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
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
Ed Ponsi teaches strategies for investing in rental properties and more.

Ed Ponsi

Instructor and Professional Real Estate Investor

Ed Ponsi was a currency trader who turned to real estate as a way to expand his holdings and invest his income. He invests in both year-round and seasonal rental properties including beachfront locations he has enjoyed for his own personal use as well as renting for a profit. He loves the diversification afforded by real estate which is not correlated to currency markets and has had great gains over the past decade.

Though he continues to trade currencies, Ed finds that his real estate holdings take the pressure off because he knows he will have a steady stream of income. The find/analyze close/strategy of OTA Real Estate gives him the confidence and the tools he needs to make successful investments. He likes to tell his students that “once you have learned from OTA Real Estate, you would never consider paying market price for a property again.”


  • Managing Director of Barchetta Capital Management LLC, an NFA registered Commodity Trading Advisor
  • Advisor to hedge funds, traders and individuals
  • President, FX Educator
  • Author of “Forex Patterns and Probabilities”, a top-selling book on currency trading


  • Has made over 100 appearances on CNBC as well as Bloomberg TV, Fox Business News, CNN and BBC
  • Profiled in international magazines such as "Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities" and "The Traders Journal"
  • Has taught sold-out classes in New York, London, Singapore and Dubai
  • Author of “The Ed Ponsi Forex Playbook”, which was endorsed by Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at The Johns Hopkins University
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
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


Our OTA Real Estate staff is ready to assist you in advancing your real estate education!

Learn real estate investing from the professionals at OTA Real Estate
Debi Knable Director of Real Estate Operations
Take real estate investing courses from real estate experts. Start out with a free real estate investing workshop.
David Fong Instructor