This complaint concerns a course that costs $5000.00 and that teaches you how to buy real estate, at reduced prices, from people who have difficulty selling through normal channels. There is nothing illegal about this, and it's the sort of scheme that can work in a depressed or even a normal market, but is virtually impossible to make succeed when the real estate market is booming. This fact was not, of course, mentioned in the hype meeting that glibly persuaded me to lay out $5000.00.
For me, the ultimate persuader was the "Risk Free Guarantee".
The following three points describe the basics of the problem:
1. As an incentive to individuals to purchase the course, a written "Risk Free Guarantee" was given. The wording of the guarantee included the fact that you were required to fax in one COMPLETED OFFER, SIGNED BY A POTENTIAL SELLER, EVERY OTHER WEEK, BEGINNING IN WEEK TWO.
2. In a booming real estate market in which there is no reason for any property owner to sell under the conditions necessary for the methods to be effective, the 'students' are doomed to failure.
3. The real estate market, San Diego, where the course was promoted in January 2004, was booming. The promoters knew or should have known the likely consequences of this, namely that anyone needing to sell a property could easily do so and would have no interest in the scheme being promoted. This was not explained to potential students. In fact, just the opposite - the promoters, Peter Conti and David Finkel, boast how they and a group of three new students were able to make wonderful deals in only a few days in San Diego. They do not mention that that was done some time ago, a time when the real estate market in San Diego was at a low.
To summarize these three points:
Due to the robust state of the San Diego real estate market in the early months of 2004, there was virtually no chance of a person, following the course methods, being able to obtain a genuine offer signed by a potential seller every second week, and certainly not within the first two weeks of starting. The Risk Free Agreement was therefore impossible of execution, thus automatically rendered useless and essentially misleading.
When I asked for a refund, I was told that I had not fulfilled the requirements (see above) and no part of my $5000.00 fee wopuld be returned.
BUT, again, the Guarantee specifically states that, "There are no refunds FOR ANY REASON, for those who have not actively participated AS DESCRIBED". In other words, even though it may be impossible to fulfill the conditions, no refund will be given anyway. The guarantee is worthless.
It is a fact that none of the several students' in San Diego, who took this course in 2004 was able to execute a deal within the stipulated 90 day period. The only other person I know who asked for a refund was given essentially the same answer.
As with so many other schemes of this sort, you have to wonder why, if they promoters can make so much money in real estate, they spend large parts of their lives "teaching" others how to do it (Possibly a room full of 150 or so students at $5000.00 a time might have something to do with it!)
Incidentally, I reported this to the Better Business Bureau and am still waiting for a reply. I suspect that the Mentor Financial Group have a lot of influence (read 'money')in the Denver area.
San Diego, California