Consumerist Attends Robert Allen's Get Rich Quick In Real Estate Seminar

I wanted to find out what Robert Allen’s “get-rich-quick in real estate with no money down” promise was all about, so when I saw a full page ad in the Daily Post advertising one of his free seminars recently, I went and checked it out. I’ll give you a full run-down later, but here’s the quick and dirty, and what I can tell about how the darn thing seems to function.

The way they’re able to set up people who have no job or money down or credit score or clue what they’re doing is to avoid the banking system entirely. Instead, they have a book of private lenders who will invest in your deal. These lenders are themselves “graduates” of the Robert Allen institute. According to the presenter, these graduates just have made so much money in real estate that they don’t need to deals anymore, they just need places to invest their money.

The whole thing hinges around you finding properties in preforeclosure and then negotiating with the desperate owner and the lender to get a short sale. Then you’re supposed to clean up the curb appeal and turn around and sell it for a little bit more. Basically the good ol’ fix n’ flip scenario. But wait, you ask, how do I find houses in preforeclosure?

Luckily the Robert Allen institute has a database they give you access to that shows you all the houses across the country in preforeclosure status. They charge $240 a year for this database, but you can get it for a year free if you sign up for a 3-day workshop class. The 3-day workshop costs $3995. Except today you can get a one-time discount of $1000. And if you get a friend or companion to sign up with you, they get 50% off. The presenter encouraged us to put it on Mastercard and only pay $40 a month. Within 4 months, he promised we would close a deal with a net profit of tens of thousands of dollars, and we could just pay off the Mastercard then. He had this overworked manner of emphasizing the syllables in polysyllabic words. Mastercard became Master-Card. He said things like “that strat-e-gy was very at-trac-tive.”

The presenter talked about how important it was to put together the perfect short-sale package with all the right forms in the right order. He clasped that blue plastic binder and believed in it like it was the newly discovered epistles of Jesus. But I felt pretty confident that whatever was in that binder, or in his special CDs packed with legal documents, I could find for free online.

So what was in the seminar? Very basic information that teased to the prospect of learning more basic information at an inflated price tag, along with a pitch to join the Robert Allen multi-level-marketing real-estate pyramid, just like I figured. I’ll give a more thorough analysis in a future post.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.