It seems that Scott Zuckman and "Team Armando" haven't altered any of their techniques in the last few years. My wife saw an infomercial on TV and signed us up for a free Armando Montelongo one-night seminar without my knowledge. So I went along just to see what it was like but I warned her ahead of time they don't do these things to help us...they do it to MAKE MONEY!
So at the free seminar (about 2 hours long) we were told how we could make great money in the real estate business just like Armando Montelongo did. We were shown a few tidbits on the screen about "asset based lending" and Armondo's creed of "Safety first, Speed second and Money third". Of course, at the end of this seminar we were told if we wanted in-depth training we would need to go to a 3-day workshop in Oklahoma City at a cost of $1,500. And they did us a BIG favor (yuck,yuck) by allowing both my wife and myself to go to the workshop together!
The 3 day workshop was scheduled for March 4-6 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. We show up the 1st day and learn our "instructor" is Scott Zuckman. Scott's "team" also consisted of Siggy, Mandy, Stephanie, Michelle and Mike. Of course, some of the first things we were told is no cameras or recording devices and we were discouraged from networking with other people at the seminar (gee...I wonder why).
The 1st day went pretty well and Scott discussed a number of things about real estate investing including foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, apartment buildings and commercial properties. They promote buying properties only from "truly motivated sellers" (in other words, those who are desperate to get out from under their properties due to divorce, death, downsizing, etc.). We were given some percentages to use on what the offer should be, how much rehab costs should be and how much percentage profit is in foreclosures. Scott was nice enough to show us slides of all of his great cars and houses too. Scott also conveniently mentioned that Southern California was a "super-hyper market" and that the Indianapolis area was a "hyper market" and he casually mentioned a "bus tour" a few times on day one. He also conveniently talked about how to contact American Express for a Blue card if your credit score was 720 or higher. He also instructed everyone to call their credit card companies and increase their credit lines. Why? Because it will raise your credit score! Hallelujah! Yeah, right. You'll see why later.
On day 2 Scott discussed "the cash flow quadrant" and how you have to have the mindset of an investor. He also talked about how to use other people's money for investing in properties but never really told anyone exactly how to do that.....just generalities. Scott also talked about preforeclosures, how to find them, how the overall process works and when to buy. He also talked a little bit about short sales (houses worth less than their owed amounts). He also illustrated some things about the Prop Stream Investment Software (which of course you can't buy outright...you have to go on the bus tour to get the software). Then in the late afternoon here came the major sales pitch. If you REALLY wanted to go full bore into real estate investing, it was rather imperative that you pay anywhere from $12,000 to $40,000 to go on their Armando Montelongo bus tours! So where are the bus tours? Why, in Southern California and the Indianapolis area where the super-hyper and hyper markets currently are where you'll learn exactly how to critique and buy properties straight from Armando himself! He will also put you in touch with his personal investors and contractors and some of these investors are on the bus with you and will probably offer money to you to get you started! Geesh....enough already.
And how do you think many of these same people were going to pay for their bus tours? Why, with their increased credit limits of course! I'm sure many of them were told how quickly they would be able to pay off their credit card debt once they took the bus tours and learned how to truly make big money in real estate investing! HA!
At this point, this whole seminar was going exactly as I thought it would. It's a carefully orchestrated plot starting with the free seminar and then the $1,500 seminar to get you to pay thousands of dollars to them and you have no guarantees. You're promised a lot but hell anybody can say anything. So on Saturday night (I would have done this on Friday night but I was dead tired and went to bed early) I spent some time on the internet Googling "Scott Zuckman" and "Armando Montelongo seminars" and found a lot of complaints about the same scenario. Because of what I found and the way the seminar had been going (just a big sales pitch), we did not attend the last day of the seminar.
If you ever see an infomercial about an Armando Montelongo seminar, DO NOT FALL FOR IT! It's a carefully plotted scheme to get you further and further into debt (to them). With each successive seminar you go to, they ask you for more and more money! They spend the whole weekend trying to "pump you up" by saying how successful you can be....don't wait....jump on it....do it now...stop being just a number and dive right in to real estate investing! (More like just dumping more cash in THEIR pockets!).
I will be filing a complaint with the BBB and with the Oklahoma Attorney General's office about Armando Montelongo Seminars' BAIT AND SWITCH tactics.