You’ve seen their infomercials on late-night TV, and you’ve seen their flashy ads appear on the internet. Real estate gurus claim to have the secret to becoming an REI success, and they want to help you achieve your dreams.
The allure of this advertising is powerful, and here’s the stunner: Some gurus can actually deliver what they promise. That’s right—I’m not here to hate on gurus. Some really bring the juice, and when I find a guru who knows what they are talking about, I soak it up. (Spoiler: one of my personal favorites is Max Maxwell.)
Unfortunately, though, some can’t deliver. They promise to find awesome deals for their users, especially ones that average investors wouldn’t be able to find on their own. It is these type of gurus I want to talk about today: those who don’t practice what they preach (i.e. they are not still doing REI deals), and instead are just telling others what to do and how to be successful.
The prospect of REI tools backed by a guru sounds enticing, but often, it ends in disappointment for the investor who forked over too much money for a platform that doesn’t live up to expectations. The key, in my opinion, is to find a guru with real social proof: are average investors, like you, backing up their claims? If they have built their reputation on the success of those they mentor, they will likely heavily vet the REI software before attaching their name to it.
Most smart gurus contract with established REI software companies to white-label a platform to add value to what they give their customers. This actually works to benefit the average investor. You end up with better software than you might get with other, shadier gurus. Why? Because you have developers that just focus on producing the most mind-blowing software; coupled with gurus who are devoted to mentoring their clients, not tinkering with software.
The problem lies in fly-by-night gurus who try to throw things together and add bolt-on services instead of making one seamless system for their followers. Here are three truths you should know about REI software from shady gurus:
Truth 1: Some software is poorly designed.
Software specifically designed for the REI market and built by high-level developers is more rare than you think. More than likely, the guru’s platform was built or commissioned by a successful investor who knows nothing about software. The result is a solution that overpromises features but woefully fails to deliver. These platforms often lack a good user experience (UX), underperform in terms of features and results, and frustrate users who come to feel that they are wasting time on a solution “designed” to maximize their business.
On the other side of the coin, a guru’s software might be built by a good programmer who simply knows nothing about real estate. The UX might be great, but the solution doesn’t fit into the way REI investors run their businesses in the real world. Features are scant and replicate things you can easily do on your own (such as search Craigslist). In either of these cases, you will be paying a guru for REI software that produces incomplete information and ultimately won’t help your business.
Truth 2: Some software is just a scam.
Most shady gurus have a simple goal: milk their students for as much money as possible with a huge upfront fee. Offering REI software might be part of this strategy—and if it is, buyer beware. For starters, the aforementioned markup is in play; you may be promised a great tool and told that the exorbitant price is worth it. Then, if the REI software underperforms and doesn’t lead to the sales you were hoping for, the guru might try to sell you something else. After all, the software is great! … so you must just need another piece to make it work. Scam-artist gurus don’t have much incentive to offer perfect software that prevents you from buying their other services. Don’t take the bait. Carefully investigate any REI software a guru offers, and never make a long-term commitment by plunking down thousands of dollars on a solution that might turn out to be a dud.
Truth 3: REI software should be able to stand alongside a guru.
Here’s a secret the gurus won’t tell you: great REI software should work regardless of a specific system. Solutions are available that are designed by providers who are experts in both real estate investing and programming and data. Their platforms deliver rich feature sets; a dynamic UX; options such as phone append, skip tracing, and voicemail drops; and advanced search capabilities.
Like I said previously, I know and admire a few great real estate pros. I prefer “durus”—those gurus who do exactly what they’re preaching. They bring real value to those they mentor and have helped hundreds achieve the lifestyle they want. But, at the end of the day, you have to find the software that works for you and the way you work. Yes, a reputable guru will make it their mission to be one step ahead, finding software that really works and drives deals. But don’t blindly follow a system. Because if you find the wrong guru, the system and software they sell could just drain your bank account, not fill it.