real estate newbie. Looking for a Texas Education

I have been in sales for over 10 years. The next move is real estate here in Houston.

My plan is to learn the ins and outs of the business through sales to the public. My ultimate goal is to flip houses.

I know to be successful, it starts with a good education.

I have been looking into:
Kaplan (online courses) (online course)

Can anyone give me feedback about the best school and any tips about starting in this business?

Thanks in advance,


What segment of Real Estate Investing are you most interested in?

I’m going to bump this thread and hi-jack if you don’t mind :slight_smile:

I’m in a similar boat. I recently signed the purchase agreement for the sale of my first home here in Minneapolis. In '12 I bought it for $119k and just sold it for $153k. I’m going to clear about $26k in profit after REA fees and paying some closing costs. At the ripe old age of 25, I’m realizing the potential in REI and would like to take my profits, on top of other cash I have, and try to get into the business more seriously.

The two lessons I learned in the last transaction are: 1) I lost a fair chunk of change to my REA and 2) I lost a fair bit of money by having to borrow money.

For #1, I’m considering getting my REA license. This allow me to do the negotiating directly with the sellers/banks and it’ll also give me direct access to the MLS. I also will save ~5% when I sell the next place.

A) Does this make sense? and B) What should I be looking for in terms of education to obtain the license?

Thanks much!

Both of you,

To be a real estate investor does NOT require you to be a REA (real estate agent). There are benefits that being a REA does have and there are some cons too.

Often being a REA and working under a broker or head agent does require you to have “retail” production of showing/selling houses that the agency represents on the MLS.

Is that something you are willing to do? There are cases, just a rare few, where certain brokers will allow you to be an independent agent and get access to the MLS through them.

Few random tip:

MLS does require a paid subscription.

If you just want to work on deals and limited “public” = Real Estate Investor

My Advice:
Wholesaling/Flipping houses as an investor or REA are both great paths to achieving success in real estate. It’s up to you to figure out your tolerance, up front costs & time, and go with the best fit for your career and investing goals.

Hi Content,

Thanks for the quick response. Part of getting my REA license would be a self enrichment process too. I’ve thought about actually practicing as an REA in my spare time but everything I’ve read says “don’t bother being an REA part time - you won’t succeed”. My current job isn’t something I’m willing to walk from right now (pays way better than most REAs I would guess). The main reasons would be 1)enrichment 2)eliminating sales commission when I flip houes 3)Getting access to the MLS.

From what I gather, the draw backs are 1) I’d have to find a broker that has minimal barrier to entry (e.g. I don’t have to list 10 houses a month, or pay $300/mo to be under them) and 2) There is some [minimal] upfront financial and time cost to becoming a REA.

I’d be interested if anyone is able to offer more insight in to what requirements I’d have to meet to still get access to the MLS & be able to sell my own properties.

Thanks much!

Well Muffinz,

I understand. Until you start doing deals in volume. I would say 3+ a month then the commission seems like lost revenue.

I personally if profit margin in tight. Will use the listing broker and attempt to negotiate the net 6% down to 4% since I am not “bringing in an agent” to get the other 3% of the deal.

There are also online sites with flat fees for MLS listings.

I would recommend do a a few flip/wholesale deals first get them under your belt and then you will be in a better position to decide for you self.

REA will cover ethics and state/local contract law. School of hard knocks calls that OJT - lol

Good Luck!

Thanks for the response again. My research has been leading me to a similar conclusion. I like your suggestion of working down the broker. What about not using a broker at all? I have heard of folks just paying a fee to list their own property on the MLS. I am fortunate enough to have a place to stay when needed to for short periods of time (months) so I could stage the place and let it sit until it sells.

After a bit of research, it seems to me that Zillow is pretty accurate here in Hennepin county because actual sale prices are recorded in tax records - so that may eliminate one of the reasons I wanted to get my license.

Also, what is the difference in a wholesale and flip?


If you’re goal is to flip houses you don’t need to go to one of those Real estate schools.

You can do a weekend seminar and read a couple books and have enough knowledge to get started.

Before you do that you can go to some free networking seminars and start meeting your team.
Realtors, wholesalers, rehabbers, contractors, HML’s. There are several events, at least one a week that you can go to.

If you already have a steady paycheck you are better off keeping that job so you can get financing for your projects.

As an investor, I get my money’s worth from my Realtor.
We have a great consumer web interface for MLS so I do a lot of the searching for properties.
She pulls comps as I need them and writes up and submits offers and then follow ups to make sure they are accepted as backups if the accepted offer falls thru.
When it comes to selling she has helped with interior colors and features during rehab that make it sell faster and at a higher price.
She markets the property with staging and open houses while I’m off looking for the next deal or funding for the next deal.
She then screens the buyers to make sure they will be able to close and handles property access for the inspections and appraisals.

You only pay commission when you sell a property, so figure that cost into your closing costs before you ever buy a property for a flip.
The same goes for finance costs. Figure those costs in before you even buy and if your deal won’t pay you enough then it’s not a deal.
Move on!
A while back there was a poster on here who would pay his realtor 10% commission, but they had to sell it within a month.

How many of you think , real estate marketing courses will help in this business?

I’m sure real estate classes can help. But I recommend finding a good mentor! If you find the right one, they won’t even charge you. My mentor in San Antonio does not charge me; I help him grow his business, which makes him money, as he teaches me his owner finance model.

BTW, if you are just getting into residential real estate, consider the owner fi model! It works great for us - 15% cap rates, no repairs by the investor, great long term cash flow. My mentor literally retired himself at 30 with this model. Our houses cost 40-50k, and every deal I have seen nets over 15% cap rate. No repairs is great, as you eliminate a potential financial drain, plus all the stress.