New York Trump Real Estate Expo – PART 1

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It’s Sunday and I’ve finally arrived in my room. It is late and I’m exhausted. Two days of non-stop real estate networking, and promotion. I’ll first start by saying that the learning annex has created a great niche for themselves. The expo is a huge moneymaker for them and their guest speakers.

I’m going to talk briefly about the whole weekend, and I’ll fill you all in more tomorrow and the coming days about everything.

If you want to take some interesting classes, the expo is worth your time. They had seminars running all day in multiple classrooms. However, this expo was not about teaching; it was about selling! Many of the “gurus” you see around the net were there, teaching classes, and, of course, promoting their products. As many of you know, I have some issue with selling courses and info for outrageous prices, and this did upset me. There were some going for as much as $10,000 – of course, for folks at the show they discounted down to a “reasonable” $1500 for the whole thing. This is ridiculous. These guys aren’t real estate investors; they’re in a million dollar business ripping off naive investors who just want to learn something. I understand selling something for a hundred bucks or so, but there was some obnoxious stuff happening. Now, many of the speakers were of very high caliber, and had great information to share, but most seminars ended in the inevitable sales pitch.

Classes and gurus aside, there were many booths – easily over 100 or so that were promoting everything real estate. There were mortgage companies, realtors, 1031 exchange services, contractors, investment clubs, tons of pre-construction folks pitching Miami and the Caribbean, and many more tables. I have to say I really did love the masseuse corner, where there were 10-20 people giving massages to attendees. I met a ton of people at these booths – many who were quite nice – many who were not. One of these companies, though, stands out . . .

I was talking to a nice lady who was in town from Pennsylvania and had been educating herself about real estate for a few months. I was telling her about BiggerPockets.com, and she was telling me about her thoughts of the whole show. She had just come from a booth (If I can find out the name I’ll share with you all so you can avoid them), where they were pitching to investors a service to help locate properties with tenants in them for the generous price of $5,000! I asked her to repeat herself and to explain further. She told me that they explained to her that finding property that is tenant occupied is EXTREMLY DIFFICULT, and they take the difficulty out of finding these rare opportunities. I should be a consumer advocate or something, because this stuff really gets to me. Not only did they use scare tactics and false information, but they were really ripping people off. I explained to her that finding these properties is not especially difficult. The hard part is doing your homework and making sure the property provides you with the income you seek. While it might take some time to find a property that fit her specifications, she could easily find these properties through her local realtor for the whopping fee of $0.oo! This brings me to a really important point – watch yourself out there guys. People are always looking to take advantage of the uninformed. Do what you can to protect yourself, and be smart about what you spend your money on. This brings me to another memory . . . while I was walking back to my train, I noticed one of the Learning Annex employees walking in the same direction as I was. We struck up a conversation, and talked about some of the speakers. I asked about the attendance there – surprising to me, Robert Kiyosaki drew a larger crowd then Trump – and we talked about some of the courses people were selling. She was one of the people who were responsible for selling the courses to visitors; apparently tons of people bought the courses, but apparently there was a TON of buyer’s remorse, leading to many, many returns. Again, be smart about what you spend your money on out there!

I’ll move quickly to the attendees, and then I’ll continue with more tomorrow. Being around so many investors and other real estate people is really quite energizing! There was a great vibe in the air, and people were really making the best of the show. In general, people were really good to one another, and I heard conversations break out left and right between strangers. These people were talking to, and learning from one another. It was really refreshing to see.

Tomorrow, I’ll get into some of my conversations with investors, and I’ll talk a bit about some of the Keynote speakers. Before I go, however, I wanted to take a second and send some messages.

To the English realtor from Florida, I really hope you get back home and everything is okay. I don’t remember his name, but this man was trying to get his name out in the community, while fretting about the oncoming hurricane that was heading towards his home. Best Wishes to you and everyone in Wilma’s path.

I’d also like to thank all of the wonderful people who I met. There were a handful of people who were unpleasant, but everyone was really cool. Thanks guys! I really did enjoy talking to each and every one of you!

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded BiggerPockets.com when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.

11 Comments

  1. Right on.
    I went to a property expo in Brisbane Aussie where I live and immediately noticed the whole concept is a sales pitch, don`t know what I expected but I was disappointed and moreso that it was not directed at helping investors at all but fleecing them.
    I won a $1000 value prize there also which has turned out to be a joke.
    I`m interested to hear about trumps expo as I was thinking to go there but couldn`t, on a basic level I like Kiyosakis teachings but when you get down to it he is a salesman first an educator a very distant second I`m afraid!, and I get the impression Trump is the same.
    Basicly these guys don`t want to help anyone, and would sell thier own mother for some chump change imo.
    There is good info there though, if you know where to look and can keep your wits about you.

  2. As I told you personally, sometimes the best place for information is your local investment club. In St. Louis, I’ve been a member of 2 clubs and even though you may pay $50-75 per year – it is well worth it for the speakers, for the connections, for the knowledge especially. The St Louis Real Estate Investment Association (of which I’m not a member now due to scheduling conflicts), had great presenters like Mr. Landlord (Jeffery something), and other famous people. I don’t know about other clubs, but people are generally down to earth and are eager to help.

    In fact, the local clubs helped sponsor some real estate seminars at a local community college. The cost was $100 and almost every speaker had handouts and great information that was very valuable, and almost none of them we trying to pitch something at the end.

    My 2 cents.

  3. Sky The Lender on

    I hear you on the “Sales first-education second” bit. I attended the Trump show here in LA and I was repulsed by the overt and brutally sleazy trickery that every single speaker exhibited. At what point does selling stop and plain out misrepresentation begin? Even Kiyosaki who I respect and who has changed my thinking about investing and life in general had about 5% useful content, 30% anecdotes and 65% “Buy Cashflow NOW!!!”. Geez. At one point in one of the smaller rooms I wanted to stand up and ask one of the speakers for copies of the HUD-1 from some miracle deal she was selling the knowledge on how to do. S L E A Z E!
    Trump was clever and humerous, but said exactly one item useful to the investor/builder the rest was puffery and self promotion about his show, cologne, development, etc. And the worst part was I missed Coachella to do it! Aiy Vey. Im only doing local stuff from now on.

  4. I attended the “Real Estate Expo” back in 03-05 and made the mistake of purchasing a “course” on Tax Liens, which turned out to be little more than information that was already available from County web sites, and from the author’s infomercial.
    The information value of this was about 5% of what I expected, and because we did not return it in a timely manner (per The Learning Annex) we continue to fight over the charges for this. So far the material has been sent back to them twice, and returned twice, and we have been taken to collections.
    The overall scheme is for someone to present themselves as experts, sell their “information”, and continue with their chunk of residual income by either offering “mentoring” programs at a mere $29.95/month, phone training, further “education”, etc. It is all a nice game, but one that is better not played.
    The only education that I got that weekend was how to get fleeced.
    I did not need to be encouraged by the cheerleaders at the entrance to the main hall, the ones with the one-size too small T-shirts. Whatever enthusiasm that I had going into this was sucked out by the first day.
    Thanks for your time.

  5. Pingback: Real Estate Investing For Real Blog - BiggerPockets.com » Blog Archive » No Go at the Real Estate Expo

  6. I was thinking to go there but couldn`t, on a basic level I like Kiyosakis teachings but when you get down to it he is a salesman first an educator a very distant second I`m afraid!, and I get the impression Trump is the same.

  7. Learning Annex is Suspect on

    I also attended the real estate expo at the Javits center. I was a bit uncomfortable with all of the money hungry energy in the air, the enticingly dressed “cheerleaders” and all of the booths trying to get you to invest in their ideas or products. However, thoroughly enjoyed seeing Tony Robbins but with all of the jumping and yelling I didn’t retain anything of much use. I find it amazing when these multillionaires speak so arrogantly about how easy it is to make big money. At the end of Tony’s show there was a table by the exit where the learning annex staff were getting people to sign up for a free book and a one hour phone call with a successful real estate business person, so I signed up. I was contacted yesterday by a gentleman named Landon Hanson who said he represented the learning annex. He told me that his company was profiling thousands of applicants in search of a hundred “special” individuals who will get to work one on one for a year with a wealthy real estate investor. He said that there goal is to create success stories and that a 400% return on my investment was chump change compared to their usual results. It sounded great so I proceeded to answer a battery of questions about my credit, job, financial situation, life goals and so on. He called me the next day and asked me some more questions in an attempt to guage how “motivated” I was about becoming one of the special 100 people. Mr. Hanson told me that he was going to run my profile by his senior executive and that if he approved I would get a chance to speak directly with him. After a very brief wait he returned to the phone trying to sound excited, he told me that his boss would like to talk to me and would be making the decision on whether or not to bring me on board. He made it sound like a big deal. He instructed me to get a pen and paper and write down the four rules which the learning annex expects people to follow: Time, Money, Motivation and Open-Mindedness. Then he instructed me to write down the words agressive, moderate and conservative at the bottom of the page and circle one. After I made my choice he informed me that there would be an upfront tuition cost associated with each of the words. $15K to $20K for agressive, $10K to $15K for moderate and $6K to $10K for conservative. He informed me that I should have my credit card ready for when his boss got on the phone with me because I would have to pick one of these teaching styles immeadiatly if selected. When I mentioned cash, (or in my case as a veteran) the montgomery G.I. Bill he stopped sounding so knowledgable and enthusiastic. I told him I had to think it over and to call me back. I’m waiting for his call as I write this. I think this is obviously a scam so I have contacted my local FBI office for more info on this company and these types of schemes. I hope that anybody else who attended the seminar and signed up for this learning annex info gets a chance to read this and doesn’t fall victim to this shameful scam.

  8. I so wish I found this site before I went to the ’07 Real Estate Expo in NY. It was just as you all say. Sales pitch after sales pitch. I did not come away with anything. I didn’t learn anything new. Just wasted my time. It was so disappointing. I didn’t even bother going today. I cannot tell you how much I regret spending the money I did to go to this thing. Thank you for all the links on filing complaints and how to handle this.

    I cannot recoup the time I wasted but if I can at least get the money back that I spent on this scam it would be some consulation.

    Laura

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