How to Continually Increase Your Real Estate Knowledge

How to Continually Increase Your Real Estate Knowledge

If you want to be a great investor, broker, or real estate professional, it’s important to stay on top of trends in the market. In fact, this is one of the aspects that I most enjoy about real estate investing and brokerage. There are always changes to be aware of, and I’m continually learning something new. By staying up to date and informed, you’ll be able to better spot a good opportunity and see how value could be added to a property.

Follow these strategies to increase your real estate IQ and uplevel your investing game.

1. Follow Media News Outlets

In addition to news sources like Forbes and other business journals, you can look for real estate specific publications. These might include trade publications such as the Real Deal and Commercial Observer. There are also newsletters offered by media sources like Globe Street and Bisnow.

By following these outlets, you’ll be able to see trends in the market and where values are. You could also identify movements that you could take advantage of, such as what leases are going for, new infrastructure that is coming to an area, and zoning changes. For instance, New York State recently passed a new set of housing bills. By studying new legislation, you can better understand the implications for investors, including items such as tax abatements to help construct new buildings.

Long ago, my mentor Bob Knakal told me that I’m in the information business—not the real estate business. It’s my job to be aware of what’s going on in the market so I can serve as an advisor. Once you know factors like who is buying, who is selling, where values are, and what’s changing, you’ll be able to apply that knowledge to your investment decisions.

2. Check Proprietary Sources

In commercial real estate, much of the data about a property is often not on public record. You can get subscriptions to certain databases to tap into this information, such as CoStar and Real Capital Analytics. In these sources, you’ll get insight into specific sales, leases, debt related to properties, and other financial details. This can be helpful, as you’ll be able to get a fuller picture of the details related to a property.

3. Educate Yourself Further

There are many opportunities to learn more on your own, in a classroom, or online. You might read books about the industry, such as Doug Marshall’s Mastering the Art of Real Estate Investing or The Insider’s Edge to Real Estate Investing. You could enroll in a master’s program that specializes in real estate at a university in your area. You might also take online courses, like the Accelerator Training program available at Adventures in Commercial Real Estate.

4. Have Direct Interaction

In addition to reading market updates and researching for further information, there’s often no substitute for talking to others who have a pulse on certain aspects of the real estate industry. You can look for conferences to attend, where you can often listen to speakers present on certain topics. One way to gather more insight is to approach the speaker after the event and introduce yourself. You might be able to start or foster a relationship with that person. They could share additional details about trends, and give you tips that you won’t be able to get from other places. There are also other ways to network during conferences, and you can talk individually to investors and experts during breaks to find out what they’ve observed in the market.

5. Collaborate with Others

While getting to know your area is important, you can also make connections with others in different regions. If you’re in the New York area, you could look at reasons behind New York investors shifting to the Southeast. You might also check if investors who start focusing on different areas return to their original market. By branching out your network, you’ll be able to learn where the global capital is flowing.

In my case, after focusing on the New York metro area for decades, we have found ways to take on some large-scale projects and collaborate with other offices in different locations. We can now offer additional opportunities to our international investor database. This gives us a way to share information and gain an inside edge to compete in the market.

By staying curious and open-minded, you’ll put yourself in a position where you can continually learn. If you regularly read news sources and publications, attend conferences, and look for ways to collaborate, you’ll gain an incredible amount of information. You can then use this knowledge when evaluating properties, and you’ll be better prepared to make investments that could lead to long-term success.