Why TV Flip Guru’s Flop When It Comes to Real Estate Education

Why TV Flip Guru’s Flop When It Comes to Real Estate Education

By Jeff Vasishta September 1, 2016
Photo courtesy of

Trump University isn’t the only real estate coaching course that leaves an odor like a broken sewer line in a fixer upper. In fact, out of all the TV house flipping celebs who have attempted to parlay their fame into teaching courses, it’s hard to find any course that receives ringing endorsements. The latest flippers who have flopped when they trade kitchen countertops for the classroom whiteboards are Tarek and Christina El Moussa of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop”.  As reported on numerous web sites including, complaints have been piling up faster than empty houses during the financial crash.

Related: Property Brothers Might Just Crush Your Tiny (House) Dreams

CBS’s April article listed 159 complaints against Premiere Mentoring, the educational company that appears to be associated with Tarek and Christina’s coaching program. The El Moussa’s follow FYI’s “Flipping Vegas” hosts Scott and Amie Yancey seminars that has a D- minus rating from the Better Business Bureau, via their affiliated company

Photo courtesy of

But the hits keep on coming. Remember the brash, outspoken Armando Montelongo from A&E’s “Flip This House”? He racked up over 160 complaints about his seminars. These courses are bigger money pits that a house with a faulty foundation. Here are the main reasons you shouldn’t be taken in by the celebrity pixie dust of a TV flip guru:

•    The actual TV hosts won’t be there. Why would they? They’re too busy filming and building their brand to show up to a 200 seater ballroom for a $200 per head seminar in your home town. Instead, just the way they leverage their stardom to get funding for flips, they also leverage it to build an educational business. The intro seminar is just a primer, hosted by someone you’ve never heard of, who many not have flipped any houses themselves. Then, they try to up-sell you more expensive courses where you are encouraged to part with tens of thousands of dollars.

•    The up-sell courses can cost up to $50,000 for a long weekend’s training. You will receive “exclusive” info to fulfill your flipping fantasies. Did you ever see any of the TV hosts take similar courses themselves? Of course not. A seller will not part with their precious property just because you told them you attended a real estate course. Buying a house consists of one main factor—an offer that the seller can accept and that you, the flipper can make a profit on. One of the attractions to their event, claim The El Moussas, is to offer to pair you with one of their financial sources to fund your flips. There are dozens of such companies available with the click of a mouse. Look at the motivation for a guru to branch into education: Making $100,000 profit on a flip would be considered an incredible return. But it may take 6 months. In one day they make enroll 10 people to their course who may be willing to pay $50K a piece. Not a bad rate of return and sure beats waiting for building inspectors and buyers to make up their minds.

•    Finally, if you, the investor are prepared to shell out up to $50K to enroll in one of these courses, your imagined future profits are only matched by your gullibility. For that money you could fund your first flip. Instead, you’d be better off doing your homework, connecting with local realtors, joining your neighborhood investment community and pounding the pavement, checking out grimy basements and leaking roofs and making low-ball offers. Find a reputable contractor to hold your hand and keep as much of your money as you can. You’re gonna need it.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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