Attention All Real Estate Information Marketers

When it comes to selling real estate products with the “product launch formula” marketing approach, some gurus uphold the highest standards of honesty and integrity while others will say or do absolutely anything to make the sale. That means there is a lot of gurus that live in the gray area.

I am issuing the following list as my opinion and would ask that those who agree stand with me in a public manner. For those who disagree, I’m not here to persuade you. I am just one voice. I am drawing a line and publicly stating what is and what is not acceptable from my perspective.


1) False scarcity

If you are selling only 500 copies available, then it is wrong to continue selling beyond theat limit!   Most of these guru information marketers use scarcity to manipulate you to buy.  There’s nothing wrong with limiting the quantity sold if you truly limit the quantity.

2) Closing and reopening sales of products.

They will sell a  number of “digital” copies and then pull the product from the market, knowing full well that they will offer the product again in the near future. There is no physical reason to pull the product except to create a sense of urgency for people to buy. This is only done for the pure reason of using a sales trigger to motivate you to buy now.

3)  Hyped-up sales letters

I have seen sales letters promises of making ridiculous amounts of money in preposterously short periods of time. These letters are designed to appeal to people who need money fast and don’t have the sense to know that it take work.  I can’t stand the promises of instant riches with a secret push-button system.  How many times have you heard that one?

4) Crap products

These guru’s are simply coming up with the newest miracle product to take advantage of a whats going on in the media.  Of course they have never done a deal in their life using the method in the prnue to churn out product just because they can. They know people will buy no matter how inferior the product is. This approach causes consumers to lump all internet marketers together as “scammers.” Not good.

5) Endless upsells and downsells

Offering another product to a new customer is nothing new. I’ve got no issue with presenting an upsell or downsell based on whether or not a prospect becomes a customer. But it is becoming more common to see four, five or six upsells and/or downsells in the sale process. It is insulting to the customer to hit them with one offer after another. But what’s even worse is…

 6) Cross-promotions

I regularly receive emails from marketers inviting me to promote their product. Invariably, I am promised a promotion from them in return.  I want to work with others based on the value they bring and not because we each have a list that we can use to make money off each other. I can’t even begin to count how much money I have left on the table by being protective of those on my list. That doesn’t mean I won’t consider endorsing another product. It just means I am more interested in the value of your product than being asked to promote so that you will promote me. It’s an extremely shallow and short-sighted approach.

 7) Encouraging affiliates to use bonuses as incentives

I’ve seen real estate information marketers  put together shameful bonus packages. I can only imagine how their customers who paid full price for those product must feel to see the product devalued so much.

The online world is changing. The days of the massive high-dollar product launch are coming to a close. People are looking for less hype and more value. Those who want to build a real estate business are having to learn tried and true systems for making it happen. The odds of getting rich quick are slim.

 I am not the  guru police of  right, wrong, honest, dishonest, ethical or unethical. I’ve made  mistakes, but I have learnt from them and changed how I operate.


11 thoughts on “Attention All Real Estate Information Marketers

  1. Randall Mixon

    I totally 100 percent agree. I follow all of those guidelines when selling my Courses. I always have. It’s just some of things you don’t do if you have integrity. One that I truly hate is when you click on a page to buy, and it has a discounted price that ends in 12 hours or whenever. Such lying BS! Or it has a few diminishing numbers marked through and only X number of copies left! I instantly lose all respect for anyone who markets that way. It’s a big red flag, and it doesn’t matter how good the product looks to me, I won’t buy it.

  2. Robert Kim

    My favorite tactic is when they proclaim that there is a limited amount of a digital product so “You better buy now before it’s all gone!” A digital product. Yeah, right. Like the our planet is in danger of running out of electrons.

  3. Fred A. Cerra

    Like P.T. Barnum (Of Circus Background) used to say, “There’s a sucker born every minute!”. It’s as though there are a lot of promoters subscribing to that thesis.
    What ever happened to Honesty & Integrity????
    Duncan, Please keep up your good work in exposing some of these charlatans.
    F A Cerra

    1. Todd Peterson

      @ Fred Cerra: Actually, it’s unlikely Barnum ever said any such thing. The more realistic quote attributed to him is “There’s a customer born every minute.” He had a much more charitable view of the public than this widespread misattribution suggests. If you’d like to read an excellent short book of Barnum’s (“The Art of Money Getting”), email me directly and I’ll send you the ebook (todd [dot] peterson [at] yahoo [dot] com).

      And thank you Duncan for fighting the good fight. The guru marketplace has become a joke! I’m all for people making a good living, but not at the expense of those who don’t know any better.

      1. Fred A. Cerra

        Hey Todd,
        I made that statement because when I was a teenager (I am 74 now), I saw a movie about PT Barnum and in that movie the actor portraying PT Barnum made that statement. Also throughout my life I have heard that statement repeated on multiple occasions. I only repeated what I saw in the movie & heard throughout the years. I do not know if Mr. Barnum was alive when the movie came out, however I am sure he would have wanted to go on record as never making such a statement. I never saw anything to the contrary. Of course, back in the 50’s we didn’t have the world wide web & social media, news moved at a far slower pace. If the quote is incorrect, I am sorry, however the message is still the same (Someone had to have made it) and there are unscrupulous people that subscribe to it.

  4. DJ

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

    1. Duncan Wierman Post author

      John.. you have a right to your own opinion. I parted ways with Jeff Adams for exactly the reasons stated on this blog. I did not want anything further to do with scumbags and people who do not care about the people they sell to, or who provide crap products, or who says one thing and does another. Yes. I did do stuff with Jeff… but again .. not anymore.

  5. Tara

    I’m new to this blog, having Googled “Steps in Real Estate Cons” following an info session (read: upsell to a “real estate education weekend” for the low, low price of $1267) geared to Canadians wishing to cash in on the foreclosure real estate market in the U.S.

    What do you know about guru Don Burnham? He was the keynote speaker at the session and while many of the hallmarks of a scam artist were missing, he was actually much more dangerous, in my opinion. He is, of course, a confidence man, and he’s good at it. Instead of a hard-sell, he makes reference to worthwhile risk rather than no-risk investments. His “aw, shucks” self-deprecation hooked people right away, and he reeled the audience in with warnings of swindlers like Bernie Madoff, instantly setting himself apart from such criminals. He even dragged Jesus into it, making subtle references to his pastoral work and how he believed in spiritual wealth over monetary wealth.

    He was there at the invitation of the Millionaire Mentor Club, whose name alone should set off all kinds of alarms and beat you to death with red flags. Yet at the end of the hour-and-a-half, people were lining up to sign up for the weekend seminar at $1267 per couple. This was the third info session–if they get even 30 couples out of the 100+ people who were there per night, they rake in $38,000 for this city alone. Seems to me if they’re investing in real estate, they’re missing their real calling: duping scores of people into doing what they are preaching, but not practicing. From planted audience members asking pointed or funny questions, to the constant video reel showing the great deals to be had in Florida and Phoenix, it all sounded too good too be true, which as we all know, it probably is. He alluded to setting up your own American corporation to have a team working for you as you buy/rent/flip, buy/rehab/flip, buy/rent/own all kinds of great properties, details of which, of course, were available only to those who shelled out the first installment of what I imagine will be many thousands of dollars in “education” or as he put it “telling, not selling”.

    Just wanted your take on this Millionaire Mentor Club outfit and Don Burnham. While I know a scam when I see one, I’m not knowledgeable enough about finances and real estate to know why his proposition will not work or is not feasible.


    1. Duncan Wierman Post author

      I do not know him..
      but I find no fault with his pricing, considering it is per couple…
      and it very well could be valuable information that could cost you alot more money if you do it wrong.

      I sell information products at seminars that cost more, and in my opinion are very valuable to jump start someone into investing.
      I can not howver comment on the quality of his product since I have not seen it.

      There is nothing wrong with selling information products if you do it with integrity.

      1. GR

        Research Don Burnham on Google. You will find lots of hits regarding previous scams. Not much yet on MMG. I just attended the weekend course, which was discounted to $267, for two people. And stopped there. Apparently the next step is $15000, then the next $35000. But take a look for yourself. Interesting reading.

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