“Media still not quite getting the whole story of Trump University” (John Reed)

With both Marco Kozlowski and Nick Vertucci running programs in Toronto Ontario this week it is useful to have another look at what is going on with the hotel real estate seminar phenomenon.

A March 12, 2016 posting on the JohnReed.com website nicely details how the real estate seminar industry works:

The link: http://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-real-estate-investment-blog/114332355-media-still-not-quite-getting-the-whole-story-of-trump-unviersity

Some quotes from the posting are below. John Reed’s comment about “Utah” certainly applies to Kozlowski, as the address used in his emails is “765 East 340 South American Fork, Utah 84003 United States ”

“Similarly, the Utah companies provide the various celebrity gurus with a turnkey series of beginner real estate investor seminars: An initial free evening seminar, a three-day paid seminar costing almost always $1,495 or $1,492 or thereabouts, followed by four-day bus tours where they urge you to buy properties which the guru has an ownership interest in or gets a commission for selling you, followed by ever-more expensive “diamond” or “platinum” packages that include seminars and “mentoring.” I think the top ones can cost you $90,000 or so. “

Actually, Marco Kozlowski’s At Will Events / US Property Network / US Property Success package will cost you $100,000.

Diamond or Platinum 2

….  Now that the Trump University Playbook is available, we can see how the various programs stay very close to the script. As John Reed writes:

“Only the celebrity branding varies, not the content or refund policies

The content of the seminars are the same no matter who the celebrity guru is the brand used. The “instructors” are mostly, or fully, commissioned high-pressure salesmen. The purpose of the whole exercise is to part you from as much of the credit limits of your credit cards as possible then discard you.
They make you sign a contract. Why? Because that prevents you from reversing the credit-card charges when you figure out you’ve been had. They also pressure you to fill out a favorable evaluation on the instructor or program and/or record a verbal evaluation with the person you are evaluating listening in and making sure you know he’s listening in. After getting that A+ evaluation from you when you are still under their spell, they taunt you with it when you later demand your money back and threaten to sue.
The gurus have nothing to do with the content, instructor selection, refund policies, etc. They just provide branding: their name, picture, video for commercials.
If you go to a lot of these, you may well see over time the same instructors as Brand A teachers, Brand B teachers, and Brand C teachers, teaching the exact same stuff each time. They move around from one guru to another frequently like Major League Baseball free agents. And the differences in how they teach are about the same as the difference between how a Major League shortstop plays shortstop when he is at the Dodgers, the Bluejays, and the Giants.

In other words, when you attend the games of those three teams over the years, you will see guy X playing shortstop the exact same way he always did at each team. Only his uniform changes. Similarly, if you go to the seminars of three different celebrity real estate investment gurus, you may see the exact same instructor at each one teaching the exact same material the exact same way even though each of the brands claims to be unique and superior to the competitors.”

“Media still not quite getting the whole story of Trump University” (John Reed)

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