real estate school

Committed to your success.

OTA Real Estate is part of a global financial education network which has 35+ locations and a 24/7 online presence.

Our History

In 1997 our Founder, Eyal Shahar, operated the largest trading floor in the western United States with 40 floor traders and $600 million in daily volume. To help his traders become more successful, Eyal instituted a training program and our sister company, Online Trading Academy, was born.

In 2001, after trading had moved from internet connected trading floors to personal computers, Online Trading Academy transitioned to a purely educational institution. Over the years we expanded to campuses around the world as well as online. The key to the training was a rules-based supply and demand trading strategy that helped our students learn to anticipate market turns (time the market) with a high degree of accuracy.

As many of our students became successful and started to diversify their investments, a real estate curriculum was established in 2010 and expanded in 2014 to provide a complete training path from apprentice through mastery.

From the very beginning, OTA Real Estate and Online Trading Academy (OTA) have been more than a financial education company. We operate as a family of dedicated people who are committed to the success of students like you. The care and camaraderie is apparent as soon as you walk in the door of any of our centers. Come join us, and share in the community and the prosperity.

“The quality of the instructors was excellent. I’ve learned so much in three days and I knew nothing.”

Kathleen P.

OTA Real Estate instructors are all practicing professionals in the investing field they teach.
Here's a brief introduction to the instructors and staff you'll meet in our centers.

Diana Hill teaches investing strategies for wholesale real estate, fix and flip as well as other real estate investing opportunities.

Diana Hill

Instructor and Director of Real Estate Education

Diana Hill has launched countless real estate investing careers over her eight years as an OTA Real Estate instructor. Her philosophy is that real estate investing creates long term wealth and security, and that anyone can own real estate as an investment if they are willing to develop a plan and take the time and effort to see that plan through.

Students in Diana’s classes benefit from a fast-paced instructor who believes asking and doing are the best ways to learn. She has high expectations of her students and hopes they have high expectations of her. She brings extensive experience as an investor who made her first purchase in college and has controlled millions in properties over a 30-year career. She currently holds properties, from single-family rentals to Multi-Family Properties, located near her Southern California home as well as across the U.S.


  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accountancy, California State University Long Beach
  • Probate Real Estate speaker
  • Developed accredited course material for CA Department of Real Estate
  • President of many community organizations
  • Chairperson on various committees, foundations and boards
  • Presented commendations and awards from various organizations


  • Citizen of the Year, Los Alamitos, CA
  • Governing Board School Trustee, Los Alamitos School District
  • Author and editor of several newsletters and blogs
  • Author of Real Estate Chronicles
  • Quoted as source by Fortune Magazine, Orange County Register and many other publications
  • Power Trading Radio guest
Zani Patasin is dedicated the helping OTA Real Estate students become successful real estate investors.

Zani Patasin

Real Estate Presenter Development Manager

Recruited from the securities industry to work for the nation’s premier homebuilder, Zani has been involved in more than half a billion dollars of new home construction. He was appointed as the youngest Division President of a Fortune 100 company and served as EVP for Atlanta’s largest homeowner. Returning to the securities industry, he applied his knowledge of the financial markets to secure investment grade assets for REITs and high net worth investors.

As a leader of the OTA Real Estate team, Zani believes that everybody deserves their shot at the American Dream and he is committed to helping anyone take that first step through real estate—whether they are new investors or seasoned professionals. He loves to share his passion and his belief that all things are possible through mentorship and hard work.


  • Licensed Security Broker, FIC
  • Sales Manager, NVR
  • Division President, Walter Industries
  • Executive Vice President, Legacy Communities
  • Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions, Morris and Raper


  • Affiliate Real Estate Broker
  • Held series 6 and 63 security brokerage licenses
  • Youth football, wrestling and lacrosse coach
Learn strategies for investing in fix and flip properties from long time real estate investor, Ron Fields.

Ron Fields

Instructor and Professional Real Estate Investor

Ron Fields began investing in real estate when he got out of the service in 1971, and never looked back. Over the years, he has built a comfortable lifestyle for himself and his wife, helped his children secure their financial stability and is now helping create a strong financial base for his two grandchildren. As an instructor for OTA Real Estate, he shares this wealth of experience through Fix & Flip and other real estate classes.

Ron initially worked as a Realtor, then added a commercial certification and began doing his own development projects. Thus, he has knowledge of all aspects of the real estate industry. In the early 2000’s, concerned about a real estate bubble, he enrolled at Online Trading Academy and eventually reached the elite Mastermind level. His understanding of supply and demand helps him find not only the right properties, but the right time to buy or sell.

Ron looks at real estate as a vehicle to help investors achieve their financial dreams, and believes the real estate industry will continue to offer enormous opportunities. He looks forward to helping his students prosper through their education.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, University of Michigan Dearborn
  • Earned Realtor’s Designation in 1971
  • Became a General Building Contractor in 1986 and was involved in numerous development projects


  • Current Licenses and Certifications: North Carolina Real Estate Brokerage License
  • North Carolina Insurance Licenses, (LTC, Accident, Life & Health), RRP Certified Renovator, Realtor, GRI, CCIM
  • Wrote a course for the use of the HP 12c financial calculator and a CE course for the State of North Carolina Real Estate Commission regarding the EPA’s lead based paint regulation
  • Graduate of Online Trading Academy and member of Mastermind Community
OTA Real Estate - learn real estate investing strategies.

Joseph Russo

Instructor Trainee and Professional Real Estate Investor

Joseph Russo has a multi-faceted background that makes him uniquely qualified as an OTA Real Estate instructor. He studied sociology in college, then worked in Italy for several years where his team was responsible for designing the holographic security image on the Euro banknote. His study of human nature and exposure to international commerce helped him understand the key factors driving real estate prices.

Joseph then began working in his family’s real estate company managing multi-family and mixed use/commercial properties, later expanding into residential and apartment buildings. He has owned apartment buildings in Naples, Cape Coral and Marco Island, FL and built and sold luxury single family homes in Naples, FL. Most recently he has been a developer of multi-family rental properties along the west coast of Florida and an Investment Associate at Redwood Realty Advisors.

In his personal life, Joseph enjoys competing at a high level in two very different disciplines, motorcycle racing and body building. He believes that real estate is also a competition, with investors who work hard and negotiate aggressively coming out as winners.


  • BA in Sociology/minor in Criminal Justice, William Paterson University
  • Investment Advisor, Redwood Realty Advisors, Northern New Jersey
  • Investment Advisor, Fischer Realty International, Naples, FL
  • Co-owner/Operator, FMJ LLC, a real estate partnership operating in NJ and FL
  • Co-owner/Manager, FR Foils Inc.


  • Licensed Real Estate Broker, NJ & FL
  • Competitive Bodybuilder
  • Motorcycle road racing titles include amateur middle class champ and second overall at RACE of Champions, Daytona, FL
  • Motorcycle riding teacher and coach, Absolute Cycle Performance
Joe Short strives to teach students to invest in real estate with low stress and a high success rate.

Joe Short

Instructor and Professional Real Estate Investor

Joe Short made his first real estate investment in 1976, and has been hooked ever since. While employed as an electrical engineer in the 80's, he worked part time as a real estate entrepreneur and learned that finding real estate deals was the key to profit. He soon left the corporate world to pursue real estate investment and acquisition full-time.

As an OTA Real Estate instructor, Joe teaches his students that finding deals is a process that anyone can learn. He likes to share the technique he calls “Back Door Acquisition” which has the potential to earn returns substantially exceeding market norms.

Both in his teaching and his personal life, he aims to kill the “Stress Monster” without losing his drive. He helps his students remove anxiety and pressure as primary motivators, identify all their positive and beneficial experiences, and figure out how they achieved those successes so they can do them again.


  • BS in Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado
  • Engineer at Mobil Oil Corporation, New Mexico State University and El Paso Electric
  • Real Estate investor since 1976
  • Has operated a time real estate investment and acquisition businesses since early 1990s


  • OTA Graduate in Forex, Futures, Stocks and Options
  • Mastermind Community member
  • Attracted to OTA Real Estate by instructor Diana Hill and has been an OTA student for more than 4 years
  • Believes that most real estate investors give up before they give themselves a chance and is committed to increasing the success rate
Aaron Tackett is dedicated to teach real estate investing skills in a motivational classroom environment.

Aaron Tackett

Instructor and Professional Real Estate Investor

Aaron started his Real Estate career selling land/home packages for double wide mobile homes. He graduated into new home sales and eventually into executive management for new construction projects. He has worked for the largest homebuilder in the U.S. as VP of Sales and Marketing and the second largest private homebuilder as National Sales Director.

Through this extensive experience, Aaron knows how the residential real estate market works and what buyers are looking for. His personal favorite investment is fix-and-flips but he is versed in all real estate trading strategies. As an OTA Real Estate Instructor, he advises his students on limiting their risk through effective training and analysis. He has conducted workshops for the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) and others, instructing as few as 10 and as many as 2,000 attendees.

Aaron prides himself on a high energy classroom in which students are motivated to succeed. He enjoys helping others achieve their potential and realize their dream through real estate investing.


  • Executive positions for leading national homebuilders
  • Served in the USAF; combat decorated Gulf War Veteran
  • Worked on A&E reality TV show, House of Dreams
  • Featured in Big Builder Magazine


  • Attending Northern Kentucky University, Organizational Leadership
  • Holds Real Estate Licenses in Kentucky and Florida
  • MIRM (Master in Residential Marketing)
  • CSP (Certified Sales Professional)
  • CMP (Certified Marketing Professional)
  • Habitat for Humanity and Wounded Warriors volunteer
  • Lacrosse and football coach
OTA Real Estate - Learn real estate investing strategies.

Gary Tole

Instructor and Professional Real Estate Investor

Gary Tole has a successful career investing in and managing a wide variety of businesses and has been a real estate investor since 1996, with hundreds of deals under his belt. He has been a licensed Realtor since 2004 and leader of the “Tole Team” at Keller Williams in Dallas, TX since 2012 with the Certified Negotiation Expert designation.

As an OTA Real Estate instructor, Gary recommends real estate for the time freedom enjoyed by the active investor, potential for long term wealth appreciation, and the opportunity to create generational wealth and income. He says of his discovery of the tools available to OTA Real Estate students, “I was completely blown away. There’s nothing like it out there, saving countless hours of due diligence.”

Gary teaches multiple asset classes and also the Core Foundations lessons in OTA’s proprietary DEAL Board and Deal Tracker. “I see teaching as a passion,” he says. “I love people and I feel I can communicate one-on-one and to much larger groups while staying focused on all students’ needs.”


  • University of Missouri, Marketing Major
  • Studied at St. Louis University and Missouri Baptist College
  • Contractor’s Rep for a number of technology companies
  • Gary Tole Sales Company, owner
  • Fuji Photo Film, Sierra Online, D-Link Systems, senior sales management
  • Created and presented, 17 Laws of Success, from the works of Napoleon Hill


  • Holder of multiple “design and use” U.S. Patents
  • Holds certifications in General Life, Annuities and Real Estate with Certified Negotiation Expert designation
  • Avid musician, scuba diver, skier (water and snow), power boater, game hunter, marksman
  • Fundraiser for Make-A-Wish-Foundation and other causes
  • Proud father of 6 grown children, several of whom are active traders and real estate investors
  • Autobiography work-in-progress: “Waiting to Live—What to Expect when You’re Expected to Die"
Jason Tom teaches multifamily and commercial real estate investors proven strategies for success in these markets.

Jason Tom

Instructor and Professional Real Estate Investor

Jason Tom served as a senior investment advisor with a leading commercial real estate firm for over 10+ years, specializing in sale and leasing of multifamily, retail and mixed-use property in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. As an OTA Real Estate instructor, he shares this valuable real-world experience with students following the multifamily and commercial tracks.

Jason previously worked as a business consultant, IT professional and successful owner of his own business. This diverse background, blending industry and market knowledge, helps him advise students seeking wealth through real estate investing. He values OTA Real Estate for its commitment to education and supporting students as they put together their deals.

Jason likes to say that OTA Real Estate is “education for life. We’re not going anywhere. Show me another institution that lets you retake an economics course and doesn’t charge you. But that’s what we do with our lifetime retakes of on-location courses.”


  • Bachelor's degree in business/marketing, Sonoma State University
  • Master's in business, focus on telecommunications, Golden Gate University
  • Senior Investment Advisor, Sperry Van Ness Commercial Real Estate
  • National experience with net-lease retail projects


  • CCIM (Certified commercial investment Member), a designation earned through knowledge and number of real estate deals
  • Member, California Association of Realtors
  • Enthusiastic sailor and member of Tiburon Yacht Club