Video: Property spruikers' seminars investigated

Video about an investigation into property spruikers' seminars

Video transcript

Annabel Hennessy, Journalist:  During the course of my investigation into the seminars I had to do a number of bizarre group activities. I had to put my hand through a block of wood, imagine I was at my own funeral, give massages to fellow attendees, chant and dance to ramp up my emotions.

I would define a property spruiker as someone who uses excessive emotional manipulation when they're trying to advertise something in relation to property or property investment.

A lot of it would be to talk personal stories about how this person had made all this money through property investment.

Some of the testimonials I noticed came from people who worked for the company or were affiliated with the company but then in the way the testimonials were presented they didn't always disclose that they were employed by the companies.

They didn't mention how much debt these people were in which I think is something that's very important.

You'd slowly begin to feel somewhat worn down. That's when the sales contracts would come out.

Often the sales contracts too would have special deals where you could sign now and get 50 per cent off or, on one seminar I went to, you could get a $10,000 discount on their education course -- but only if you signed up during the lunch break so that people were feeling a lot of time pressure.

And think a lot of the people who were there thought they were there for this free day were they would learn stuff not realising that most of the day was in fact a sales pitch.

Ask yourself why is this free and where are they earning their money? Some of them they are earning their money in the form of educational courses and then others are earning commissions from developers.

I spoke to a number of people who had being burnt by property spruikers as part of my research, and the thing was it had longstanding ramifications upon their lives. Many of them had bought into these investments schemes or bought these investment properties with the idea it would help them for their retirement. Very tragically many of them actually had lost their own homes or were in the process of losing their own homes because these investments hadn't worked.

My advice to anyone would be remember these are sales people, they're not just giving you advice from the goodness of their heart so whenever you go in there go in with research and go in informed. Be very cautious of the fact they'll tell you they're all about creating wealth but more often than not it's just about creating debt.

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Last updated: 15 Aug 2016