You're about to discover why attending those free real estate investing seminars that you see advertised are for Suckers. I'll prove why free real estate seminars are a waste of your time and because of the "noisy" information they share, can even be counter-productive to your quest for learning how to be a successful real estate investor. The goal of this message is NOT to bash all those companies out there that advertise and administer free real estate seminars. This lesson has nothing to do with any particular company. Instead, it shows why the seminar model itself is old and antiquated. Ultimately, my hope in sharing this message is to teach new investors and especially those who are curious about investing, how best to choose what information to consume as well as how to consume it.
Why Free Real Estate Seminars are for Suckers
Why are free real estate seminars for suckers? Not only am I going to break down the anatomy to prove to you why it's a waste of your time and potentially destructive to your career but also, I'm hopefully going to empower you to be able to make better decisions on how you consume information so you can become a more successful real estate investor much more efficiently.
Look, I'm not trying to bash my competition if you think that is what this is, because frankly, they're not my competition. I'm a real estate mentor but I don't have much capacity, it's just me and a small team. These organizations are enormous. They put hundreds of thousands of people into their funnel in a year. . You can absolutely be more efficient with your time. It starts by not attending these free seminars.
These seminars must put out advertisements in order for people to show up otherwise no one would even know they exist. Typically, their advertisements have a big personality. They get somebody from a reality television show or that thing, big personality in the advertisements. Here's an important statistic for you. On average, depending on the size of the market, they will spend somewhere between $100,000 and $300,000 in advertising for you to come to a free seminar. True story. That's not per a year, that per a perspective market, per New York city, per Miami, per Los Angeles. These advertisements are trying to get people to come to these free seminars. Each seminar has a different name and angle, but I am not going to get into all of that because they all follow the same free seminar model.
How They Make Their Money
If the seminar is free, then how are they making money? They make money by selling you something. Whether it is a course or an additional seminar, they are going to try to get you to buy something to make sure that they are not losing money. To break even on $200,00 or $300,000 in advertising, let alone the cost of the hotel, they need to sell whatever it is they are offering. That means that everything that they say is going to be toward selling, not necessarily educating.
If you are looking to purely learn from the seminars with no intention of buying, free seminars are still a waste of time. They're not necessarily going to teach you anything, because the majority of what they're going to share is what I call noise. Noise is not truth. It's maybe a little bit of truth but stretched in a biased way to sell, sell, sell. They're not going to tell you the most negative things about the business because that may not help you to buy or if they do say something negative, it was all calculated.
This is a masterfold machine they've put together for many of these companies. Everything that they say and do is completely scripted in order to sell whatever they are intending to sell you. The speakers are in fact, some of the greatest sales people you will ever meet.
They are not Real Estate Investors
These speakers are not real investors. Some of them may say they are, but spending 5-6 days a week in a hotel or on the road speaking, means they are not busy real estate investing. I am not in the seminar business at all because it is not efficient. I wouldn't be able to balance my time because I invest locally and mentor others. If I was out traveling. living out of a suitcase, then I would not have time to invest in real estate. Plus, that is not true freedom, that is prison. I want to spend time with family and enjoying my hobbies.
If the speakers are not real estate investors, they're sales people, and in some cases they're not even good sales people. I remember I was reading an article where this particular organization had a speaker who worked at Buffalo Wild Wings when he wasn't on the road speaking. He wasn't necessarily a real estate investor.If the free seminar is geared towards sell, sell, sell, the speakers are fine-tuned sales people. What that means is you're getting noisy information or you're getting information that could be completely wrong but it's helpful for them to sell. Everything about the model, even the temperature in the room, the way the seats are designed, is geared around you buying. If you show up, that's a big step. They have all these psychological things they're doing to you so that you will buy, buy, buy.
Why They Do It
First of all, they do it because people ask for it. People ask me all the time, "Phil, when are you coming to New York or Texas or California or Ohio, Michigan? When are you coming next, Phil? I want to come to your seminar." My answer is , "I don't do seminars. I'm not coming. I'll probably be surfing or fishing or investing in my own deals or mentoring one of my students. I'm not traveling up there.
They're doing it because people want it and they're also doing it because it's profitable. This business model has made a lot of money for a lot of companies over a long period of time. One particular company in the news a little while ago, 2002 to 2012, earned $500 million gross revenue with just one of those seminar companies. This is all public record that I'm sharing with you. If you dug deep enough, you can confirm this information.
What should you do instead?
You can learn a lot from the internet. I understand that there's a lot of noise in the internet as well but you can get to the signal. Signal would be something like certain videos on Youtube. I am a bit biased, but my videos have been proven to be the best in this industry.
A 30 year real estate investing veteran, who was actually a competitor of mine back in Nashville, sent me an email recently, that he recommended his son watch every one of my videos. He said, "You can always teach an old dog new tricks. " I thought that was such a great compliment.
Whether it's Youtube videos where you can look at the views, thumbs up, and the comments or Amazon books, where you can get Kindle books, and you look at the reviews. You have the ability now to choose what information you want to consume and when. Think about the free seminar model, you have to get in your car, drive over to a hotel, then they tell you what you need to hear, when you need to hear it, so you have no control over the consumption of the information. It's like watching the evening news as opposed to reading a newspaper. The great thing about a newspaper is that you can skim the pages and pick out the headlines of the articles you actually want to read. Whereas in the evening news, they give you all the negative murder stories first and at the very end, they tell the story about the dog that was saved from the breaking ice or whatever heartwarming story is at the end.
You can choose what information to absorb in your own time, while you're in bed watching your iPhone. That's why I do what I do when I deliver my information. It's because the model is so much better than this old, antiquated free seminar model.
This could be a game-changer for you if you've been a "seminar junkie", that goes from seminar to seminar. You can do your friends and family a favor if they're interested in going just say, "Hey, as opposed to going to some seminars for free, how about you go online and read the right free books, watch the right free videos, and consume the right information. So many times people have told me that watching my Youtube videos, taught them so much more than when they went to a seminar that they actually paid for.
The big personalities used to promote these free real estate seminars are usually not even involved in the program. They just do what's called a licensing agreement. They license their name. They may go attend a free seminar but they literally just put their name up to receive a small percentage of the over-all earnings.
If we're talking about a local attorney who is putting on a little workshop on how to do a 10-31 exchange and they're going to charge you $20 or something, that's completely different. That's fantastic. I'm talking about these free real estate seminars that you see coming in town. You know which ones I'm talking about.
Mike Doby says
I have attended seminars in the past and yes they are expensive and may be a waste of time. But how can you not like Tom Vu “come to my semina” after seeing him on the boat with all the bikini babes or driving his Rolls Royce in his infomercials. But I think if you learn one thing that makes you money or what not to do it can be worth something. I have not been to seminars in years and I think what you are doing Phil is incredible. I really get tremendous value with your podcast emails and cannot thank you enough.
I totally agree w you Phil. You can stay at home & watch your videos for free at your leisure. 1 thing w the seminar is that you can get good leads from other investors.
Phil Pustejovsky says
No, you can’t. Any serious investors with actual good leads are not in attendance. You can run into other brand new wannabee investors who don’t know what they are doing, though.
Brian Holmes says
I’ve been to a couple of these free seminars and I totally agree with you. I would never go to another one again. The last one I went to (and I do mean the last one!). The first half hour or so the speaker was very nice and then the whole atmosphere changed and it became all about the initial $200 training which I’m sure probably leads to the $1000 training and so on. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of those. The admission is free but their directive is clear. Sell, sell sell!
Abbie Stancato says
You Are On The Mark Again…
You are an exception to the rule for leadership and mentoring. Investors should save their money and watch your library of hard-knocks videos. Much of my years of learning has been the study of your video library!
Thank you! Keep up the good work and God bless!
Even though I am late responding to this, it’s the truth! Very well written. These seminars are a waste of time and money. They entice you with promises of lamborghinis and mansions and then when you are there they try to rope you in using dubious sales tactics. I was almost tempted to shell out $$$ before I came up your article. Thanks
Jeisa Marjorie says
I just want tell you, Mr Phil, thank you for save my time. I will watch all your vídeos.
David V. says
You sure hit the nail on the head about the free seminar circuit.
Thanks for stepping up to educate the uninformed and gullable!
Phil, Thanks for all you do to teach us about real estate. thanks
Robert G. says
Phil , I’m glad I saw your video on Free Seminars. Keep your videos coming I learn a lot from them .
Phil, thank you for your info. Thanks for your wisdom.
Laura A Ash says
Thank you so very much for verifying what we had to learn the hard way. I’m very happy to have seen this video of yours. Every single time I watch one of your videos, I gain a little more confidence. I can’t thank you enough. Please keep the videos coming!
ive attended many seminars,and utube and the books I buy ,new and used are the best way to learn and use my time so that the information is used for attainment towards making money and hopefully prevent costly mistakes.
Phil, thanks for all the information and rock on!
Gregory lebron says
Hey Phil thanks for the info …. I definitely agree that free seminars suck… I had my fair share of free seminars they are a waste of time … All they do is lure you in and try to sell you a program thats worth about 10 k and up … And is not educational at all …. Thanks for your videos ..you tell it how it is …I haven’t invested with your programs yet but I will very soon…. Thanks for your insight Phil ✌🏻
David Dass says
Thanks Mr. Phil you’re so right about these seminars, all they want to do is sell you something that don’t work. I’m glad that I’m able to watch your videos & learn about real estate.
Mary Stead says
You are absolutely correct. I have attended several free seminars looking to be educated and then I came to the same conclusion that you did, that all they wanted to do was sell, sell, sell. The other reason I have attended was to meet other investors. Well, that really has not happened as they act the same as they do in REIA meetings. They clam up and are stand offish even if I am kind, patient and just want to be a friend. So when I get an invitation in the mail, I throw it away immediately so I do not get tricked into going, it is a waste of my time. Thank you
Catherine T. Murray says
again you opened my eyes to all the clutter(RE) out there. Your insight is very valuable to my new investing business, as the days go by, I try to listen to everyone to see what they say, try to reconcile one aspect over another then wonder why I’m confused. Those seminars were draining to me so I stopped going. Thank you for your help
Anthony Smith says
Everything you said is the truth Seminars want you to spend money don’t have and your stuck with all this books and no one to help you if you get into a jam,and keep up the good work you are doing I’ll be watching.
Ben Crossley says
My wife & I recently went to Than Merrill’s “Free Seminar” and signed up for his 3 day coarse on real estate investing. The 3 day coarse cost us $200 for both of us so i don’t feel like we are that big of suckers. The problem is we heard at the 3 day coarse they are constantly up selling there 25K & 40K coarse. Even though we have no intentions of getting sucked in i wonder if we’re making a bad decision attending this 3 day seminar? You seem to be very honest so i would appreciate your opinion even tho i think i already know your answer.
Emily Busey Hill says
I left a comment earlier…did I say Id went to a seminar by fortune builders or freedom mentor? I have a newborn and not all the cylinders are firing, haha! It was fortune builders, obviously …
Emily Busey Hill says
When I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life as a I transitioned away from being a full time homemaker, I attended a free 1 hr “seminar” from Fortune Builders. Long story short, it and the “3 day weekend” I subsequently signed up for (for I think $300) were super interesting and inspiring and literally changed my life. No I’m not making a half a million dollars three years later–100% my fault, I just didn’t keep it simple and so I crashed, and got scared. (There was some other “stuff” going on too.) But my life overall is a million times better, and while I get my nerve back I’m at least working a enjoyable job as a real estate agent assistant which I had never imagined before, instead of at a warehouse or a poorly-run camp for juvenile delinquents (I did do that for a while!) Plus I eventually found the fabulous free Phil Pustejovsky and said “here’s where it’s at! 😁 So going to that particular ONE worked for me. However, I attended just a couple more from other companies and thought they were basically a waste. Yes it would be better to do the education from home, but without hearing that ad on the radio, I never would have known what it was I was looking for…I guess that first one was just the right timing for me. Consequently I’m not sure that they’re all a waste of time–though not necessarily disagreeing that they’re also for suckers, lol!
Jason Izzi says
I needed this video a day earlier!! UGH! I just went to one yesterday 8/17/16 at the Best Western in Bensalem, PA. It was given by Scott and Aimee Yancey the people from A&E’s Flipping Veagas. It was an absolute waste of time. It was one big Infomercial. They never really taught anything. They took you right to the point of almost teaching you something. Now get this, after the real estate portion we had a break then they bought in a Stock guy selling a stocks program for the stinking brokerage they apparently own. The realestate training was 1,997 but the special was since we were there it was ONLY $997. for a 3 day weekend course. Now, this Jackwagon comes in to do his portion of which was the stocks program. This was also $1997. Now, if you bought the real estate portion it was ONLY $297. What a JOKE. Absolute waste of time.
I have applied to Phil’s Mentor program. I am hoping to hear from him. PLEASE COME SAVE ME PHIL!!!!
veronica griffiths says
I agree with everything you said. It was spot on. Sadly i wanted to get started in Real Estate investing and did not know where to start. I got a flyer in the mail with Terek & Christina on it. I went to the seminar and sure enough with my eagerness to learn spent my money for another 3 day seminar. I went to the 3 day seminar and almost purchased another package for $40,000.00; because now I was even more eager to learn and forgot about something as MAGICAL as the computer. The morning before i went to the last day of the seminar, I thought there has to be a better way. I also thought i can invest this money in my first deal as a Real Estate Investor. I got onto the computer and your video was the first video i watched. I have learnt so much from your videos. Thank You
Health, Wisdom, Wealth
Gary Love says
I don’t care what anyone says, this dude Phil is 100% correct. Seminars are a bunch of bull shit. Thanks for putting these assholes with seminars on blast
Have great day and blessed day. Gary.
Thank you Phil. I have just recently gotten more serious about real estate investing and i have noticed all of the “noise” floating around out there. It really is sad to see. I enjoy your videos and they have by far been more informational and useful then any of these programs or seminars out here geared towards taking advantage of the everyday sucker.
Much of what you say is spot on. I don’t go to many of these free seminars but when I do, I know going in the following:
1. That the “big name” is not likely to show up, so I’m not disappointed when they don’t show up.
2. That the spin is going to be all positive, all good, all day.
3. That the idea behind these things is to sell something, anything, everything, be it a system, a boot camp, a bus tour, etc. So my mindset going in is “I’m not buying anything” And I make a point to the salesperson, I don’t carry my wallet inside the venue……I leave my wallet locked in my car. If I get trapped at the sign up table, which I avoid, I reach into my pocket and pull it out empty. Funny how the salesperson miraculously disappears. I have had times where I’ve gotten some tidbits of information that I can actually use.
What I do like about these things is invariably the speaker asks the room questions like “who here is an investor” or “who here has closed a deal” or “how many” or “what niche”, etc. I watch to see who answered what question and use that as a way to network with local investors. Plus walking away with the occasional free iPod doesn’t hurt either!
Keep up the good work Phil!
Phil Pustejovsky says
In the seminar business, they would refer to what you do as “poaching” 🙂
Joel Herrera says
My son and I recently attended a big discount seminar that was reduced from $2500 to $250 but all it was was a sales pitch for their program for $38,000! It’s all a big sales pitch with lots of noise. They even showed us how to jack up our credit card limits to pay for their program. Thanks for keeping them honest Phil. Joel
when I watch your videos, I feel like I am cheating you out of some money. They are so valuable. I have put a thousand dollars on my credit card in one of those seminars. That was so many years ago. I have a lady friend who took home equity loan of 25 thousand for realestate education. She was so frustrated at the end of it all that she today does not have any investment in Real estate
Joe Neilson says
Totally agree! I recently went to a free seminar to see what they were selling. It was “sell, sell, sell”, I left 30 minutes into it. Waste of time. Unfortunately the real estate market is filled with this “fluff” (nice word for it). They take advantage of peoples greed or eagerness to make “easy money” to sell a course that usually does not work.
Jerry Wolking says
I am a real Estate agent of 23 years plus. I have initiated and negotiated hundreds of deals . I specialize in investment real estate. For years I have watched these seminars come and go . I have even attended and I must say I learned a lot of things , In fact learned things that most don’t know exist. . So I can say they were helpful. That being said,. I have been watching your videos for a few months to see if you were real. I have not seen one of your videos that I disagree with . In fact I now recommend them to my clients. Phil I just want to say thank you for what you do. I do endorse your teachings and your thoughts for what that’s worth. I enjoy watching and learning from and with you. Well done. Here’s to truthful real estate .
Yep, very true. Sadly I have attended few of them thinking to learn something lol..
Robert Mixon says
You are soooo right because I attended one of these seminars and it was like you say ALL noise . They wanted me to invest $2000 and attend a school in Vagus for three days. needless to say I have been watching your videos and you saved me a lot of money. Doing well on what you offer for really FREE..Thanks
jeffrey doto says
Great video….Have been invited to attend 2 such meetings within 20 miles of my home…I had already gotten involved with Freedom Mentor, and had a `gut feeling` that it was not going to be what I wanted. This video proves it…Thanks, Phil.
David Wood says
In June when my interest in REI was just starting to warm up we received a post card with the Tarek-Christina dog-and-pony-show coming to our little town for a free “seminar”. Of course T&C weren’t there. But a slick carnival barker Mike Vogel did the hard-sell hawking of a three-day workshop in Louisville in July. The room was extremely cold. Then came time for the 10-minute break when the sheeple followed the leader to the back of the room to sign up for this $6000 weekend for a bargain price of $1997. We didn’t take the bait and left at intermission.
I agree that it is for suckers but after going to so many and even being a sucker a time or two, I disagree that it is a waste of time. If you look at it creatively this is a good place to network with like minded people just starting in the business. I go to them now to meet hungry people that want to get into real estate. I start a conversation with them and exchange phone numbers. Some of these people may even end up becoming clients or business partners. They can even refer you to their friends that need our services. I never buy what is sold anymore but I do learn something new from the seminar that I can use in my business.
So…wat do u recommend?
I have been on my own…done pretty well….lost a bunch in t crash.but was able to save a bit and start again.only because i think i had originally made some very good decisions and am very dedicated…now im in a fairly good position..with alot of good projects in t making…but im burnedout…need some help!
I identify w all t “reality” u seem to reveal in your videos
Again…i ask wat do u recommend?
Yes i feel that i have “freedom….but i am only fooling myself….i am a prisoner/slave and i hav dragged my children right along w me…alot of sacrifice!
How do “I enjoy???…”WE
I really dont know t meaning of that…??
Phil Pustejovsky says
The following is a compilation of my best video on YouTube. It’s a free video course: Creative Real Estate Investing and Flipping Houses
Del Walmsley says
Great review of the subject.
sue tovey says
Why should I take your word for gospel? What have you to gain?
Phil Pustejovsky says
Great questions! First, read the comments of 30 year real estate veterans about my videos and books (like on this comments page). They can decipher signal from noise as good as anyone. Also, you can make your own decision as to whether what I share is signal or noise. Second, I gain Apprentices ever-so-often to mentor and share profits with. But millions of people can gain true wisdom on this business through what I share, for free, regardless of whether they are personally mentored by me and my team or not. It’s a MUCH better model. You can gain signal when you want, where you want, and of the topics you choose.