Yeah, I said it, and I’ll say it again. Property Seminars are a big, fat waste of time and money. Pffft.
I went to one on Friday for one reason, and one reason only, and it sure as hell wasn’t to learn anything new; it was so I could mumble about my experience on here. I’ve always assumed property seminars were a waste of time and money, but I didn’t want to raise the issue because my defense would have been baseless. Now I’ve been to one, I can comfortably express myself- property seminars are SHIT. Granted, my opinion is based on a very limited scale- one seminar, to be exact. However, at least I have something to base it on now. I’m guessing most of them are quite similar anyways.
I’m not going to name and shame the seminar I went to, because I’ve already had a few companies threaten me with legal action. I supposedly said untrue things about their sorry excuse for a company (everything I said was true, just for the record). The legal bods call it “defamation”. Yeah, sure.
The seminar costs £300 for a full day of lecturing. Obviously I didn’t pay that, I was invited as a guest (ok, so perhaps there was more than one reason why I attended). I don’t know about you, but £300 is a lot of money to me. That’s like a full tank of petrol these days. I’ve seen other seminars charge way more. Inside Track’s two-day training courses start at around £2,500. It is the biggest property investment education company in the country, with associated businesses including property finding, buy-to-let mortgage broking and a ‘landlords and lettings’ service.
£2,500? That will pay for legal fees and stamp duty on a property, and a holiday to unwind after a stressful purchase.
The speakers and outline topics included:
- Mortgages brokers financing your property portfolio
- Solicitors discussing current legal issues affecting landlords
- Estate agents discussing the rental market and property prices in your area, and predicting future trends
Doesn’t sound all that impressive, does it? Let’s be real, almost all the information taught, costing hundreds/thousands of pounds, could be found for free, or at little cost, on the internet or in books. I didn’t rely on any seminars to learn the property industry; I just read forums, blogs and watched Property Ladder :)
I honestly didn’t learn anything new from the seminar. I appreciate that some people walked away with a few new, vital nuggets of information, but it was nothing they couldn’t have learned after 5mins of surfing online. My point is that there is plenty to walk away with from the seminars, especially for the mere mortals that aren’t newly coming accustom to the industry. However, the price you pay for the knowledge can’t be justified. From what I experienced, all the information provided was all so basic; I spent half the time wondering where the value for money was. I mean, a lecturer spent 60mins explaining the difference between interest-only and repayment mortgages. ONE HOUR!!!
“With interest-only mortgages you only pay the interest on your loan each month. The entire loan needs to be paid by the end of the mortgage period (typically 25years).
With repayment mortgages you pay the interest and a portion of the outstanding balance with every mortgage payment, consequently reducing the amount owed on a monthly basis. By the time the mortgage period is over (typically 25years), the debt will be cleared, without having to make a huge final payment.”
HOW LONG DID THAT TAKE? 1 min. The lecturer didn’t even get into detail; he didn’t mention anything about overpayments- which are a pretty big deal with mortgages as far as I’m concerned. Anyways, that was just one example out of a thousand.
To be honest, it just seemed like one big scam. The speakers were always trying to sell their own products, whether it was legal services or actual properties. It totally diluted the quality of the seminar for me. Apparently the £300 fee alone wasn’t enough for their heavy pockets, they wanted more. I wasn’t surprised though.
In a nutshell, property seminars are ideal for rich people that have spare time and are too lazy to do their own research. If you’re not rich and you’re investing in seminars, then you need to stop being so damn lazy, because that extra cash could be put to much better use.
The best thing about the damn day was free servicing of coffee and chocolate chip cookies. Of course, for £300, I expected Irish Coffee on tap and Belgium chocolates.
Has anyone else had any experiences with Property Seminars? I’ve yet to actually hear a positive review from someone that doesn’t endorse seminars due to personal financial gain…
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.