The Shady Truth of Wealth Seminars


The Problem

 

REAL ESTATE CLASSESIf you’ve never been to a Real Estate or Wealth seminar, there’s a lot of reasons why you should not go at all.  The wealth-building seminar industry is loosely regulated, with almost anything going through without supervision from watchdog groups or requirements of fact-checking agencies to hold the speakers responsible for the information that they disseminate.  With that said, the only requirement is that the speakers act on “good faith” because actions of good faith in any business are acts of economic interest.  

 

The other problem here is that these seminar speakers targeted audience is the uneducated population and the reason why is  that there is a need to educate this particular market segment, however, because the audience lacks the knowledge to refute fallacious statements made by the authoritative speaker, many individuals become victims of false, incomplete, hypothetical,  or misinformation.  With that said, because the information the information provided at these seminars is often incomplete, the seminar company behind it purposely  sets the audience up to purchase more courses, and this never ending cycle continues until the individual person catches on, runs out of interest, or runs out of money.  What makes matters even worse is that  many of the speakers lack a formal education themselves, often speaking from anecdotal experience while being ignorant of the fact that what worked for them will not work for everybody.  For example, Grant Cardone made up his own unaccredited university to graduate from, named Cardone University, to not only establish credibility for himself, but to target the uneducated market segment.  Donald Trump once attempted to take this route with Trump University however, the organization was brought down by the federal government’s RICO statute for “neither Donald Trump nor a university.  “he With that said, the majority of the real estate and wealth building seminar audience consists of individuals who are learning as they go, did not receive a formal education, are young, or people who are looking for a short cut in life to to maximize their potential for wealth with minimal effort, often sold on the “Secrets of building wealth” concept.  The truth is, statistically speaking, those with more formal education have more wealth, and those with less education chase the dream of having wealth by attending such events.  With that said, these event speakers  unscrupulously prey on this vulnerable market segment, because they are easily manipulated due to their lack of knowledge, population to  thrive by brainwashing them, and formulate a way of thinking that the speakers want you to believe because their audience simply don’t know better.  To be straight forward, most people has the desire to be wealthy and when they see a  seminar showman, or show woman, dressed, playing, and speaking the part of success that they want for themselves, all senses of logical thinking get replaced by greed.  At this point, when the audiences eyes turn into dollar signs, the people who benefit the most from these seminars is the speaker(s) and the marketing machine that is behind pushing the event.

 

Nolan McDonnellDid you know that, according to the National Association of Realtors, 51% of realtors lack a formal four-year education? This means that over half the population in this audience demographic is vulnerable for unknowingly falling victim to these traps.  The more real estate agents are educated with formal education, the less time and money they will waste on ego driven, pom-pom waving,  celebrity speaker making a grand entrance by skydiving from the ceiling type of seminars where the consumers return investment that the audience paid for is short lived, if there is any real value at all.

 

 

 

And what’s worse is that the seminar speakers, and the companies behind them, know that their segmented market is gullible, naïve,  and easily manipulated by the desire for building wealth.  Both real estate and wealth seminars, for the most part, take advantage of the uneducated and innocent consumers by preaching hypothetical scenarios and formulas and deliver them as facts while by publicly portraying themselves as a self-righteous figure.  However,  in many cases, the seminar speakers do not have a proper education either, and they don’t know any better than you do – the speakers merely act like they do.

 

This, the uninformed populous, being misled with misinformation,  is a frustrating issue and the more of you who are made aware of the scam tactics within the seminar business, the less you will be manipulated by their marketing and advertising campaigns.   With that said,  the importance of having the education of someone at a top company, which is the sole reason why I started Closing Classes,  is because as an independent contractor, you are a business, and your goal should be to employ the strategies that the top companies use so that you can take the guess work out of success and know exactly how to get what you want.

 

seminar11More importantly, however, the more real estate agents are educated with the advertising, marketing, and general business applications that every successful company employs, the more they can understand their business and identify opportunities for market growth without shelling money out to phoney seminar speakers or real estate “coaches.”  There are no secrets to real estate sales because all it boils down to effective communication s and business management skills.  Without the formal education of those two concepts,  no matter how many pom-pom waiving mega-church seminars you attend, you will never learn how to achieve the consistent success that you are looking for as a real estate agent.  With that said,   If you, a real estate agent, know how to successfully communicate to the market segment that will use their service, then the logical response is increased business, commissions, and time for productivity.  That is exactly why I, with a Master’s in Communications, a degree in Business, as well as sixteen years of experience in the real estate field, why I share authentic and genuine communication principles that top producing companies use for their success.  These principles are not sophisticated, difficult to use, and almost anybody can use these methods for success after they learn them.

Understanding The Façade

I received my real estate license when I was twenty years old.  After researching methods of creative financing, real estate law and principles,  and reading books such as  passed my was excited to finally get to work in the real estate field.  In addition to the required course material to obtain my real estate license,  I  also read Rich Dad Poor Dad written by Robert Kiyosaki  and every book written by Donald Trump, all in an effort to prepare myself for a good, worthwhile career in real estate.  With that said, after I got my license, I went to work for a brokerage firm, and I also got another job working with a real estate property investor, working as his assistant, as well.

 

At my new job, holding a title as an assistant for a real estate investor, I was shocked to find that my work detail entailed putting binders together for wealth seminars where he taught  average people how to build incredible masses of wealth through real estate, and as I continued working as his assistant, I could not help but notice something interesting.

 

This real estate investor was merely regurgitating what had already been said through other authors, such as book Rich Dad Poor Dad written by Robert Kiyosaki, which I previously read in my real estate training.  Additionally, aside from repackaging what had already been published and sold by other authors, I also noticed that everything in his wealth seminar was all a façade. It was all just for show.

 

This self-proclaimed creator of the “Largest Investor Network” actually lived with his mother – which is fine, of course, as he could simply be caring for her as she got older. But then, the seminar speaker that I worked for, who merely played the character of a wealthy real estate investor, also did other things like using a Mercedes as a prop when he showed up to the wealth seminars to appear wealthy when he actually owned a Honda.  With that said, when the time of the event presented itself, I  accompanied my employer to his wealth seminar, where he used me as a prop.  He explained that he could make everyone rich through real estate, and with me being only twenty years old, he told everyone he would make me the next “Donald Trump,” and that I was already a wealthy due to his program and mentorship.

 

Essentially, this seminar speaker who spoke the part of a real estate genius, to an unsophisticated audience,  hired me to use as a prop to sell people more courses by saying, “Well, if I can make this twenty year-old wealthy, then everyone else can with my program, too.”  I did quit working for this company as my attitude, values, and beliefs did not align with those of the company. But this isn’t my primary message here.  Let’s just consider the fact that this company is still alive today and thriving through scamming thousands of innocent people by selling hopes and dreams of get rich in real estate by following this investor’s practices.  Being a key component of, unknowingly, orchestrating this façade, one thing became painfully evident,  the only person who was getting rich from this event was him – the investor.

 

This is the shady truth of wealth seminars. It’s an endless, repetitive cycle of “I’ll make money by telling them how to get rich, which will make ME rich.”

 

It is extremely important to realize that not all wealth classes are the same, however, the ones that are shady have a common denominator, which we will discuss starting in the following paragraphs below.  With that in mind, my previous boss, mentioned above, is not the only real estate and wealth building speaker who employs these tactics.  In fact, every wealth building and real estate seminar employs psychological manipulation tactics with the intent of putting profits before people, which is why I created closing classes.  Every consumer deserves to receive exactly what they are expecting without deception, being offered other products, and every consumer deserves to receive value before making a purchase.  With that said, all of Closing Classes curriculum comes from accredited institutions so you, the client, can feel reassured that the product that you are paying for is a high end, reputable, and reliable product in exchange for your hard earned money.

 

 

 

Take the above clip as an example, you will notice something.  The investor stands on the stage with the announcer saying that he was in INC. Magazine as the fastest-growing company in the San Francisco bay area – with absolutely NO slides of the Inc. Magazine  article, or, any proof to support the speakers claims.  As a working professional who carries both the burden of proof and responsibility to prove his claims to his audience, but fails to do so, instantly reduces George’s credibility.  Additionally, if you were awarded as Inc. Magazines fastest growing company in the San Francisco Bay Area, wouldn’t you have that highly sought after prize by every Bay area company, such as Google, Instagram, Facebook, and thousands of start-ups, displayed beautifully to make an incredible and valid impression on your audience?  The fact that George tried to immediately distance himself from the hosts claims begs the question, how are these claims convincing?  I am not discrediting, slandering, or smearing Antone’s reputation, with my professional and academic background I am obligated to fact check claims from the source of origin before I believe anything, and I strongly encourage you to do the same.  I am not trying to defame Antone, however, as working and professional in the field of communications with an emphasis on real estate, citing sources and providing valid evidence to  support claims is a requirement in my field.

 

These seminar speakers almost always back unbacked claims that are NEVER supported by both creditable and reliable sources, supporting evidence, or proof.  Additionally, many of these speakers, and gurus, make self-proclaimed statements based upon arbitrary assumptions,  and not bases on any provable evidence.  Furthermore, almost every real estate and wealth seminar speaker speaks as if every wealth creation or or real estate investment formula is fact, when they are merely hypothetical.  With that said, many of these speakers manipulate their audience in so many ways, they even go as far as trying to convince the crowd that what they are being told are “secrets” that are used by the wealthy 1%.  The only secret is to get to get educated by someone who has a creditable education from a reputable institution.

 

 

In the above video, he also self-proclaims that he is the smartest one in the room of ivy league graduates, talking about a lady from Stanford, and Stanford is not an Ivy League school.  Furthermore, Antone does not show any pictures or provide any tangible evidence/proof that this meeting ever even took place.  I am completely ignorant,  in regards to this meeting, however, the lack of Antone’s supporting evidence to support his claims, lack of depth, and the impression that he forces upon the audience that his single mind is greater than the collaborative efforts of Ivy league graduates with the exception of Stanford,  does not have me convinced.  Additionally, one has to ask themselves, “This meeting is portrayed as a gathering reserved for  the elite graduates of most prestigious universities in the world.  So, if Antone was there, how did he weasel himself in, and, where is this massive piece of property that he speaks of?” It is a known assumption that pictures are worth 1,000 words, yet, Antone did not produce a single photo, or location detail of where this high stakes property exists.  With that said, the audience here is not educated enough to find the holes in his claims, and they are blinded by economic interest, wishful thinking, and greed.  Having said that, I am introducing to you the logical fallacies, manipulation tactics that both real estate and wealth seminars employ to take advantage of innocent consumers.

 

Pathos, Emotional Appeal

Many real estate, wealth, and other similar speakers will use “pathos.”  This is a technique to hook you and have you sink into their world by getting attached or touched by an emotional story that their audience can share or relate to.  The speaker appeals to emotions by saying a sob story – and this is one thing you really need to watch out for because it works so much more effectively than you might think.  For example, the investor I worked for said that he came home from work and saw that the person he hired to paint the house was crying hysterically, and when he asked what was wrong, the painter said he was going to lose his house.  In response, he got very sad and upset for him.  In fact, he had so much empathy for him that he actually “loaned” the painter money to take care of his house payment so he wouldn’t lose it.  This is how he got into his “private lending.”

 

Did that make you feel as if it was a real story?

 

In reality, it was all complete nonsense. There was no painter, nobody losing their house… It was a tool used in persuasive speeches to appeal to people’s emotions. This is a widely used ploy for winning the audience and being relatable.

 

By portraying a life that you want for yourself, the speakers appeal to your emotions. The common real estate portfolio will be dressed up in a professional suit, being well-spoken, and being a person of power.

 

Being in this “professional” presence will encourage you to think that the speaker has everything you want in life, and they use this to play with your emotions, appeal to your emotions, and can make you stop thinking logically. Instead, the speaker starts making you think emotionally, and this is when you fall for the trap.

 

 

 

 

 

Ethos, Appeal to Ethics

 

Wealth and real estate speakers will try to appeal to your ethics by saying that you “owe it to your kids’ future, your “legacy,” you owe yourself the “best life you’ve ever had…”

 

Speakers will say these things to make you have thoughts occur like “I wish I could give my wife and loved ones a better life” and that you can do so by participating in this world of finance and real estate.

 

In addition to this, these speakers will also try to motivate the audience by questioning the crowd, which is full of average people, asking them Why you are living average. The speaker will then say something like “who wants to be average?” So you can see how they manipulate your thoughts and emotions by appealing to your ethics.

 

The audience then buys into this indirect crowd-shaming technique from the self-righteous figure speaking to them. They become delusional by forgetting that average, or below average, is a starting point for everyone. It’s impossible to be above average without being average first – that’s just the reality of it.

 

Financial success is like the gears in a car – you can’t reach max speed without going through the lower gears first.

 

The audience sees a man in a suit with a backdrop of him in front of a rented private jet, and they close their brains as they open their ears to listen to this “righteous” figure.

 

Instead of being helpful, the speaker essentially advertises his own wealth rather than actual philanthropy and financial, humanitarian work, like he proposes.  With that said, something that I learned during my Mast’s program is that most people think fast and fail to take a step back. think critically of the information that is being presented to them, and formulate an opinion of their own.

 

On that note, these real estate guru’s, seminar speakers, and wealth coaches will use props to establish credibility for themselves to lure you, the audience, down any path that they want that benefits them.  You will notice how all of these real estate and wealth seminars always keep the spotlight on themselves (the speaker), their ego, and their greatest achievements, instead of focusing on the greater good of the audience.

 

 

Logos (Logic)

 

Seminar speakers know that a person’s desire for wealth overrides their logic. Some speakers will speak in the tone of a “pep talk” to get the audience to feel more courageous or enthusiastic. This ultimate intent is to get the audience to have the courage and the enthusiasm to override their logical thinking.

 

Watch this short video and read my discussion below. There is absolutely no logic in this, but because the desire for wealth is so strong, people actually believe it all.

 

 

Logically, being in a situation where one minute your heart is about to burst, and you don’t know if you’re going to make it, and the next minute being perked up in a meeting to go see your deal for $56 million, is ridiculous. To start ripping IVs out of your body, hop in your car, and go make a deal for $56 million on the same day makes no sense whatsoever.

 

However, because the story is so exciting, people appeal to the fallacy of authority. They get blinded by the greed. The audience gets so wrapped up in the enthusiasm of the story, motivated by how easy it sounds to make $56, that if someone can go from nearly dead and dying one minute to making $56 million the next, they can do it too.

 

If you think about the story logically and put all of the dollar signs and excitement aside, his story makes no sense. However, you want to believe him because of his celebrity status and credible persona.

 

Did he provide any photos of that particular moment in his life? Does he have any actual proof that happened? Where is the documentation? There were no facts.

 

Again, these are arbitrary and unsupported claims to make the audience feel excited. People are gullible, blinded by greed, and uneducated to know any better.

 

 

In the above video, look at Jordan Belfort’s eyes.  He does not believe a word of what Grant is saying. Would you?

 

George says that “George Antone is a best-selling author, an educator, investor, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of that largest network of private lenders, and has trained thousands of people innovative wealth-building strategies.”

 

Yet, as an “educator,” he has no MS, MA, or any credible title to his name.

 

George says he has a best-selling author, yet, there is no credible source that says he was the best-selling author. Maybe one of his books was the best-selling out of all the ones he wrote, but he is falsely implying that he is a “New York Times” best-selling author – and he is not even a published author from an official publishing house as implied.

 

Real published authors get their work peer reviewed, fact-checked, and published. George’s books are written by himself, and they never got professionally edited or peer-reviewed as genuine books get.  Below is only one example of many “wealth” gurus who self-publish their work without it being fact checked in the peer review process.

 

If you take a look at what that linked book is about, you will see that the book description is full of claims that have no substantial, concrete evidence or reliable sources to back up these “mere” opinions.

Conclusion

Always remember that real estate and wealth speakers will rely on you to believe in them, their position of authority, and your desire for wealth to believe what they say. The speaker relies on these things for you to look past (not question) or not require further evidence/facts to back up what they say.

 

These speakers heavily rely on logical fallacies and a false way of thinking to educate and inform their readers/listeners. In mass communications, fallacies are utilized as manipulation tools. The most common logical fallacies that speakers rely on are:

 

  • Appeal to authority
  • The Bandwagon Fallacy
  • The False Dilemma Fallacy
  • The Hasty Generalization Fallacy
  • The Slothful Induction Fallacy
  • The Correlation/Causation Fallacy
  • The Anecdotal Evidence Fallacy (all wealth speakers rely on this – “I created my wealth by doing XYZ, so if you do XYZ, you will have what I have”)
  • The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
  • The Middle Ground Fallacy (fallacy of ignorance – just because something has not been proven untrue, does not make it untrue).

 

You can find the most common fallacies used in the professional landscape through this great resource.

 

That concludes my discussion on the manipulative tricks speakers use and their lack of education. The next time you’re planning to go see a wealth or real estate seminar, consider who the speaker is wisely and whether you are merely being manipulated by them rather than gaining value for your goals.

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