Than Merril, or Bill Vaugn Are they worth it?

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I have completed a flip and it was successful however it highlighted how much I still need to learn. Than Merrill came to town and is putting on his standard sales pitch or 3 day seminar. The reviews are mixed, some people recommend Bill Vaughn. Does anyone have any suggestions or reviews of these programs?

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Don't waste your time.

If you've already successfully completed a flip, you've probably learned more than you'd learn spending an exorbitant amount of money for this type of training.

My suggestion would be to write down all the things that went wrong on your project, and start reading/posting here to figure out how you can improve those aspects of your next deal.  You'll likely get just as good advice at infinitely less cost.

If you're open to learning something, you will. If you go expecting to be ripped off, you will. 

I recently went to Thans 2hr seminar in my area and also will be going to the 3-day event. For $200 and 3 full days, I thought it was a good investment to be around others in my area. Sure, some stuff will be fluff, but I'll go in with an open mind, have fun and see what happens. I've never heard of Bill Vaughn. 

No matter who you see, someone is bound to gripe about them. That goes with anything. 

I agree with @J Scott that the experience you gained from your flip is worth far more than the $19000-$33000 tuition to attend the Fortune Builders Mastery class offered by Than Merrill. However, I did pay the $200 to attend the 3 day seminar of Fortune Builders hosted by Cole Hatter, and can say without reservation that I completely ripped them off! This seminar is obviously set up to enroll students into the Mastery program but Cole Hatter was a true real estate expert and extremely motivational. The amount and depth of information provided was incredible and this seminar is definitely worth your time. If you take good notes then you can pretty much duplicate their systems or at least have a basic blueprint on how to start your business. The problem with most newbies is that they fail to take action and implement the knowledge that they have gained.

I too attended a Fortune Builders seminar taught by Cole Hatter. He was absouletly great! The information that he taught and the way he taught was like nothing I've every attented. I am convinced that if I can take this information and be successful in REI if I am persistant. Like Coles says, "Let's CRUSH IT! Education and action is the key to success in this business and I will get it done.

Don't waste your money.

I went to the fortune builders seminar. 200 bucks. Was a great motivational time.  I took lots of notes. Absorbed everything I could.  but I wasn't about to spend the $35,000 dollars they were asking me for.  I figured I could buy another house with that money.

Originally posted by @Danny Chan :

@Rod Fisher, what were they asking $35k for?

 

the Fortune Builders Mastery class, mentoring etc.. I spent my 35 k on the house i am working on now.

I wouldn't do it.  I would spend time reading articles on BP & networking with people who are doing similar things.  Also, there are a lot of very good videos on You Tube depending on what areas you need to focus on.  If you need more work on numbers/financials, tons of resources.  There are also some videos by Kiyosaki and other gurus.  Best of all, free!

The problem is that real estate is a highly detailed venture.  Every deal is like looking at a prism.  No two deals are the same.  There are always variations and problems.  Even people with tons of real estate experience know that.  So to go through every detail even some you would never think would happen would take years to explain.  Some,  like this guy Than.  Hes a very decisive guy.  He makes decisions decisively and follows through hes that kind of person.  I took his intro seminar from the TV ads for fun.  Most of the stuff I knew.  I don't ever claim to know everything about real estate lol.  

There was one basic I wanted to see more of.  I didn't take his course because I knew most of what he was forwarding. I'll give you an example to get a real estate licence.  Just the licence I am not talking about experience is a 75 hour pre-licence course and its not easy. Appraiser - 60 hours just to become a trainee.  That again is without experience.   Its all very complicated.  Just jumping in with little knowledge can cost you money and time. Lots of red tape.  To be a closing atty I don't even want to speculate on how much time you have to put in.  So there are many facets to this business.  First I suggest not for the money which really good.  But for the love of real estate.  You have to love it.  In my opinion there are naturals in this business.  People that just have it.  Like a really good baseball pitcher.  

I'm not a decisive person however lol.  Like Than here.  I like going through all the details. None of these guys are going to give you all the details. They can't it would take to long and as I say new and wonderful problems pop up.   I suggest not taking a big bite of the steak and choking.  

What I mean by that is take one course at a time. Now those for the material can be very thorough. It won't give you all the problems your going to run into. But in will encompass a broad scope of what the course intends and usually works out. So take a course on LLC's. That would be a course you could get down pat and would work right away. Then maybe take a course on lease options etc. etc. Your going to get the base of what you need to know. However the real world problems and applications are always going to enter into the picture.  No way to get rid of those.  No easy way around dealing with those.  No two deals are the same very, very rare that occurs. Get ready to learn even after you have taken the courses.  Even after you have been in real estate for many years. 

I know two guys that spent the money and are happy they did.  I've seen some of their stuff, it's actually pretty good.  At first I was like $35 grand?  WTH?  But after thinking about it, I spent more than that on $1500, $2500, $5,000 seminars my first year and didn't get as much as they teach I don't think.

Where are you in your career/cash position?  The guys I know were six figure corporate guys coming into real estate.  Good investment for them if they do an extra flip a year with what they learned, they both are doing multiple deals right out of the gate.

If you're net worth isn't a multiple of $35k, and you're looking to do 1-2 a year, prob not worth the coin as there are many less expensive ways to learn things, they just take more time and effort (and probably some trial and error).

A good analogy is opening a business by buying a franchise or starting from scratch.  Franchise costs more, but has lower fail rates and more support.

Originally posted by @Darrell Shepherd:

I know two guys that spent the money and are happy they did. I've seen some of their stuff, it's actually pretty good. At first I was like $35 grand? WTH? But after thinking about it, I spent more than that on $1500, $2500, $5,000 seminars my first year and didn't get as much as they teach I don't think.

Where are you in your career/cash position? The guys I know were six figure corporate guys coming into real estate. Good investment for them if they do an extra flip a year with what they learned, they both are doing multiple deals right out of the gate.

If you're net worth isn't a multiple of $35k, and you're looking to do 1-2 a year, prob not worth the coin as there are many less expensive ways to learn things, they just take more time and effort (and probably some trial and error).

A good analogy is opening a business by buying a franchise or starting from scratch. Franchise costs more, but has lower fail rates and more support.

Even the franchise guys the buyers in many cases are newbies. They still have the learning curve. Fortunately you live in Atlanta. A couple of guys give individual courses. Lease option, Trust etc. They range anywhere from 400 to 800 a piece with three day seminars and all the material DVD's paperwork (forms, contracts). John Adams has had a property investment radio program on both WSB and I believe now WGST (I could be wrong on the last ones call letters). For over 18 years. Very knowledgeable, very experienced. Started a Bank. Skip the bootcamp take his courses he's an acquaintance.

Louis Brown King of them all in Atlanta (My Opinion lol). Does individual courses. I have known Louis for about 15 years. lol he is the Chop-O-matic of property investors. Nothing that guy hasn't done. I know many of his holdings he is for real and massive in property investment. Thing about Louis is you do business with him. He doesn't ignore you after. The guy is a natural. He has no boot camp take one course at a time. Don't try and swallow everything whole.

I like your website its really clean.  Big things going on in Atlanta.  Great town.  They are rehabbing the Flatiron building downtown.  I noticed that the other day. 

It depends on how you learn and what you benefit from. In a rehab situation I would stick to local ppl. Simply because they know the ins and outs and what your local area requires as far as permits rules and regs also they often time have relationships with local officials for said permits/regs. Check your local REIA.

As far as the ppl you mentioned I do not know them. If you like them and can learn from them then go for it. I would definitely do the $200 thing in the very least. Great to have the contacts and learn a few things.

Originally posted by @Laurie Johnson :

It depends on how you learn and what you benefit from. In a rehab situation I would stick to local ppl. Simply because they know the ins and outs and what your local area requires as far as permits rules and regs also they often time have relationships with local officials for said permits/regs. Check your local REIA.

As far as the ppl you mentioned I do not know them. If you like them and can learn from them then go for it. I would definitely do the $200 thing in the very least. Great to have the contacts and learn a few things.

No I said one of them is a friend of mine. He was the original REIA in Atlanta. Then it went national. He was president of both.

Originally posted by @J Scott:
Originally posted by @George Allen:
Louis Brown King of them all in Atlanta (My Opinion lol). Does individual courses. I have known Louis for about 15 years. lol he is the Chop-O-matic of property investors.

I would describe him as the Chop-O-Matic of gurus as well...

I never thought of Louis as a guru lol.  I think I took one course from him in 2000.  I have been friends with him since.  He's just really gifted in real estate.  He loves it.  I love it to. It's an interest we have in common.  Louis is very detailed like I am I guess.  In other words the more you know the less work involved getting to know the details the hard way.  Real estate is more complicated than one might imagine.  I have never seen one deal identical to another. Thats a rarity.  This little forum can help one because it gives you different scenarios and the problems that come along with those scenario's.  Reading and learning isn't going to hurt.  What goes beyond that is the intricacies of any deal.  You have real estate law, lender guidelines (Hard money, Conventional and Non-Conventional etc., appraisal guidelines, real estate agent guidelines.  County, city ordinances (they vary) from place to place.  Building material costs where to get.  Dealing with subs and estimations etc. etc.  I won't even start on foreclosure and pre-foreclosure, Short sales. On and on.  No one can tell you everything.  What they can tell you is the problems that come up and will halt or slow the work-flow on a continual basis.  Things you never knew existed or worse forgot lol.  It's good to keep a detailed checklist on everything.  

In short in my opinion you really got to like this stuff to be in it.  Some people are brilliant with real estate.  Louis is one there are others I have known for years.

I've been to a lot of these intro seminars and all but Bill Vaugn is extremelying expensive. 

Bill was doing real estate and flipping houses when Than MerRiley was still in diapers and Bill Vaughn's entire course is less than $100 whereas Than Merrill will initially have you spending  $200 and considerably more after that. The only thing extra with Bill Vaugn is the V.I.P. Club where you get personally coached  once a month byou Bill himself for $44 a month which you can cancel whenever you want.

I'm going to try out the Bill Vaughn course and really WORK it!

I attended a Than Merril seminar a few years ago in San Diego.  It was also a 3-day seminar.  I got  a lot of good and very useful information the first 2 days, but the 3rd day was wasted by the sponsors trying to sell very expensive services.  One of the outstanding events was going to visit a few homes that they were considering flipping at the time.  This allowed the group to analyze the pros & cons of each property and get their professional analysis.  

No they aren't worth it. When he was in chicago. I went up to him and asked about his strategy. He told me the same things he is teaching here he is teaching in other states(as if the Lawd and the process isn't any different in other states) he also told me there is plenty of good deals across chicago and that prices are cheap as well lol

I went to the Than Merril seminar. I have it helpful since I had been out of the business for 5 years before getting back into it. If you already did a flip you know more than most people who come to these seminars. They tend to go after newbies. If you hadn't been I suggest that you go I sure than you can find some useful information. 

we provide the very same information even resources and contacts for free when we conduct our Chicago Action Investors meetings every week.