08 Oct No Networking or Soliciting at This Seminar
No Networking or Soliciting at this Seminar
George N. Skidis, Jr.
The announcement “No Networking or Soliciting at this Seminar” should always get your attention. Most of us will be the first to admit that when attending a seminar, paid for with our good green cash, we are there to learn something, not get sold the newest network marketing promotion or some other product by an audience member.
Based on this philosophy, your local association will not allow the sale of books, CD’s or another speaker’s products when a “national speaker” comes to address your group. This is fine as the speaker has made a commitment of time and energy to come and educate your association while traveling at their own expense. No other speaker with integrity would ever try to market or advertise when someone else is putting on the presentation or seminar and bearing all the expenses and costs involved. But some speakers take no solicitation or networking too far.
If you have never been to the free as seen on TV seminar do it at least once, but leave your credit cards at home. These guys are the real estate guru’s who will not come to a local association to speak. They have bigger fish to fry and set up free seminars to hook attendees, build rapport and get them to another pay to attend seminar in order to sell them an even bigger package. The main reason they say “No networking or Soliciting”.
So far my biggest mistake in attending a guru seminar was talking to another attendee, who it turned out lived about 10 miles from me. Due to a family commitment I had arrived late and did not hear the No Networking or Soliciting at this event speech. When introducing myself I told the three other students at the table that I belonged to the local landlord’s association and invited all of them to attend as my guest. Please take note, I did not hand out business cards, try to sell them any property or even mention that I was also a speaker. The only thing mentioned was that I was a member of a local landlord association.
Now this 60 second discussion did not happen in the seminar. It didn’t take place outside the meeting room. It happened at lunch in the hotel restaurant.
The trainer and his coaching staff (sales representatives) just happened to be at the next table.
Before I could get back into the seminar room, one of the “coaching staff” stopped me in the hallway and threatened to throw me out of the meeting if I didn’t stop soliciting their “students”. Since no business cards or phone numbers were exchanged at lunch the concept of soliciting seemed foreign to me. So after agreeing to be good they “allowed” me to return to my seat.
Not ten minutes later, during the seminar, the trainer went out of his way to attack me personally and landlord associations in general, claiming that all associations give bad advice and that the smart investors should only deal with the professional trainers, like him. After that there was no way I could leave, even though the next three hours were a review of the courses they could teach their students with no pertinent information provided. It was time to ride it out and see how bad things got.
Glad I stayed, because never in my life have I seen higher prices on materials similar to those currently available from other trainers.
On Sunday morning, day three of the seminar, the woman and her son (two of the three that I had lunch with) were now convinced that the speaker was an expert in all things. It appears she bought the Super Deluxe package, which cost just over $66,000.00, for the two of them. Being a good mother, she also wanted to bring her other son to the advanced training and that cost her $13,000.00 for him to attend as well. Her total credit card expense was around $79,000.00 and she hadn’t even bought her first property. She did get a free course of some type for being the first to make such a wise decision. If I understand this correctly she spent more on her training (credit card purchases) than I did on my first four investment properties.
If the trainer (he wasn’t even the Guru just the presenter) was that scared of a local landlord association polluting his personal fish barrel, he must have had a guilty conscience.
The best real estate investors I have known and the best “teachers and guru’s” have all been staunch supporters of National Real Estate Investors Association (NaReia) and the state and local landlord/investor associations. If the speaker is worried about networking and local associations, there may be other problems you should consider!
Be wary of out of town speakers and gurus with no association to the local Real Estate Investing Associations known as REIAs. Without a local connection there is no local support network
Here is a quote from my acquaintances. I went to ********. Spent $25,000 and got nothing, I joined my local REIA, Spent $150.00 and got everything.” Brian J. Baker.