Property investment can bring huge profits and revenue to those who do it right, but for those who make mistakes, it can be costly too. While thousands of property investment courses promise financial freedom and piles of money, people need to consider whether the course they have signed up for is actually going to provide them with the support and knowledge they need to succeed.
There are legitimate, expert-led property investment courses available to those ready to leap into this career field. But for every real course, there are ten con courses waiting to take money from eager investors and feed them incorrect advice or even trap them in pyramid schemes.
These con courses are often targeted at vulnerable young people who are promised a career full of cash. They are usually operated by charismatic individuals with cult-like followings, making them appear legitimate and successful to outsiders. However, these con courses typically share similar characteristics to MLM (multi-level-marketing) or pyramid selling, practices that have received criticism over the years.
Lewis Hackney, a marketing expert and founder and chief executive of Etch’d, has spoken out to Property Investor Today about these ‘get-rich quick’ schemes, which he says are led by ‘bogus gurus’. He previously called for the property industry to be doing far more to self-regulate to prevent these self-appointed gurus of property investment, creating these con courses which promise to make millionaires overnight.
There are no regulations around property investment courses, so anyone, in theory, can run one without having their credentials checked first. These courses often charge anywhere from £2,000 to £15,000 – usually as an upfront payment – for information freely available online.
Thousands of people have paid these prices and received nothing but inaccurate or inadequate advice about property investment. In one tragic story, a 37-year old former soldier and army reservist Danny Bitcher committed suicide after losing his £13,000 life savings on a property training course that promised him financial freedom.
Hackney has offered some top tips on avoiding property investment con courses so that budding investors can tell the difference between the real thing and a scam.
He says to look out for:
- A backstory that doesn’t add up: If the property guru claims to have gone from rags to riches in a suspiciously short amount of time, then this is often too unrealistic to be true.
- Claims that anybody can become an expert: Con artists will make it seem like anybody can start their own property investment business the next day. They gloss over the hard work and effort that is required in property investment. Claims that anyone can become an expert is oversimplifying things.
- Promises of unbelievable returns: if you are promised unrealistic returns, this is an obvious sign that something isn’t right. It can be easy to fall for the promise of money – but don’t become a victim.
- The course itself: consider the setup of the course. Would someone claiming to have the secrets to property investment be telling their story in the basement of a hotel for a couple of grand?
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