Guru Review = Newbie Advice - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by $Cash$ on July 12, 2002 at 14:57:11:


I think Ron wears glasses, maybe more like Manny, Moe and Jack. “The Pep Brothers”.


Guru Review = Newbie Advice - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by $Cash$ on July 10, 2002 at 18:38:56:

Ronald *Starr asked me a question in an early post. I already replied, but I don?t think far enough, so here goes the whole enchilada.

Education would surely be a key ingredient in becoming a successful Real Estate Investor. Whether it is from the advice given over this board or taken from those teaching real estate investing courses.

I have spent time researching archive articles written by those who I felt contributed their real estate investing knowledge, expertise and willingness to help others. I did not agree on all the views expressed but, for the most part, I think they were very good and helpful: there were some that were exceptional. As such, I would not expect everyone would agree with all of my views. A ?newbie? in the real estate investing industry (this looks like it is becoming an industry) would do well to review some of these excellent articles before asking their first question.

There seems to be a small debate on how one individual would become successful in our industry while just starting out.

The following are my views expressed solely for the purpose of hopefully creating a better understanding of what I think it takes to become a successful Real Estate Investor:

One of my many endeavors was that of being a salesman at a television station. When I started there it was a small potatoes station among the giants, ABC, CBS and NBC. Since I was a salesman, I studied on how to become a successful one. Within one year as I applied my skills learned, rose rapidly through the titles Sales Manager, General Sales Manager, etc. to eventually an Owner. With the help and guidance (team work) from the other managers at the station, we became the Number One independent station in the United States within one year. Not only did we all, as a team, need to learn sales, but also marketing, basic law, promotions, public service, programming and advertising.

Having said all of that, I would now like to critique some of the advertising web sites of the ?Guru?s? for the new person just getting started. The question that comes up quite frequently is ?which one to choose??

From my thoughts to my fingers to your eyes:

Hard sell: do it today. If you do it today I will knock off $500 or combine from Column ?X?, ?Y? and ?Z? and you will only have to pay $1,999.95. They look like a Walmart commercial with the smiley face.

Testimonials: written by, I think, my Aunt Minnie who loves to give out testimonials on how well anything works. You can call her at the home for the Feeble Minded if you need a testimonial.

Checks written for a Gazillion Dollars not showing the reverse side of the check where it shows who really cashed it. Or better yet, let?s black line or white out what the check was for. My computer can write checks too.

My course really, really works, I was a Flea Flicker and now I live in this mansion (show picture of mansion). Here?s my yacht (show picture of yacht). Here?s my Roll?s Royce (show picture of Rolls Royce). It?s like the Automobile ads, ?We accept all Credit Applications?. Of course they do; it doesn?t mean you?re approved. How about this one ?we have an (99.9%) approval rate?. What happened to that .01 % or what is ?approved?? In other words, they really don?t guarantee anything except your money back on a down payment and after reading a few posts lately, that?s hard to do.

?Boot Camp?. Yes, I did attend a Boot Camp by invitation of the United States Marine Corp. I went through 12 weeks (three months) of hell. If you make a mistake there, you get a rifle butt upside your head, you don?t make the same mistake twice. When I graduated, ?I was a trained killer? after only twelve weeks. If you can learn in Two Days or Four Days how to sell, buy, negotiate, fill out forms, decide whether you need a Corporation, etc., marketing, advertising, basic law and things I forgot to list, then you?re a better man than I, Charlie Brown.

I would like to see a Guru web site ad that said, ?Contact XYZ Title Company, Escrow Company or County Recorders Office, there you could really find out how well I have done.?

Or better yet, have the new REI person take a test to see if they are adaptable to real estate investing before sending in their hard earned money. Do not let them become that (.01%) more like (90%) that don?t make it. Have not seen one Guru that posts his failure rate or justify why. Accredited Vocational Schools offering educational courses must post their credentials, success and failure rate. Would this not help immensely in the decision making process for a student looking at real estate training courses to begin their career.

So my advice to the new person is, if being a salesperson (for the Ladies) is not your cup of tea, you will have a tough time becoming a successful Real Estate Investor. That?s why I recommend buying an inexpensive book on sales. Read the book and see if this is what you really want to do. If it is, read the posts, review the archives and ask questions because the majority of people on this site are there to help.

Certainly there are courses out there that can help. I did not mean to discredit anyone of them, just do not know if the material is worth the money. I personally like one of the Attorney?s styles (I do not like Attorneys as a whole) which posts here. Do not know the man personally, but he appears to be knowledgeable, has a good sense of humor and cares by not charging for his billable time; highly unusual.


P.S. My pet peeve is the sneakily way it?s done: Does anyone know anything about Joe Guru at The ?newbies? will even catch this one. I hope there isn?t a Joe Guru out there because I just gave him a plug.

In defense of gurus - Posted by Dwan Bent

Posted by Dwan Bent on July 12, 2002 at 24:13:23:

Intersting questions you pose… who to follow… who to trust…can a non-sales person be a good investor.

Here is my take on the situation. I am considered by many to be a guru in the investing world. I am more than happy to give the name of my title company and the names of my testimonials to anyone who asks. Most gurus I know do not use Aunt Minnie as a testimonial as they may be called to prove it someday. And, I will gladly show the backs of my checks. I’ve had some really big ones!!

Any “newbie” that really wants to learn the investing business should read as much as they can, attend as many seminars as they can and yes, even attend boot-camps. You would not operate on someone without going to school so why would you risk all your hard-earned money by having no education. The best investors are not salepeople… they are people who truly want to help folks who have gotten themselves in a bad situation. I have bought and sold over 1,000 houses as well as taught hundreds of seminars. It is possible to be good at both. I teach with a good heart… I want you, the investor, to make money. I buy/sell with a good heart… I want to help the homeowner begin a new life. Everything I do is win/win.

I have to agree with one thing… there are a lot of gurus who used to sell real estate and began making so much money on seminars that they forgot who they are. That’s a sad, but true fact. If you want to follow someone… make sure they are still investing and find out why they teach. Do they truly want to help you or are the consumed with greed.

One last thing… the only reason anyone fails at investing is because they don’t work the system. You will make as much money as you are willing to work for. Buying training material and putting it in the closet will not make you any money. You will make or break yourself. I have coached thousands of students and the ones who work it, make money at it. Real estate investing a wondeful business… due your due diligence, read as much as you can, be cautious, and go for it…you’ll be glad you did.

I have not regretted one single day in this business… well maybe one here and there… like when a deal falls apart:-). For the most part it has brought be much fiunancial success and I’ll be happy to show the backs of my checks to prove it:-).

Best of luck to all you newbies. I remember the fun of being new. Don’t get me wrong… it’s fun being seasoned too. The deals are more interesting the more you know.

Good luck.


Dwan Bent

A Naive Question… - Posted by Lee

Posted by Lee on July 11, 2002 at 12:43:17:

Ugh…Does this mean that I cannot ask a question on the Guru Forum about a course or publisher without looking like I am promoting the same?

This is usually a good way to receive feedback about the material from someone who is familiar with it before I spend my hard earned dollars.

How should I ask a question like this if I am truly seeking information?


Re: Guru Review = Newbie Advice - Posted by JoeS

Posted by JoeS on July 10, 2002 at 22:20:19:

Some good comments…but I agree with Ron that one does not have to be a salesperson to be successful. Although I can hold my own in a minor sales presentation I am certainly am not “Mr. Super Salesman.” I simply buy properties at below market value, fix them up and sell retail.

My buyers see for themselves the type of work I have done to the property. I never have had to “sell” a house…they sell themselves. I do not want a buyer to feel that they were pressured into buying one of my houses. That only creates problems later on down the road. Good comments. My 2 cents.

Re: Guru Review = Newbie Advice - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on July 10, 2002 at 20:43:29:


I appreciate your honesty and effort to help beginners here.

I do disagree with your view that a non-salesperson will have a “tough” time becoming a successfull real estate investor. My theme is that there are a lot of different ways to make money with real estate. One has to use one’s resources to create the success. I do feel that being a good salesperson is a very strong Power that can be used in a lot of different situations to help become successful.

However, there are approaches to investing that do not require much sales skills. I buy bargains at foreclosure sales. No sales skill required, just outbid the others but only when it makes sense. Let them take the ones on which they are paying too much to make it attractive to me. Then, my property manager will take care of the rental activities.

Also areas where sales skills are less important: fix-up properties. If you do the work yourself. I suspect that paper, note-investing may be more of a numbers game than a sales game. Although I suspect that even here a better salesperson will do better than a less good salesperson.

I saw a multimillionaire who bought junk properties at tax sales and then resold them through his own auctions in Los Angeles. Attracted 400-500 people with advertising and then auctioned off the property to the suckers. Some of the properties may actually have been good. I don’t think he and his wife cared.

So, while one can use sales skills to help become more successful, there are other routes to riches in real estate than just sales skills, in my opinion.

Good InvestingRon Starr*

BTW–500 grand - Posted by Donald

Posted by Donald on July 10, 2002 at 20:17:51:


If this guy is making over 500 grand a year in real estate, why is he wasting his time pushing a $797.00 home study course?

Hey Pal - Posted by Donald

Posted by Donald on July 10, 2002 at 20:13:09:


I know for a fact you were not referring to me when I posted and asked for some info on Chuck (you know who)! ie. the NEW GURU
BTW, I don’t work for Chuck (you know who), I work for myself, thank you.

Re: Guru Review = Newbie Advice - Posted by Mike

Posted by Mike on July 10, 2002 at 19:00:46:

real good post…real good

Re: In defense of gurus - Posted by Patrick

Posted by Patrick on July 12, 2002 at 03:35:54:

Do you have any suggestions of who you think would provide the best information and the best way for a newbie to get started l/o ect. and if you were a newbie and know what you know now which road would you take
Thanks patrick(AK)

Re: A Naive Question… - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by $Cash$ on July 11, 2002 at 13:03:38:


Glad to meet you. What I am saying is if you want to ask a question about Joe Guru, there is no need to advertise his web site His website has nothing to do with how good or bad he is.

Just ask your question about Joe or address it to Joe.

Example: Has anyone taken Joe Guru’s course on basket weaving and was it any good?

When you add the web site it looks like someone is promoting the Guru or the Guru is promoting himself. Sneaky way to get free advertising and from reading this boards editorial policy it is not allowed.


Re: Guru Review = Newbie Advice - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by $Cash$ on July 10, 2002 at 22:33:11:


Yes, I over looked areas of REI that do not require a person to become a super salesperson very unthoughtful of me.

You are correct, they do sell themselves, you do not have to pressure anyone into buying and for the reasons you stated.

Thank You, $Cash$

You’ve seen a few Gurus in your time… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on July 11, 2002 at 19:01:23:

on a percentage basis, how many gurus make more money selling books and tapes than they do buying and selling real estate?


David Krulac
Central Pennsylvania

Your comments are always welcome. - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by $Cash$ on July 10, 2002 at 21:37:40:

Ronald * Starr,

Yes, there are other ways one becomes a successful REI that do not require them to become super salespersons.

I was not trying to sells “sales”, as much as trying to have a person prove to themselves they are able to do it (buying and selling) or prove to others they can teach it.


Re: BTW–500 grand - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by $Cash$ on July 10, 2002 at 23:18:03:


A pleasure to meet you. I think you answered your own question about this guy. Why would he be pushing a
course? Or, now that he’s made it, maybe he wants to share his success with others for $797.00.


Re: In defense of gurus - Posted by Dwan Bent

Posted by Dwan Bent on July 13, 2002 at 24:27:53:

Hi Patrick,

The best to start for any newbbie is with my course:-). Kidding… I think the best place for any newbie is to join the local REIA. The REIA’s are designed to offer a place for investors, new and seasoned, to meet, network, and do deals. Another nice thing about REIA’s is that the REIA leader weeds out the bad seeds and you can feel confident that most investors you meet there will be okay to do business with. Also, REIA’s have national speakers several times a year who teach all sorts of great topics.

One last peice of advice… determine what you want to do… foreclosures, leases, rehabs, tax liens…etc. Once you make a decision, attend as many seminars as you can and buy everthing you can get your hands on related to your topic. If you pick up just one tip from any material you invest in and it makes you money, it was well worth it. Ben Franklin said… the only thing more expenseve that education is ignorance…

This is no industry to be ignorant in. One bad deal can cost you your entire life savings. Read, read, and read… then proceed with caution.

Best of luck to you.


Dwan Bent

O.K. - Posted by Lee

Posted by Lee on July 11, 2002 at 13:20:03:

I see what you mean now.

It can be a little tricky trying to give as much information as you can in your question without crossing the line. I guess that someone who is familiar with the course probably already knows about the website.

Thanks for the response. I was starting to feel guilty for asking questions about materials that interested me. I’d hate to loose this resource.

Best of luck in your efforts,


Re: You’ve seen a few Gurus in your time… - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on July 11, 2002 at 23:38:18:

David Krulac----------------

Gee, I don’t know. I have not been privy to their financial statements.

I am sure some have done much better at selling educational materials. Dave Del Dotto comes to mind. He didn’t do much real estate himself.

I’m not sure I would find a lot of fault with somebody who made more money from selling educational materials if they actually had some investing experience.

The “guru” I know best is John Beck. He has actually bought thousands of properties from tax delinquency sales, mostly with certificates. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he and his wife had a very lucrative seminar business going, at which time he cut way back on his investing time. But he enjoys the research and the teaching. Lately, he has gone back to doing more investing. But, I would not be able to judge where he has made more money.

I think it is possible to tell who has done it from reading the materials. Although some people who probably have done a lot of deals are not necessarily very good writers. I took a one-day seminar of Jack Miller’s and it was clear to me that he was a very experienced investor. But, his written materials, which I thumbed through, were second rate. I did not see a single publication that I felt that I had to buy.

It is hard to find somebody who can combine doing investing, writing good materials and then make a good sales speech to a group so they will want to buy the materials. Those are three different skills.

Some of the people who know the most never reveal their thoughts and secrets. Never write anything, do not do seminars. I think Ron LeGrand has interviewed some successful investors on audio tapes. That seems like a good idea to me. If they have never, and probably will never, commit their thoughts to paper, at least we have an opportunity to learn from them.

I think we need to be greateful to those who will take the time to produce decent educational materials which we can use.

There may be some other people who can answer your question better. I remember a post a few months back about a “guru” bragging about how much money he made. The poster had sat and talked with the “guru” informally.

Good Investing************Ron Starr******************

Ron * sees a Guru everyday… - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on July 11, 2002 at 23:02:17:

when he looks in the mirror… not to mention a living piece of RE history, so I hear…

Re: Ron * sees a Guru everyday… - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in no CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in no CA) on July 11, 2002 at 23:46:24:


Oh-oh. I’d have to buy a new, bigger hat, if I ever wore hats. My glasses will barely fit on my head now.

Ok, what are you up to here? You’ve got more money now than I likely will ever have. You may even stuff your mattresses with $100 bills for all I know. So you can’t be getting ready to hit me up for a loan.

What favor are you readying to hit me with?

I never shave and don’t spend much time looking at myself in the mirror, actually.

I do try to understand what is going on with real estate investing. But it seems to me that many of the other posters here are doing that also. I feel I have a lot in the 18 months I have been reading CREONLINE.COM and some other similar websites.

Now I am worried about what request you are going to be sending my way.

Good Investing and Good PostingRon Starr******