This page contains a number of articles by John T. Reed about real-estate-investment gurus and the approaches they advocate.

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I receive a steady stream of inquiries about what I think about various gurus who sell expensive seminars and home-study courses. In 1990, I tried to answer the guru rating question by writing an article called "The real estate B.S. artist detection checklist." The article was reprinted in the Los Angeles Times. I have updated it continuously since then. Click here to read it.

In general, I do not directly compete with gurus who promote seminars, mentoring services, $100-plus books, and “home-study courses.” However, I believe many of them give real-estate-investment-information providers a bad name and many cheat their customers. At worst, they cost their customers far more than their exhorbitant fees because people who actually try to do most of the hyped techniques have a good chance of losing their savings or their credit or both.

In particular, I believe seminars that cost more than $100 per hour per attendee are grossly overpriced. I also believe that recent claims by gurus that they will buy deals which you bring them are almost certainly lies. In fact, the typical guru has probably put money into a couple such deals so he can truthfully say he did. But he has no desire to ever do so again and only says he does for seminar or home-study marketing purposes. The “I will invest in deals you find” line is designed solely to overcome the objection “I don't have any money to invest in real estate.”

“Real estate investment advice is the only field I know where the worst material available is also the most expensive.”*

John T. Reed

* There is a logical reason for this. Knowledgeable people won't overpay for advice. Only ignorant people will. So gurus who want to charge extremely high prices must necessarily prey on the ignorant. Since the audience is ignorant, the gurus in question are free to offer material that merely sounds good. When people do not know the value of something, they tend to assume its price is its value. That is, the more expensive it is, the better it must be. In other words, they are assuming that if it was not worth that, the other customers who know what such things are worth would not buy it. In fact, in the get-rich-quick-real estate guru business, everybody in the room in an idiot like you. They all assume that the others in the room are there because they know the seminar is worth the amount being charged.

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