Why is Real Estate so Scammy?

4 Replies

New poster, here.

I've begun educating myself in real estate and have been following the guides on this site. One guide provided a link to the FHA Loan site where you could fill out information to see if you had an appropriate income for the loan.

After filling out the information half way (because the 'click here for free report' link just kept going to another page asking for additional information), I gave up.

Now, in less than 24 hours, I've received 3 unsolicited calls from Quicken Loans.

I've contacted 5 real estate agents about houses.  3 never emailed me back.  1 has cancelled on me 5 times over a 2 week period.  FINALLY when it was the day for me to finally view the duplex I was waiting to view, someone made an offer.  Her opinion?  Oh well!  There are others out there.  Thank you, but if I had viewed that duplex when I wanted to, I could be the current owner.

Only 1 agent called me back and kept our scheduled appointment date.  So, I have a 20% favorability rate for agents so far.

The entire process (from gimmicky books which just refer back to the author's own site to the agents themselves) seems like some sort of multi-level marketing scheme.  I feel I'd have more success with a true MLM such as Amway.  They at least don't spam you with calls 3 times a day.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?  Is it just something I should suck up and put up with because 'that's just the way it is'?

@Rich Riley


Wait till you start dealing with contractors, and tenants etc. 

This is not meant to be discouraging but whenever you deal with people, you have to go through the shady ones to get to the good ones. I'm in the logistics industry and most people have no idea how it is.

The key thing is - how to get people to WANT to work with you. What is it in for them - to work with you. 

Well, you could turn it around: the vast majority of "investors" don't have two nickels to rub together to buy anything and usually just end up wasting everyone's time, including the agents. 

Cold call requests are the worst type of contacts. Better to get a reference from a friend "Hi, my friend John Dough worked with you on an investment property and said you did a good job, my name is Rich and I'm looking to purchase a two-plex or four-plex within the next 6 months - matter of fact, there's one available right now I'd like to see - can you give me a call back so we can discuss it further?"

I get cold sales calls at my "day job" just about daily, since I run the joint. Usually the call, if they've made it past my gatekeeper, goes something like this "Hi, Jd, this is Sarah - how's your day going? Is the weather sunny out there?" Usually, that's followed by me saying "Thanks, but I don't take unsolicited requests" and hanging up the phone. Now if someone said "Hi, Jd, this is Sarah - I was talking to Charles at XYZ industries and he indicated you were in the market for some 4G-compliant Widgets, and thought I might be able to help", I'm way more likely to listen to the sales pitch.  

Filling out any type of form online is usually going to result in commercial requests. As @Chris T. said, wait until you have to deal with contractors and tenants - if you think a blow-off from a few agents and a couple of spam telemarketers are bad, you better go with Amway. 

Getting anything worthwhile usually means sifting through layers of ********. If this were easy as pie everyone would be doing it and no one would be making any money. You gotta fight for your right to party, as the Beasties would say. 

@Chris T.


I can only imagine how much worse it can get before it gets better.  Luckily, I have several family friends who have flipped houses in the past/are contractors.  So, I'm covered there.

It's starting to appear that real estate is a lot like insurance.  People rarely actually care about what you really need and are more interested in commission, pay, etc.

Wish there was a way to improve the industry image, but it seems that there is a correlation to your level of shadiness and your success.  Too bad.

Your experience highlights the need to work STRICTLY with professionals and not Internet forms, contacts, and vendors.

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