*** I am not affiliated with Fortune Builders in any way. I do not work for them. I am not being paid by them for this review. This is my own personal analysis of my personal experience ***
So I attended the Fortune Builders free seminar a couple of weeks ago and paid the $200 and signed up for their 3-Day seminar, which I spent this weekend attending.
I found the seminar to be informative and motivational overall. There were several sessions with a lot of great ideas about marketing, business structuring, tax and estate planning, and some of the mechanics of performing different types of real estate transactions. In truth, nothing you couldn't find on Youtube with a little ninja surfing, but the fact that it was somewhat organized and well presented made it a little easier to consume. At the end of the day, was it worth the $200? Yeah, there were a few things in there that were worth $200 alone, particularly, for me at least, the tax asset protection strategies were incredibly valuable and would have easily cost $200-400 an hour to get that information from an attorney, accountant, or estate planner.
I was also really impressed with their documentation, credibility packs, and concept of of systemizing the different aspects of your investing operation. I'm an PMP (Project Management Professional) and have pretty extensive training in IT (computer) operations management, system design, Six Sigma, and process development and optimization, so I immediately recognized the value in the concept of "systemization". A good set of processes, standard operating procedures (SOP's), and policies can be the difference between a successful, well-oiled machine type of organization and a chaotic, inconsistent, and frustrating one.
Their concept of "McDonaldizing" your operation is exactly right. Yes, every deal is different in it specifics, every marketing campaign has different audiences, and every project has it's nuances that make it different from the last one, but the reality is that there is a finite number of parameters that go into a deal, a campaign, or a project. from what I gathered this weekend it seems like they have done a pretty darn good job of identifying those "universal" parameters and many, if not all, of the details that go into these processes and they have done so in a way that allows you to simply plug it into a very well designed template.
Now, for the $50,000 question... Is it worth it?
I think the answer to that question depends of several factors. First, and most obviously, is the cost. With 3 different levels; $50k, $40K, and $30k, it's a pretty big investment there. Now, if I was looking to invest my life savings into a franchise business, like Subway, Chick-Fil-A, or some other type of business, I would be looking at investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into getting that business off of the ground, but I would have a pretty good chance at being successful because franchises are all about their systems, and these businesses have a proven track record with thousands of successful franchisees, so it is highly likely that I could be successful.
There is also the aspect of education. I personally have over $40k in student loans that I am still paying on for a degree in a field that really doesn't help me in my current career. Ironically, my PMP, which only costs me about $6000, has been far more valuable in my technology career than any of my degree studies. If there was a "college of real estate investing" the $50k price tag could be very valuable, especially for someone just starting out in this industry. And the mentoring, systems, tools, and templates could save someone a tremendous amount of time. Especially if the new investor didn't have a background in systems, tools, and templates.
Finally, there is the mentoring and coaching. I'm a certified life strategies coach and NLP coach. I've been in and around the coaching industry for about 10 years and I can tell you, coaches are not "cheap". I have a coaching friend of mine who charges $100K a year for a single client... paid in advance. So a high-end coach can be a HUGE investment. But the value you can get from a coach can be enormous. And a coach who understands the nuances of the industry you're working in can be exponentially valuable, because it's not just mindset and theory at that point. It's practical, real-world direction and mentoring that can give you actionable information, which can have a big impact on your results.
So, if you were just starting out, and you were looking for systems, tools, templates, training, and mentoring, I believe that the Fortune Builders platform could be VERY valuable and could give the new investor a tremendous leg up in getting their business off the ground. If I look at it as an investment into a franchise type of system, a college level education, and a coaching program all rolled into one, and considering a franchise would cost an easy $200k, college would cost at least $50k, and a high-end coach/mentor would cost upwards of $100k, then a $50k investment with FB is really a steal.
So, is it a scam? No. I don't think so. They have a 5 star rating on "Rip Off Report", not a website that typically gives companies under review a good report, I think that speaks volumes.
Now, even though the 3-Day seminar was informative and there were a few actionable ideas presented, it was very obvious that their primary objective was to get people to "apply" for their Mastery program at some level. For every 2 hours of real information, there was about 1.5 hours of "pitch", "motivation", or "hypnotic stage induction" techniques designed to get the attendee to "sign on the line that is dotted". It was mildly irritating, especially for someone who's understands how this works, but it wasn't so bad that it made the program pointless or of no value.
Finally, would I do it? If I were in the position to pull a $50K trigger and still have capital to run my business and put my deals together, I think I actually would. I have the background and experience to do it all on my own. I can develop systems. I can develop templates. I can link technology platforms together to build solutions. I can run initiate, plan, execute, and close projects (I have a six figure income doing this already). But the real value here is TIME. I believe this platform could save the new investor a tremendous amount of time. Yes, it's "expensive", from the perspective of reality... $50K is a pretty big chunk of money. But if I were looking at it with an investor's eye, I could see the value of that expense... In fact I wouldn't look at it as an "expense" (except from a tax perspective of course, it's probably tax deductible ;-) ), I would look at it as an investment. An investment in education, tools, templates, systems, software, coaching, and business start up all rolled into one. And if done correctly it could be a very powerful competitive advantage.
Of course all of this can be done without FB. It's not a necessity. It isn't the KEY to your success. You can succeed without it. But if you're in a position where you need some help, you can't even really define the problem (or even be aware of the problem), and you're not even sure what to look for, FB could be a possible solution.
If you've never been to one of their seminars, maybe check it out and make your own decision.
DISCLAIMER: I attended the 3 day seminar as well a few years ago as well. I do not have an affiliation with the course and I did not purchase the mastery program.
I would tend to agree that a new person would gather useful information by attending the 3 day course. I have a couple friends who did as well at different times. For the $200 for 2 people, that's what we would spend at the bar on a Friday Night and Saturday so overall 3 days of motivational speaking an some action items was worth it.
Yes it was a long infomercial to sell the big package, but yes in that 3 days it laid out a decent high level this is how it works type deal. I would recommend a new person take the course, but leave their checkbooks and credit cards at home. On day one they setup an exercise to improve your credit by calling and asking for higher limits as homework (This way your ratio of available credit is better). Which is really a way to get you to have enough credit to "apply" for their course.
I will disagree with the representation between buying a franchise and purchasing the mastery course though. With a Franchise you also get name recognition. Consumers and clients know what they are getting when they see your McDonalds/Subway/Hertz/Hilton Hotel/Snap on Tools company. It instantly has an appeal and a way to generate income. The FB plan is a course with introductions to people who may or may not assist you. Which also means that no clients see you either. So yes I agree coaching has value and not saying theirs does not, I just don't see it as a viable way for a new person to get started unless they have 50K laying around and still enough to start purchasing houses and pay for fixing them up.
Thank you for the review!
I signed up for a three-day event as well. I am a newbie with very little real estate background but I own my home and there are a few things I know because my ex-husband was a realtor.
My question is with the information I learn at the 3-day event, is there a way I can get started without entering the Mastery Program? I am in no way form or fashion fit to give the 15-$30,000 to enter the Mastery Program and I refuse to take out credit cards and do other drastic things getting myself into further debt like I've seen from other reviews. Is there a way I can take what I learned at that 3-day event and use resources such as BP and local real estate groups to get started?
Also, did you happen to sign up for the tax liens information package? That caught my eye as well...
Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community
Basic membership is free, forever.