You may recognize Armando Montelongo as the former star of the A&E hit series “Flip This House.” Or maybe you have read about, or even attended, his increasingly popular motivational seminars. Armando is a wiz when it comes to buying distressed houses dirt cheap, fixing them up, and then reselling them to make a profit. His fame and success have become the platform on which he educates adults on how to “get rich quick.” According to Forbes, the Armando Montelongo Seminar “offers long weekends of questionable advice, raucous showmanship and tours of foreclosed homes in some of America’s poorest sections.” The first 90-minute session is free, but after that the price spikes up to $1,497 per couple for the second session, and then a whopping $40,000 per couple for the weekend conference. So who is really making millions from these seminars? Armando himself. According to Forbes, his company is expected to make $100 million in revenue this year from the 350,000 “students” who attended his seminars.
Better Business Bureau urges you to be wary of “get rich quick” enterprises. While Armando is doing nothing explicitly illegal or false, his business model can easily suck funds from people who are desperate for a quick income but are not familiar with complex real estate investments. The initial free seminar should raise red flags. Not only is it a vehicle to sell Armando’s books, CDs and DVDs, but it also highly encourages consumers to attend the costly second seminar in order to further their education and actually learn how to make a profit. Consumers allege that they were misled about the information and services that would be provided at the subsequent seminars and that refund requests were either ignored or slow to materialize. BBB has given Armando Montelongo Seminars, LLC an F rating. The factors that lowered the rating of the company are: BBB concerns with the industry in which this business operates, length of time business has taken to resolve complaints, and government action(s) against business. According to Carrie Hurt, CEO of BBB’s branch in Austin, TX, “In 2010 and 2011 [Armando Montelongo Seminars, LLC] just ignored the complaints. Now they’ve started responding.”
To read the full article, visit www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2013/06/26/meet-armando-montelongo-the-home-flipping-huckster-wholl-make-50m-this-year.