Last week, I visited one of those free real estate investment seminars that purports to teach you how to cash in with their “Guaranteed” investment methods after I’d heard their advertisement on a local radio station. I’ve heard about these seminars in the past and, forever a skeptic, decided to check it out for myself.
After hearing the ad, which promised that I’d “Make a lot of money” investing in real estate, I knew that there’d be some kind of catch, so naturally, I registered.
The seminar was at a conference center here in town, and there were 60 or 70 people present when we showed up (I brought a colleague along with me), all of whom seemed eager for the event to begin. In the meantime, we watched a promotional video for the company that also made promises about “Fast money” and all the “Financial freedom” that flipping homes for profit has to offer.
Once the seminar itself started, it was more of the same: fuzzy math reviewed incredibly quickly, revealing the potential for “tens of thousands in profits every time you make a deal,” along with vague definitions of common house flipping methods like wholesaling and rehabbing. But mostly, the seminar amounted to a pep talk designed to make the “Students” feel like they were made to invest in real estate.
Of course, the whole point of the seminar revolved around a 3-day real estate investment “Course” the business offered. The cost? $1200, “Unless you register today—if you do, you get $1000 off.” There were also books, cds, and dvds offered as bonuses for signing up. During the seminar, various other “Master classes” and “Coaching” programs for “Elite” investors were alluded to at several points, though there wasn’t any word about just how much those would cost.
At the end of the seminar, the presenter encouraged the crowd to make their way to the back, hand over their credit cards and sign up for the 3-day course. About 1/3 of the group stood in line, waiting to pay the “reduced” $200 fee.
The verdict? Ultimately, any kind of real estate investment seminar will only get you so far. It’s entirely possible that if you’re interested in investing, you might learn a thing or two from these so-called “gurus.” There really aren’t any secrets to investing; just like anything else, in order to make a living, you have to work hard at it. Given time, hard work and maybe a little luck, you can have some good investments turn out to be lucrative. But paying hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars for coaching? It’s probably not going to get you too far.
If you’ve come across a real estate investment seminar that you think might be a scam, know that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. We love to look at these kinds of things, so if you have anything to report, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Posted by Jason McGlone on July 25, 2012.
There are some real estate investment seminars that are scams with upsell after upsell. However there are also serious real estate investors who will train and share their lifes work to people who want to learn the ins an outs of investing.These bootcamps show you how to find the deals, anylize the deals, avoid costly mistakes and share their network of reliable investor friendly contractors. Do we charge a fee? Yes! Can charging this fee potentially save you from making costly mistates? Yes! Everytime we share our knowledge to potential investors we are making the pool of properties we may invest in smaller.
Just for the records, there is a new wave of this Real State Seminars that is being promoted by a company called Real State Picker. They work the same way as described by the author of this blog.
I’m publishing the name of the company because for me it was not easy to find any direct reference or comment about this name, other than the own company web site and some paid advertisement.
Now I’m convinced they are just selling and up-selling longer and more expensive training to people with the curiosity and some funds or credit to invest. I’m pretty sure these guys from Real State Pickers (or whatever else they call themselves) are also looking to create a captive market for hard-selling properties.
Be aware and have caution.
If your discussing Real Estate Pickers from California then yes they probably are a SCAM just as there previous company Millionaire Mentor Group (MMG) proved to be a SCAM. MMG used bait and switch tactics and a host of other tricks to SCAM individuals of their money.
Scott D Bell was the CEO and President of MMG now he is the owner of Real Estate Pickers and Stategic Coaching Alliance which may also be SCAMMING Cdn’s as the above reports seem to indicate.
Scott D Bell has a past record of these sort of SCAMMING business practices such as with Capital Investment Systems, followed by Global Resource Network Inc DBA as Nevada Global Resource Network Inc in the state of California. Scott Bell’s name is also connected to Financial Power Group along with Chief Denny and his attorney Rob Kovalsky of Kovalsky and Associates in California, and to Top Investors Club LLC along with Mike Kasper. He is connected to numerous others as well. Many of the above are notoriuos (in the wild west) for their SCAMS.
Scott D Bell recently declared bankrupcy but this isn’t stopping him. He may now be trying to hook up with Troy Stevens of Digital Success Institue from Utah. Digital is doing a seminar in Ottawa Canada soon along with the Steve Martel group. Hopefully this information will help others to sit up and take notice of what’s happening in this industry.
A very nice picture of Scott D Bell can be found at http://www.myspace.com/profitsinpaper
this the parent company to MMG.
More of the Same,
My wife and I attended a Real Estate Pickers seminar in Ottawa in Sept. 2012 and were interested in the 3 day follow-up, so signed up exactly as described in the McGlone article. Intrigued by the promises, we decided to do the next step which was an investment of $15k (paid via CIBC Visa) and involved a 3 day visit to a prime area in Florida, meeting with the team of experts from agents to contractors. The contract had a rider allowing for cancellation if done before midnight of the third following business day.
We reflected on the options and timing and felt that this was not the best time for us. We notified them the am of the third day and that pm received a call from the seminar leader expressing his disappointment as he was eager to work with us as he saw us as excellent potential investors. He did agree to honour our cancellation as per contractual agreement.
Without going into itemized detail of the slippery slope we had to endure before we did finally get our refund, it took 3 months of calls, e-mails, etc. only several of which were acknowledged, always assuring us that our refund was approved and being processed (several such dates slipped by without action). In October, we had advised Visa and provided them with all documentation including contract, copies of e-mail notices, dates of phone calls, etc. when we suspected we were being put off. Through their intervention, our account was finally credited in late December. However, the whole exercise ended up costing us almost $700. Cdn. Initial payment (which was processed immediately when the contract was signed…how efficient of them! Would that their refund process was similarly rapid) included over $100 charged at the outset for conversion Cdn. to US plus another refund conversion charge of almost $600. US back to Cdn. imposed by their banker, Merchant’s Bank, as advised us by Visa who are exploring the excessive charges on our behalf. Our thanks to Visa for their support and action.
After all the hoops and delays, we were glad to get reimbursed and felt the usurious charges, completely out of line with prevailing conversion rates, were little price to pay to extricate ourselves from this sorry mess. The escalating anxiety and frustration during this process we had to accept as the cost of doing business in good faith with them.
For anyone else contemplating this “opportunity”, Caveat Emptor.
In the end, we were left with better insight into US real estate investment complexities and feel more confident going forward, but without the questionable guidance of such teams of exuberant proselytizers.
These guys are moving fast the Ottawa seminar is entitled “Public Investor Notice”
being put on by “DIGITAL SOLUTIONS INSTITUTE” using the same physical address as Real Estate Pickers Jan 17, 18 and 19 2013. Caution stay away from these SCAMMERS. Scott Bell is the lead CON Artist behind this operation.
I can confirm all that is described. You will be upsold to a $500 three days session, then upsold to $15000 or $35000 in return for which you will be given a tour of deeply discounted properties, foreclosures, and bank ownwed bulk buys. Also there will be a powerteam of seasoned professionals When I got to Phoenix, there no deeply discounted properties, just MLS listed properties. There was no team. There was no money back. They are good talkers, they fooled me, You have been warned.
I can’t speak for all real estate investing seminars. I can only share my personal experiance. Mine was with the Millionaire Mentor Group. Once they’d collected their money, the sale was done and the “bait and switch” as Ron’s Squeeky Wheel post explains happened to us. There was no interest in further addressing the needs of its students. We were shuffled around from mentor to mentor and after being assigned our third, the company went dark. No phone calls were answered, no e-mails were replied to, not even anknowlogement to a demand letter from an attorny.
A company with such horendous service, can’t keep its current clients satisfied and as a result needs to find New clients to ” SCAM “. But in an age of instant communication their business model is not sustainable because of Reviews like these. The result is an organization that needs to constantly rebrand itself and shed the negative reputation accumulated from its poor performance with previous investors. From Millionaire Mentore Group, to Real Estate Pickers and now as we understand to Digital Solutions Institue A successful company would NOT have to hide its past and change its name within such a short period of time. These are not new companies as they are many of the same owners and staff. You don’t have to take my word on it. The internet has made it easy to follow Scott D. Bell or Rob Kovalsky their business activities.
My advice to you is to do your due diligence. You wouldn’t buy a house without an inspection, don’t invest your savings without that same care and diligence.
This sounds like the same group from MMG. My group and many others felt this was a scam, and if this is the same bunch I caution you all to beware. These people lead us on a wild goose chase, for months and we never did get the things that were promised or a refund when we finally asked for that. Instead they diverted us to their lawyer who did nothing more than stall tactics. I strongly recommend avoiding the seminars with these people, based on my own first hand knowledge….up-sales, and minimal useful content and broken promises of a money back guarantee is what I and many others experienced.