Did I make a HUGE mistake?!

23 Replies

I just joined BP and had joined Lifestyles Unlimited about a month ago. It cost me $6.5k and upon reading many discussions about them, mentoring in general, and how there's tactic to get you to join programs like LU, I feel like I just threw away REALLY hard earned money. They do email us deals and I have made offers on about 5, none of which have gotten accepted or rejected. I'm brand new to REI and I hope I didn't start off with a mistake already. Any comments?

The money would've been better spent towards a down payment on a property, but since you've already spent it, why not see if you can use to your advantage?

I've heard some people on here say that LU has access to vendors that provide a discount on materials (paint, carpet, etc)....see if you can use that for a rehab. Ask them why your offers are going nowhere, at least try and squeeze SOMETHING out it.

I the meantime, find your local REIAs that are either cheap or free, read BP and start networking with investors in your area.

Joe Butcher

Dallas, TX

Education is never a mistake. At the worst you have learned not to waste money on mentoring. At best they will teach you how to make much more than what you have invested.

You can't measure the value of education solely on the $$.

Gurus generally seem to be unpopular on here. I personally would never have made it without them.

Get what you can out of this since it's been a month, and I assume too long ago now to ask for a refund.

Education is always great, but it rarely should cost thousands in my opinion. You'll learn a ton from this site, going to local REIAs, learning your local laws, and buying a property.

Keep going!

Hey @Aroldo Villarreal . Sadly your not the only one that has happened too. I had the same thing happen to me with a different "educational" company then realized I was actually learning more on my own just by googling things and Biggerpockets and reading of course then I came to the realization that I was ripped off. I am a firm believer that it is important to make the best out of every mistake and find the lesson behind it so the bottom line for me was, I was totally ripped off yes but if it wasn't for that rip off and my desire to learn about real estate investing I would probably never came across a great website like Biggerpockets and know what I know now. It is all part of the learning process and with time the knowledge you gain will offset that expense. Hope it helps.

@Aroldo Villarreal you didn't make a mistake, because you do not know, what you do not know. You were uninformed. It's the same situation most us find ourselves in when we start investing. I bought a house that I am losing what you paid for the guru course EVERY year, and I cannot sell it. It feels like a mistake, because it stings financially.

Stick to BP, and REI. Eventually your perceived mistake will be a distant memory that you can laugh about. Good luck!

I wouldn't say it's a HUGE mistake. There are some who spend $25,000 or even more on guru programs. But now you know that there is lots of FREE education out there such as this site. Please take advantage of it.

What do you call a female cow?? Ms steak.

There's a lesson everyone who does real estate will learn eventually -- if you skimp on the due diligence, you'll get burned. Many people lose a lot more than $6000 by not doing their due diligence.

Plus, even if what you paid for isn't worth $6000, I imagine you'll still be able to get some value out of it...so you're true cost is less than $6000 *and* you learned the due diligence lesson.

Could have been much worse... :)

Whatever it takes to push you to action! Maybe you can use it as motivation to recover that $6500 you spent.

Also, as someone else stated, get as much out it as possible.

Just keep moving forward!

There's a lot of overpriced guru material and things like that out there. Just consider it a sunk cost and move on.

"Bought sense is better than borrowed"... We all pay along the way. It's part of the journey....keep it moving!!! I'm so much further in my RE because of pushing thru the challenges....

Thanks to all of you for your replies! I will make the best out of the Lifestyles registration. I will keep you posted on my progress and you will be hearing more from me. Sorry, I'm ALWAYS asking questions!

I was a member of lifestyles for a couple of years, I learned a lot. They have a good program, and if you USE it, you will learn a lot.

I was just at a guru session this afternoon, and I didn't hear her say anything that I didn't already know. She must be kind of big-time from Florida because she had a couple of her "students" with her. There is a full day thing with her tomorrow, but at least people are not paying an arm and a leg for it.

I'm a current LU member who joined about a year ago. I bought 1 house through them and captured more equity than my membership cost. I am personally managing that property as well as 2 others I have. For me, it has been wroth it.

I certainly recommend you take advantage of the classes, road-trips, and other networking opportunities.

Part of the guru problem is when people don't know your market and come through town in a weekend and tell you how to buy there. My experience with LU is that they are certainly not a fly-by-night group. All the LU people I've met are mentors as well as active investors in the market, so their opinions are based on actual experience.

The other guru argument show in this thread and elsewhere is that there is no secret knowledge that a guru has that you can't learn from places like BP. I think that's true and LU doesn't claim a secret formula as far as I've seen. I've had good luck getting perspectives from both LU and from BP. For me, LU was good at showing the whole process (acquisition, rehab, management) while BP lets me research specific points. With LU I can call and speak to someone live right when I need it. With BP, I have to wait for an answer if I ask a question (though my few new posts have been answered pretty quickly).

Other people with more background in REI might have felt that LU has less to offer. If you already have a network of contractors or a network of other investors, then perhaps there's less incremental value. But I don't think LU is in the same category with the "as seen on tv" crowd.

@Aroldo Villarreal I completely understand what you're feeling. It's so difficult to decipher one program/training, etc from the next especially when starting out. One of those "learning experiences" people in our industry go thru. In the meantime, as a few others have stated, get what you can out of the program and whatever you do get, try to implement the knowledge into your future strategies. You'll be fine. Could have been a lot worse. Chin up :)

Originally posted by @Sherrice Baines :
@Aroldo Villarreal I completely understand what you're feeling. It's so difficult to decipher one program/training, etc from the next especially when starting out. One of those "learning experiences" people in our industry go thru. In the meantime, as a few others have stated, get what you can out of the program and whatever you do get, try to implement the knowledge into your future strategies. You'll be fine. Could have been a lot worse. Chin up :)

I agree with what's been said. I haven't paid for a course, however, my partner has and there can be merit/benefit depending on the individual. What I mean, is how they assimilate the information into their business.

I say, "eh" it's part of the learning curve; however, I'd work to ensure I got as much as I could for my money out the program. With BP folks to guide you along, I'm sure you will.

I tend to believe there are no mistakes in life, only opportunities. BTW, this POV comes with AGE. :-)

To your success!

I have been involved in mentoring and coaching in New zealand and a couple of other countries so I admit to being biased, but the real benefit in my opinion of any programme is helping you overcome fear and take action. I don't think many, (any) of us have any real secret sauce. All gurus teach similar things and it may or may not be good education. But being immersed in teaching about real estate in a room full of other excited people can be a great motivator. I have trained hundred of people at a time and generally 1 in 100 people ever do anything. Most people go to courses and never actually write a contract, ever. So I think mentoring, guru courses, events etc. should all be treated as motivation to get going or to go further.

Hearing that somebody owned 20 houses was inspiration for me to go and buy houses. I never learned from them how to I figured that out on my own.

In New Zealand I ended up at 50 houses, (at average of 350,000 per door) because I was inspired by gurus that it was possible.

In America when I started I knew that people had portfolios of hundreds of houses. That inspires me enough to do the same. I am figuring out how to do it by all means possible but the gurus gave me the match to light the flame.

Originally posted by @Dean Letfus :
...the real benefit in my opinion of any programme is helping you overcome fear and take action.
...
I have trained hundred of people at a time and generally 1 in 100 people ever do anything. Most people go to courses and never actually write a contract, ever.

.

This doesn't make any sense...

You say the real benefit of the guru trainings is that they help students overcome fear and take action, but then a couple sentences later you say that most people who go to these courses never write a contract.

So, the training isn't even accomplishing its main benefit!

@J Scott no you misunderstand me. I am saying that even with motivation and education most people do nothing. Talk to any event style educator, most people are so afraid of risk they do nothing, over and over again.

If trained people took action the gurus would have run out of punters years ago!

BUT for people who want to start the mentoring environment can help get them over the line.

I still remember the first mentoring group I ran many years ago. 17 people for 6 months. By hand holding and basically finding them deals I had an unprecedented 16 out of the 17 buy 1 property in that 6 months.

As soon as I went to larger groups in more event style training where their success was entirely up to them the ratio of action takers dropped below 4%.

People like us on forums like this are rare freaks :-)

Originally posted by @Dean Letfus :
@J Scott no you misunderstand me. I am saying that even with motivation and education most people do nothing. Talk to any event style educator, most people are so afraid of risk they do nothing, over and over again.

If trained people took action the gurus would have run out of punters years ago!

BUT for people who want to start the mentoring environment can help get them over the line.

I still remember the first mentoring group I ran many years ago. 17 people for 6 months. By hand holding and basically finding them deals I had an unprecedented 16 out of the 17 buy 1 property in that 6 months.

As soon as I went to larger groups in more event style training where their success was entirely up to them the ratio of action takers dropped below 4%.

People like us on forums like this are rare freaks :-)

Ah...got it...yes, we definitely agree... :)

Not a total waste of money if you have enough deep pockets. I just a year ago when they said they would bring me deals at $7k-$10k out of pocket. They never brought me that "great" deal as they said they would. If you have a $100k to invest you can probably get 2-3 deals from them. I did learn a bunch of first hand knowledge though. If you have any questions just send me a message.

It's almost been a year since I started this post and over a year since I joined LU. Below are some of my experiences:

Yes, all of you who said I wasted my money, you were right. I'm working on building a time machine to go back and slap myself :p

I paid for a mentoring program in which mentors were never available and took forever to get back to me. 

They found me a "deal" that looked like this:

ARV: $117k

PP: $89k

Repairs: $8k

Out of Pocket: $15k

But that "deal" ended up like this:

ARV: $109k

PP: $81

Repairs: $13k

HML Fees: $7k

Refinance Fees: $4k

Out of Pocket: $26k

Plus $6.5k for joining the program = $32.5k out of pocket

I'm cashflowing on the property, but in hindsight, I could have used that cash to get WAAAAAY better deals. I'm getting close to having the property for a year and the tenant in interested in buying, so I might sell it to him hopefully for $115k, get my cash back, and some gains. 

What else did I get from them? Well, they kept telling me that in this market, you won't find anything below $20k out of pocket. 

"What about wholesalers?" I asked - "Wholesalers are evil. They take away homes from people who need the home and make profits being evil", they said. 

"What about flipping houses?" I asked - "That's a fantasy world. That never works and is only for shows on TV for people who have money and time to waste." They said

"So is HML the only way to go?" I asked - "Yes. Unless you want conventional lending, which is more out of pocket." They said

I also learned that cashflow= Rent-PITI (fantastic, so I'm cashflowing $550! - Suuuuuure)

Well, the list goes on. But I learned many great lessons of what not to do and how NOT to think. I wish I would have found BP two weeks earlier than I did and I would have not wasted my hard-earned cash. 

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