Are property education seminars safe?

By Georgia Brown
Property seminar safe

New property investors are constantly juggling their thirst for as much knowledge and information as possible, mainly due to their fears of being ripped off, scammed or given unreliable advice. So how can new investors find reputable education providers and build their knowledge without breaking the bank?

Buying property for investment purposes is a huge financial decision. It’s essential to equip yourself with the all the knowledge you can to make a smart purchase. The more knowledge you acquire, the better informed your investment decisions are. While there is a wealth of information out there, it is important to know where to start.

Many buyer’s agencies and property investment experts offer educational seminars for new investors, as well as investors looking to grow their property portfolio. Property seminars can be a valuable resource for investors, offering advice on topics such as current property markets, property performance predictions, capital growth and cash flow.

Before you take the first step in investing in your property education, ensure you are seeking advice from the right education providers.

How to find a reputable property education provider
While there are many reliable real estate educators and property investment experts in the property market, there is also an alarming number of property spruikers in the mix. Property spruikers target new investors who have little experience in the industry, and in turn are easily manipulated into investing in common property scams.

So how can you be sure to select a reputable property education provider?

Generally speaking, if the adviser has relevant formal qualifications, then they are qualified to give investment advice. Don’t accept advice from someone who could potentially be less knowledgeable than you.

Once you have established that the property education provider is qualified in the field, it is a good idea to do some research into the company. Is the business operated ethically? The company should insist on dealing with consumers in a very transparent way, to instil confidence in the consumer that they have nothing to hide. Companies that you are familiar with, or who come with solid recommendations from other successful property investors, are a good place to start.

Always be ready to question any advice you are given, and do your own background check on any claims that are made. Advice that is given to a seminar of potentially hundreds of people is advice that is not tailored to your individual financial situation. Therefore, it may be great property investment advice for the person sitting next to you, but a recipe for financial disaster for you.

Don’t hesitate to question an adviser’s motivation. If you are asked to hand over any amount of money, or sign on any dotted line at the end of a seminar, then it is likely not a seminar to educate, but to sell. This is often the case with ‘free’ seminars. Remember, the money has to come from somewhere and they are getting paid by someone.

Once you find a property education provider that you trust, and attend a seminar, be sure to follow up with a personal financial adviser and/or legal advice. This will allow you to rule out any misinformation you may have been given, and tailor your new-found knowledge to your own personal financial situation.

The difference between genuine property education seminars and those linked to spruikers
It is often said that the safest property education is the one you source yourself. There is so much content available online for you to peruse, which means you to pick and choose the information that relates to your property investment goals. Just be sure to consider the sources.

If you do decide to sign up to a property seminar, look out for these key differences to determine whether the course is genuine and factual, or a property spruiker scam.

• Hype: Property spruikers use hype to lure investors in. This is sometimes in the form of desirable visuals such as images of luxury items and cash, or upbeat music to energise consumers. Genuine educators avoid unnecessary hype.

• Promises: Spruikers make empty promises to encourage investors to sign up to their scam or make large financial down-payments. Qualified educators aim to provide investors with factual information supported by data or statistics. They have no need to make promises as they are not trying to secure a deal.

• Emotive language: Slogans such as ‘Get rich quick’ and questions like ‘Are you ready to take action?’ or ‘Are you ready to make the sacrifice?’ are types of manipulative language play used by property spruikers to depict emotion. Emotional investors make irrational investments. Genuine property educators don’t use this ploy, as they are not there to sell.

• Content: Seminars offering advice that seems too good to be true are likely exactly that – too good to be true. Courses that offer skill development, advice on overcoming obstacles, and practical learning, generally provide foundational content that can be applied to all property investment journeys.

• Qualifications: Property spruikers often don’t have the relevant qualifications that investors assume they do. Genuine educators are trained and certified and typically have a lot of their own experience in the property investment market.

Property spruikers often give empty promises and promote ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. With a financial commitment as big as property investment, investors need to do their own due diligence instead of relying solely on secondary advice.

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