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Real Estate Spy

Armando Montelongo: Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

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Armando Montelongo Review and Market Domination Discussion

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“The economy doesn’t dictate your income, your strategies and education dictate your income.” -Armando Montelongo

Overall Armando Montelongo demonstrates unique creativity in business and in life. He currently runs a company called Armando Montelongo Companies  based out of San Antonio Texas.

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Background:

Back in 2005 Armando started investing in real estate and also holding real estate investing seminars.  It wasn’t until he was featured on the show called Flip this House (San Antonio) that he became a household name.  His success on the show as well as his demonstration of creativity attracted a large following.

Currently Armando runs his own YouTube channel where he teaches market domination. His idea and core concept is that you can go out and effectively make money in real estate wherever you are. He teaches you how to identify the right properties. He also teaches you how to negotiate with those individuals who own the properties to come out with a deal that makes the student money as well as helps the individual who is in distress or needs to sell.

I do have to say this guy is one of the most creative entrepreneurs I have ever encountered.

He is absostinkinglutely spectacular. He’s brilliant. He is a brilliant marketer. I have to say hats off to the guy. I believe he has exploited every aspect of his talent imaginable. And when I use the word exploit I actually mean this in a positive light.

Heck, he’s got you here right? You are researching his system because you want to make a change to your life. I mean, I don’t know you, but I know about you. Because I was you.

Why should you listen to me? Uh… because I was right where you are now and managed to lose everything in the real estate game.

I know, I know. You want to learn how to make a decent living without spending your time running around for other people. You want to be self-made. You want to be independent. You don’t want to have to report in to anyone else. You see that there are so many people out there making money why not you, right? You want freedom.

You can do it. I am living proof.  I know what it is like to sit in a cubicle for years! I think there must be some saying that relates this to: “if you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.”  Let me take a stab at it: “If you ain’t the lead dog in your life, you are stuck in a cubicle or some other mindless trap.”

I get it. I have lived it.  On the other hand, I have invested so much money in learning how to make money through real estate I am sure that I have you beat. But, the one thing I also know is that it is hard to recover from losing a ton of money in real estate.

How do I know this? Well I spent $78,000 on my real estate education and still ended up going into foreclosure and losing every property I ever owned.  You think this can’t happen to you…so did I. I was smart. I had attended the seminars. I had read all the books. I drove around listening to audio cds. I was becoming a guru myself. But I was unprepared for the market.

It took me six years to recover after my bankruptcy. With that said, I don’t want you to think that I’m down on the whole deal.

I actually love real estate. I love real estate investing too.

I own multiple properties and I own my properties out right. So, I highly recommend that you spend time learning how to invest in real estate.

But enough of that let’s go back to the review.

Montelongo Real Estate Training:

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I think the underlying current in his teaching is “you gotta be creative.” I admire him for his own creativity as he’s not only done real estate deals and investing but also has ventured into film production and indyCar racing.  Gotta love this guy’s knack for getting things done.

So let’s talk about a seminar series.

The concept behind the seminar series is the following: expose, involve, upgrade.  If you don’t know what I mean by this, I’ll explain.  This marketing technique is used all the time. The idea is that you expose people to information by offering a portion of it for free.  Think of it as a free trial. Then once they are exposed to the concept, they are more willing to spend money on it. Once they start spending money, you upgrade them to a much higher level that is profitable for your business. Loss Leaders so to speak.

The local newspaper does this.  Try out the Daily Tribune, free for the first month. Then, you try it and like and are willing to pay for a subscription. Since you are on their subscription list, they deliver new concepts and ideas for you to spend money on. The last part is the upgrade.

This is exactly what Armando does. He invites people for a two hour FREE seminar. He sweetens the deal by offering a package of books and tapes that he places a retail value of $500 on (free for attending the seminar). On his website you can find out where he’s hosting the next seminar that might be closest to you.

This free seminar(run by staff of his company) is designed  to introduce the listener to his $1500 3 day seminar and is not actually or necessarily put on by Armando himself.  He also offers the attendees the chance to win a $5000 check if they attend the free event.

This is the expose portion of the (expose, involve, and upgrade).

Once an individual has completed the $1500 course, Armando also offers an “in-person” training usually involving a bus trip for $25,000-$40,000.

In addition to these seminars Armando Montelongo has written several books and provides a homestudy course.

Armando Montelongo’s Products Review

Real Estate:

The first book is called Real Estate: in this book he outlines his strategy for investing in foreclosures. If you think that he’s recommending that you simply by a list of foreclosures, I can assure you he is not. He really is a hands on creative type. He suggests that you go out and get your hands dirty so to speak.

Flip and Grow Rich:

The second book is called Flip and Grow Rich: understanding that Armando was active during the real estate crisis in 2008 is an important insight into how he views his world. This book’s title is a bit of a knock off of the classic Napoleon Hill writings in Think and Grow Rich book. This may have been a book that helped him achieve the greatness that he has. Flip and Grow Rich outlines his story from rags to riches.

Assessing Properties:

The third book is called Assessing Properties: this is more of a practical book. It concentrates on being able to spot great deals without missing something that could cost you tons of money.  He also outlines how to minimize your investment while maximizing the effect it has on holding and selling the property.

Negotiations CDs:

He also offers CDs on negotiations: this may be one of the greatest productions by Armando. It is often said that the one who can articulate their customers pain the best is the one who will have the most customers. In this series Montelongo teaches you how to understand your sellers mindset; essentially teaching you how to understand their pain.

Once you have that down you’ll understand the other side of the coin and be able to negotiate much better. I think this would be an important addition to your course because without the negotiating skills you will not be able to put together the deals that will make you money. However, it is also one of the areas that this real estate guru excels in naturally. Throughout his career he has shown that he is creative and can connect with people. I am not sure if you could really get the creativity that you will need in order to negotiate quite like Armando because he is an exception, but it may help.

Home Study Course Flip for Success:

His home-study course is called flip for success this course is all about learning how to buy houses on foreclosure or pre-foreclosure. It has a relatively low price, but the consumer really needs to understand that the reason why these products are so affordable is because they are instrumental in exposing the listener to who this teacher is and what he’s about. The idea behind that is that once you have “fallen in love with the instructor,” you are more likely to spend more money on further education from this success coach.

Armando Montelongo Companies Consumer Reviews and the Better Business Bureau:

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Being the Real Estate Spy, my review would not be complaint if I didn’t look at what the consumer reporting agencies are saying about the real estate investing seminar series.

I took a look at consumer affairs related to the seminar series. It revealed that this company is bringing value to their students.  There are some negative complaints/reviews available, however, they are often centered around the students ability to actually implement what they have learned.

For example one woman reported to have spent $66,495 for her education. However, she also stated she is a 66-year-old female and was unable to complete some of the assignments due to her unwillingness to meet potential investors (for safety reasons). Her perspective was that these investors were scammy.  In all fairness, she said she was going to contact the company to ask for advice on how to better create her investor list.

But overall most people stated that they got a lot out of the seminar. I even came across reviews where people went all the way to the end and were able to build substantial business is based on the tips and techniques that Armando Montelongo taught them.

Overall I don’t think that you can delete or eliminate the human factor involved in this. If you are a go-getter and you’re very creative, you most likely can make it work.  With that said, some of the reviews online state that the idea of being able to really get a real estate company off the ground with little to no cash is an illusion.

One of the things that he talks about is creating your own hypermarket. He teaches you how to go out and find investor money and dominate your local market by buying many houses not just one or two. I think this is probably one of the hardest things to relate to from my perspective.  I had a plan to buy 10 houses and rent them for a net operating profit of $1,000/month.

While it worked on paper. The actual process was much more difficult. Financing was tough because of the rent to buy cost ratio. In other words, the real estate buying market was pricey while the rental market was suppressed.

Certainly somebody as skilled as Armando Montelongo can go out and raise money from investors. This is really because his posture is so strong related to this business model. He knows this business inside and out.

As you go out after learning strategies in the seminar, the big question is whether or not you will have the posture and expertise to draw in money from investors.

I know when it comes to investing my own money, I look at people and I’m always asking the question, “can they really do what they say they’re going to do?” It always boils down to integrity. Some people are good at winging their posture. Others are not. I would say that this is probably one of the key differentials in whether or not you can be successful using his model and techniques.

Certainly once you get a few deals under your belt, this will give you a lot more confidence in what you’re doing. The big question is whether or not you have enough money to sustain yourself through that process. You may only need a couple of weeks (but I highly doubt it) to do this others may require months or years, which is more reasonable.

Negatives:

A check in at the local Better Business Bureau’s stats on the company reveals that in the last three years there were 78 complaints that went through the bureau. 22 in the last 12 months.

Overall the trend of complaints centered around the same thing. It was that people did not receive what they expected at the $1497 seminar. This was because they were offered additional products for example a tax lien seminar for $795 as well as access to other/further education starting at $12,000.

I would say that this is probably the biggest negative. It’s sort of like you go to a free seminar where they tell you if you want the real secrets you need to go to the $1500 seminar. Once you get to that seminar they tell you if you really want the goods then you will need to go to the next seminar in that cost $12,000 otherwise you won’t be properly equipped and so on.

So is it a scam?

Well, I don’t really think so, but it may not be the best use of your time and money. So much in life is based on what we do with the knowledge we are given. I would also venture to say that 78 complaints out of the total amount of business that this company does this probably minuscule.

I would also argue that you can go to college and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to walk away with a degree that you never put into action.

I think that the bold claims that the company makes about your ability to invest the way that very talented individual invests is a bit extreme.  Nevertheless they were investigated by the attorney general of Texas and found to be without fault as long as they abide by 20 rules in their business.

If you have tons of cash to burn I’d say go for it. I think that any individual that goes to a seminar like this will learn something. It may even just be that they learn that they don’t want to be at that seminar. But they will learn something.

In summary, I believe that the way this the course and seminar series has structured things are simply way to oversimplified. For example when he got started he bought multiple properties. He would buy blocks of houses.  You may have a tough time doing that. I know the “no money down” or OPP (other people’s money) is appealing, but often not realistic when you are starting out.

He makes it sound like it’s super easy to find investors. He said all you need is three things.

1. You have to show them that you have the expertise to help them.

2. You have to show them that you can help them in best in the state they live in.

3. You have to be able to show them that the seller will come out well.

But this is way easier said than done…especially when you are just starting out.

I’m aware that the bus tour runs anywhere between 25,000 and $40,000. What I don’t like for the students is that after they spent that money, he offers more training after this. If you check his YouTube channel out, you’ll find that he’s discusses more training for market domination and references the bus tour. That tells me that even after the bus tour, there is so much to learn.

While his information may be five stars, I believe the process earns 1 star. I am not convinced that it is easily duplicatable for the average person.

The absolute downside to this program is the cost.

Final Thoughts:

Armando Montelongo is famous and has a proven track record for making real estate deals happen. If you visit his website you’ll find that he published nine video testimonials on his homepage.

You have to understand that testimonials always work this way. They basically feature someone who you relate to as inferior to you. For example (and I’m not poking fun at this), under one of the videos the tagline says I am totally, blind. Armando changed my life. If you watch the video, you will see a man who is completely blind and says that if you can’t do his program, it is your fault.

I believe this leaves any individual investigating his techniques and tips with the idea that well, hey if a blind guy can make money at this, then I should do great.

The big question I always ask when I see testimonials is are they marketing with the rule or the exception to the rule. Most often companies that are trying to sell you something market with the exception to the rule.

I don’t think this is any different.

 

About the author: I give real estate investors a faster, sexier, lower-risk laptop lifestyle alternative to flipping, fixer-uppers, and all the frustrations that come with chasing money in the cutthroat real estate game.

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