I've been seeing more and more Facebook ads lately for multifamily education/investment groups. I believe you need a mentor of some sort to make it in this business. For most people that means paying for one, and there are at least a few groups out there that have a demonstrated record of success. This is a good thing because the competition keeps them at the top of their game.
However one ad I saw today made me think. It said that they would teach the secrets to real estate investing and strongly implied that once you knew the secret, it would be relatively easy. This is BS.
If we took away all mentions of "secrets" most of the magazines in grocery store checkout lanes touting easy weight loss would cease to exist. So would a lot real estate gurus, I suppose.
The secret is that there are no secrets at all. The truth about making it in this game is that the two success factors are not sexy. These factors surely don't sell diets or get-rich-quick schemes and yet anybody can do them. It's about hard work and persistence.
I wake up on weekdays at 4:30 or 5 in order to work. This is before I...go to work. I also work after I get home from work. I go to seminars and conferences. I read real estate books. I listen to about an hour and twenty minutes' worth of podcasts everyday at 1.3X speed. I host a Meetup. I fly and drive places to tour properties and meet with brokers. I truthfully don't do much other than work right now because I have the rest of my life to play. The sacrifices I make are not just for the actions I take. I also pay in the form of friction with my wife because I'm busy. I am consistently expending effort, time and money and sometimes at a cost that isn't readily apparent.
All of the effort I mention above is useless if I do it for a month and give up. If you could make the life of your dreams but you'd have to deal with constant rejection and extremely hard work for an indefinite period - would you do it?
Nothing worth doing is easy. So no, there are no secrets. Anybody willing to sell you such secrets should be viewed with suspicion.
Chihiro Kurokawa is founder of BlackRiver Equity Partners, a real estate private equity firm providing private offerings to investors seeking tax-advantaged cash flowing investments in real estate.