HWPG is going undercover at a Guru seminar

102 Replies

Controversial TV flipper & Real estate Guru Armando Montelongo is coming to my town next month. I don't have much knowledge of him other then what I have read online & seen of his show. His show was pretty entertaining. I did enjoy watching it.

What I have taken away from online reviews is that he, like many other guru's brings attendees into their shows promising riches only to pull the bait and switch and get them on the hook for much higher packages using high pressure sales tactics. 

From what I have gathered Armando's seminar program works like this

1. Attendees go to a free seminar which is used to sell a 3 day seminar for about $1,500

2. Attendees go to the 3 day $1,500 seminar is used to rope them into the $40,000 VIP Bus tour

Here are some links to the information I have found on Armando & his seminars. The reviews that I have seen have been pretty negative.

Armando Montelongo review

Bigger Pockets Thread on Armando Montelongo

My business partner John Holton, myself & a couple of our employees will be going "undercover" & attending one of the free seminars next month.

We would like to accomplish a few things while we are there.

1. Satisfy our curiosity.

2. Give newbie Biggerpockets investors who may be considering a seminar like this the opportunity to learn exactly what a seminar like this is about.

3. Learn something? (who knows, maybe the bad reviews are false)

 I will be continuing to blog about the entire experience here on bigger pockets. I will be objective and will not leave anything out. The good, the bad & the ugly.

So investors, partners, colleagues, strangers & newbies.

Is there anything that you would like HWPG to ask Armando & his team?

Any rumors that you have heard that you would like us to attempt to get to the bottom of?

Any question that is posed on this forum we will do our best to present them to the salesman & women at the seminar.


I would like to note that I am not against the education side of this business. There is a lot of value in education and a lot of money to be made providing this education. ($40,000 is of course extreme & I don't see how it could possibly benefit a new investor.) This site is an education site. There are many members on this site who are educators and seem to have great reputations. I would not shut the door on possibly doing something myself in the Real Estate education arena one day. 

I have no affiliation with Armando Montelongo.

This should be interesting. I personally know people that have attended and felt the whole thing was a sales pitch to lead them into buying the next seminar. 

Each and everyone of them felt it was a ripoff and a waste of time (for the most part). And I don't think I've come across a person that has gone onto have a great career in investing after they attend. 

I've also had other lunch/coffee meetings with multiple people that want to learn the basics of the biz after they have attended the free and weekend seminars and I was told they learned more from a 1 hour meeting with me, then they did in an entire weekend from this or other similar seminars. 

I always tell them the same thing. Hands on training from a local active investor is the best, always. Attend a local REI. Read BP forums for tons of info that is free and lastly seminar gurus are ONLY in it for 1 thing, MONEY.

Like someone stated in another post. The only seminar I'd pay for is specific marketing techniques in my local market. 

I guarantee that Armando will not be there in person!!  (It's so much easier to rip someone off for 10's of thousands when you don't have to face them in person)!

@Jose Reyes  

thanks for the comment.

I have heard many new investors say the same thing. This is a huge reason why I would like to do this.

It is not often a person with some knowledge & experience in the business ends up at one of these seminars.

While I have an opinion going into this I would like to remain 100% objective.

is he in fact a rip-off?


The other (less likely) scenario maybe many new investors just have sour grapes because investing really IS hard work.

Originally posted by @Mark Freeman :

I guarantee that Armando will not be there in person!!  (It's so much easier to rip someone off for 10's of thousands when you don't have to face them in person)!

lol. We shall see.

If Armando Montelongo uses a "media monitoring service" (also known as a "clipping service") that tracks the internet, they may know you are coming! :-)

Originally posted by @Marcia Maynard :

If Armando Montelongo uses a "media monitoring service" (also known as a "clipping service") that tracks the internet, they may know you are coming! :-)

Don't worry. I have that covered. : )

Don't waste your time. Seriously 

My business partner and I went a couple of years ago and partnered up for the $1,500 seminar just out of curiosity. All the 3 day $1,500 deal was, is pitch after pitch, after pitch to try and get you on the $40,000 bus. They also promised at the first event something they were unable to deliver at the 3 day. We asked for and got our money back after disputing it with our credit card company. AM wouldn't give it back like He promised. 

Not him personally, He wasn't there.

They showed some film clips of trainees (don't know what else to call them) going on the bus to a couple houses in Riverside, CA if I remember correctly. Then they give you a clipboard and show you how to measure baseboard and count interior doors for $40,000 ROFLMAO. Pretty histerical actually.

@James Wise  

I have been to Armando's free seminar and quite a few of the others. (Sometimes I get this weird desire to sit in a room full of people that are so eager to do what I'm already doing). It's kind of motivational in a way. I have never seen the actual Guru at one of these things, even the one time I paid for an upgrade to the thee day event.

The last one I went to, not Armando's, had a guy talking about different deals that had been done, including a house that was bought at a tax sale for about $1,500 (not by the presenter or the Guru). They had a picture on the overhead of a decent looking little house and thought that they were pretty great. (I.E. this can be done!)  I just sat there thinking I would love to hear from the guy/gal actually doing the deals and not a bunch of stories about deals other people have done!! I can't remember him mentioning even one of his own deals!  It seemed like I had way more experience than the presenter because I could get up there and talk about my own deals - not deals done by someone else!

@Ron Drake   No it wasn't. Did you notice that the guys buying into the big $30k-40k packages were almost all total newbies? I felt like they tried to go fast and talk over peoples heads (I went to the Rich Dad 3 day event years ago for $100).  The people who had no clue what was going on felt like they had to pony up for additional training to have a chance.

One guy from the 3 day event called me 9 months later saying his accountant said he couldn't write off the $25k he spent on his training package because it wasn't an accredited program. He asked me how I handled the write off and I told him I didn't buy into the advanced training. He said "Lucky you!" I asked if he had gotten some good information from the training and he said he hadn't had time to take any of it!!!  (Most of the "advanced" training was offered far away, so you would have to fly in and book a hotel.)  This poor fellow spent the whole 3rd day trying to get enough room on credit cards to buy the program!  What a waste!!

@Ron Drake  

Were pot committed.

It would be a very anticlimactic blog if I quit now.

I forgot about the whole call in to your credit card company and ask for an increase....so you could charge the bus tour haha....

Originally posted by @Ron Drake :

I forgot about the whole call in to your credit card company and ask for an increase....so you could charge the bus tour haha....

If you don't max out all of your consumer debt, then how will you learn how to buy houses using 100% financing with that great DTI you now have.....?

@Ron Drake   I had a $4k limit on my Amex at the beginning of the 3 day seminar. They instructed us all to go home and ask for a $100k limit on each credit card! (I think Amex was my only card.)  I got on the phone that night and asked for my $100k limit. (The presenter told a story about an accident he had with no insurance, but he was able to put $20k on his credit card and get the best surgeon around - so you never know when you will need the extra credit availability. (Ya in about 2 days!!))  Amex upped my credit limit to $35k without income verification or anything! They said it would take income verification etc. to get higher. I kept the higher credit limit for peace of mind, but didn't spend it on the "ADVANCED TRAINING" Thank goodness.

@James Wise   Good point.  We'll take all of your money and credit and let you prove that you can do deals with no money down and terrible credit. It's too easy otherwise!

@James Wise  

  You will not learn or see anything that has not been talked about above every single educator out there does the exact same thing and they are supported by marketing companies in Utah mainly.   Its a waste of your time frankly.

now if you could talk yourself into going to the 4 day bus tour event that would be worth a report back.. I have been to one of those as an unpaid guest.

And from what I saw It looked very typical of RE numbers be it Realtors that have worked for me in the past... People that post on BP like the thousands of newbie wanna be's on sites like this.. To every other walk of life.. A small % will take the info they learned at the 30 ro 40k event and make money and a career. Same numbers as I state about the 10% of RE brokers do 80 to 90% of all transactions... 10% or less of people that lurk around BP will actually ever do anything.. So even though on BP its free its still wasted time and effort on something you will never do...

So when as I stated I popped in and out of the event and actually went out on the Bus ride to 'riverside I talked with people on the bus.. Some I can flat tell you will never do anything in RE whether they learned there or on BP or a REIA or anywhere else.. Others looked like they were getting it and talking with them had a plan to go home and get going.

I think the  ( well I know the Rub) is just like those on this site that have alternative agendas when they post.. It would be nice if these Guru's would just come out with it already its 20 to 40k and we are going to teach you the business.

But remember this whole Guru pitch got its roots in MLM the presentations the pulling at your heartstrings.. the showing your wife and kids on a power point and stating this is why your doing this. so you can spend more time with family and make the money you deserve. But many people don't want to spend more time with family  :)  And are happy making what they make.

So even though this is a nice thought James its a total waste of time and effort in my mind unless you actually get to were the real material is talked about we all know the first two prgrams are simply upsell.

@Jay Hinrichs  hmmmm perhaps I need to move this bad boy over to the marketplace. Do some crowd sourcing to give BP an inside look at the whole speal. ; )

If every BP member donates 17 cents HWPG can get on that 40k bus!

@James Wise  

  I will put up 10 bucks to start the pot !!

@James Wise  

  And since I am probably the only one on BP who has actually met Armando in person I could give you and introduction... just don't be blinded by his 100k rolex

Only $39,990 to go.

I am good for 5 bucks. My buddy met up with Armando maybe about 10 years ago and he actually did somehow set him up nicely with some new rentals in Boise. He still owns to this day. From all accounts the info was solid back then. I am not sure what he is advising today but back then it was only buy new homes or 2 years old max. That kind of made sense.

Thanks to @Jay Hinrichs  pledging 5,882% of the donation asking price & @Matt R.  following that up by pledging 2,941% of the donation asking price HWPG now only needs to raise another $39,985 to get on that bus!

As a newbie with minimal investing experience, I felt that it was overall a waste of my time. When I asked one of the guys if there was going to be more meat in the content the next day, the guy's response was that not everyone in the room was as smart as me. That's all he had to say. Reminded me of the time I was standing with a group of people watching an orangatan dance around at the SF Zoo, and then he suddenly flung a handful of poop at the crowd and we all scattered screaming. 

If you insist on sitting through it, bring coffee and snacks. Their idea of keeping you awake is to crank up the AC, so dress in layers. They don't let anyone ask questions in the rouse of saving time, but the reality is that they don't want to divulge too much. Someone blurted out a question on how to find cash buyers when wholesaling. I thought the guy was going to jump off the stage and slap the lady for not following instructions. Well that surely deterred anyone else from being so bold. I split the $200 for the 3 days with my partner, so $33/day wasn't going to hurt. But the hours of sitting through the shpiel was pretty painful. Have fun!

I'll  donate 100.00 to the bus tour, only 39,885 to go. 

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