Have you ever received emails from apparently successful property investors, telling you how you can make £50,000 from a Caribbean island if you pay them the privilege of learning their secrets?
While you may feel tempted to boost your knowledge by spending money on a course run by someone who has made it in the sector, it pays to be diligent and do your homework before parting with your money.
So which training courses are worthwhile for property investors, if any at all, and what should you look out for when signing up to a course?
Here we break down your options and tell you what to look for when signing up to a property investment course. With the help of this guide, you can hopefully comfortably decide what your next steps should be and whether to invest in an educational course or not.
This particular type of training can be related to a niche strategy like rent-to-rent or expert-level content relating to taxation or finance, or a particular type of investment such as HMOs.
Specific training can certainly be very valuable when delivered by someone with lots of experience and it's easy to see how for a few hundred pounds, you could cut years off your learning curve and boost your confidence in no time.
If you’re wondering why someone is teaching a course if they’re doing so well, then it’s worth knowing that the people offering these courses often enjoy sharing their knowledge and are incentivised by earning up to £5,000 per day from teaching.
Before parting with your money, however, you should check the credentials of the instructor.
It’s also worth considering if you really have the time to pursue the course and whether you will definitely be utilising your new knowledge in future.
Generic education, while informative in parts, can turn out to be more about marketing the property dream than mastering property basics, so beware of what you sign up to. Make sure you read the course overview carefully, as you could just as easily be day trading or multi-level marketing or timeshares.
There will be a genuine educational element, but normally no more than you can learn for a few pounds by reading a book.
You should take heed of warning signs including frequent references to expensive cars and holidays and free or cheap tickets.
If you're looking around online, it won't take you long to come across people who want to sell you expensive courses or mentorships.
While many courses can be helpful, it’s worth noting that a lot of property training could be inappropriate for your situation or level of experience or outdated content designed primarily to sell you the dream so you sign up to the next, more expensive, course.
It’s therefore worth spending some time absorbing the completely free property investment courses that are available online. By doing this, you'll be able to establish whether property investment is right for you before spending any money.
Perhaps you'll discover that you can't get a mortgage, or you can't make the money you thought you could, or it just all seems far more work than you considered. Free property courses will also allow you to develop a basic level of knowledge, so you're in a better position to assess the paid options when the time comes.
By doing this you'll have a better grip on what you want to achieve and where you need help so you can choose the most appropriate course for your goals. You'll also be able to verify whether what you're being told in your training is accurate.
How To Choose A Course
It always pays to do your due diligence before investing in a property course. This is, after all, your hard-earned money and time you are parting with. To help you decide, ask these simple questions:
- Have they got the background experience and expertise? Let’s face it, you’d rather learn golf from Justin Rose or Rory McIlroy than someone who looks like they’ve only just learned how to hold a golf club.
- Is their knowledge in date and still relevant? If they’ve stopped working in the field they are teaching then their knowledge may be out of date. Make sure that the details of what they're teaching are still relevant and up to fate.
- What are past students doing and how successful are they? Good teachers will be able to show you what past students are now doing.
- What is their reputation and how are they reviewed online? Many course providers have visibility on property forums, so you might be able to ask others what they think of them. You could also ask for testimonials of people who have moved forward as a result of the training.
- Do you connect with them? While this is a subjective point, it is important to get a feel for how clearly someone communicates and whether you like them - it will make undertaking the course far more enjoyable if you do.
Making A Decision
Beginners in property investment would be wise not delve right into spending any money on training for the first six months.
Instead, it would be more prudent if beginners used that time to explore the free online information available and save their money. Once that time has passed, if still feel like you need greater knowledge and support then you’ll be in a better position to understand your exact requirements before signing up to a course.
Essentially deciding on a course comes down to your learning style and how much time you have to invest.
For example, you can always piece together information yourself or find people who are willing to share their knowledge for free, but not everyone has the time or inclination to do so, preferring instead to have filtered knowledge provided when they want it instead.
Ultimately it goes without saying that good training is valuable, but nothing is more valuable than action and experience.