Charlie and Randy France and Bob Meister Programs, Products and More
Today our subjects under the spotlight are Charlie and Randy France.
Before I get to that, I want to talk about you. Let’s make this relevant.
Why are you here? I can prob guess. You’re sick of the endless gag reflex provoking pointlessness of working for someone else. yeah… that freakin’ 9-5 . . . the endless grill and grind. It serves a purpose but when it owns ya, it sucks. You know…The getting up at 5:30, stumbling for coffee, machining through the day, collapsing in front of the tube, hitting the sack, and starting all over again.
You’d like to parachute out of that scene, and you’re thinking real estate investing might be the ticket out, but make sure you’re not tethered to a bungee cord ’cause making a mistake in REI might just be the quickest ticket back to the same rut you were hopin’ to jump out of.
Or….MAYBE you’re already doing some REI stuff, but you want to ramp up your game. So you’re here to check out people who look like they’ve made it and see what you can learn or buy to get yourself to the next level.
Well, I’m glad you’re here. Today’s review has some information that you might find helpful, especially in regards to Subject-To real estate deals.
But I also want to warn you that real estate investing can be really tough. I’ll tell you a bit about my story, and then I promise, we’ll get to the review that you came here for.
I used to be sold out to real estate investing. I thought it was my ticket to financial freedom. For a while, I did well, and I was flying high.
Then it all crashed down and I lost my shirt. And my shoes. And everything else.
Then I met a guy named James (more info on him here), and I got into something that was a lot less risky with a higher reward.
The video below explains it all. Would you take 3 minutes and watch it? It could make a huge difference for you, because you might just choose to throw your lot in with us instead of the real estate thing.
After the video you’ll find the review you came here for. Whatever route you take, I want to thank you for visiting my site!
They encourage people to explore real estate investing for several reasons, including the fact that you can start without money, partners or credit; there is a large supply of sellers and buyers; real estate investing works everywhere; you can work from your home with or without family involvement; you can build your investment portfolio quickly; and you can set your own hours and work as your own boss.
Subject-to deals are their strong suit.
France/Meister Triad and the “Subject To” Deal Review
Subject-to’s are deals where the mortgage stays in the seller’s name. An investor who buys a house subject-to just takes over payments on somebody else’s house. It is a technique of buying a home subject-to the existing financing.
After you have bought the home, you either set up a rent-to-own arrangement or a lease with option to purchase . This enables you to have a house rented to someone who will pay higher than the geographic rent standard (because of the rent-to-own or lease-option arrangement).
Here is how Charlie France herself described it in an article for CREOnline:
When you purchase a home “subject to” it means subject to the existing mortgage that is already in place on the property. . . . In other words, you are not assuming the loan. The terms you create with the seller are between the two of you as long as you follow to the letter the terms set up when the loan was conceived.
A limitation for this concept is that it typically works best in higher income areas where people are able and willing to pay higher rent.
Randy and Charlie France have been doing real estate investing since 1993 . They explored different kinds of investing options and now predominantly focus on subject-to deals. They have become known for their expertise and experience in this area.
The Frances’ website is GetTheDeed.com. It’s not a slick, beautiful website, but it does the job.
There’s a ton of verbiage on the main page with links to the Products page sprinkled throughout, so at regular points of your scrolling marathon, you can jump out. It’s a bit of a cumbersome site to navigate since it’s not organized at the top with a menu or tabs with drop-downs.
The website is vertical rather than horizontal and you basically have to scroll up and down to read the material and look for links to take you to other material..
The main page of their website is filled with the usual rhetoric that you find on real estate investor websites whose goal is to get you to buy products. There is little concrete material that a new investor can use. The page and the content is designed to keep people scrolling down, with more and more teaser information about why you need the products and what you can achieve through real estate investing.
You go through testimonials and sample deals and various questions like: Isn’t it time to invest in your future? You deserve it don’t you? Or: If you feel like you have been riding the train of life, now is the time to direct your future.
This format isn’t bad; it’s what many real estate investment educators out there use.
Products, Software and Home Study Courses
As far as the actual products available through this website, the selection is pretty impressive.
Profits While We Sleep is a home-study course. This is priced at $567 and includes:
- a 328 page printed manual,
- CDs of all forms and contracts,
- a CD of special reports and graphic files for signs and flyers,
- one compressed audio CD with 14 hours of material,
- two video CDs of Randy and Charlie France’s workshops ,
- an 11 hour audio CD linked to the printed workshop update manual,
- and a bonus CD with videos and audios recorded at the workshops.
In the advanced tools section there is an item called the Auto Profit For $247. This is a software program that fills in a home retail price and current mortgage information and then calculates the suggested tenant down payment, monthly lease payments, and investor profit. It includes provisions for PMI and rent credits.
Another item in the advanced tool category is called Auto Forms .This is a PC-based software package . Regularly $497 , as of this writing it has dropped to $187 . This software completes all the forms needed for subject-to package.
Slamdunk Deals is an advanced tool regularly priced at $107, now available as a digital download for $47 . The blurb copy describes this material as information about dealing with getting leads and getting sellers to give you their homes . It is a printed manual plus a CD that contains the manual in PDF form (unless of course you digitally download the whole thing).
The product called Bob Talks Forms costs $197 . This is a video that plays to a PC . In this video Bob Meister explains what he believes investors need to know before going over forms and contracts with sellers .
Charlie Negotiates is a video CD product . It costs $197 . In this video, Charlie France gives investors the key phrases that she uses to convince sellers to pay you to take over their home . Total runtime is about two hours .
The EZ Lease to Own home-study course was formerly $997 and is now at the special new packaging price of $456 .
This product contains information about how to manage and fill homes quickly . It contains:
- a 428 page manual
- One data CD
- One audio CD
- Two video CDs with the manual
- All forms and contracts
- Bonus Audio CD of a two day workshop
- The 179 page update manual
- An additional bonus CD With insider tips
Auto Lease Is available for $597 . This is a companion to Auto Forms In which you can fill in company and property information and then allow Auto Lease to fill in the rest .
Credit Matters is an encyclopedia of how to fix credit and learn how to improve your tenants’ credit scores so that they can purchase your homes . This is claimed to be useful in getting tenants financed so that they can purchase your lease option home . This product contains 300 pages of material plus a CD containing sample forms and letters that are customizable for clients . Cost is $247.
The last item is Bookkeeping for Real Estate Investors . It costs $157 and comes with a PC video that shows how to set up and post transactions to QuickBooks .
Seminars and Workshops
Charlie and Randy France and Bob Meister also conduct two-day workshops . It’s unclear to me if they do this currently. The last one I found happened in 2013.
Day One of the workshops contains the following: ABCs of subject to, Buying homes in today’s market, Advertising for buying, Deal calculations, Negotiating for buying, Forms and contacts for buying.
Day Two covers Taking calls, Forms and contracts for filling homes, home prep, How to make money on evictions. Advertising to fill the home On the Internet, Property management.
Pricing for the seminar is $997 for the first person and $500 for the second person .
The webpage promoting the seminar highlights comments from workshop participants.
As far as free resources go, Charlie and Randy France have a fairly extensive blog archive . However, the most recent blog was posted in January 2013. They don’t have a YouTube channel that I was able to find, or podcasts.
I looked at a bunch of watchdog sites (Better Business Bureau, RipOffReport.com, PissedConsumer.com, USAComplaint.com) and none had any comments or complaints posted about the Frances, Bob Meister, or Get the Deed products or workshops.
While I found a few other reviews of the Franks, I didn’t see much in the way of feedback–positive or negative–about their products, with the exception of a single reference on BiggerPockets.com.
That person said: I heard that the “ABCs to Subject To” by Charlie and Randy France was good. I have not personally used it myself. but received the info from a local real estate investor.
So to sum up . . . it’s hard to tell if the Frances and Bob Meister are still offering the two-day workshop. All links on the workshop page at GettheDeed.com work except the ones to sign up for the course.
Links for the other products are live, so apparently you can still actually order them, and the blog links work too.
You could spend a lot of money on the products. Be wise about that. Not saying the products aren’t worth it; just reminding you that selling products is a big way real estate investment educators actually make their money. In other words, remember that their financial success is often because of the products they’re selling to you, and only partially from the deals they’re doing.
Could the money you’re spending on products be better spent going toward your first deal? Could you get the same info for less (or nothing) elsewhere? Keep that in mind.
Again, I’m not dissing the Frances or their products, and I’m not minimizing the value of their material. They have gone through the paces and done lots of deals and know their stuff. They legitimately have information to pass on.
Just cautioning you to be wise about where you allocate your dollars. Maybe you could get your first deal with that cash.