Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review of Than Merril's 2-Hour Free Seminar

About three weeks ago, my wife, Jessica, and I were driving on our way somewhere…can't even remember where.  We were listening to the radio when we heard a commercial for Than Merril's 2-hour free seminar on house flipping, among other real estate pursuits.  Jessica got quiet, listening with intent, and as soon as the commercial ended, asked me, "Should we go?"  To which I replied, "What for?"

Jessica's interest was piqued by the portion of the commercial that mentioned the availability of funds at Than's disposal to get flippers up and going.  Having attended a Carlton Sheets (remember him) 2-hour seminar in 2005, and his subsequent three day course that came at a hefty price tag of over $2K, I told Jessica that this would be more like an infomercial with a pitch at the end to enroll in Than's own version of RE investor education.  I'm a lucky man because my wife knows the game just as much as I do.  She said, "I know, but maybe we can connect with other people there and find business partners or investors with cash but no knowledge."  So she called and booked the two of us (me as her guest) for the seminar in Carlsbad, CA on Thursday, September 15th, 6 pm to 8 pm.

These type of seminars have the same profile.  Whether it be Than's or some other RE guru's satellite-surrogate show.  I call them satellite-surrogate shows because these events have no home base, (always taking place in a nice hotel or resort in your city or one nearby), and the actual guru (in our case, Than Merril) is never there.  They send a surrogate in their place, a member of the coaches team.  Sure enough, Than wasn't in Carlsbad.  In his place was Woody Wolden, a San Diego county raised real estate success turned Florida transplant.

Me, legs crossed.  Woody in the foreground.

I have to admit, while in the parking lot wolfing down our In-N-Out burgers, Jessica and I began to foretell how the end of the seminar would play out…"And for only $3,000, you too can join our highly successful students and reach your wildest dreams!"--Jessica said sarcastically.  I followed, "But because you have taken a first step at changing your life, and because Than believes in you, only today, the offer has been reduced to $1,999.99!"  We both laughed hysterically, sending pieces of french fries flying out of our mouths.  Once we finished cleaning the grease off our fingers and wiping our mouths, we walked toward the hotel.

Fast forwarding to the message of the seminar.  It was quite a surprise to hear Woody deliver such a meaningful introduction.  In addition to touching on the usual reasons for becoming a RE investor (financial independence, more money, etc.) he spoke about the retirement crisis in America, and the need for doing this business with the end goal of making enough money to purchase out of state rental properties (he was realistic).  I thought this was very refreshing.  He was promoting a game plan that I actually follow myself, owning three rentals out of state.  It's sound advice! But what resonated with me the most was when Woody talked about his kids.  He did this to bring home a very important lesson: your kids only have you to learn about money and entrepreneurship.

I just had to capture the moment.  The moment was brief as I was approached by the door greeter and told I couldn't record.  Oops!  As an educator, I felt Woody's passion.  You see, this year I had the privilege of being given an elective course to teach to a combo 7th-8th grade class.  The class is called, Encuentros (Encounters) Leadership, and it is designed specifically for an all Latino male clientele.  I was given the green light by the school's Principal to tweak the curriculum (because of my background and experience) and teach these students entrepreneurship and financial literacy.  Already these students have created a business, with a mission statement and compelling "story."  I will blog about this in the near future.  Back to this review.

Woody also delved into wholesaling, a real estate investor technique that involves putting a distressed property (with a motivated seller) under contract, and selling that contract to either another wholesaler, or a cash buyer.  This is what he recommended,

1.  If you can, get a realtor license.  Gives you access to the MLS.  Also allows you to make offers and put prospective properties under contract without the need of a realtor.

2.  Find who the cash buyers are in your city, or anywhere in the nation who have an interest in buying criteria based properties in your city.  Criteria could be, e.g., a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with tile roofs.  Create and manage your list of cash buyers.

3.  Find out who the power wholesalers are in your city.  This one is easy.  All you have to do is call all the numbers on those pirate signs you see on busy streets advertising:  "We buy houses, any condition."  These people are wholesalers.  You then call these wholesalers and ask them if they would consider selling you their contracts whenever a specific property (insert your cash buyers' criteria) comes along.  There is money to be made at every point in the funnel.  Wholesalers can unload some of their paper via an "assignment of contract."  With the rights in hand, you can either choose to flip the home or sell the contract (for a smaller piece of the pie) to a cash buyer. 

4.  Find the deals.  There are many ways to find motivated sellers.  Public records of people behind on their property taxes, divorce announcements in newspapers or information begotten by word of mouth.  Birddogs, or people who find possible deals, (abandoned homes, estate sales, fire damaged home, and so on) are very useful here.

The Closing

The closing began as expected.  Woody threw out this high number and what the package included, namely, three days of Fortune Builder (Than's brand) education, a certificate on finding cash buyers, and flipping and retirement systems education.  Cost, $1,197.  Too high for Jessica and me.  Then he shocked all of us in the room:  "If you sign-up today before you leave, you will get $1,000 off....And since Than wants to make this a family affair, you can bring a guest...that's two tickets...for only $197."  Jessica and I looked at each other with our mouths wide open.

Folks, let me tell you, $197 for two people to receive a three day workshop on advanced level wholesaling, house flipping, and retirement is unheard of!  Like a few people in the audience, Jessica and I jumped out of our chairs and went to the back of the room, where Than's people were waiting with contracts and pens.  For me, this three day workshop in October will be a refresher, since last I learned RE techniques was in 2005.  Take note, you must be a lifelong learner if you want to achieve your goals, whether that be through reading, watching videos, or attending live seminars.

So Than Merril's 2-hour free seminar turned out to be a hit.  I wholeheartedly recommend that you not only attend his seminar, if one comes up in your city, but that if the price tag stays the same, you sign up for the 3-day course!  Thanks for reading.  If you liked articles like this and want more like them in your inbox, don't forget to enter your email above.  No spam!

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