If you are like me, then you have an interest in real estate investment and want to do the right thing by educating yourself so that you can obtain your first real estate investment cheque. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years trying to find the company that would help me accomplish this goa l. So what did I do? I watched various infomercials on the television with a mazing testimonials of real estate investment success. I quickly found that once I registered to attend, my information was sold to various marketing co mpanies, and I was in receipt of invitations to other investment opportuniti es that I didn't even know about. Okay. Now I have sifted through all the in vitations and I am on my way to a one-day seminar. For the most part, the information delivered is tantalizing and I am hungry for more knowledge and the opportunity to start working on my first deal. I also find that the information delivered in the one-day seminar is in bits - for a beginner investor, it is not enough material to be useful. But what d o I hear? I now have to register for a weekend workshop to learn more. Full of excitement and determination, I pay the $1500 to $2500 cost for the works hop and off I go. Again, the information presented is titillating and at lea st one of the presented methods is immediately implementable. The other part icipants and I followed the instructions given, but no results - we could no t find a property matching the given search criteria. Therefore, the audienc e was not taught what the next steps would have been had we done so. Still f illed with hope, I took careful notes and listened intently for the remainde r of the workshop. What's this I hear? I can have advanced training if I wan t, a coach to work with me one-on-one, and the almost guarantee that I would make money at that level? What's the cost? Oh, only between $10 000 to $100 000. This is where I hit the proverbial brick wall. Where was I to find all that money, and for some of the workshops, the money had to be paid the ver y weekend! The long and short of the model is this; one has to spend anywher e from $1500 to about $100 000 without even doing your first real estate dea l! It didn't make sense. Wait a minute. I now found that most of the real estate investors, who were calling themselves and each other gurus, were doing a massive on-line mark eting campaign during the market's downturn, only this time downplaying the 'guru' title. They were all offering one-on-one coaching. Why? No one was attending the conventions and workshops as before. The personal coaching id ea sounded good. I decided to check out a few of them and tried one of them . I tell you the truth, because I was a rookie, I didn't know what to ask f or or what to expect from this coaching. As you can imagine, I did not get my money's worth. By the way, the coaching was through e-mail and sometimes instant messaging only, at a cost of USD $1000 per month. Now, I could hav e allowed all these disappointments to derail my vision and cause me to be bitter. I refuse. Instead, I decided to use the experience to help others i n similar situations make better decisions, spend less, and actually make m oney in real estate investment. The sum of it all is this: not having the right real estate investment educa tion will cost you money and just as truly; obtaining the right real estate investment education will cost you money. However, obtaining the right educa tion is an investment, not a liability. What should one look for in a real e state investment coach/coaching program? What questions should be asked? Her e are a few to consider: • Before any money exchange hands, an outline should be provided to the stu dent to ensure that both parties/sides understand what will be offered. • Costs should be clearly defined and explained. • Discuss funding. Will the coach/organization provide funding for your rea l estate deals? If not, will the coach/organization provide you with inform ation that will allow you to access funding? What type of funding can you e xpect? Will it be transactional funding, hard money, private money, other? • Discuss if there will be or is there an option to partner on deals. Will the coach/organization put up the funding for the real estate deal while the studen t does the 'ground' work? If partnership is an option, discuss and agree on the split. Will it be a fifty-fifty split? • Discuss availability of the coach: Does the student have telephone, e-mail , and/or text access? What response time might the student expect? Does the student have to pay the fees for services like Skype or is it included in th e coaching fee? • What are all the things included in the coaching fee? • If the coach is not available, is there a mentor or someone else that will be available? • Is this a stand-alone coach or is there a professional team available to the student? Is there a lawyer, accountant, contractor, et cetera that are a part of the team? If the coach is a one-man-band, then this might not be a good op tion for you. • Is there creative financing for property acquisition? • What are the payment options for the coaching costs? What are the financ ing terms? • How will the education be delivered? Will it be delivered through webinar s, CDs, mp3's, other? For how long does the student have access to the educ ation? • How current are the strategies being taught? Is there proof? • Relative to the cost, how long is the coaching? How many hours of one-o n-one coaching? • Will the student be provided with a virtual assistant? • What peripheral costs are entailed in the program? For example, LLC, webs ites, 800 numbers, et cetera. What other additional costs might the student expect to pay/cover? • What real estate investment qualifications does the coach have? If the coach is reticent to discuss this, then that might be a cue to not sign up with tha t particular coach/organization. Also, if the coach has a bad attitude, then y ou should reconsider using him/her. • Research the coach on-line. Look at reviews. Check out Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, et cetera. Also use these sources to review his/her profi le. Hint: If the coach has less than five hundred contacts in their profile, then that could be proof of inexperience. • What is the approximate turn-around time from the time the student signs up and follows all coaching instructions, to the time the student does his/her first deal? • How many hours per day/week is the student required to invest? • How are deals analyzed? Does the coach personally review them? How many exit strategies does the coach utilize per deal? • What is the coach's real estate investment specialty: wholesaling, fix and fl ip, buy and hold, et cetera? • What real estate strategy are you expected to start with? Will this complem ent or go against your current financial situation? • How much money is the student expected to have on hand to do his/her first real estate deal? • If student does not make any money in say the first three months of the co aching, what is the next step? Will the current real estate investment strat egy be changed or adjusted? • What guarantees does the coach/organization provide? • Is there a rescission period? What is it? • Can the student do the coaching with his/her spouse or business partner at no additional cost?