"Get rich quick!", "Become financial free.", "Take your mum on that holiday she's been dreaming about for years!", "Be the first millionaire in your family!"
These ambiguous phrases have been uttered by many 'property gurus' at these free property investing crash courses and seminars. If you have ever been to one of these seminars/crash courses you will know that they tend to be lead by an industry professionals who share their story of how they became financially free and successful.
Not too long ago, I myself attended one of these seminars. The speaker told his story of how he had become financially free through property. He shared slides of previous deals he had completed himself or sold on to other investors. What struck me is how easy he made the whole process sound "Cheap house, quick refurb, chuck a tenant in, voila, passive income!" And of course as I am certain many of you know, property investing is not as simple as that. People do not say that buying or selling a house can be one of the most stressful events in people's lives for nothing.
But it wasn't just how easy the speaker made it sound. It was how he manipulated the audience with high pressure sales tactics to buy into a 3 day crash course which costed over a couple of thousand pounds.
"Right, stand up if you want to make serious money so you can support your family."
Most of the room stood up. He advertised that the course would be discounted on this day only and that after the seminar ended the price would increase.
"Go to the back of the room and sign up right now if you want to become financially free."
A fair few people stood up and went to the back of the room to sign up. I couldn't help but notice outbreaks of murmured conversations between friends and spouses trying to work out how they could possibly afford to pay for this crash course which the speaker claimed would make them financially free. Being educated in the property sector enough myself, I knew that these people would not reach financial freedom instantly from this crash course. It genuinely saddened me to see how these people felt pressured and almost manipulated into paying thousands of pounds for a crash course which would provide them with the same information that they can probably find themselves on the internet.
Property is not a get rich quick scheme. Yes, property can provide fantastic returns if one invests intelligently, but the manner in which this investor was selling it to people was unrealistic and quite frankly immoral.
A week after I attended this seminar, I was offered the exact same 'exclusive' discounted price via email in attempt to persuade me to go on the crash course.
I am sure many of you have heard about the tragic events of Danny Butcher- a veteran who took his own life after paying out thousands of pounds to one of the mainstream property guru's crash course. After seeking support from the said guru, the company ignored his pleas. A short documentary was created by BBC Inside Out about the case which can be found below.
The documentary shows undercover footage from one of Samuel Leeds' property crash course. Leeds uses the same high pressure sales tactics to sell his deal sourcing crash course. He preaches how easy it is to secure properties on Rightmove and sell them onto investors. This not only promotes illegitimate and non-compliant deal sourcing, but also gives deal sourcers a bad name as a whole. Leeds gives these people unrealistic expectations of how easy it is to sell deals to investors, and happily takes thousands of pounds out of their pockets, promising to personally coach them and offer them support -Which is clearly not the case after what happened to veteran Danny Butcher.
Moral of the story, if things sound too good to be true, they probably are. My advice to anyone who is looking to get started in property, before you decide to declare bankruptcy and go on one of these crash courses, do your own research. The course is most likely not going to give you anymore information than all of the books and information on the internet out there that can be accessed for a lot cheaper!!
Thanks for reading.