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.