Below are some of the resources on real estate and financial freedom that have helped me as I learn more about them. One may ask,
Cyrus, you have been in the real estate field for a number of years, why do you need to learn more?
In reality, real estate is an extremely diverse line of work. Just in terms of jobs, you have real estate agents, appraisers, planners, mortgage brokers, investors… the list goes on! Even within the real estate brokerage community, there are sales and leasing agents. Some of these agents work in residential and commercial, and even within some of those fields, some focus on a specific niche. For example, some agents focus on multi-residential opportunities in the commercial real estate field, something I am trying to move into myself. Few people, even after decades of experience, have mastered more than a couple of these niches.
Anyways, below are some of the resources that have really helped me. As always, use at your own risk and always make sure to verify all claims with the appropriate professional. If you want to contribute a new resource, please reach out to me.
For Real Estate Agents
Below are resources for real estate agents.
Commercial Real Estate (CRE)
(Book) Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur: What It Takes to Win in High-Stakes Commercial Real Estate, by James Randel – What I love about this book is that it breaks down some of the barriers to joining the CRE world that many new agents are convinced might exist. In other words, have you ever thought commercial real estate was too tough for a beginner? Randel humorously and patiently goes through various types of CRE deals so that even a beginner can understand them. He also discusses his mentality for success, and uses specific examples from his decades long experience in the field, most of which was spent in southern Connecticut, but can be applied almost anywhere. I’ve had a few correspondences with Jim, and he is truly a stand up guy.
(YouTube) Graham Stephen – Graham runs a really cool channel that focuses on both residential and CRE. He also documents his days as an agent in LA.
(Website) Investfourmore – Mark is an agent and home flipper in Colorado. He writes about his specific deals and explains exactly how he sources, finances and ultimately, how he gets deals done. His site has some great sources, mostly free, for new agents.
(Print/Web) Your local real estate Journal – In New England, we have the NEREJ, and it has analyses of local deals. Your county or regional area may have its own journal, with lots of great local content.
(In-person) Your local Chamber of Commerce – Depending on your market, this is a great way to find perspective clients and learn from those in the field.
Residential Real Estate
(Website) reddit.com/r/realtors/ – A great online community to ask other agents questions about the field. There are lots of newer agents there. Other subreddits, like r/cre, focus on specific niches in the industry.
(Website) Inman News – A real estate site that focuses on the broader real estate market. For example, their front page oftentimes includes interviews with large brokerages CEOs. On the day that I write this, there was an interview with the Compass CEO.
(Website/Magazine) Realtor.com/news/ – Not always the most in-depth, but a good resource for keeping up with what other agents in the USA are doing.
Free Real Estate Salary Calculator – Created by yours truly, use this calculator to estimate your future salary as a real estate agent.
Below are resources for people looking to buy and sell, or simply learn more about the field.
Residential and Commercial Real Estate
(Website) Your local MLS – Your local MLS is likely the best source of listings (as well as market data), and is the first to have new ones, as agents post them there and third-party sites pull their data from MLS. Plus, some information (generally documents), may be attached to a MLS listing, but may not feed through to third-party sites. Many agents are more than willing to set consumers up with MLS updates free of charge. Just ask.
(Websites) Zillow, Redfin & other listing sites – Understand that these sites have to make money, and one of the ways they do so is by trying to get you to use their brokerage services or one of their recommended agents. However, I have found that Zillow and Redfin have the most visually appealing search features for finding listings and conducting research.
(Website) BiggerPockets – I have only used the listings feature a few times (to find listings). But, many people swear by the site, specifically the forum, so I feel it should be included.
(Website) Craigslist – Craigslist is all but forgotten in most people’s minds, but many individuals looking to sell their home may not be tech savvy. I have sourced a number of leads via Craigslist. Buyer’s & Agent’s Tip: Consider looking at dated rental listings (by owner, not by agent) and seeing if those owners, unable to find a tenant, would consider selling.
Facebook Groups – These groups are another great resource to find listings and learn about the talk of the town. The city you are looking to move to/from likely has many groups with hundreds, even thousands, of members.
Nextdoor – Nextdoor is a local social network, so gaining access can be hard, but if you manage to connect with someone in the area, they may be willing to post a message for you.
City-Data – City data was social media before social media. Many of the forum posts are years, sometimes, decades old, but contain extremely valuable information.
The Census – Self-explanatory.
Below are resources on financial freedom.
(Website) reddit.com/r/investing – A useful investing community. There are other subreddits where one can post financial questions as well.
(Radio/Podcast) Bloomberg Radio – A very large selection of shows.
(Podcast) NPR Planet Money – Really useful! Most of their stories often follow the macro-economy, but they are well-presented and are easy to follow. Totally free online (I think the app costs a few dollars).
(Website) ModestMoney – A database that recommends many blogs related to financial freedom. I have been introduced to some useful resources by it.
Below are resources on blogging for fun and as a side income.
(Website) Full Time Blog – Brock McGoff has is a great source of information on the blogging world. I have followed him for a few years now and have had a few very helpful conversations with him. He also runs a fashion blog, where he talks about blogging, as well.
Website (Neil Patel) – Neil has a lot of useful tips and his Ubersuggest tool is very helpful for beginners.
Places to Avoid (Real Estate, Financial Freedom and Blogging)
I use one easy way to gauge if a source is reliable. I ask myself the golden question, “What is the motive of those offering advise?” Is it to help me (great), or help themselves (not great), or a mix (can be ok)? Below are places that have failed this question.
(Websites/Social Media) Facebook and LinkedIn Groups (For Agents) – Unlike for consumers, most social media groups have lot’s of people trying to sell you things you do not need.
(Online Conferences/Trade Shows) – I have never attended a good one, and doubt there are many out there.
(Online Coaches/Gurus/Courses) – Exceptions do occur for those who have actually worked in the field and are licensed by the appropriate legal authority. However, many have little experience in real estate sales, and are trying to sell you click funnels and other unproven sales strategies and courses. In the case of financial freedom gurus, the same review applies.
AngelList – AngelList lets people invest in startups and apply for jobs at one. I used the site in college to apply for jobs and never had any success on it. In fact, I had an interview with someone pretending to be working as a hiring manager of a U.S. based company. When I went to report their fraudulent job listing, I found out that AngelList had preemptively sided with the fake hiring manager, and my account was suspended. I have heard of others having bad experiences too. Don’t waste your time.
TV Shows (Million Dollar Listing, Selling Sunset, etc.) – Surprisingly, these shows are not all that unrealistic, but represent an unlikely path to success for the vast majority of agents.