Posted over 6 years ago

The Seminar Business and the "Hard-Sell Up-Sell"


After attending the Armando Montelongo Bus Tour and supposed Coaching Program in June of 2009 I've shared my learnings with you as I've experienced surprises, challenges and successes my real estate experiences. 

But my passion and desire to learn didn't stop there.  I've read books, learned about different real estate strategies and opportunities.  I've learned about wholesaling and subject-to investing from colleagues that were trained via Nouveau Riche, bought 2 real estate information products from Phill Grove, I religiously listen to The Norris Group podcasts and even was suckered into the DC Fawcett and deceitful Karen Hanover (since arrested) pitch-fest called the Commercial Foreclosure Goldrush, and I network with my local real estate investors, all trying to live up to the dreams of real estate riches.

It was the second Phill Grove product I bought that opened my eyes to a deja-vue phenomena of the "Hard-sell Up-sell".

If this is all you read in this blog, just keep this question in mind when you attend a seminar and they try to sell you something more during the seminar: "Would I spend that amount of money to get a Master's Degree?  Would I spend that amount of money to get a Bachelors Degree"  If not, then think about the value of the programs they sell you during this seminars.  If it costs you $50,000 to get an MBA from a nationally recognized institution, then why spend $50,000 for someone to share their "secrets of successes" with you?

The Armando Montelongo Roadmap

Armando Montelongo offers a free event where they teach you a real estate strategy and reward you with a free MP3 player for staying for the whole event.  It is during that event they sell you on a 3 day real estate seminar for only $1500 and a very expensive self learning tax lien information product.

You go to the 3 day seminar and it is THEN they introduce you to a bus tour - that for me was $25,000 for 2 people.  They claim you are taken by the hand and they will set you up with everything you need to be successful in real estate.  You go to that bus tour and THEN the up-sell is a Master Mentor program priced at another $25,000 AND/OR you can go on another bus tour in Indianapolis where you can cash in on buy and hold strategies.  I don't know the cost of that one.  Of course then you must protect your assets because you WILL be rich - That was another $10,000.

Personally I had a great experience with the Armando Montelongo bus tour.  I didn't need the Master Mentor program (actually they didn't offer it at the time and I wouldn't buy it now anyway).  It helped me expand beyond my comfort zone so I could make investments in Real Estate - and that's when I started this blog that so many of you enjoy.  And I personally thank Armando for his personal desire to see people succeed. 

The Phill Grove/JT Foxx Roadmap

I bought Phill's first product because he would be a cash partner should I find a deal that worked with his numbers.  I proposed a couple of deals to him and met him at one property but the numbers just didn't work.  I sent another deal to him that was out of state, but he declined because it was out of state...OK, so I spent $997 for a training program, but really I wanted a JV partner and never got it, bummer, but I'll live and I found other partners.  (BTW, the deal out of state returned an $18k profit on a $68k investment - 26% return isn't too bad in 4 months.)

Then Phill released his Mortgage Assignment program, again at a somewhat affordable price of $997 - and you got to come to a 2 day seminar for free.  Now that sounded like a good deal and I signed up.

The program was fascinating in that it is just what is needed to implement a workaround in todays trying economic time.  In fact, if it wasn't for Duncan Wierman's blog where he scared me into thinking I would be in big trouble if I actually became involved in these transactions I may be practicing what I learned, as it truly seemed to be a win/win/win real estate transaction.

As I mentioned, I've met Phill Grove a few times.  He admitted to me that not too many people take action after learning real estate and I could tell he was frustrated with that fact and truly wants more people to be successful from his teachings.

The selling strategy for their up-sell product started early in the first day - the need for a mentor.  The up-sell there were 2-fold, another event called mega-partnering (another $997), some New York Billionaire Experience (your choice, $997 or rub elbows with the rich at $3,997) and the big up-sell was a $40,000 mentoring program - all JT Foxx's programs. 

If I ever have the "secret to success" and charge $40,000 for that secret, someone please slap me.

Comments (9)

  1. Tiny 1458171482 avatar kahrlos

    Even $20 to get into an REI meeting is too much for coffee (which I don't drink) and for the "opportunity" to get sold something. You can get everything you need for FREE right here on Bigger Pockets.

  2. Tiny 1399385794 avatar mycapblue

    sounds like they were not good at the real estate game and decided to try their hand at the marketing game.

  3. Tiny 1399404413 avatar nortonj

    Yes James, I visited your web-site before. I have a condo via tax deed with problems getting quiet title. Things are looking better for me now - the COA realizes the err of their ways and we are now negotiating attorney fees, etc. My title will be quieted soon! I remember reading all of your great information a year ago when I got that condo. Thanks for sharing so much and best of luck to you!

  4. Tiny 1399404413 avatar nortonj

    Wow James - Thanks so much for the post!

  5. No avatar

    Yes be very wary of the gurus. I have found that many will be more than happy to extract huge dollars from novice investors while offering little in return for their educational investment. Much like yourself, I have too been approached by many with a flashy sales pitch and little knowledge but I choose to stay my own course, on my own terms. One such novice investor who was badly duped contacted me and very shortly thereafter I began posting free tutorials and information on how to invest in Florida. I am still purplexed at some of the fake investor guru's who contact me and then are suprised that I am not interested in their model/busineess/great opportunity. One such company, after visiting my website, asked if I wanted the greatest opportunity of my lifetime. They would market me! They offered to set up webinars so I could answer Florida investor questions, offer insight, strategies, etc. (They would handle everything and forward me 5% of proceeds). They were willing to promote any ebooks/manuals/courses that I would create and they would edit, market and control (FYI-they were willing to accept my current promoted works for a fee). They would provide me with opportunities to coach others for which I would receive an hourly rate. This particular company was selling Florida forelcosure and tax deed hype for investors and they claimed they had purchased hundreds of properties. Easy enough to check the Florida Division of Corp records to get the owners/officers names. Upon entering a query for the individuals and company in the state of Florida Official Records I found that jointly they had purchased all of 5 properties over a 3 year period. I also discovered that they were unable to get a suit throught the courts for a tax deed property they had purchased, which is sad as they were promoting themselves through their website as being the Florida masters. To take advantage of this once in a lifetime deal they could start me out as a base member for only the cost of a new car.

  6. Tiny 1399546834 avatar bit1232

    My local REIA has guests all the time that try to sell stuff. I guess I'm too cheap to spend $1000+.

  7. Tiny 1399385794 avatar mycapblue

    Jean, this is a fascinating post. I am glad to hear you broke through and are now taking control of your road map. If you are ever in Indianapolis I will show you the city for no charge. I hear about Armando being in my area quite often, because of the amazing market Indianapolis is. Keep creating your own blueprint!

  8. No avatar

    Armando Montelongo has written a book that outlines his experience and knowledge quite well including some very interesting anecdotes about buying property for steep discounts with little or no cash. I wonder if it isn't almost as much about attitude as ability. The hard sell upgrade closers are really something. One thing you've got to give them - they certainly don't hold back when pressuring you to buy. I never buy anything under pressure without time to fully consider. Daniel Dreifus

  9. No avatar

    Yay, Jean! Thanks. It's up to the individual to decide when to stop paying for education and take off on their own.