The Real Estate Guru Trap – How It Works & 4 Ways to Avoid It

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As I attended a real estate investment event a couple weeks back, I couldn’t help but take interest in each of the speakers and seeing what they were all about. Some speakers seemed to have a genuine interest in creating value for their audience and delivering valuable content, while others seemed most interested in lining their own pockets. For me, this is nothing new, since the first real estate “event” I ever went to was nothing more than a sales pitch for expensive tape sets, seminars and additional coaching.

Typical Sales Flow for Real Estate Gurus

Here are some of the typical things you can expect as part of the sales flow for real estate gurus, or wealth creation gurus.

1. Free or cheap seminar
To get people excited, gurus typically offer free or cheap seminars where they talk about real estate, make it sound sexy, and tell you how easily you can be rich using their system.

2. Raising credit card limits
As an exercise in negotiation skills, or a take home assignment for a multi-day event, you may be asked to call your credit card companies and have them raise your limits. The more credit you can get, the better a negotiator you are and the more capital you’ll have to put together future real estate deals.

3. Hard sell
Towards the end of the free or cheap seminar comes a hard sell. This hard sell usually applies some combination of fear tactics and emotional appeal. With financial barriers removed now that you have plenty of available credit from the previous day’s exercise you’ll be encouraged to sign up for the advanced course where you’ll supposedly learn everything you need to know to get rich in real estate.

4. More courses, field trips, mentoring, etc.
Even if you do sign up for the advanced course, do you really think it will stop there? At the conclusion of the advanced course there will be additional courses on specialty strategies, field trips or bus tours to see the best areas to find deals, or expensive personal mentoring. Unfortunately, the guru you were so excited to see probably won’t even be there because these extras are usually coordinated by their other students.

5. Investment deals
After completing all the training you should have the skills to locate, evaluate and close your own investment deals right? The only problem is doing that can be hard work, and nobody wants to do the hard work. Instead of finding your own deals, Gurus often have great deals ready for you. Since they are the expert, their deal must be the one for you.

After going through all of these courses and spending thousands of dollars you may have picked up some great knowledge, but most are things you can learn by reading books, browsing online forums, or simply networking with other investors in your area.

Tips to Avoid the Real Estate Guru Trap

1. Do your research
Before signing up for any course take 5 minutes to Google the guru and get both positive and negative feedback so you can make an informed decision. Better yet, take the time to talk to past students and see what the pros and cons of the system are, and whether there is expensive advanced training.

2. Be careful who you take advice from
Do you want to take real estate advice from people who make the bulk of their income from investing in real estate, or from people who spend 90% of their time running seminars and selling books and courses?

3. Test the basic techniques before buying the upsell
Never sign up for the advanced course, bus tour, or mentoring unless you’ve made money using the basic material first. If you don’t get enough money making info from the basic course, what makes you think the advanced course is going to be any more valuable?

4. Keep your emotions in check
The gurus are slick salesmen and will toy with your emotions to get your money. Learn to recognize the sales tactics they are using so you can keep your emotions in check. By doing this you can make logical decisions based on the information you are presented with.

There are some fantastic organizations out there that provide real education for investors, so don’t mistake me for being anti-education. Education is extremely important for investors, but simply beware the smooth talking real estate guru and their gimmicks. For the new investor, I recommend joining your local real estate investment club where most members will be happy to share their experiences with various courses and tell you which ones are most worthwhile.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jelkeschaafsma

About Author

Andrew is a Canadian real estate investor and analyst who works with Joint Venture partners to create long-term wealth. With a focus on buying and holding positive cash flow properties in Canada's Technology Triangle, Andrew makes the benefits of real estate investment available to those who lack the time or expertise to buy and manage property themselves.


  1. Great job educating people on what to look out for and how to avoid getting scammed by the gurus, Andrew! It is always sad to hear stories from people who got burned by a guru . . . hopefully, thanks to you, it will happen to far fewer.

    • Thanks Josh. I know some people who ended up in a huge amount of debt based on taking these courses AND following some (bad) advice they received there. If you know what to expect when attending these events its easier to keep yourself grounded and avoid falling for the trap.

      • As a result of running BiggerPockets, I’ve heard more horror stories than I care to think about. I believe that the business of real estate investing has gotten a black eye thanks to many of these gurus. This year alone I’ve heard of some gurus getting arrested, others fined millions, and of course, many people losing lots of money to the lot of them. I’ve seen several gurus pop up, claiming to have some level of experience, but have managed to track their online history and have seen that experience to be a complete lie. Most ironic, IMO, are the gurus who bash the other gurus, all the while, employing the same tactics.

        I’d have to say that I’m almost inclined to think that there needs to be some level of oversight or regulation of these people. It just seems that anyone that wants to, can call themselves an real estate expert “guru” and can fleece unsuspecting consumers of their hard-earned money.

        It is a shady game – at least we’ve got posts like yours to help make people aware of how they are doing it.

        • Get thoughts Joshua. It sounds like you have a lot of experience here. I’m wondering, which “gurus” would you recommend aside from local reia members?

        • Jacob –
          I don’t personally recommend any of the “gurus.” I do believe that there are many good coaches and mentors out there, but the “gurus” whose intention is to fleece investors will never get my endorsement.


        • I appreciate your comments, Josh. I have run a national REI mentorship program since early 2009. You might be amazed at the horror stories I hear from new applicants.

          C.J. Lauria

        • mark hairston

          Thank you Joshua Great post. I am Brand new to Real Estate investing, and am trying to find the RIGHT GURU, to invest my money in. Why can’t EVERYBODY be upright. You know, The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing but The Truth.

        • Helen Le

          Help! I signed up for a guru company and me and my classmates want out money back. Is anyone out there an attorney? Do we not have a claim since we gave them our information and let them take our money? Should we ask for a refund first? Should we tell them a sob story and be nice about it so they will do it? Please any advice would be great!

        • Jessyca Shuttleworth

          What if you were one of the ones that fell for this!? I’m VERY interested in real estate investing and making a passive income. I did pay thousands of dollars for a real estate workshop and now I’m having anxiety!What would you recommend for these folks that already paid?

    • I signed up for a brick buy brick event in Washington DC. I gave them a deposit of $200 in cash since their credit card machines were not working. All the paperwork was filled in correctly by the person who took my money. Within the normal refund policy described on the form I signed, I asked for refund. All other refund procedures as they described were followed.

      Anyway, brick buy brick never gave me my refund back. They said that person who took my money never signed my form. In fact, there was no where on the form for a signature. Despite following all the procedures, the people who work for this company stole my money.

      Don’t waste your time with brick buy brick.

  2. Well said! I cannot tell you how many people I have met in my years of working with Real Estate Investors that have been impacted by these promises of overnight wealth. Remember, the goal of every business is to make money not spend money. Point # 4 should be every investor’s mantra.

    • Hi Ebere, its so easy to fall for the sales pitch because we all want to make easy money and want it in our lives yesterday. Whether it is a sales pitch from a guru or your next investment deal, we have to make our decisions based on fact and not emotion.

  3. Andrew,

    Good article and absolutely true. In fact, I think you are being way too nice about it. The whole seminar “selling hope and air” model is horrible. I think your 2nd point is the most important.

    “only take (and/or pay for) advice from people that have actually done it for some period of time, successfully in different market conditions and still make most of their money from doing it.” If everyone just followed that advice the education quality in real estate would be so much stronger across the board.

    Nice job.

  4. How about suggesting that people ask for genuine credentials, rather than references from others who are also gullible and clueless?
    How about telling people that the best credentials…for a real estate guru…is how much of their supposed wealth actually came from their real estate dealings, rather than from the tapes and mentoring programs they have sold?
    How about suggesting that people do searches that include the guru’s name, along with words like fraud, scam, crook…and see what comes up?
    How about telling people that, 99.9% of the time, “there’s nothing new under the sun”…that is, that the major portion of the information that people pay thousands of dollars for, is available for $30-50 in a book?
    I am absolutely astounded that desperate people, who may not even own their own cottage, are spending their last pennies on the guru’s (read as: “thieves”) who are proliferating on the Internet. Some of these people probably don’t know how to balance a checkbook, or make change, but they think they can listen to a tape and become a real estate tycoon! I am not sure how some of them get across a street unassisted. But, I am not against them…I am against those who see how weak, desperate and gullible they are, and willingly take their last dollars.

  5. Joseph Chilcote on

    Ah, as a guy who had nothing before spending many thousands of bucks and doing all the things I needed to do and still not being too successful, I welcome this article for the masses.

    For the thousands of newbie investors out there expecting money to just roll in after taking a course and reading all the materials over and over and never doing a deal because the challenges are just too overwhelming, this article is for you. Maybe another course will get me where I need to be, you say! Taking another course (credit card of course) and being presented with just another twist on basically the same material in a very predictable fashion is what you are likely to find. BUT THE SEMINAR IS FREE! The freebie is designed as a hook. They tell you about all these successful people who made $60,000 on their first deal after completing their course. Then come the stupid questions, “how many of you can use an extra $60,000 like Peter X?” “How many of you would like to be able to afford to live here (picture of a mansion)… or have a boat like THIS, have an airplane… attract sexy women with your wealth! Oh, the possibilities are endless! That fluff is called conditioning. Some will even make you feel guilty or embarrass you in front of the class if you don’t buy in to their pitch. I’ve seen it all.

    Now I am NOT saying all courses are a waste of time and money but beware of the 2 day paid courses that attempt to cover everything you need to know, then offer you 10 more courses to gain more specialized training and, of course, monthly charges for support.

    Education is paramount and you have to know what you are doing before jumping in but don’t get caught up in buying three or four courses claiming to have a “better mousetrap” than the last guy. “NEW SECRETS REVEALED” “THE REVISED ADDITION OF MEGA-WEALTH IN REAL ESTATE” etc. are red flags. Walk away. Buy the book by Kevin C. Myers at Amazon. Read it cover to cover and see if you want to spend the money on a course. Then take only one course. If you can’t make money after that, DO NOT buy more courses thinking your luck will change. Networking is key. Attend real estate investor meetings and develop relationships. This is the single most important thing to do after having the basic knowledge down pat. My biggest hurdle was always – finding money to do deals when the banks aren’t lending. Hard money is dangerous money in a down market like this one. One mistake or miscalculation and you could “wind up paying big-time” for the honor of completing an 8 month project and getting it sold. Thank you, Andrew, for this article.

    • Hi Joeseph, Thanks for adding some of your own experience and thoughts to the discussion. I think as you say it is important to get educated, but nobody can do you investing for you. After getting a basic understanding the next step is to start connecting with local investors and you’ll learn a lot more about your particular market and what works and what doesn’t in your area.

    • Hi Joseph, Thanks for adding some of your own experience and thoughts to the discussion. I think as you say it is important to get educated, but nobody can do you investing for you. After getting a basic understanding the next step is to start connecting with local investors and you’ll learn a lot more about your particular market and what works and what doesn’t in your area.

      • Hi joseph!! Excellent comments. What i have found to be the greatest resource in the weekend seminars are the other people attending. I would add that where it is easy to make a mistake is in thinking that it is easy and anybody can do it. It is after all a business and it should be treated as such. Success is heavily dependent in the time and energy you put into it. I have signed up with two coaches. The first one, extremely expensive and did not learn much. The second however gave me more knowledge and resources that I had time to use. his team was awesome. Inspite of that, it has taken me over a year to actually close a deal (and its not quite finisjed yet). But ive been able to use the same knowledge to start my girlfriend massage therapy business.
        So the moral of the story is: push forward with whatever line of work you choose. Build your team. And if you happen to have made a bad investment in one of the not so good coaches, its only means that you need to make more money to break even. I call that motivation.
        best of luck and God s blessings to each and every one of you
        From westminster, colorado,
        Ps: stay motivated, use your head and remember, as they say in my native cuba, if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

    • Joseph, I agree with you that avoiding the ‘all new’, ‘secrets revealed’ and such are all red flags. I haven’t read Kevin’s book but on Amazon the book is promoted as “Myers presents all-new insights on how to create a quick turnaround” and that raised red flags. I believe there are better books out there, ones not written as come ons to those same expensive classes and tapes you warned about.

      I also agree that taking course after course is not going to help you. There is no teacher like experience and you may as well just dive in, you will definitely learn what you need to learn. By dive in I don’t mean take down a whole deal by yourself, you can birddog for others because it seems like there’s always money around for good deals and if you can find one good enough somebody will pay you for digging it up. And especially since the money in real estate is made on the buy side by birddogging you will be learning the most important thing first, how to buy right.

  6. Steele V. Propp on

    One thing to be aware of in doing research on a particular product or person is that there is a trend out there of having plants write positive reviews as opposed to actual consumers. Watch for “reviewers” who at the end of their review aim the reader back to the sales page or have another product or service they happen to be pitching and direct you to it instead.

  7. I wish this article came out sooner because it feels like I have been had! I signed up got the training and paper work. I can find deals now, but my biggest problem is that I don’t have a lawyer, is there any lawyers that would get paid when the deal is done?? Or do they need to get money upfront. I also have no money any more for expenses all I have is funding to buy the property and resell it. I could sure use some help….

      • Celine Crotty on

        All Lawyers are paid when the deal is completed, at least here in New York. Most lawyers charge anywhere from $400-600. You shouldn’t pay more. If you have a good deal, you can make easy money by assigning the Contract to an end Buyer, like a RE Investor. Most Assignment fees range from $2000 – $10,000. Make sure you attach the Assignment Contract to the Original Contract. If you need a copy of what it looks like, you can e-mail me. I will send it to you for free. Good Luck.


  8. I have another google email that I give to these so called gurus to see who promotes each others product. When you see them clammoring to up-sell each others product then you know they are not focusing on good education, rather they want to get an affiliate fee from their friend.

  9. Andrew –

    Nice job with the article. I have been on both sides of the real estate seminar stage having attended many when I was younger and much more naive and speaking on stage with one company now for the past two years. In the end, it all boils down to the basic principles you laid out. Research who is putting on the seminar and pay close attention to the details of what the seminar is for. I absolutely enjoy working with the group who asks me to speak on their stage because I am very familiar with their background and the fact that even now that they are moving into the real estate education business, they are still actively buying & selling and investing in long term buy & holds.

    Too often the story is different and those putting on the seminar may have briefly bought property and then immediately went to work selling their “knowledge”. I will tell you that as long as people are willing to believe they can buy their dream life instead of work for it, seminars will continue to travel the country.

    I still attend seminars today and sometimes I really enjoy the speakers and other times I do not. I do not have anything to sell when I speak from stage. I am brought in to speak on my particular expertise which is structuring your business, modeling other successful businesses in your industry and assisting your clients with long term buy & holds. So for me, it is easier to pick out the speakers I would like to listen to. I also believe their is a website that John T. Reed keeps that does a decent job of giving good information on Guru’s. John doesn’t hold anything back and will write in very plain language the good and bad of a real estate affiliated guru.

    In the end Andrew, most of us simply appreciate you handling the topic and putting soe good basic pointers out there for everyone to remember.

    • @Chris, you hit the nail on the head when you said: “as long as people are willing to believe they can buy their dream life instead of work for it”. Appeals to greed and laziness have worked since the first caveman scratched out a get rich quick plan on the wall of the cave.

      The best real estate speaker I’ve ever heard at my local real estate investment group was a guy who said there’s no short cuts, no secrets, it’s getting out there and working at it. All he had to sell was a paperback book that was simply a longer version of his message with examples from his 30 year real estate investment career. I recommend it to anyone before they write a fat check to a guru: “Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur”.

  10. Robert Guilad on

    Great comments.
    Would check what experience the guru has and what real estate transactions he has completed in say last 10 years.
    Not just real estate gurus – it happens in various businesses. Like sales training. You have 25 year old guys telling you how to sell having never held a major sales position in their short lives!

  11. Ahhh what a great article!

    I too have been on both sides of the equation with a failing seminar group that primarily people made their money through selling the education and not actually investing.

    I really don’t understand now (I am far less naive) how people would sign up for a seminar without actually seeing documented proof that the mentor/teacher is doing deals. Most of the speakers in this group haven’t invested in years.

    “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day” “Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”

    I know alot of investors will benefit from this article. Thank you, Dave

  12. It’s important to not get hung up of the typical sales flow of real estate gurus, but there are certainly things that should send a red flag up through the roof.

    Free/cheap seminars are a result of the race to the bottom because info-marketers use this to blitz the public. In order to compete and get people in the door long enough to listen these are just the nature of the industry. If you’re savvy they can be worth your while to read between the lines, and reading between the lines you can learn some pretty neat sales techniques. But pretty much every model honest or dishonest utilizes free/cheap seminars.

    Raising your credit card limit on the other hand is simply diabolical. Anybody that’s making you promises and telling you to raise your credit card limit shouldn’t just be subject to scrutiny, but rather pitchforks and torches. If you see this get the heck out of there and take as many people as you can with you and hold the host accountable. This is as low a tactic as can be.

    Hard sells are about the same as free/cheap seminars… nature of the beast to get people to take action and invest in education. But in my opinion, courses just don’t work… real estate is a local specific business and someone from Florida telling you how to do real estate in Washington is just odd. But honest or dishonest the guru maybe, they both have to use the hard sell because seminars and presentations are just basically copy en vivo.

    More stuff… there’s always more. Personally I think the only thing paying for as far as real estate education is concerned is coaching by local experts who actually succeed in your location. Everything else just exists because people will buy it.

    Investment deals? If they’re not local and accountable then what good are the deals? Most speakers can’t even update the copyright on their courses much less keep tabs on deals at every pit stop they make. Ask your fellow investors and see how many deals they’ve done with gurus…
    Tips are solid, kudos to the writer!

    One thing about doing your research though is that the online world is a very deceptive place and sites like do a pretty cunning job of acting like a resource that’s in your best interest but really they’re selling courses.

    Always read between the lines and looking at the course review site is a great example. Course reviews and February’s Best Sellers… click around and you’ll run right into a bunch of long copy landing pages. The “Reviews” are the draw they use to “Cash In” on your due diligence because they’re smart enough to read the good advice and strategically place themselves in sheep’s clothing.

    Bottom line is that whatever entity that makes a money off your purchase of a course has a bias and they will always put their well being ahead of yours. Look at all parties involved and their motivations and then you’ll see the ugly reality operating beneath the copy.

    Courses are basically just books that are blown up into giant binders and audio CD’s that don’t even hold a candle to most podcasts… see them for what they are.

  13. I totally agree! I have been to real estate conventions and it is sad to see how much money these gurus charge for real estate courses and they bank on new real estate investors out there who don’t know where to start. They seem to have all the answers.
    Yes, Google them and see what their background is. Also do a lot of reading: libraries and bookstores are full of material to help you get started and decide which real estate field is right for you. And when something peaks your interest, follow a “true” mentor or investor who has been there and done that, who will partner with you to show you the ropes or who can personally help you – each real estate case and situation is different and a new investor needs customized help.

  14. Second the motion on the careful treading required when researching gurus online. I am certain they are fooling a lot of people with the phony review and comment sites. I gotta admit they get better every day with how authentic they can look. You must be very smart and 5 steps ahead of them.

    When they got hip that people were searching for “scam” they created their own “scam” review sites making people click their links and then directing them to the gurus site (or a similar site) by seemingly authenticating it was not a scam.

    The novice person who does not know the landscape of the current Internet can still be easily fooled. One has to actually do a search on the search in order to be sure, and also do more sophisticated searches

    • They have definitely gotten a lot better; years ago when I first discovered that they were using this tactic, it was fairly easy to figure it out. Today – less so. Unless someone is familiar with what we’re talking about, Carol, the odds of the average Joe realizing that the “scam” sites are just funnel sites for the gurus themselves, are slim to none.

      It is just another extremely shady practice engaged by this crowd.

  15. Carol & Joshua –

    I don’t speak for any guru’s themselves because in many cases they have their own agenda that is different than mine. But, when it comes to protecting your name, your company and your online reputation, there are things you have to do and realize that if you have hundreds or thousands of customers you have no shot of making everyone happy. Because of that, I purchased the ‘scam’ name of my company and made sure that no one else could ever own it or post it out of spite. We don’t have an site or redirect on it, but I constantly monitor how our clients feel about us and think I do a pretty good job of keeping in touch with competition just to have my thumb on our reputation.
    So, for some companies who do things right but have a lot of customers (and I am positive there are ‘gurus’ who operate the right way and fall into this category) protecting your online reputation is vital. I don’t agree with making a fake site and I believe made up reviews is entirely unethical, but I do agree with owning your own name and preventing someone from posting a site calling you a scam out of spite.


  16. Andrea Samuels on

    Great job educating people on what to look out for in the industry. I am in Jamaica and I always feel badly when I hear stories of persons getting scammed by real estate brokers. With this information, hopefully it will happen to far less.

  17. First off I am new to this site and real estate investing. I would like to thank everyone that has contributed articles, forum posts, and learning material. It is you people that I get the majority of my industry knowledge from, not some self proclaimed genius that wants me to send a check for thousands of dollars. If you think about it, if these “guru’s” had a true system to generate huge returns risk free they would be running a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. They wouldn’t be wasting their time with cheap cheesy pitch fest seminars.
    Thanks Again Everyone

  18. Are there any “gurus” or courses that ARE legit and don’t rely on some of the sales techniques described above? Would guess that even the legit ones rely on some of the sales techniques since they are, after all, trying to turn a profit.

    But of course, turning a profit as a “guru” is fine so long as the things they teach actually DO work. And it’s nice to know that they have actually made more money in real estate investing than they are making as a guru. Tough to figure that out, though.

    • Hi Neiuw, I am part of a group here in Canada called REIN (The Real Estate Investment Network) which teaches a solid system for investing in real estate. Being part of the group and networking with many experienced above-board investors helped give me the confidence to get started and has been a very valuable resource.

      The best way to find a group like this is to visit local investment groups and see where all the successful investors hang out. Some of these are led by scammy guru types, but others will have a ton of real world experience among their members. When you find a group with experienced members willing to share their knowledge, soak it up.

    • Ronald –
      Most are for profit, and in my opinion, put those profits above all else, including the interests of their members. There are certainly some good clubs out there, but many are just tools for upselling garbage to unsuspecting hopeful investors.

      • Thanks, Joshua. We plan to start one in here. Do you have a guide for setting up one? I do plan to strike a balance of profit and value to make it win-win for us and the members. I am no guru by the way but I’ve seen a lot of people victimized by guru hype and that’s my motivation for setting up a club.

  19. Very well written!! That is so true. There are some decent folks out there spreading the word, but unfortunately, they do not make the money of the big time guru’s. It was reported last year that Armondo Montologo did over 40 MILLION in his education business! My question is How do you spend that much time teaching and still do deals. I work non stop on my real estate so I only have room for a handful of students at a time. Maybe he could give me a course in balancing the two, LOL!!

  20. Great article Andrew! I took a weekend stock trading class when I was 16 and I watched them up-sell everyone on the last day. Same kinda deal Lucky me I didn’t have any money :).

    • Hi Mark,

      I think I first saw the up-sell in action at a Russ Whitney event in Toronto when I was still a University student. Like yourself, good thing I didn’t have any money at the time. I later found much better groups to learn real life strategies from AND they didn’t cost an arm and a leg.


  21. By far, the best way to avoid being scammed by a “Real Estate Guru”, is in my opinion, to research the QUALITY of the content that they make available for free to the public. You must ask yourself…Based on the quality and quantity of the content that they have provided for Free, can I make a reasonable judgement as to their integrity as a person, not just a real estate investor?

  22. Rick Colquhoun on

    I am a HUGE fan of BP. I have been a pastor for over 30 years and began this journey in January 2014 (9 months ago) and have confidently purchased 3 multi’s, and just had an offer accepted on another (a short sale/great deal!).THANK YOU BP!!!
    This past weekend my brother and I attended an introductory 3 day seminar with [name removed] Of course they claim to NOT be guru’s: much less guys with bad motives who want to “fleece” people. They sell a “franchise” with proven systems- the best part of which is personal coaching.
    I am a pastoral trainer and coach, and I teach our denomination’s pastors “systems”. Most of the guys take advantage of this free offer from our denomination. Some don’t, but all of our new churches are required to accept coaching. It just makes sense, right?
    Business is business. If you have never run one before and want/need someone to hold your hand for a year, I suggest people do it anyway they can. I have learned TONS from BP, but paying $197 for 3 days of training (and, yes, the unending sales pitch) was WELL worth it, especially for my brother. I have listened to nearly every podcast, read 10 + books and I don’t think I heard anything really “new”- but my brother got a fantastic introduction to the business.
    We are “buy and hold” guys, who might do a flip or 2 next year (or just fix and hold). If I wanted to “make a million in real estate ” and “take it to the next level”(a phrase used 26 times in the second and third day’s presentations) this program could be a great resource. I just have a hard time understanding the incessant questioning of other’s motives because they sell a proven system at a premium price. The [name removed] guys are VERY up front about the fee structure. Obviously it is not for everyone- me included- but I can’t assign bad motives to these guys. I suppose that there are there are real charlatans out there…hey, I have been a pastor for over 30 years…but lets not use a broad brush to call into question the motives of every training business.

  23. Great article! For those wondering how to tell if a coach or guru is legit. Use the BP forum. Almost every coach or program will get feedback from members who have tried it or heard of what the “course” consists of. I have paid for a lot of coaching that cost thousands of dollars myself, but none of it was a specific course, but more of personal coaching from extremely successful people. That coaching was well worth it, but it wasn’t a hard sell, there were no free seminars and the cost was known upfront before I signed up for anything. If a company or guru has to hide their cost in the beginning it is a bad sign!

  24. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR ANALYSIS OF THE GURUS;. Upon visiting several GURU’s and yes, investing in one, which I actually did ok with, I realized something must be done. I have formed a network of actual experienced investors , in Phoenix AZ, to help mentor these poor people, who spent all this money, then got the shaft.

    Daniel Scott

    • Andrea Cowen-Richards

      Hi Daniel,
      Please would you kindly state where you mentor or have groups who provide help in the Phx. area. I live just south of Phx. I’m currently researching meet ups for real estate and investors. I’d really appreciate a heads up and a good direction to move towards.
      Many thanks!


  25. Oh no. How I wish I would have seen this earlier.. Having regret seeing this today! I was at a free Brick Buy Brick RDPD seminar yesterday and my friend signed up herself to pay for the 3-day course with me as a guest, so that we could share the fee. Don’t think there’s a way out from this, since she already payed. Anyone else that’s been in this situation? What did you do?

    Thanks for a great article Andrew, and for letting people know the truth about these sales-pitches! I’ve definitely learnt my lesson.
    – Anna. S

    • Dale Myers

      Anna – I signed up the other day too. I have an event in 2 weeks. I will keep an open mind but really looking for someone local to learn from. I dont mind paying a solid mentor for knowledge and guidance but it would be nice to see a ranking chart on this site such as 1-5 starts to see who is recommended and why.

  26. Chan Shealy


    Great article! And actually, your first point “Do your research” is how I came across BP. I tend to be very cautious with sites I see on the internet in regards to investing. As an IT Director, I come across so many scam emails and sites on a daily basis. However, I actually got reeled into a mentor opportunity that even to me seemed very legitimate until I spoke to one of the salesmen. After the first call, I began researching and read only positive feedback until I came across a BP forum that spoke about this same mentoring company and the individual that started the company. The post spoke about many of the things I had not experienced with the salesman in regards to upfront money and monthly fees.
    BUT, I followed up with the salesman and things he stated during the call proved to me what the forum post had stated was true. So, I received great help from BP before I was even a member. BP is a great asset and I am so glad to be a part of it and look forward to learning as much as I can so I can become a wise investor like the rest on this site.

  27. This is a great article with a lot of helpful information. It is very important to make sure that the way that you are getting your information is not a scam! Through detailed research I have found, that for seasoned or new investors, joining a real estate investment club will help you meet people with similar interests and goals and provide you with a wealth of information you would not have otherwise have been able to find.

  28. sherwood sohmers

    I belong to a Real Estate Investment club that met once a month for a small fee and had guess speakers. When I stopped learning at least one thing from a meeting that I did not know, I quite. That took about 2 years. Even after 18 months there was nothing new to learn.
    I only learn something I did not realize by listen to a Guru and changing what he was saying into something that made more sense. The Guru never realized the twist..
    The best source of information is local investors who are making lots of money by doing what they do best and that is not selling you education.
    I also have help many investors and Agents by thinking out of the box and advising them (For free). If you can envision turning a property into something more valuable you can make money. I love doing this.
    Gurus are worthless, unless they tell you something that you can modify and benefit from it, but they don’t know what they are talking about.
    I have had my real estate license for more than 45 years and been investing for almost 50 years. It’s fun and profitable. I learn a lot from experience and generally never heard a Guru teach what I have learned.

  29. I went to an introductory event recently hosted by a company called Real-Estate Workshop (REW) affiliated with the Tax Lien Network in Canada. In the beginning the presenters talked about how you can profit from tax liens on properties in different states throughout the US. The rest of the seminar talked about the basics of Real-Estate Investing. We are talking about foreclosed properties in the US. Next came the $800 sign-up for a 3-day event to get more education.

    At the 3-day event, there were several guest speakers including a lady “Jessie” who claimed to have appeared in an episode of Donald Trump’s show “The Apprentice”. Definitely there are a lot of depressed areas in the US and properties (residential & commercial) in inventory but not in the MLS. In the seminar Jessie showed examples of properties including those listed as tax liens, tax deeds, on Craiglist, etc. and did a lot of number crunching to see which ones are profitable for wholesale, flip, rental. In a day (from 9am – 6pm) she covered a lot of materials and took questions.

    On the 2nd day of the event, each attendee was asked to talk to 1 of the guest speakers assigned as his/her mentor for a 1/2h meeting. And during that meeting your mentor asked you to fill-out a questionnaire with your financial goals. The mentor would give some indication the types of real-estate investment you are most likely to get into including tax lien, tax deed properties, wholesale, flip, rental, etc. Then he/she presented you with the Platinum & Diamond Support Program including future seminar events, your mentor available a phone call away and a team backing you up. To join the Platinum Program you need to pay over $20K and for the Diamond over $30K (already discounted prices). They wanted at least $10K upfront as payment claiming that once you start doing 3 or 4 deals, you would generate that amount of money anyway.

    Every 1 of the presenters seemed to be keen on using their credit cards as a leverage to invest into real-estate. The immediate concern is to come up with the money for the Platinum / Diamond Support Program they “recommend” you to join. They seemed to be very keen on you coming up with at least $10K ASAP. Sending them a check isn’t the preferred way because there is a withholding period before it is cleared. If you have the enough credit limit on a credit card, you should use it to join 1 of the programs.

    When it comes to people’s credentials and whether they actually spend more time managing properties vs. running seminars it is not easy to research that info. The presenters seemed genuine and answered many of the questions raised during the 3-day seminar. The 1 thing that “might” raise the red flag is that they wanted you to join a program and pay the money upfront ASAP. It is understandable why they don’t want to accept someone who lives in Canada from writing checks from a Canadian bank because they are a US organization and deals with US banks. The company should offer more flexible payment options such as a bank draft or certified check when you go to the bank on the next business day (Monday). Getting paid a few days later shouldn’t be a big deal since the meeting with a mentor was on a weekend Saturday. The other thing they could do to make money is to sign you up to their network for no charge but instead charge you for the times you use their services such as using their website to access their listing of properties during the month. And if you consulted your mentor before committing to a deal, they can be charging a small fee such as 5% on the profit you make which is totally reasonable. But making you pay a $10K upfront is not reasonable.

    If the company has so much cash reserve and is willing to lend to people who joined their network, why would they want you to negotiate with your credit card company for a higher credit limit? They should be willing to act as a lending institution collecting interests. Some prefer to keep their card limit low for protection in case of fraud. Once you start generating returns you can plow the money into more investments so your credit limit should be less of an issue.

  30. Daniela Vukadinovic

    Great article!
    I attended one of those “free/cheap” seminars and all they did was sell the mentoring programs.
    The sad part was that the majority of the class signed up for mentoring that cost up to $30,000.
    Those people were able to pay for the mentoring by using their credit cards, since they have raised the limits doing the “exercise” from the day before.Exactly everything that was mentioned in this article!
    I do not want to drop names, but Legacy Education is one of those guru companies….there, I said it.

  31. Dan G.

    With what BP has created Gurus are running scarred. There is nothing sane about using a credit cards to pay 30k for a mentor.

    1) You should be buying your first deal for that amount of $
    2) Your 30k or more mentor most likely isn’t from your area and will be useless on your market

    Instead utilize BPs free content.

    Do spend $20 on: The book on rental property investing by Brandon Turner and the like . note the difference? $20 and 30k? Gurus are fastlaners pedaling and preying on the slowlaners and side walkers who are either lazy and want 2 easy steps and no had work, or the poor slowlaners who’s emotions get manipulated and just don’t know any better. I have been there. I know what it’s like to pay 6k for a useless program. Once they got there $ I heard nothing from them.

    Im newbie, and am sure thankful for BP and all of your seasoned content creators. I look forward to making my 1st deal through:education, hard work, and networking. Not writing someone a check or swiping a card.

  32. Ron Harris

    Connect with your local REIA (Real Estate Investor Association). Every state has 1 or more of them. Vet them out and find out where all the experienced investors go to.

    At the REIA’s, what we here all the time from new investors that paid for those $30,000 mentoring packages that they wished they knew about the REIA before hiring the guru’s. Many times, the guru’s tell them to go to the REIA (of course, after the check has been cashed. Or credit card these days).

    Plug into your local REIA. Find out from other successful and experienced investors who the LOCAL Mentors are. You will learn which mentors are the real deal vs the traveling salesman guru (who have script reading coaches on the phone). Do your due diligence.

    FYI: You should never pay more the $10,000 for a mentor unless you are an advanced, experienced, already successful investor. You’re trying to learn level 1 or 2 and don’ t need level 10 (yet) knowledge. Level up 1st.

    I always joke that if you paid me that $30,000 package that I would probably even wipe your butt. Joking of course, because I’m a germaphobe! Of course, houses with lots of roach/dog/cat poop are some my favorite deals. “Smell of money…”

    Oh, if you are ever in Oklahoma City, try Millionaire Possibilities REIA MPREIA. Meetup every 1st Thursday of the month.

  33. Ron Harris

    Connect with your local REIA (Real Estate Investor Association). Every state has 1 or more of them. Vet them out and find out where all the experienced investors go to.

    At the REIA’s, what we here all the time from new investors that paid for those $30,000 mentoring packages that they wished they knew about the REIA before hiring the guru’s. Many times, the guru’s tell them to go to the REIA (of course, after the check has been cashed. Or credit card these days).

    Plug into your local REIA. Find out from other successful and experienced investors who the LOCAL Mentors are. You will learn which mentors are the real deal vs the traveling salesman guru (who have script reading coaches on the phone). Do your due diligence.

    FYI: You should never pay more the $10,000 for a mentor unless you are an advanced, experienced, already successful investor. You’re trying to learn level 1 or 2 and don’ t need level 10 (yet) knowledge. Level up 1st.

    I always joke that if you paid me that $30,000 package that I would probably even wipe your butt. Joking of course, because I’m a germaphobe! Of course, houses with lots of roach/dog/cat poop are some my favorite deals. “Smell of money…”

    Oh, if you are ever in Oklahoma City, try Millionaire Possibilities REIA MPREIA. Meetup every 1st Thursday of the month.

  34. Ron Harris

    Connect with your local REIA (Real Estate Investor Association). Every state has 1 or more of them. Vet them out and find out where all the experienced investors go to.

    At the REIA’s, what we hear all the time from new investors that paid for those $30,000 mentoring packages that they wished they knew about the REIA before hiring the gurus. Many times, the guru’s tell them to go to the REIA (of course, after the check has been cashed. Or credit card these days).

    Plug into your local REIA. Find out from other successful and experienced investors who the LOCAL Mentors are. You will learn which mentors are the real deal vs the traveling salesman guru (who have script reading coaches on the phone). Do your due diligence.

    FYI: You should never pay more the $10,000 for a mentor unless you are an advanced, experienced, already successful investor. You’re trying to learn level 1 or 2 and don’ t need level 10 (yet) knowledge. Level up 1st.

    I always joke that if you paid me that $30,000 package that I would probably even wipe your rear. Joking of course, because I’m a germaphobe! Of course, houses with lots of roach/dog/cat poop are some my favorite deals. “Smell of money…”

    Oh, if you are ever in Oklahoma City, try Millionaire Possibilities REIA MPREIA. Meetup every 1st Thursday of the month.

  35. Suzanne ciba

    Can anyone that has taken Nick Vertucci’s class give me their opinion on his 4 day bus tour? The cost of $30k is really steep. I realize I can learn alot of this in a book or try to find a local mentor. I guess I just want to know
    is it worth it.

  36. Chris Endrai

    Great article, thank you. I think your last comment, “Learn to recognize the sales tactics they are using…” would benefit from a couple examples. Here are some of my favorites:

    I thought you wanted to succeed?
    You said you were committed to this?
    Wouldn’t you agree that your approach to date hasn’t worked.
    $3999 is a small price to be successful for the rest of your life, don’t be short sighted/penny wise & pound foolish
    It isn’t possible for me to give specific advice in one book that covers every situation.
    The program works, you just aren’t committing the time and effort. You need to step up to the advanced program.

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