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!