Winning the Property Wars with Doug Hopkins-Seminar Disgrace

38 Replies

2-3 weeks ago i attended a Free Seminar- Winning the property wars with doug hopkins (he wasn't there). Im so Eager to start a Career in Real Estate investing so i thought there was no loss in coming. I would give it a shot. After they promised me the whole world and that i would become a very successful real estate investor they convinced me to purchase the 3-day Real Estate Accelarator workshop for $2,000 where i will be taught to flip homes, and they also made purchasing tax liens seem very very lucrative through there "tax liens buyers club" so i gave into there bait and that was $997. i attended the 3 day seminar and I'm extremely disappointed. First two days were about raising your credit card limits and how successful our coach was and that if we didn't purchase the 42k program we would be losers in life in the world of real estate. Has anybody gone to the workshop and been able to get your $2000 refund? In my opinion it was a waste of my time and money. So upset at myself for falling for this stupid $3,000 trap just to pitch us another sale...Has anybody been able to successfully get a refund past the "3day no questions asked" policy??? Any opinion on how to pressure them to give me refund??

@Daniel Quezada

I don't know if you can get your cash back, I've never fallen into any of the Guru scams, however, I did want to chime in and give you fair warning that they are all like this. Paying for the privilege of giving them three days to try to up sell you to a ridiculous $40k package is...well...ridiculous.


I just wrote a blog post on this same issue. Why would you spend thousands on a "system" when everything you need is here for free? Sorry you had a bad experience and lost your money.

Hi Daniel. I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience at the event. The 3 day event has a ton of information in a very short amount of time and can be overwhelming at times. I was trying to get there personally but my schedule conflicted that weekend as I was attending a real estate summit in Vegas with 459 people who attended the same 3 day event as you did. If I can help you in any way, please reach out to me here and I will be more then happy to answer any questions or talk about your needs and concerns. We invest right in your back yard in Southern Cal and can be a great resource for you. All my best. Doug Hopkins. Happy investing!

"2-3 weeks ago i attended a Free Seminar- Winning the property wars with doug hopkins (he wasn't there)"

Daniel if someone is making thousands per hour or higher then would they go around the country doing free seminars to hundreds of people asking thousands of questions for free??

I think what gets messed up is expectations by new investors. The think they are going to talk to this multi-millionaire and get direct mentored for a few thousand. The amount of time it would take one on one for somebody doesn't equal a high return.

I know nothing of this program with positives or negatives. From what I have seen most of these seminars outsource the signing up and format to a large company that handles all of that.

If you spend money a local investor one on one sometimes generates better results.

Real estate no matter the asset class is hyper competitive. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. It's easy to mention the fast deals with the large checks for the norm as that gets people hyped up about the possibilities that can be achieved.

If you work hard and have the right mindset you can do great things. Leave your credit cards and any money in your wallet at home. Take that money and start investing.

If someone is worth 2 million and wants to drop 40k on a course it isn't the end of the world. For most people 40k is a substantial amount of money. If you put on a credit card with interest to buy a course you are set up for failure. Take that money if you have it and invest instead.   

Why would anyone pay for info from someone who participated in such an obviously set up, staged, BS show about a group of "competing investors" who all just happen to show up at an auction property 5 minutes before auction, don't know if it has a pool, never heard of google maps/earth, bidding $150k "hoping" to make $10k if everything works out, yada yada yada.....

I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry. It seems there are a ton of real estate investment 'gurus' using the same pitch.

@Daniel Quezada I am sorry for your experience; I mean no disrespect but how in the world did you fall for this crap. No doubt you would have learnt something useful- but- 40K worth of info! Its obvious to me that REI gurus make a ton more selling - free - seminars than they do buying and selling real-estate.

Anything REI related that starts with the word 'FREE' is anything but.

Daniel, you got a $3000 education out of the deal, so it's not a total loss. I'm sure your biggest objection is that you learned something different than what you set out to learn. You set out to learn how to make buku bucks flipping houses, and you learned that you were an easy mark for a guru who invested right in your backyard - he invested in your wallet, and he made a quick 3Gs! 

Don't despair. My guess is that your chances of getting a refund are next to nothing. You can try fighting it on your credit card. Outside of that, take your lessons and move onward. It does no good to stew about or beat yourself up - try a couple of reasonable approaches to getting a refund, and if those don't work, move on. Some of my life lessons have cost 5 figures!

@Doug Hopkins

Would you like to support your position?

The demographic on BP is perfect for your wears; what a great opportunity for your organization.

I would love to see what you have to offer.

Be prepared to survive the Bigger Pockets 'shark tank'.

I'm grabbing popcorn.

459 attendees @ $3000 times a pop, times more seminars than 1 person can attend = a boat load of dough.

Congrats! I wish I could make that kind of money. 

Im so sorry you fell for this scheme they are running. That money could have been towards the downpayment of your first investment. I would recommend connecting with the people here on Biggerpockets. Best of luck! 

I understand the backlash on some of the so called gurus of past and present.  When I decided to help educate and help people, It was important for me and my name to be something different and current, but most of all, honest. First of all, I am investing currently, in several different states, and have done over 15,000 transactions in the last 10 years.  Would you agree, I may know a thing or two about this business.  My education company has an A+ BBB rating and we have a 96.5% satisfaction rate.  We also offer a guaranty that any money spent with our company will be made back and then some.  I realize this is the internet, and there will always be nay sayers and doubters.  Honestly, in my life experiences, most of those people that think they know it all, have never done a deal in their life!  Some others just had a bad experience with another company, for which I feel for you.  The truth is, there are thousands of our clients who have paid to take our class, that have gone on to be unbelievably successful!  There are also people that thought that just taking the course would make them millions.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If you pay $250,000 for a college education, after 4 years, are you automatically making a 6 figure salary, or do you then have to get a job and work?  Investing in real estate takes time and effort!  The ones who get this, become successful.  Can you invest, and be successful without taking any education?  Sure you can, but I can tell you from experience, its a heck of a lot harder.  In my life, I surround myself with people who are great at what they do, and learn from them.  This is a proven road map to success.  All the best to everyone on this site, both people who agree with me, and people who don't.  I can't change the world, but i can help students one by one, and that is what is truly important.  Happy Investing everyone!

Caveat emptor is a Latin term that means "let the buyer beware." And anyone attending any seminar, training or presentation by a Guru, whether real estate or otherwise, should be prepared to for the sales pitch. It's a shame that there are some many people claiming to be Guru's/Mentors and taking peoples money with the promise to help them become successful REI's. The cheapest entry level to real estate investing is wholesaling, at least that is what is being taught. There is no cheap entry level to REI, you need to have some money to be a REI whether it is yours or someone else's. Anything short of being able to perform on a real estate purchase contract is against most State laws, hence the need to have money.

What I can tell you is that Doug Hopkins does not call himself a 'guru' in any fashion. He has a genuine passion for teaching and for sharing the knowledge he has gained in the two decades he has been in real estate. Think what you may of him because he was on a reality TV show. Real estate is about 'getting your name out there' and mass marketing, and that is what the show did for his career.  

I know Doug personally, he accepted me to work beside him as my mentor. He has a local real estate show here in AZ and I listened to him every week. When I heard on his program that he was bringing on a person to train and mentor I called, wrote, emailed...pretty much was ruthless in making sure I was the guy he wanted. My persistence paid off and he brought me into his chaotic world of buying, selling, flipping and wholesaling real estate. He probably thought I was a nut job at first because I wouldn't leave him alone about hiring me. But once I showed him I wanted it to be my future and I was for real, he gave in.

The point of me telling you this is not to necessarily defend the seminars across the country, but to tell you from first hand experience it is dedication and persistence AND education that will make people successful in real estate. There is a huge learning curve when beginning in this business. Every transaction is different, every person has a unique story, and if you can't think on your toes or don't have years of experience behind you (or know someone who does), and you are not a "people person", this may not be the career for you. 

People spend tens of thousands of dollars looking for the secret magic pill that will immediately make them rich in real estate. Will you find it at a weekend seminar?? 

What you will get is great exposure to the business and tons of tips and personal stories of success; but most importantly you will be in a room full of people who either have some experience in investing and even more with a desire to be successful. To me that is the most important part of the whole experience; surrounding yourself with other motivated and dedicated people. From there it is up to you to keep pushing forward and making contacts in your new career to advance your own dream.

At the end of the day you can relate this seminar business to a new gym membership. You can join the fanciest and most expensive gym in your area and hire the most experienced personal trainer the place has to offer. Don't think for one minute they are not going to push you to buy expensive protein powders and yoga classes and continued expensive training sessions. Will they help you lose weight and and get strong? If you stick with it long enough and stay consistent in you goals and show up everyday ready to work your butt off. Maybe having a guy in your face telling you to push harder and lift heavier is the motivation you need to get to your goals; and that comes with a price-tag.  But in real estate, like in the gym, you will never get to where you dream of being unless you learn the exercises you need  and then get out of your comfort zone and lift some damn weights.

(And by the way there are many hands in the cookie jar accepting your money for this training, not just the people who have their name on the banner). 

Just my $.02


Like it or not, this is a common model for this type of REI education. Free hotel session where they sell you on the 3-day thing, then at the 3-day event they upsell you to the $25K to $40K event. This is the exact model for "guru" training courses offered by Dean, Doug & Pete, Scott & Amie, etc. etc. Part of the secret sauce is you don't get access to the "guru" unless you attend the highest level event. In many cases, people attend these events because they want to meet & hang out with reality TV stars.

Just because someone uses this very common business model, it doesn't mean it's a scam or anything like that.  But here in BP it is very common for us to question the VALUE of just a few days of training for $25,000 to $40,000.  And we have questioned the techniques used to sell these programs.  I have personally talked to people on BP that were about to withdraw or borrow against their retirement accounts to attend a guru course, because they were so aggressively sold on the idea that they would make that money back ASAP.  I have no idea if such sales tactics are used in this case.

I don't know Doug, but from Adam's comments, he sounds like a solid guy that has made a name for himself and is taking full advantage of that.  While I'm not a fan of this type of educational model, I do respect smart, successful business people.  And there is this little part of me that's a bit jealous of someone who's making bank like I assume he is.   And he came in and commented here so he's obviously willing to engage.  That right there puts him in a different class that many of the gurus...

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Originally posted by @Doug Hopkins :

I can't change the world, but i can help students one by one, and that is what is truly important

 Doug, if you really want to help a former student, I suggest you can best help Daniel by arranging to refund the $3000 he was coerced into spending at your conference that you were too busy to actually attend yourself.  Daniel has posted here asking for help in getting his money back.  Fortunately for him, the man whose name (and reputation) is on the conference is reading this thread and saying he wants to help students of the Doug Hopkins Seminars.  If you are a man of your word, Doug, I ask that you be a stand up guy and refund Daniel his money.


Originally posted by @Marcello D.:

459 attendees @ $3000 times a pop, times more seminars than 1 person can attend = a boat load of dough. 

 Another perspective is: The business is the seminar and attached impulse buying that it produces.  IMO, while the TOPIC may be RE, Flips, Notes, ...., the product is the seminar.

I could sell boat loads of website programming seminars, but just don't have the heart to behave  this way.

There are a lot of good outfits out there, but unfortunately, there are a lot of bad ones, too.

None of them will train you for $997.  They will educate you but not train you.  There is a big difference.

Even though you had a bad experience do not let the bad apples ruin the whole barrel for you.  $42,000 is a bit steep.  I know an outfit that will do an on-site mentorship for you for 1/3 of that and TRAIN you so you are operational when they leave.

Thank you everyone for your valuable feedback including "Doug". The company does have very positive grade with the BBB but if you go on BBB website you will also see how many unhappy customers they have. 

Fortunately, after the 3 day workshop i called corporate and they were able to refund me my whole 3k. So i can say they waived their 3 day refund policy.Very happy with that. I wish i would of known about bigger pockets before taking on this seminar. If there is one thing my dad has taught me its "No one has the corner on knowledge", "if it sounds TOO good to be true, then it probably isnt true". 

The reason for my hasty decision was because I'm in a little bit of tough situation financially. I feel like Real Estate investing is a good way to start doing something else. I am a Union Ironworker(building skyscrapers) or was, making 75,000+ a year. Last year i had a I-beam tip over and break my leg Instantly! Surgery, lots of physical therapy, and year later I'm no where near 100% and i don't think i will ever be according to the docs. One of the worlds most dangerous jobs, go figure. So now I'm at home trying to not let me time go to waste while I'm still healing. Most likely won't go back to doing that job. So as you can see my desperation to provide for my family wife and 2 kids.

Ive done some research and found out i can join a local REI group. I've also looked into getting my real estate license. My wife has been very supportive and also wants to REI and do it together as a team. Ive also started reading the free book from bigger pockets. I know i can learn real estate investing without these guru companies, I've seen/talked to successful real estate investors with out going to these programs. i was just naive and desperate. Again i appreciate everyones feedback. If there is anything else anyone can help me with as far as what else i can do with my time (education) so that i can benefit and keep learning i will appreciate it!


Originally posted by @Simon Shih :

@Adam Dahlberg

I would also have a passion for teaching if the students were giving me 40K a pop. I'd have a passion for a lot of things at this prices. Shoveling dung for 40K an hour? I totally have a passion for shoveling dung.

Simon, I believe you can too!! ... I suggest you find a way to make that happen. 

Attempted to attend the seminar in Houston on October 1, 2016.  Arrived to be told that the seminar was canceled and the hosts had run out of free gifts.  I was given an 800 number to call and receive the gifts.  Three different operators with three different stories and no gifts.