We Almost Got Scammed

23 Replies

My partner (@Joseph Cameron ) and I recently attended a seminar about real estate investing thinking we were going to get to network with other newbies and get help from some seasoned investors. Instead we sat through a 90 minute slideshow that tried to seduce us into believing with their help and expert classes, we too, could be generating six figures a year through real estate. But only if we bought into their product and what seemed like some organized pyramid scheme. The sad part is we already knew most of what they were showing us and had already been bit by the real estate investing bug. If this was our first taste of what financial freedom through real estate investing could be, there is a very good chance we would've figured out a way to buy their coaching.

I have to give thanks to everyone at BP for teaching us what we already know and for making all of this great information readily available, free of charge. These prices they wanted to charge were absurd. It could've been the difference between making our first deal or buying their boot-camp. I think we're both annoyed and feel victimized lol. We view it as some wealthy investors trying to prey on the newbies. 

Anyone else ever been to something like this and feel the same way?

Anyone else actually bought into something like this and became successful? 

Getting started at low cost = Biggerpockets + read a couple books on RE investing from the local library + do a cheap local buy/repair/hold + do most of the repairs yourself + self manage + build a network of trusted professionals and contractors, learn and repeat. You guys are plenty smart to be successful w/o throwing good money at seminars and products.

real estate education companies come in many forms and functions..  Not one size fits all.
as for scam probably not.. is it worth the money for newer investors who have no real experince  maybe maybe not.
do people get into trouble putting these class's on credit cards with the dream of real estate rich's you bet.
do some people take the info and do really well with it.. YOU BET..
Keep in mind BP by and large is a community of DIY mom and pop landlords many though have decided that owning rentals is the vocation they want to have for their sole income so they really try to scale that..
So really depends on what you want real estate to do for you..  if its just build wealth over time like most landlords then i think hanging on BP will get you what you need.
If your looking to start a flipping business or a business of buying courthouse steps or lending money or want to syndicate or do self storage or go into STR all of these niches some training can and will jump start you.
If you cant stroke a check for training then your under capitalized to begin with.  And most folks would be better off using those funds to simply put a downpayment on a rental property and get in the game..
But you have to make sure your up for being a landlord  not EVERYONE likes that end of the business.. But they dont figure it out until they try it.. And it really depends on the assets you buy thats for sure.

The information here is free.  I get a ton of those free real estate seminar things in the mail.  You might try some local real estate meetups in your area.  Near me they also do free classes with a Q/A at the end.

Originally posted by @Brent Paul :

The information here is free.  I get a ton of those free real estate seminar things in the mail.  You might try some local real estate meetups in your area.  Near me they also do free classes with a Q/A at the end.

simply studying for your states real estate license is dirt cheap and good primer before you start in real estate even if you never sit for the test.. at least you learn the basic laws  concepts and VOCABULARY. 

 

@Stephen White

There's nothing wrong or misguided on investing money on your education. I have personally paid a lot of people to learn how to do what they do. In a few days, I plan on paying a guy at least three hundred bucks for two hours of his time to learn to do something he knows well and I don't. A remarkably bright guy I met on Bigger Pockets came to my property for five hours yesterday to help me change windows. He spent much that time asking me questions about the local market and my business model. Now granted, I consider myself an interesting guy, but I'm not THAT interesting, no, not by a long shot.

How much is your real estate education worth? Potentially millions. But with that out of the way, how do you decide what to spend on? I have two simple tests.

When real estate education is general, introductory, calls itself a "system," and costs a lot of money, it's always a scam. On the other hand, you're going to meet people here who will teach you how to do very specific, more advanced things for large amounts of money who are worth learning from. Getting to know a local mentor IRL, someone who understands a local market and already has the kind of local network @Terrell Garren has laid out above, can be absolutely priceless. So perversely, because these things are of such high value, anyone in a large market who's trying to sell them to you and other investors, one-size-fits-all with a payment plan, is invariably a con artist.

Once you get the general/specific question out of the way, you only have one more question to ask. Is this guy selling me a spoon, a clock, or both?

The majority of people in America today are very poorly equipped by our educational system to teach themselves anything useful -- they come out of school miserable autonomous learners or self-learners. They practically pride themselves on not being able to learn anything at all out of a book, from a series of pictures, from a video. Somebody has to show them. A gigantic majority, even, expects to be spoon-fed their knowledge. They are incredibly uncertainty-averse, and this is part of their larger problem of being extremely risk-averse.

These same people seem functionally incapable of significant analysis and synthesis through research. They cannot gather information from a good-sized array of disparate source material and break it down to create a model of understanding that they then test out, first hesitantly and then with growing confidence. They have itty-bitty comfort zones and stepping out of them without someone right by their side induces in them what can only be understood as absolute terror. Their minds, such that they are, shut down. The people I'm talking about are not learning disabled in human psychology's understand of learning disorders, they just suck at self-learning. They need their spoon!

The people who are already in this business largely let the gurus prey on the spoon-beggars, I also believe, because they in turn know how important it is in this business to be able to figure things out on your own. People just don't seem to get anywhere in real estate if they're not good at self-learning.

Now the gurus also have a second main approach to their uncertainty-averse prey. They promise to SAVE YOU TIME. The pitch for this always goes the same way: "Sure, you can learn it by yourself, but I can give you the royal road to glory, a secret pathway! Pay me for five days and I'll teach you more than you'll ever be able to learn in five weeks/months/years!" Here, these gurus are preying on the self-importance of potential targets who cannot stand doing anything unguided where they might waste what they consider to be their incredibly important time, or, in the lingo beloved by BS artists, "not put their time toward its best and highest use." 

Hold on there, Ace! Baby steps first, learn to crawl before you walk, make measured progress, accept inevitable defeat and come back stronger, control what you can and learn to avoid trying to control what you can't...you can tell the suckers who fall hard for the time pitch the same things over and over again, but, well, they're SUCKERS. They can't resist the temptation of the golden time lure. It makes them feel important, good, confident, special. They bite and bite hard, every time. "Why am I in the slow lane? Juice me up and I'm off to the stars...I'm not a sucker, I'M A WINNER!!!"

Specific or general, begging for the spoon or dreaming of racing the clock? It's not a particularly complicated pair of questions to ask yourself when faced with a proposition to pay for real estate education. But it might save you tens of thousands of dollars.

I have no problem investing my time and money into learning all I can about real estate investing. I honestly would consider some paid-training if it was more affordable from these guys but they offered us 3 packages to choose from.

Essentials $1,997
Advanced $ 5,997
Xtream $17,997

@Stephen White

Come on, man, someone sat and thought and came to the conclusion that branding the big-money package "Xtream" would sell better than "Extreme." They might as well have called it "Mighty Erection." Do you need to know more?

Originally posted by @Stephen White :

I have no problem investing my time and money into learning all I can about real estate investing. I honestly would consider some paid-training if it was more affordable from these guys but they offered us 3 packages to choose from.

Essentials $1,997
Advanced $ 5,997
Xtream $17,997

Good grief, you can generally buy a rundown 3/2 for $100K, repair for the cost of "Xtream", have an ARV of $150K and an education worth $10K.

 

Yes, almost got scammed. Little did they know, we are BiggerPockets members and have the most professional REI community behind us. @Stephen White and I got out of the seminar and pretty said the same thing. "Everything they are trying to SELL us, we can learn for FREE on BiggerPockets and books at our library."

Thank you BP community. 👍🏽


Originally posted by @Stephen White :

I have no problem investing my time and money into learning all I can about real estate investing. I honestly would consider some paid-training if it was more affordable from these guys but they offered us 3 packages to choose from.

Essentials $1,997
Advanced $ 5,997
Xtream $17,997


All 3 of those packages come with a Lolipop!  and for only $17,997 they will give you the big suckers special Lolipop! 

 

Originally posted by @Jill F. :

@Terrell Garren LOL, here's xtream: I got 13 units for 21k down. 3 of them were actually nice. only one was a former meth house.

Ha! You are braver than me Jill.  I'm a class B wimp. 

 

@Stephen White I had an event I hosted just this weekend and I spoke for about 3 hours teaching people what I do AND ITS was TRULY free PLUS I did not offer any sleazy salesy XTREAM product. 

Now, if you are trying to buy rentals here and there AND if you are disciplined enough and you can put your head down - America is an amazing country, we have fast WiFi and we can watch YouTube videos until our eyes bleed soon enough you can piece together information from BP and other different sources and put together a good portfolio. 

Now, for those who are looking to play a more sophisticated game in REI (Commercial Real Estate) and trying to do it on their own will find out it is really difficult without outside help from someone doing.

Let's imagine American Football games OR Basketball without Coaches? How interesting will those games be?

My thing is WHY TRY TO FORCE people to pull out their Credit Cards after a pumpy sales pitch? I don't like that either. 

But, remember, different people learn in different ways, some people need mentors and others can read BP forums all day PLUS take great notes. Others need an accountability partner OR someone to show them the ropes. 

Glad you didn't get scammed! 

Oh your question: Yes, I use paid mentors and you would NOT believe how impactful that has been for me! 

You don't know what you don't know - Anonymous 

Originally posted by @Shariyf Lyons :

@Jill F. Hey Jill did you get this deal in Ohio

Yes. Akron and Barberton both have boatloads of old poorly maintained properties built between 1900-1930. Many are not worth renovating at all; most, if they are worth it, are only worth it for a skilled DIYer (which we are). But we are getting too old for this sH*T

 

Originally posted by @Terrell Garren :
Originally posted by @Jill F.:

@Terrell Garren LOL, here's xtream: I got 13 units for 21k down. 3 of them were actually nice. only one was a former meth house.

Ha! You are braver than me Jill.  I'm a class B wimp. 

 

Oh no! That's what I aspire to. Cashflow AND Appreciation.  Of our 33 units, 13 are B properties in a C+ (maybe B- for Akron) neighborhood. I wish I had more of those. My D- properties are killing me. I called 5 plumbers and had to tear out the walls and ceilings to get someone willing to quote it. At least half the building (plumbing) is done now and we're making progress.

 

@Stephen White yes I sat through something like this 3 years ago. Almost cost me 1000 bucks when I signed up for their “super secret class”. Good thing I caught it beforehand and ended up not paying that.

These things are a dime a dozen. Stick to local, smaller meetups and you’ll have better luck. The larger ones almost always end up like this at some point because they make a lot of money from it

There is also, of course, always MIS, which provides real estate education for a much more limited, elite, and discriminating class of investors who offer creative payment in the form of a certain very special quasi-pork sandwich of limited availability.

@Stephen White

Most of those seminars are scams in that they over promise and under deliver. The whole sales pitch is based on the fact that you have entrepreneurial traits and that real estate offers income growth. The presentations often forget about the difficulties any investor would experience.

The only thing those seminars are good for is a free motivational talk about how you can build wealth in real estate.

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