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. 

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.

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!