Real Estate Guru Speak - some thoughts

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Although I started in real estate some 20 years ago, I have been watching a wide variety of webinars recently, seeing if there are truly useful ideas out there

So far, these are some thoughts I have:

- Value - many many thousands, but you will sell it to us for a limited time only for just $995!!!
- Bonuses! Bonuses! Bonuses!
- Only we have this great new trick to yada yada...
- Only $995. Uh, why is your set of CDs worth more than a $40 book from Amazon?
- If you have sold $175 million in buildings so far and are so well known and respected, why are you trolling for my few miserable dollars?
- So the main reason you have this webinar is to build your prospect/buyers/investors list? (they never mention this)
- Um, who are you exactly?
- If you are so profitable, why are you spamming on social media instead of advertising/marketing like a successful company?
- They always seem to have the maximum the webinars allow (250). How do I verify this and there are not really only 6 people watching?
- Why are the webinars "scheduled for 9pm tomorrow!" when it is obvious they are prerecorded?
- Our printer accidentally sent us 200 copies more than we requested and for a limited time, we are selling them for only...
- They never seem to have testimonials from anyone who thought their course sucked.
- We can never verify any of the glowing testimonials. Everything needs to be taken on faith.
- Why do all their multipage templates look like a $10 purchase off Ebay?
- Why is this information something the experts don't want us to know? And why do only the amateurs get to know it?
- Make $10,000 a month next week and quit your day job next month!
- How come it is so easy to flip, short sale, get private investors on these webinars, but everyone on BP seems to feel the opposite?
- As Pontius Pilate said "What is Truth?"

What are your experiences or thoughts?

Couldn't have put it any better. And I've been investing in real estate since 1978! Have seen the gurus come, go and sometimes come back again. The only difference is that these days you don't ever have to have made a successful investment to sell advise on how to invest.

Those who don't do...teach...so sad

My favorite pitch form Guru's is "i don't make money off this seminar's, I do it because I love teaching you guys"

Revenue
30 people x $1000 for the seminar = $30,000 income

expenses
room rental $500 x 2 days= $1000
hotel room $150 x 2 days=$300
cheap photocopies handouts = $300

Yea you're right, not a profitable business...well at least you can always fall back on your expertise in your multi million dollar real estate empire lol

I can't help run the numbers in my head for all events like that, but I know that they are pain, even if they are profitable. They require staff and planning and booking and registration, etc. I've always assumed they are support marketing and branding for continued product sales. It's the courses that look like the real meat. $1995 for something that often took hardly any money to produce and don't forget to include the bonus 6 months of email mentoring. Get just 20 of those sold per month and it might be hard to get motivated to drop everything to schedule a visit with the possibly motivated seller of the cat pee house in Bakersfield.

@Account Closed Wow, you're one tell-it-as-it-is Sista! I don't have anything to add, besides I like the way you sized up the business model.

Medium leadinglandlord rgbsmAl Williamson, Leading Landlord | [email protected] | http://leadinglandlord.com

I love the catch-phrases "for a limited time only" and "if you call now."

I have been to more seminars than most people I know. Everything from 100% pitch fests on one end of the spectrum to 100% content on the other. Some free, others I have paid thousands to get in. Some of the free have been great, but mostly an up sell in there somewhere. Some of the expensive ones have been great and some have been total rip offs. Point is, before I started attending events, I wasn't doing much business. After seeing Ron LeGrand in Long Beach and going through his foreclosure materials, the first foreclosure deal I did was to purchase a preforeclosure property with $25,000 cash down, subject to the existing $700K loan. All I could think about after escrow closed was Ron up there saying, "write a big check, take a big loss!" When I did that deal, I had his manual open on the kitchen table and was following along filling out the paperwork step-by-step right in front of the seller.

Sold the house after nine grueling months (because I didn't know anything about marketing and trusted a very bad real estate agent) for $1.25M. Would you say Ron LeGrand ripped me off or do you think I got my money's worth? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there 5 figures deep into his courses who have nothing nice to say and not a deal under their belt to show for it. If I got my money's worth, why not everyone else? Same materials. Same CDs & books. I didn't get special editions...

It is easy to sit back and knock the guru. "Ah, the guru! He just takes your money and doesn't teach you anything!!!" OR, do the majority of the people who buy at the back of the room expect the box to contain not CDS you actually have to listen to, but magical beans that will produce a line of motivated sellers with equity knocking on the front door and a line of buyers with cash knocking on the back door while you run back and forth between doors collecting checks? Even if they sold you on the idea you could do that, I think we are all familiar with "a fool and his money are soon parted."

I have found that I can always pick up some bit of information that will help me in my business even if it is from the person sitting next to me in the audience. The last two weekends I attended a 1 day event that cost $499 and a 3 day event that was $1,999.

I spent most of my time in the hall talking to other investors at one of the events and the other event gave me a new understanding of an asset class I have been interested in. And only one of the events had absolutely nothing else for sale.

While it may seem like I am defending gurus, I do know there are plenty of charlatans out there. However, I think you get out what you put in. If we are going to say gurus are out just to take your money, we could say the same thing about colleges & universities and those cost a whole lot more than a 3 day boot camp, and you're almost guaranteed not to learn a darn thing you can go out and use the day after graduation to make you any serious money. I know I wish I could get a refund on my diploma!

Also, I love that saying, "those who can't teach." Well, I'm glad we have educators who teach how to deliver a baby! And what about pilot teachers! Sure would suck having to drive everywhere. Let me not forget Mrs. O'Brian who taught me how to type without looking at the keys my freshman year of high school. So glad she was there.

For the record, I run a monthly REIA (no pitches allowed) and a room for 60 people for 4 hours costs me about $1,000, A/V guy included. Hotels charge $40/gallon just for coffee. Next time you're at an event, enjoy the coffee because it is probably the most expensive cup you've ever had!

Sorry for the long post.

Aaron Mazzrillo, Advanced Home Sales, Inc. | http://www.aaronthehousebuyer.com

Thank you @Aaron Mazzrillo , for being one of the few who took your first course and actually used it and made money. Kudos to you.

As a former REIA owner, I know how expensive it is to conduct events, and how much work it is. Yes, the gurus become gurus simply to make money for the most part. It's called information marketing. Very lucrative. There are some who do it well, providing quality information at a realistic price. They are few and far between.

Medium small logoAnn Bellamy, Buy Now, LLC | 800‑418‑0081 | http://www.buynowhardmoney.com

I'm scratching my head wondering why a reasonably intelligent person would spend thousands of dollars for information they can get for noting if they just read and ask questions....

There is absolutley nothing, let me say that again, NOTHING in RE investing in residential and small commercial properties that can not be found or answered right here on BP! There is nothing new, just spins on RE issues and deals that have been done for years. The only thing new are the regulations, rules and requirements and that too is not that hard to find.

There are many here who have more real experience and expertise who answer questions, thhey have a world of knowledge just waiting to be tapped.

I understand that we may not provide a motivational kick in the pants, for that maybe you could get a shrink for less money.

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

@Bill Gulley , there are several reasons.

First of all, making sense of all the threads on BP can be overwhelming when you first start. There is so much to learn in real estate that it's easy for a new person to become lost in information overload.

Second, courses provide (hopefully) a step by step framework, and reference material that has value when you get stuck.

Third, we all want the magic pill. Take one with a glass of water and in the morning you'll wake up rich. Not saying that anyone really believes it would happen, but we all wish fairy tales were true. And the lure of paying a finite amount of dollars to have a comprehensive resource, is strong.

I'm not advocating courses and gurus, far from it. I've been on the inside of the information business and it's not usually pretty. Just explaining why people want a nicely packaged box, open, add water, and presto, magic beans.

Medium small logoAnn Bellamy, Buy Now, LLC | 800‑418‑0081 | http://www.buynowhardmoney.com

You're right Ann! I did say reasonably intelligent, meaning they have the capacity to study, take notes, organize and form logical conclusions. And then ask questions.

I wish Josh had started this 40 years ago, I'd be even richer!

There are those who want it all now, to be spoon fed and pay for less effort.

And I know there are some good materials, books out there, it's the hype and spin some make that gets me.

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

@Aaron Mazzrillo For the record, women give birth to babies and doctors deliver babies. Not a great analogy to "those who can, do and those who can't, teach". I find it contradictory that you would defend the value of "those who can't, teach" when the front page of your website says that it's a myth that you can learn from investors that aren't doing deals. So, which is it?

I really like hearing about experiences people have with REI educators so thanks for sharing yours. Your website says you charge up to $15K for an annual mentoring membership, so it seems to me you have a lot at stake when defending REI education costs. That being said, I love Cantu's attitude and approach, and respect his experience. So for me, just getting to hang with him even without any mentoring would be worth paying for. Not sure about the $15K though. :)

Aaron says he purchased property (re:credit Ron Le Grand ) by putting $25K down and assuming a $700K note - total cost $725K. He then sold property for $1.25K, which equates to EXACTLY a $500K or 1/2 million $ profit. Hmmm..... I've been real estate investing for 30+ years, done over 400 transactions, and never had a profit of exactly (or very close) to a round figure - my profits are always something like $62,551 or $133,902.

Time for John Reed's BS Real Estate Guru Detector?

Originally posted by Aaron Mazzrillo:
... do the majority of the people who buy at the back of the room expect the box to contain not CDS you actually have to listen to, but magical beans that will produce a line of motivated sellers with equity knocking on the front door and a line of buyers with cash knocking on the back door while you run back and forth between doors collecting checks? ...

From where do you think they got those expectations, so that they part with a good chunk of money?

I can't argue much with your basic premise that a student has to apply anything that gets learned, regardless of the source of the education - because I truly agree with that premise.

My favorite saying is "applied and accurate knowledge is power".

If you learn something accurate but do not put it into practice you will get zero results.

If you take inaccurate or half-accurate information and apply it you will not get the results you want.

The combination of what you just learned being accurate and correct and the implementation is what makes the best chance for success.

I usually just look at the books for free and pick up tidbits that way and read on this forum and also read state statutes and federal statutes.Tons of fascinating info there you didn't know.

Medium allworldrealtyJoel Owens, All World Realty | [email protected] | 678‑779‑2798 | http://www.AWcommercial.com

Why do gurus always have to knock college/university education? Is this an unwritten guru law?

@Account Closed - Please pay attention to exactly what I wrote before publicly labeling me in your post. I did not mention anything about who gives birth to babies. For the record, I stated "Well, I'm glad we have educators who teach how to deliver a baby!" Implying I am glad there are doctors who work at medical schools teaching other doctors how to perform medical procedures. The reason for my comment was to argue against the contemptuous way people loosely throw around the "those who can do, those who can't teach" saying, when in reality, many people teach very important and necessary processes we encounter in our lives outside of real estate. As for my web page, it is a marketing message aimed at those interested in learning the business from investors such as myself and my partners who actually are doing deals and it is much more professional way of dinging the competition.

@Don Konipol - You need to reread my post and point out exactly where it states I made a $500K profit. Also, does it say I assumed or took the loan subject to? There is a big difference. Attention to details please. When you are done rereading my post and realize you have made a gross error, I would greatly appreciate an apology posted here.

I also noticed someone asked why would anyone want to spend that kind of money if they can learn for free. Great question. Why do people buy books or pay for internet service at home when they can go to the library and get both free? Why drive when you can walk or ride a bike? People don't always respond well to 'free' and 'free' isn't always convenient. Some people learn differently. Maybe sitting at home reading pages and pages of posts seeking out answers doesn't appeal to them. Some people know they can get the info for free, but believe if they spend the money, it will motivate them to work so they get a return (this is a bad reason to buy in my opinion). If they pay for a coaching program, do a deal or two and recover their tuition, they still get to keep the knowledge and the experience of being inside of a deal.

After running a monthly REIA for over two years, I believe the number one reason people pay for coaching programs is to get past the learning curve much quicker. I'm not talking about the people who are shopping for a dream though. They are actually looking for the magic beans and probably own a whole bunch of virtually unused exercise equipment as well. I believe the number 2 reason is that most people are crippled with fear when they get started in this business. I have watched so many people who know exactly what to do sit idle, frozen with fear year after year. These people want the extra level of support from someone they can call, look at a house together with, or participate in a live conversation to get an immediate response. They need someone to help build their confidence and reassure them that their numbers are good. Online support groups might be great for some, but they don't work for everyone.

Aaron Mazzrillo, Advanced Home Sales, Inc. | http://www.aaronthehousebuyer.com

Originally posted by @Aaron Mazzrillo :
K. Marie Poe - Please pay attention to exactly what I wrote before publicly labeling me in your post. I did not mention anything about who gives birth to babies. For the record, I stated "Well, I'm glad we have educators who teach how to deliver a baby!" Implying I am glad there are doctors who work at medical schools teaching other doctors how to perform medical procedures. The reason for my comment was to argue against the contemptuous way people loosely throw around the "those who can do, those who can't teach" saying, when in reality, many people teach very important and necessary processes we encounter in our lives outside of real estate. As for my web page, it is a marketing message aimed at those interested in learning the business from investors such as myself and my partners who actually are doing deals and it is much more professional way of dinging the competition.

Aaron Mazzrillo: I apologize if I misread your intent. I thought you were making analogies to the "those that can, do and those that can't, teach" comment. I am not in disagreement with you that teachers are valuable. No one I know thinks a great kindergarten teacher is teaching because they can't "do".

Most REI educators I know personally and know of started by doing deals but figured out that selling information and mentoring was more profitable. It appears from your website and blog that you started in REI in 2006. Hopefully you are realizing equal success in both areas and won't be tempted to bail on the deal making. :)

"After seeing Ron LeGrand in Long Beach and going through his foreclosure materials, the first foreclosure deal I did was to purchase a preforeclosure property with $25,000 cash down, subject to the existing $700K loan."

"Sold the house after nine grueling months (because I didn't know anything about marketing and trusted a very bad real estate agent) for $1.25M. "

Sure implies a $500K profit to me!

BTW, a person selling mentoring services testifying about how well worth mentoring services are is about the same as a insurance salesman (desguised as a "financial advisor" ) evaluating someones financial needs and deciding what they need is lots of life insurance - it isn't neccessarily untrue, just totally biased.

I've seen and heard all the gurus - from Bob Allen, Rob Lowery all the way to the modern ones. None have ever discussed their teaching SUCCESS rate - i.e. the percentage of their students who obtained the stated promise. Yet, they, as you do, manage to knock formal education - a place with much more transparancy than the guru world.

Demand an apology? - because you write purposely vague so people will assume a conclusion and then demand an apology for reaching that conclusion? - come on, you can do better than that!

By using "guru speak" in your post you have lost any credibility you might have had with me, and I suspect with any of the other, experienced, successful regulars on BP. But since your target market for mentoring services is probably the new, inexperienced, naive and gullable, you probably don't care.

Unfortunately, when you take an unpopular stance, especially on a message board, sometimes you get piled on @Aaron Mazzrillo . The reality is that everyone learns differently and some can find inner-motivation and others cannot. Most of us on this forum agree, and Arron stated as much, that not every program or every seminar weekend or home study course or 'Guru" pitch is legitimate or even useful, but there are a great many that are very good.

As has always been stated on here, do our homework and know who you are listening to before purchasing anything. This whole notion that because someone sells something it must mean they were no good at actually doing it is crazy. I personally know many very good people who coach/mentor and actively promote products for others and they are still very active day-to-day in their craft. And yes, both are very profitable.

@Bill Gulley , I love your opinions and I love reading your posts, but I have to disagree with you on your post about everything you could ever need being right here and being free. I consider Josh a good friend and a great business confidant, but no website, not even Bigger Pockets can provide every answer you need. Often times, the answers you need are to the questions inside you - not the posts on the forums. You can get a great deal of information on Bigger Pockets and it is by far the best site on the internet for networking, learning and developing. But, even Bigger Pockets cannot replace mentorship and coaching as well as the motivation to succeed created when the right person connects with the right piece of information or the right teacher.

I think way too often every program, coach, seminar or opportunity are lumped in together and all called junk. Most of it is, but there are some very good people who are not only still active, but doing exceptionally well and they are providing some excellent services, programs and systems out there today. Decipher the good from the bad is the hard part.

Medium memphis invest logo 2015Chris Clothier, Memphis Invest, GP | 901‑751‑7191 | http://www.memphisinvest.com

Well, it's only an opinion I may be biased, but really when was the last time we had a question that no one could answer here? None of us have them all but amoung us it's hard to believe no one could advise on any residential/small commercial deal.....

And good point, they do have to sift through the bad, but I think a reasonable person might identify those trusted to give at least fairly good advice....

Just an opinion.

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

And a valued opinion at that! It's part of what makes this site great.

I kind of relate it to having a trainer for physical conditioning. I know I need to be in shape and I know everything I am supposed to do. I can watch late night TV for hours and get pitched every last piece of plastic junk that is guaranteed to make me look 18 again. But I don't need it. What I do need is a trainer that can give me great personal eating tips, training tips and hold me accountable to my workouts both with him and without him each week. I think it is very similar. I can get all the answers online, but I want the coach. I want the person who I can go to when I need it. I have a lot of friends with trainers who are dumber than two rocks and they get horrible advice and they pay the same thing i do. I would say that would about sum up the real estate 'guru' mentor/coach field as well!

Medium memphis invest logo 2015Chris Clothier, Memphis Invest, GP | 901‑751‑7191 | http://www.memphisinvest.com

I can say I've benefitted from paid coaching/mentoring. Some of us need help in pulling the trigger, rather than always analyzing deals. Also you get the benefit of concentrated information. True differing opinions give you more to chose from, but information overload can be overwhelming. Especially for a new investor.
On a side note: 25k down and subject-to 700k mortgage for 9 grueling months equates to holding costs that eat you alive.

I thought this began as guru stuff, progams in books, tapes, CDs etc and my comments were directed at that, not coaching. I have coached and mentored others, many for nothing, some for deals split and I use to consult hourly. There are good ones and bad. No, you can't hold hands on the internet. But I believe you can learn if you are motivated to do so.

I have also convinced some that RE was not for them, I doubt anyone selling a book would begin that way since they wouldn't sell as many books, but everyone can't do it. Maybe those who can't do it can't study to do it either.....we know many have been disappointed, but then you don't know unless you try......

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com