“Investors can get in over their head and become overwhelmed,” says Brian Pulis of Pulis Investments.
It is important for investors to stay educated, and that responsibility may ultimately fall to their agents.
The National Association of Realtors has introduced a Code of Excellence program that will ensure American real estate agents are up to date on consumer protection, data accuracy, political advocacy, technology, professional courtesies and social media, as reported in CREW’s sister publication REP
The same type of continuing education mandates are being called for in Canada. “A lot of agents … I don’t think they’re educated enough to make this [industry] as professional as it can be,” says Toronto agent Francis Chiu.
While it is unlikely there will ever be mandated education programs for investors, it is still important to develop a wide network and stay connected to as many people in the industry as possible.
Kathy Berner, owner of Regency Management & Real Estate, says: “It may be possible to get started as an investor by reading all the right books, but if you want to sustain growth, you have to get connected to people.
“I would make it a priority to find out what’s going on in the ‘investment scene’ and get connected with those people. Attend forums and seminars and join real estate clubs. They are affordable and well-worth the initial investment.”
Pulis adds: “Industry specific networking groups are key to staying connected and assist in building a team of peers to provide support.
“There are a lot of real estate investment groups out there. The most important part of these investor events are meeting people, learning from many and building a team of peers. There is money to be made in real estate, but it is essential to draw on experience from others.”
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It is increasingly important for investors to do their homework and be educated about the real estate industry, caution experts.