Property Education Courses
There are many duff courses on property education around and financing programmes. And with the renewed interest in residential property as an investment their numbers are proliferating once again.
Most claim to offer the route to “financial freedom” usually by getting the punters to buy overpriced properties supplied by the same education company that is supplying the course or by using the latest dodgy financing technique.
Many of the companies behind such courses and programmes have crashed and burned over the years – all too often taking the investors money with them.
But why do large numbers of otherwise sane people opt for such courses when there is such good, reliable information out there – and independent advisors like us, who only give independent advice and who have no tie-ins at all to property sales.
At www.LettingFocus.com we have often wondered why people go on such courses and join such franchises and property investment programmes.
A lady who corresponded with me recently gave what I consider to be the most compelling insight into the mind set that makes people opt to be “educated” by such companies.
(In the end she didn’t sign up, but her insight was most enlightening and very honest). Here is her story:
“Before my husband and I went to the 2 hour information seminar I said they will try to sell us something and we won’t do it because it isn’t necessary. I’d already done some general research on getting into property lettings including looking at your website and the aim of attending this seminar was building on that research. I firmly believe you don’t need to spend lots of money to get the information and contacts you need.
That all went out of the window on the day!
At the seminar I heard information that confirmed what I’d found out elsewhere and told me about a couple of new areas of rental and mortgage options. So far I achieved my aims for attending . But then we signed up for a three day course. This was because despite the supposed “soft sell” and sales patter and me knowing exactly what techniques were being used to persuade us, in the moment we were convinced that it would help us to minimise the financial risk of going into property lettings. In the room I even had my doubts about it. I didn’t feel I knew properly what was involved, what we’d get out of the course and had an uncomfortable niggle about its value and approach which I couldn’t quantify.
Despite that I still thought it was a good idea….. group think starts to operate and we were caught up in the excitement of our new career being possible. The urge to sign up is very difficult to resist, even if you know that no “one time” only deal is ever that good.
Of course the presenter will only promote the up side of a venture and minimise the down sides but there was no mention of being realistic about an individual skills to conduct a business like this. It isn’t enough to have the money and the contacts.
After the proverbial “sleeping on it” the next morning I did some research and read that some people had trouble getting their money back after enrolling for the course and those who attended it felt there was hard sell for further training. There was also positive feedback, no doubt people have benefited from doing the course but not enough to convince me it was worth parting with £1,000. That confirmed for us that it wasn’t the best use of our limited funds. I hadn’t bothered doing much research on the course itself before we went as I was really convinced we wouldn’t be signing up. I’m happy to say we didn’t have any problems at all getting our money back.
So my other learning was how easily I can be persuaded even when I think I’m being sceptical in my dealings with people. I’ll be more careful in future. No experience is ever wasted”
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David Lawrenson, founder of LettingFocus also writes for property portals, speaks at property events and is regularly quoted by the media.
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