Wondering what you can learn about buying and selling real estate from the Robert Reffkin MasterClass? Want to know if it’s worth the investment?
Then you’re in the right place.
In this Robert Reffkin MasterClass review I’ll be sharing my experience and covering everything you need to know to help you decide if the Robert Reffkin MasterClass is a good fit for you.
I’ll start with the highlights in case you’re short on time:
You' ll learn to:
- Overcome the barriers between you and your dream home
- Create a unique strategy for finding the perfect home for you
- Feel empowered to take the first (or next) step in your search for a property
- Recognize factors that make a location a good one
- Get to grips with what you can afford and when to go for it
- Decode agents’ listings
- Judge the different economic factors that influence the housing market
- Get the best advice through understanding the role of all the professionals involved in the process
- Identify and question the best agents
- Build in resale considerations
- Negotiate both buying and selling prices
- Improve, stage and photograph your home for impact
- Enter and navigate a career in Real Estate
- Understand the eight principles of entrepreneurship that reflect the values and principles of his company, Compass
- Survive and thrive as an entrepreneur
- Teaching from the CEO of the USA’s most innovative real estate brokerage firm
- Comprehensive content
- Learning supported with strong examples and resources
- Excellent workbook
- Practical advice and key takeaways summed up after each lesson
- Specific to the US market
- Not for everyone (heavy focus on the fundamentals)
- Content well-curated – but a lot is common sense which is widely available
Course length: 16 videos totalling 2 hours and 23 minutes of viewing
Best for: Those new to the process of buying and selling a home, or who have had a bad experience they don’t want to repeat! Also of some interest to those who are thinking of pursuing a career in real estate or are fascinated by stories of entrepreneurial success.
Overall: A strong, well-presented and comprehensive course that tells you literally everything you need to know to take the plunge into home buying. The money you could save (or make) from this advice will easily cover the cost of the class.
And now for my more detailed review, here’s what I’ll be covering:
- A look inside the Robert Reffkin MasterClass
- Pros and cons of the course
- Is the content unique?
- Is there anything better?
- Verdict: Is the Robert Reffkini MasterClass worth it?
First the basics:
About Robert Reffkin
Robert Reffkin is CEO of the most innovative real estate brokerage firm in the USA. Founded in 2012, Compass has already become America’s largest independent firm of this kind and has made Robert Reffkin the USA’s youngest black billionaire.
Having watched his mom (a long time realtor) struggle with outdated technology, Reffkin founded Compass to provide the smartest tools across its platform to revolutionize the process of how agents and clients find, buy and sell a home.
From humble beginnings Reffkin overcame many odds to achieve his dreams and is passionate about helping others do the same. He ran 50 marathons across 50 states (while working for Goldman Sachs) to raise $1million for the non profits that had supported him as a student at Columbia. He’s also the author of “No One Succeeds Alone” and the founder of a not for profit organisation that mentors first-generation college students.
In this MasterClass, Reffkin demystifies the whole home-buying process and shares tips and actionable advice that will help you buy or sell a home with confidence.
And if you haven’t already watched it, I recommend you catch the trailer for the Robert Reffkin MasterClass on YouTube.
MasterClass is one of the most comprehensive and popular online learning platforms available.
It differs from other platforms in two main respects: Its teachers have achieved global recognition due to their talents and achievements and it has very high cinematic production values.
An annual pass to the MasterClass streaming platform provides access to the world’s best and classes across a wide range of subjects. Stream thousands of lessons anywhere, anytime, on mobile, desktop, and TV.
Inside the Robert Reffkin MasterClass
Robert Reffkin’s MasterClass comes in at 2 hours and 23 minutes of viewing time. It consists of:
- 16 lessons which are mostly between 6 to 14 minutes long
- Access to an online community
- A 64 page workbook containing a glossary of common real estate terms and acronyms, a guide to real estate apps and experts, financial guidance, handy checklists, assignments, and much, much more
You’ll be getting a number of talking-head documentary style videos all of which contain a range of resources (film clips, stills, animations, graphics, annotations, etc).
For the purpose of this review, I’ve split the Robert Reffkin MasterClass into five sections and summarized them below to give you a sense of what’s involved.
- Meet your instructor
- Buying and selling
- Real estate as a career
- Reffkin’s personal journey
Section 1/5: Meet your instructor
“The home is the centre for people’s dreams for their life.”
In this short section Reffkin shares why he got into real estate and why buying a home matters so much.
And there’s no doubt that it’s the most immense financial and emotional decision most of us will ever make.
Yet many people go into it without all the knowledge and understanding needed to make that decision work for them.
The mission of Reffkin’s company, Compass, is to make real estate better for everyone. His mission in making this MasterClass is to help you to:
- Overcome the barriers between you and your dream home
- Feel empowered to take the first (or next) step in your search for a home
- Get to grips with what you can afford and when to go for it
- Understand the role of the different experts in selling and buying property so you can find and get the best advice
- And generally create your own unique strategy for finding the perfect home for you
Section 2/5: Looking
Buying: the most important questions & Location, location location
This section begins with Reffkin breaking down the many things you need to weigh up before buying a property.
He provides a four-part framework to help you sort your ideas and questions.
This overall approach was a great way to frame the class, and I appreciated too that Reffkin outlined reasons why it might sometimes be wise and pertinent to keep renting.
Another good thing about this class was that key takeaways are highlighted at the end of each lesson.
Reffkin then moves on to look in detail at one of the most important aspects of smart real estate investment:
He explains what makes a location a good one, specifically:
- Economic factors such as job growth
- The influence of arts and culture on desirability and quality of life
- The importance of connectivity and transport systems
Working with a real estate agent & Timing is everything
“The Agent is your quarterback.”
Here Reffkin introduces one of the most important partners in your decision to purchase a property. The agent.
He sets out why this person matters, the insights they have and the difference they can make to your search and purchase.
Reffkin also shares:
- Tips for identifying a good, and
- The right questions to ask to filter out the best, and
- How agent commissions work
There’s a lot more detail on this in the workbook too.
He then tackles the issue of timing your search for real estate and explains the:
- Seasonality of the market and the advantages and disadvantages of playing into that
- Influence of supply and demand (in different contexts) on the market
- Different economic influences on the market – interest rates, mortgage availability, buyers & sellers markets, etc.
- Possible signs of a housing bubble
“I would consider asking yourself, are the headlines around exuberance – or around how bad things are?”
Decoding a listing & Open Houses
“Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good.”
These two lessons provide lots of tips to help you get smart on your specific dream.
Reffkin helps you hone in on the key details on a real estate listing and what you can figure out from them.
He teaches you both the terms to look out for (which are summarised in the workbook glossary along with realtor ‘trick phrases’) and shares tips on how to ‘read’ photographs critically.
He also gives an example of using price per square foot to compare different properties and develop an awareness of how, “not all square footage is created equal.”
Above all, he urges you not to be fooled by photographs and to go to as many open houses as possible. And he provides a guide for making the most out of your visits by sharing:
- The right questions to ask (complemented by a more detailed checklist in the workbook)
- Considerations of room placement and how this will work for you
- The importance of orientation for lighting
- The value of making compromises using what Reffkin calls the 80/20 rule
- And basically how to use your own needs and values as a guide to the experience
Section 3/5: Buying and Selling
“The process of finding your place, your place in the world can be daunting. But when you find your place, you feel you can exhale. There’s a sense of accomplishment and belonging”
Making an offer & Closing on a home
When you’ve finally found the house you want, it’s vital to do your homework before making an offer. In these two lessons you’ll learn:
- How to figure out the listing agent’s strategy for listing a home, relative to what it sells for
- The importance of building trust with and between agents and sellers
- When to move fast… when to move slow
- How to factor in all the additional costs of a transaction, including non-financial costs
- Navigate the appraisal and inspection processes
- Ways to use a poor inspection report to your advantage
Selling: the most important questions
“Everyone should know about the process of selling a home, because even if you’re not planning to sell the home that you live in right now, you’ll have to do that eventually”
Failing to take into consideration problems that might occur when reselling a property is a common mistake. And one that’s easy to make in the excitement of buying a home.
So here, Reffkin provides key factors and questions to consider in order for you to maximise the return on what is likely to be one of the most significant investments of your life.
As with buying a home, there are professionals that can make the process of selling smooth and Reffkin introduces these and explains how to make sure you get the best help possible for your particular home and individual circumstances.
He walks you through everything you need to know, and do, to create a marketing strategy for your home that will lead to a line around the block for your house.
The art and science of selling
“I cannot overstate to you how much more work goes into selling a home to gain the best outcome and the best price for a seller, versus what the average person might think.”
As the chapter heading suggests, in this lesson Reffkin gets into the detail of everything that needs to be done for you to achieve the best possible return when it comes to cashing in on your investment.
You’ll learn how to:
- Identify and hire the best selling agent
- Assess your timing for selling
- Make repairs and improvements that will realise a big return
- Stage and photograph your home for maximum impact
The real value of home ownership
“More millionaires were created from real estate in the United States than any other activity.”
This lesson provides a great segue between the art and science of selling a home and thinking seriously about exploring a career in real estate.
In it, Reffkin shares how, whilst your primary driver for buying a home should be to improve your quality of life, it is at the same time possible to use home ownership to build wealth and equity. And using clear examples, he explains how this process works.
Section 4/5: A career in real estate
“Real estate is the largest asset class in the world. Many times larger than the global stock market.”
Here, Reffkin tells of his passion for real estate, describing it as an industry of dreamers.
He introduces you to the huge array of career possibilities that exist in the industry and provides tips for those interested in working within it.
Reffkin focuses especially for those thinking of becoming a real estate agent. He outlines the skills and qualities you need for this line of work – not least the ability to build relationships and deal with rejection!
And he also provides an overview of the exciting new career opportunities made possible by new technology.
Section 5/5: Reffkin’s personal journey
“My background is that I’m black and Jewish so I never felt that I really belonged in any category.”
In this closing section, Reffkin describes his personal journey and his quest for a sense of belonging. And beyond that, how that quest has brought him to where he is today, a place that he calls home.
He sees real estate as so much more than a career. For him it’s a key to unlocking futures and providing a sense of place and belonging – for yourself, or through a career, for others.
The course also includes two bonus chapters on Reffkin’s experience as a tech entrepreneur. These teach you:
- The eight principles of entrepreneurship that reflect the values and principles of his company, Compass
- The value of minimizing your weaknesses and maximizing your strengths
- Strategies for building strong teams and maintaining focus
- How to learn from failure
What I liked about the Robert Reffkin MasterClass
Teaching from the CEO of the USA’s most innovative real estate brokerage firm
To take a firm from zero to biggest independent real estate brokerage in eight years – and to use it to both disrupt and improve the industry – is testimony to Reffkin’s understanding and passion for real estate.
His expertise and enthusiasm are tangible in his delivery, making for an enjoyable and informative class.
Comprehensive content supported with strong examples and resources
Every aspect of purchasing your ideal home is covered. From doing the initial preparation, to weighing up reselling considerations, to actually reselling.
And everything in between.
It’s a well curated, logically structured course. And there are plenty of visuals, examples and scenarios to support understanding.
Practical advice and key takeaways summed up at the end of every lesson
Each lesson contains actionable tips and key takeaways that are highlighted at the end. This is super helpful as there is a lot to take in.
Additionally, key points are displayed on screen during lessons to emphasise their importance.
Unusually, the workbook does not follow the flow of the class but provides an additional reference guide.
It contains lots of supporting information including a glossary of real estate terms and several useful checklists. Where the workbook contains additional helpful sources, this is clearly referenced during the class.
Together, the workbook and the MasterClass make a tight, comprehensive and logically structured package.
What I think could be improved/Cons
It goes without saying that real estate markets globally differ from each other. This MasterClass is obviously clearly geared for the US market!
Not for everyone
This MasterClass is a great package for someone embarking on their first, or possibly second, purchase.
But the chances are, if you have already purchased and sold a property, you may not learn a great deal you don’t already know – albeit you may have learned it the hard way!
That said, if you are experienced in the industry, you can gain insights on Reffkin’s journey and perspectives on real estate that may help you in your career development.
Content well-curated – but a lot is common sense and widely available for free
I couldn’t help feeling that a lot of what was taught in this course was common sense, and probably could be tracked down with a Google or YouTube search.
Though to be fair, It is very detailed and carefully put together in one place here, which will save you hours of scouring the internet for bits and bobs. And even more time trying to sift the good from the poor advice!
Who is the Robert Reffkin MasterClass for?
In my opinion this class would be a good fit for anyone who can tick one or more of the following boxes:
Anyone who is:
- Thinking of buying their first home
- Wanting to sell their first home and move on
- Interested in real estate generally
- Considering a career in real estate
- Fascinated by great leadership, entrepreneurialism and success stories
In terms of existing knowledge, on a scale of 1-10 (where 1 is a non-specialist and 10 is a real estate millionaire) I would rate this course as suitable for those who fall between 1-5.
The class is less suited to anyone already experienced in buying and selling property. That said, if you’re interested in one savvy fellow’s incredible success story in this extraordinarily competitive industry, Reffkin’s journey and perspective won’t leave you disappointed.
How much does the Robert Reffkin MasterClass cost?
MasterClass pricing and offers can change, so for the latest info click here.
At the time of writing, a MasterClass subscription costs $180 a year ($15 a month).
With this, you have access to all 100+ MasterClasses.
The great thing about this is that the more classes you take, the less the effective cost per class is.
For example, if you find at least 4-6 classes you like, you’re effectively paying $30-$45 per course ($180 / 6 classes = 30).
Bearing in mind these classes are taught by world experts, the value is unbeatable. It’s sort of a way to hack learning.
Also, MasterClass offers a 30 day refund if you’re not happy with your purchase.
If you want to buy a single course, there’s a way to do this — but it’s a little tricky: You can buy a single MasterClass as a gift, and give that class to yourself. The price then is $90.
However, arguably the best value is with the all-access pass.
Is there anything better than the Robert Reffkin MasterClass?
There are thousands of real estate courses available online. But most are for professionals who want to invest in, or develop, large properties or portfolios.
But in terms of something similar to this MasterClass, which is really about home ownership, there are fewer alternatives.
Udemy offers a course entitled How to buy a House in 2020 for first time home buyers. It’s just under half the cost of an annual MasterClass pass, a similar length and suitable for the US market. It’s well rated and covers similar topics though the tutor has nowhere near the credentials as Reffkin.
The value of MasterClass comes with the possibility of being able to take any of the other 100 classes available on the platform within the fee. If you can find three or four other classes to take alongside this one, it’s worth the investment.
Classes that will complement this skills and knowledge you’ll gain from the Robert Reffkin Masterclass include Chris Voss on the Art of Negotiation, Daniel Pink on Sales and Persuasion and Kelly Wearstler on Interior Design.
See also: Best real estate courses
The Robert Reffkin MasterClass: what others have said
The downside of completing and reviewing the Robert Reffkin MasterClass so soon after its release is that, when I trawled Reddit and other forums for the opinions of others, I couldn’t find anything.
So, I went back to the release of the trailer on YouTube and found how people felt about MasterClass running a class on home ownership and real estate by Reffkin.
Here’s what I found:
“Finally! We needed an investment type MasterClass, and we definitely need more.”
“This is so perfect. I’ve been thinking about becoming a real estate agent but don’t know a lot so taking this class can give me some inside knowledge.”
“Finally.. Something practical!”
“Thank holy lord holy satan holy earth holy MasterClass. I bow down to you. Now please get one value investing in share market and stock trading by Warren Buffet!”
In fact, there were no negative comments. Reactions were all positive and welcomed a down to earth, practical guide to something we are probably all going to have to deal with at some time in our lives.
But I’ll also check back as more people take the class.
Is the course content unique?
In terms of content available from Robert Reffkin, yes.
There are plenty of free videos on YouTube in which Reffkin discusses his journey, his philanthropy and his company.
But there’s nothing curated by him that so comprehensively covers buying and selling a home and giving insights into a career in real estate in the way this MasterClass does.
Verdict: Is the Robert Reffkin MasterClass worth it?
It’s a “Yes…. BUT” from me.
Anyone unfamiliar with the process of buying and selling a home, or pursuing a career in real estate, can learn so much from this MasterClass.
It’s well thought out and structured and extremely comprehensive. The workbook provides additional details, checklists and assignments and is, in and of itself, not only a great course companion but an excellent guide to buying a home.
But… I have an all access pass and have enjoyed over 20 other MasterClasses.
And if you are prepared to spend a lot of time reading and watching lots of different YouTube videos, you can probably synthesize much of the information you will gather in this course for far less than the cost of an all access pass to MasterClass.
So, my advice is that you should take a look at the other 100+ MasterClasses that are available.
If there are just two or three that interest you besides this one, then I would say it is definitely worth investing in a MasterClass subscription and taking Reffkin’s class.
And MasterClass also has a refund policy, which removes the risk of you losing out if you don’t enjoy it.
So what have you got to lose?
Frequently asked questions
A MasterClass all-access-pass costs $180 a year ($15 a month). This gives you access to all 100+ courses (and their resources) for 12 months.
Robert Reffkin’s MasterClass is 2 hours and 23 minutes long and consists of 16 video lessons.
Unfortunately you cannot get the Robert Reffkin MasterClass for free. But MasterClass has a range of purchasing options and offers refunds if you’re not happy.
Yes, MasterClass operates a 30 day refund policy if you purchase directly through them. If you purchase through other providers, their returns policy may apply.
Liz Hurley has 30+ years of high school teaching experience and is one of our senior writers here at Learnopoly.