So a while back I went to a free seminar put on by Online Trading Academy (http://www.otarealestate.com/) at their offices in Irvine, CA. They said that for $100 you could purchase a 3-day weekend course. I decided why not, and my partner and I attended.
The weekend was informative, I am just starting out in the multi-family game and a lot of the information discussed checked out. But day 2 I started to see that the "course" wasn't really a course, but rather a pitch for furthering your education through them.
On day 2 they set you up with your "counselor." During the breaks they would talk to you, see how everything is going ect. Then on day three they dropped the price of the courses. Here is my thing, I am all for investing in education and furthering myself. For an 8 week class it was something like $20,000 - for one course! I think they had a package that included two 8 week classes for $32,000.
Now, at this point I wasn't walking for the door. It wasn't till I spoke with my counselor regarding payment that I was like "uh...there is something sketchy going on here."
On day three (Sunday) towards the end of the pitch I was in my counselor's office. She said, "So, you are interested in the course I see." I told her I was, but that I wanted to do more research on the school and just look into what people say online about it all. She then told me that in order to secure the course for $32,000 I would have to sign up that moment, that no research period was allowed.
This is a Real Estate school who doesn't allow due diligence. I mean, are you serious?!
And told her that. I said, "Look, you are a broker and I am a developer, if any seller was to tell us that there is no inspection period or due diligence period we would run for the hills. And you are telling me I can't get one with this school?" She told me "Well, we have a money back guarantee, you can get a refund within 7 days." I told her, "no, I want to be able to do my research prior to any deposit and retain the ability to purchase the course for the price stated today." She told me she would talk to the guys upstairs and "see what she could do." There was no way I was giving these people 32k of my money only to not see something in the fine print about the "refund policy." I could totally see them pulling the whole, "Oh we require cancellation by mail, and since you couldn't get a hold of anyone and had to leave a voicemail, your cancellation didn't go through. Sooooory."
During our next meeting she told me that, "Ok, they said you can take a week to make a decision and lock in this price."
And here is the weird thing. I go online and didn't really see ANYTHING on this school. Sure there was a Yelp page, but Yelp is a scam artist in their own right. They've been caught multiple times allowing businesses to pay to remove unflattering ads, or what they call "unhelpful." And of course, all the Yelp reviews were stellar.
There was no independent discussion of this school anywhere. Which honestly really surprised me. How does a school, that wreaks of con artists, that charges $30-50k for classes not have any accredited reviews, news reports, ect? That right there sent me running.
But it gets better.
I called them about 6 months after my "3 day course" to see if I could pay another $100 and do the 3-day course again. I just wanted to sit through that brilliant sales pitch again and appreciate it for all its glory. Plus, I might have learned a thing or two. So I call them up, and they tell me, "uh, it looks like you have already taken the 3 day course." I respond, "Yea, I know, but it's been a while since I took it, and I kinda want a refresher." The guy says, "Well, I can sign you up for our ($20k) courses." I tell him no, and repeat that I'm just interested in the $100 3-day pitch. He says, "um, let me transfer you to one of our counselors." He transfers me to someone, I get a voice mail, I leave a message, and never hear from them again.
Anyone else have any experience with this company?
@Adam Sherritt I have no recent experience with this company, but this has been going on for over forty years in this business. Over forty years ago I paid for a course from "Dave Del Dato" which I still have in my closet at home. I learned quickly that, in my case, you just need to plunge in and learn along the way. With the advent of the internet, cell phones and bigger pockets we have come a long way. I meet weekly with bigger pockets members at my local Starbucks in Mission Viejo, Orange County and try to guide them in the right direction of real estate investing. My charge: one cup of coffee! I see that you are in Carlsbad so you can call me if you wish.
I am currently flipping homes and teach others how to as well. I started a wholesale group about one month ago to supply me and others with some much needed inventory.
If you are serious about learning I am a phone call or 45 minute drive from you. Let me know.
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