to-person interaction. You can truly get to know your students and your instructor on a face-to-face basis. Of course, that is if class size is small enough to accommodate much interaction. Also, in person real estate investing classes do require a higher level of commitment. If you have a hard time committing to studies, having to show up at a specific classroom on specific dates can provide you with the structure you may need in order to stick with it.

That said, though, there are number of advantages to online real estate investing classes.

One of these advantages is cost. Because online classes do not require building fees, commuting, and other associated costs, they can be less costly than on-campus courses. Secondly, online real estate investing classes give you more options. If you do not live near a college or university that offers quality classes from a qualified investor, you can easily take excellent programs with very experienced and qualified instructors from the comfort of your own home. Many online real estate investing classes are very sophisticated and useful. In many cases, less time is spent on housekeeping items and on chatting, and there is more of a focus on actually learning the material you need to know.

In addition, online real estate investing classes are useful for those investors who have busy lives. These classes can often be completed on a self-paced basis. You can study when you have the time, even if your days are already filled up with previous commitments.

Ultimately, whichever sort of real estate investing classes you select, you should be looking for the best classes you can afford. Look for classes taught by qualified instructors who themselves have achieved considerable success in real estate investing. Look for classes that have excellent track records and which are highly praised by previous students.

How to Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in Florida

I get many visitors for various reasons to my website many of whom inquire about how to obtain a real estate license in Florida. I presume one of the reasons I get so many inquiries is that I hire new agents with little to no experience for my team.

Since the requirements vary for non Florida residents, I will only discuss those that applicable to residents of Florida.

Those interested in obtaining a real estate license should consider not only the time investment in obtaining a license, but also the expenses both initial and on going that are incurred when licensed as a agent.

The Requirements

While obtaining a Florida real estate license is not overly complicated, it is regulated by the Florida Division of Real Estate and there are specific requirements.

Here are the general requirements for obtaining a Florida license:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • Have high school diploma or GED
  • Complete and pass the state approved 63 hour Sales Associate Pre-License course
  • Submit application to the Division of Real Estate with the appropriate fee
  • Pass the state exam

There are few exceptions to the above the requirements:

  • If you are an attorney with a current Florida Bar Card
  • If you have a 4 year Degree in Real Estate

In addition, there is also the requirement of being finger printed and having a background check performed prior to taking the Florida exam.

Initial Expenses and Course Types

Enrolling in the 63 hour Sales Associate Pre-License course is actually quite easy. You can either enroll in an instructor led course, or if you prefer you can take the course on-line.

A quick internet search will help you find both types of courses.

While the above may be the actual minimum requirements, there are expenses associated with obtaining a Florida real estate license which include:

  • Course fee
  • Exam fee
  • License fee
  • Finger printing fee
  • Travel expenses as needed

Both of these course types have benefits and drawbacks.

The benefits of attending an instructor led course include having an instructor available to which questions can be directed immediately. There are also student participation benefits as well as having a formal classroom experience.

The drawbacks to an instructor led course are primarily the schedule. Not only are you required to attend all classes, but you have to locate a course near you or be prepared to travel and incur additional expenses.

On-line course benefits include being able to take the class at your leisure as well as study at your own pace. Since on-line courses are timed, you can easily study a chapter at your pace until all chapters are completed and you have fulfilled the 63 hour requirement.

The drawbacks of on-line courses tend to be the lack of interaction with an instructor. Having someone available to direct questions such as a licensed broker or agent will help those who opt for this option.

Which ever course of instruction is chosen, there is a required test at the end which must be passed in order to proceed with taking the actual Florida exam.

The Florida exam is given at specific, certified locations to which either the instructor or the on-line course will direct you.

Once you’ve submitted the application, passed the course, had your fingerprints taken and passed the state exam you are then issued a license number at the testing facility.

Once you have that license, all that remains is to find a Broker where you can “hang” your license.

Additional Expenses

Having a Florida real estate license is not the end of your expenses. Once you have a real estate license there are continuing expenses which should be considered and budgeted:

  • Continuing Education Requirements
  • Local Board of Realtor fees,
  • Possible on-going broker fees
  • License Renewal fees and more.

As you can see, obtaining a Florida real estate license while not overly difficult or complicated is none the less a regulated process.

It is true that just about anyone may obtain a real estate license; however there are significant considerations and expenses that should be understood prior to taking that first step towards obtaining a Florida real estate license.

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Investors, Should You Hire A Real Estate Agent or Not?

Let me give you the punch-line first: Yes, you need to hire an agent! Without an agent on your team you are incomplete and are playing with a handicap. Having said this however, it is not easy to find an agent that actually understands investments. The challenge for investors is first, to be able to identify an investment savvy agent, and second, to make sure you speak the same language and understand each other. Let me give the investors among you some insight into the agent mentality based on my personal experience.

Basic Training

Many years ago, when I started to get my feet wet in the real estate investment world, I got stuck every single time I tried to talk to, and negotiate with an agent. I just did not understand those guys. So, one day, out of sheer frustration, I decided to obtain my own real estate license for two reasons: 1. Undertake the same training as agents did in an effort to understand them, and, 2. Gain access to the same information they have.

In short, here is what I learned, agents are trained to sell mom and pop’s home or to find mom and pop a home and keep them out of trouble in the process… that’s it. Also understand that for the most part, realtor training is fear based. Instructors in Real Estate School frighten aspiring agents with all kinds of horror stories in an effort to keep them walking a straight line – and they do it very effectively!

Investor Mentality vs. Agent Mentality

In addition (in my humble opinion), the kind of person who is attracted to becoming a real estate agent seems to be a conservative, “play it super-safe” kind of person – effective qualities for protecting the interests of mom and pop – but they lack the entrepreneurial spirit that thinks outside the box needed by investors.

The mentality of the average agent is vastly different to that of an investor… agents are trained to think conservatively and to protect the interests of the public, while investors are entrepreneurs.

Agent Function

As an investor, you need to understand the agent’s specific function on your team, and not expect anything of them that is outside of their area of expertise. Many investors make the mistake of passing along vital tasks to the agent that they themselves should be doing, such as crunching numbers, analyzing risk-reward ratios and predicting possible outcomes. Don’t expect your agent to make up in investment knowledge what you lack.

Advantage of Working with an Agent

There are many advantages to investors in working with an agent, and I’d like to point out the two largest ones. First, you gain access to the MLS. Remember that approximately 75% of all real estate is sold through the MLS. Second, you delegate the “right” tasks to your agent which frees you up to do what you do best (or should be best at)… finding creative solutions to ordinary problems.

Don’t be a Cheapo

Unfortunately, many investors pick the agent that charges the lowest commission. If that is the only criteria, the least competent agent will usually get the job and you will lose money somewhere else in the transaction. To gain a half percent in commission cost and lose three percent due to poor marketing, negotiation or transaction management doesn’t make sense. Highly skilled professionals charge accordingly and their results pay for themselves many times over… pay them!

Conclusion

I strongly believe every investor needs a qualified investment realtor on their team: this makes life easier and more profitable. Just as in any profession, there are many real estate agents that are extremely good at what they do, and many more that are not. It is your job to sort through the crowd and find someone that satisfies your needs and expectations. Seek out agents who are also experienced real estate investors, and that specialize in working with investors.