The Flipping Formula - sat through 2 hour seminar and

28 Replies

walked out during the break to do some homework before shelling out the $2k they wanted to attend the 3 day bootcamp. They said we would get our money back if we didn't triple the tuition amount in 6 months.

Though this sounds lucrative I would like to hear from people who took this bootcamp if they tripled their money in that timeframe and if not did they get their money back?

Or do you have to then pay $40k to start making money?

I cannot opine on the course, and if it's good or not. However, if you want to take flipping houses seriously and save your cash for your first deal (or anything else towards your investments), I would recommend: listening to the BP podcasts (take some notes too), buy a flipping book (I liked J Scott's), read through the BP forums/blogs, and ask the community questions.

I would imagine that BP has just about all the information these courses can offer.

Look for local classes (e.g. community colleges, etc.) that are $100 or less. Examples are like those described here:  http://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/79/topics/123824-wake-tech-real-estate-class-es Local CCs have other RE related courses that are valuable (described, for instance, here: http://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/41/topics/80531-learn-and-work-on-trustee-sales-in-raleigh-nc )

Research what your local area has.., and it is 100 times cheaper than the guru rip-offs.

I don't know this group specifically. I can tell you a common format is to give a free class to sell a weekend boot camp then that is used to sell an expensive mentoring program with is probably a rip off. Many of these GURUs make significant money simply by pitching ever more expensive programs without really giving you much content. 

That said there are good bootcamps that you can learn significant stuff. Nothing that you can't learn here. However it may be in a way that helps you understand it better. A well thought out bootcamp with a great teacher can help put a lot of random information into context. The big problem is you don't know whether it will be good until you plunk your $2K down.

How important is $2K to you? If $2k is a lot of  money to you is suggest you save it unless you get really good feedback from people you trust that they are legit.

I'd bet you'd learn more by buying and reading J. Scott's The Book on Flipping Houses than you would in a $2,000 seminar.  

I must say  J Scott's flipping books were my bible when I did my flip. What a guide to work by when u are a beginner.  Listen to these experienced professionals and listen to the podcast diligently and u will expediite your learning curve. Enjoy.

I will definitely look into J Scott's book and local CC evening courses. I was just curious about the seminars actual results being that A&E's "Flipping Boston" show starred the two fellahs who promote the course program.

Don,

That's how I got suckered into my first course. Worst course I ever paid for. Mind you, I have spent some good money on courses and have made a lot of money off of it, so I'm not against education. If they have systems in place, fine. Otherwise, you get a lot of useful information and you still don't know how to turn it into a business.

The problem is that real estate investment is somewhat complex. There are many pitfalls. In  a 3 day course you can only cover so much. You will get 40%, or maybe 60% or perhaps 80% of what you need to be successful if you're really lucky. They can't possibly cover all the situations that you may encounter in real life. I've been investing for years and am still learning new situations every day. What counts is access to experience. I rely on my mentors. I have two that are extraordinary. That has saved me repeatedly. I also read at least two new business books per month.

 I also mentor a few businesses in my spare time. The time I spend with students isn't usually on real estate specific items. We spend time on filling gaps in knowledge, overcoming emotional obstacles, people leadership, and improving business processes.  

Many canned courses assume that students are at a particular starting point in their knowledge. Truth is, there is no one-size-fits all. 

The experience base on BP is good. Getting good advice (emphasis on good) in real time is important. You will also get some bad advice. Learning how to filter out the bad advice is the key. Everyone has an opinion.  

Welcome to BP.

I have flipped 1 property. I wish I knew about J Scott's flipping that everyone has mentioned here. Having said that, I will be buying one for my next flip. 

There is so much you could learn on this forum, it's amazing. People like Brandon Turner, Dawn Anastasi, J Scott and many others will inspire. 

Hope my 2 cents helps.

@Donald Zeller   let me give the you heads up since this group was advertising like crazy last year here in Southern California.  I actually attended the free course with a friend and pretty much it was a complete sales pitch.  My friend spend the 2k on the weekend boot camp and was promised that if he did not close a deal they would refund his money back.  But there are fine prints in the arrangement, which made it really hard to get a refund.  The worst part is that all the information they were providing, you basically can find it on youtube, books or this forum.  There course pretty much explain everything in a high level approach leaving out the major detail portions of wholesaling, which you can find here just by asking.  But in order for you to get the major real experience they ask you to join their mentor program which will cost you about 35K, which includes their software.  Honestly this is a joke.  If you did not join their mentor program and even though you paid for the boot camp, you are pretty much pushed aside unless you decide to purchase some other training course they offer.

Here is my suggestion. Listen to the podcast here in the forum, read more information on the blogs and articles. Reach out to your local REI club and connect with real people. That is the best way to get things going.

@Donald Zeller and anyone else considering this course: don't, unless you really want to spend big bucks on things you can learn by reading and trying on your own.

My business partner and I took the course last year... the first free 2 hour session gets you to the weekend "bootcamp" where, just like everyone here states, they sell you the big package.  yup, you're looking at a customer here.

the package sold at the second bootcamp could be anywhere from 20-40k and includes different "courses" they offer.

as of last year, we were un-impressed with the content and after-the-sale support. we did not finish the other packages simply because an agenda could not be sent to us of the topics being covered and we refuse to waste more time and money traveling, staying in hotels, and hearing the same topics covered.  a local FF investor network simply does not exist, at least not through their program.  

anyone who wants to take this investing stuff seriously needs to do their own homework and put in more than an hour a day, which is what is pitched at these events (i can't imagine anyone simply getting a fully operational self-sustaining system in place without any amount of capital or experience-based knowledge).

do we regret taking the course?  yes and no.  monetarily, we always regret bad purchases.  did it kick us in the a$$ to get going and start bringing our investing game to the next level. heck ya!  did we do it with the flipping formula?  yes and no. it taught us about ways to market, but if we came here and did any amount of research, we'd figure it out quickly.

Since we are based in Boston, we had a chance to meet Pete and Dave multiple times and we are sometimes in contact with them outside of the program.  They aren't bad people, I just think they know they can capitalize on their TV stardom and honestly, who among us would not?

ABOUT THE CLASS/COURSE: the other classes they offer include a 3 day secondary bootcamp, a 3 day trip in vegas which literally covers many of the same topics as the second 3 day bootcamp, a special asset protection and marketing thing, and some one on one time with another investor (not likely from your area). after the more personal 3 day course, we would get calls every few weeks to see how we are doing... naturally, success does not come quickly, and then begins the selling of the personal 1:1 "inner circle" which they claim is exclusive, but everyone we spoke to gets the same call... 

and finally, at the vegas event, they do the most ridiculous things, such as a blind auction (to show everyone what a real auction is like)... the amount people were bidding for NOTHING blew my mind. oh, and they also try to get you to pay for more legal mumbo jumbo if you were too lazy to find a local RE attorney in the 3-6 months after the initial courses. they also have "pre-selected" houses for sale in the 40-100k price range and you only need to put 50% down and finance the rest with their partners! you don't get a chance to do any due diligence on the property and you have to assume many of the financial facts you are given.  there is a woman who blogged about her experience here (and about 4 earlier posts on her site) - it's worth a read if you want to know more about the houses being sold at these seminars:  http://flippinginrealestate.blogspot.com/2014/05/b...

the one on one was interesting and useful since nobody else was asking newbie questions and the guy we met with was willing to share his strategy - he does all his investing out of state.

in summary, rather than spend 20-40k on a guru course, spend 10-30% of that on some good old fashioned marketing.  our first marketing campaign covered approximately 2200 addresses over an 8 month period (6 mailings) and from that we completed one wholesale deal which paid for the next 2 years of marketing, one property under agreement to tear down and rebuild (pending city approval), and another property we plan to close on in about 2 weeks.

lastly, if you really want to do a guru course, consider the folks at fortune builders. i did not take the course, nor do i plan on it, but in the various networking events, i've met some of the folks from that program and was way more impressed with that program versus the FF (we actually partnered with one person from that course).  fortune builders seems to have a more solid "after the sale" network... FF does not really have anything

whatever your choice may be, i wish you the best of luck!

Originally posted by @Ray H.:

@Donald Zeller and anyone else considering this course: don't, unless you really want to spend big bucks on things you can learn by reading and trying on your own.

My business partner and I took the course last year... 

whatever your choice may be, i wish you the best of luck!

Ray - this is an excellent post!  We totally agree with your statement that the $$ is better invested in MARKETING.

If I'm not mistaken, "Pete and Dave" really have very little to do with this program. By just following the trail in Google, it looks like this is just a generic "REI" education program run by Jeff Spangler of Premier Mentoring. The "Flipping Formula" and "Dave and Pete" are probably just the packaging of this program - it's a marketing thing.  If you think you are going to be taught how to do REI by the reality star gurus themselves, or learn their SECRETS of success, you may be disappointed.  At best, the reality show actors probably make a brief appearance at the highest cost events.  That's how those programs work, you guys.  And once you're in the front door, it's UPSELL UPSELL UPSELL!  =)

Hi @Donald Zeller  

In general, I would do as much research, books, audiobooks and podcasts, and free / inexpensive events before starting to think about writing big checks for education. By the time you get to that point, you may already be on your path!

I'm all for spending money on the 'right' education -- but I don't think you should start there.

Just my One Cent. :)

Andrew

thanks @Dev Horn ... just wish had been more diligent before shelling out money for the program. you're probably right about the marketing piece with Dave and Pete. during the event they definitely put the pressure on for you to buy, relating it to a college course.

@Dev Horn Is this Nick Bertuccioni? He's in our area now. I agree they sure UPSELL!

Last one I went to was for Than and Paul, who I know, and should have known they would not be there. I left halfway through and two kids tried to keep me in the room;-) However I made it out the door and one followed me to the parking lot yelling "This is your only chance! You leave and you'll never get anywhere in Real Estate!"

Maybe I won't but I felt comfortable with the thought that through past hard, smart investing I could probably buy and sell him.

So

I told him to try taking his GED another time, he might pass it! It was like I had hit between the eyes. He was stunned and asked how I knew. I was a little embarrassed and we ended up talking for about half an hour:-0 Not a bad kid...

I had a gut feeling when they started the hard sell talk there was a better way to get started in this business. Thanks for all the kind replies and I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences.

@Ray H. This was an excellent post, Ray. My husband and I just went to the $2K 3-day bootcamp this weekend in Minneapolis. It is exactly how you described it except that now the "promotors" are Christina and Tarek El Moussa of Flip or Flop. Information came across very quickly and I considered it mostly rah rah to get your excited about REI and signed up for their advanced training which cost between $20K - $45K. If we didn't make a decision over the weekend, we'd have to attend the free initial seminar plus pay another 2K and go through the 3-day bootcamp again just to be eligible for this advanced training.

I asked several of the trainers if they could give me references of people who took the advanced training, applied it and were successful.  No one could do that and they skirted around that by saying that there are no guarantees and that they don't hear from the people after the training.  Hmmm.  However, they said that they get rave reviews about the training itself.  So, after shelling out thousands of dollars, we wouldn't even know if their "system" would work or if it is really any different from this website or others.

My husband and I are newbies to this whole thing.  If nothing else, attending the seminar did whet our appetite for learning more and jumping in to make our first flip.  We look forward to reading more on Bigger Pockets and building a relationship with those of you here.

We went all in with the Flipping Formula.  I wish I would have found BiggerPockets.com and our local investment club first.  We would not have attended any other classes.  We have found the same if not more info on biggerpockets.com.  We did do our first flip and made all our money back that we spent on the classes.  If I could go back now and I would knothole spent the money ion those classes and just used bigger pockets.com and its resources.

I did not triple my money and they did not give me my $2000 back

@Nancy Cummings thanks for the update on how they market in your area.  I'm sure this will be useful for others.  We haven't seen any new episodes of Flipping Boston, so it makes sense that they keep the relevant/current personalities.  Up here in New England the radio ads have been heavily skewed towards Than Merrill's Fortune Builders program. My personal belief is that newbies are especially vulnerable to these types of programs and seminars.  

No single person or entity is going to give you everything in one package.  One of the best ways to get into real estate (in my opinion and after doing this for 5 years part time) is to buy a multifamily home (if it needs work, that's your opportunity to make some contacts, try people out, learn about homes and how everything fits together, and how to begin finding tenants and building a passive income portfolio).  Turn key properties are just fine also, since you're building equity and learning about landlord tenant laws.

One other option, Nancy, is to go to some of your REIAs, meet the people who frequent the REIAs and start talking to them.  Partnering on a deal is a good way to learn about rehabbing, IF the other partner is legit and is willing to work with you.  The regulars know that 30-50% of the crowd is typically newbies, so going multiple times, asking lots of questions, and doing some research on your own is the best way to prove you are serious. 

Most veterans have teams in place and you'll need to bring something to the table to show you are worth adding to the team.  After they know you by name, you can make your pitch.   Most flippers have their budgets and designs down.  Maybe they want a financial partner, or perhaps you know someone who can add a little extra to their flips that gives them an edge over someone else's rehab (e.g. putting in surround sound systems at wholesale costs).  You have to add some kind of value.  

If you do go the partnership route, please be careful.  I know someone who partnered with another investor and their project is a mess right now due to the other investor having a number of unrelated deals go south and liens being attached to the investor's property, preventing resale.  Do your due diligence on your end, set expectations/roles, and get references.  You can never be too careful, but like anything, it's a risk and you need to accept some risk in this business.

Another option a newbie might be skewed towards, when doing initial research, is joining up with Home Vestors (the We Buy Ugly Homes franchise).  Not to change topics, but this was another option we explored and the costs to join, stay a member and contribute towards monthly marketing were simply too high for us.  They could make sense if you trust their lead generation techniques and that you're getting your cut of the leads.  You would really need to be full time to do this since you'd have to be doing a lot of flips to cover the operating costs with this company.  They do bring their brand to the table, but it has a high cost of entry.  We have not worked with them, but did speak to one of the reps for our territory.  Again, we decided we could better spend our money on our own marketing, which has been outsourced.

@Jeff Hink - congrats on the flip!  Do you have any photos you'd be willing to share?  The fact that you did a flip and made the money back at least proves you did not jump into the first property you came across.  We kicked ourselves too, but at the end of the day, it worked out and all was okay.  I'm very concerned and curious how many people spend all this money and literally get nothing from it other than more debt.

@Ray H.  Wow, thank you so much for responding to my post.  I very much appreciate you taking the time to write back and for information you provided!

Regarding "The regulars know that 30-50% of the crowd is typically newbies..." that is funny. 90%+ is reality. Another reason for experienced people to use BP (or better, their own advisory boards) and not bother with local REIAs. IMO only.

Never shell out for pitch masters. Free sandwich was a good one.

Originally posted by @Dev Horn :
Originally posted by @Ray H.:

@Donald Zeller and anyone else considering this course: don't, unless you really want to spend big bucks on things you can learn by reading and trying on your own.

My business partner and I took the course last year... 

whatever your choice may be, i wish you the best of luck!

Ray - this is an excellent post!  We totally agree with your statement that the $$ is better invested in MARKETING.

If I'm not mistaken, "Pete and Dave" really have very little to do with this program. By just following the trail in Google, it looks like this is just a generic "REI" education program run by Jeff Spangler of Premier Mentoring. The "Flipping Formula" and "Dave and Pete" are probably just the packaging of this program - it's a marketing thing.  If you think you are going to be taught how to do REI by the reality star gurus themselves, or learn their SECRETS of success, you may be disappointed.  At best, the reality show actors probably make a brief appearance at the highest cost events.  That's how those programs work, you guys.  And once you're in the front door, it's UPSELL UPSELL UPSELL!  =)

 Exactly Dev I cant agree more. Oh and by the way thank you for the video plus Assignment and Purchase contracts. Those two contracts were like golden mana sent down from the gods. Honest brother I cant thank you enough as i have been looking for a good contract plus I loved he way you and Kai explained the wording and what is filled out where. I havent had time this week but I intend to write you a more in depth email on my take from the vids plus I got a few questions (who knows maybe they could be used for subject matter in later vids?) Anyway I have gotten way off topic.... its true these boot camps/ seminar/ bus tours are just upsell opportunities for these hucksters.

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