Property seminars – a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Women with CentsBlog, Investment

A few weeks ago I answered a community question and touched on the importance of caution when it comes to property investment seminars. So this week, I want to delve a little deeper and give you a few things to consider before you sign on that dotted line…

First, picture this. You receive a letter in the post, or an email in your inbox, inviting you to a FREE property seminar that’s being run near your home. It probably tells you about a fantastic investment opportunity where the returns are sky-high and the risks… what risks? There are none!  

If this is sounding familiar, you’re most certainly amongst friends. We’ve all received, and believed, these letters from time to time. You probably remember being intrigued right? Who doesn’t want to be an overnight millionaire! But sky-high returns and no risks? Let’s continue…

You decide to go along to the seminar, just to see what the fuss is about. You sit and listen to some speakers who boast big CVs, and even bigger bank accounts, but there is some interesting information, and the opportunity does sound pretty great, so you stay to the end. Then, before you have time to even think, a swanky salesman is chatting you up, pressuring you to sign up for more information, or more seminars or even to hand over that very hard-earned deposit you’ve saved up.

So before you attend your next property seminar, make sure you do these three things.

Step 1. Google it

Do your own quick quasi-background check on the seminar. Find out who is running it and what its all really about. What’s their reputation? Are there any complaints or lawsuits against them? If the seminar is being run by a property developer, you can expect that they are probably out to sell their wares. That’s not to say don’t attend, but just be aware of the purpose. If it’s being run by a buyer’s agent, or someone who acts on behalf of investors, it might be less likely to be a sales pitch for a specific investment. 

Step 2. Look for the signs

If the seminar is free and there is a red carpet being rolled out, complete with food and drinks; or there are no risks but very high returns; or you’re being given a pretty serious deadline for sign-up, proceed with a bit of extra caution.

Step 3. Don’t decide on the day

If the pressure is on to get in on this investment before you leave the seminar, that can be a concern. Take some time to think it through and then seek out some independent advice before you hand over your autograph or your money.

Have you had any experiences with property seminars? I’d love to hear your experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) over at our Women with Cents Facebook page.

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