Ariz.: Selling Students on Real Estate Investing


Using the multi-level marketing techniques made popular by Amway, Nouveau Riche University is selling real estate investment classes and a host of related products and services to would-be tycoons.

It takes money to learn to make money. Tuition for a weeklong course in Phoenix, Ariz., is $16,000. Students study how to leverage their equity to find money to buy properties. They also take classes in buying foreclosures and in the techniques of flipping a property. Classes are packed with as many as 2,500 students.

Graduates buy properties through Investor Concierge, Nouveau Riche’s brokerage arm, which arranges financing and then provides management services.

Some say both the classes and the investment opportunities are bad deals. One former student said, “What they teach there is dangerous. They’re selling you on getting rich fast, and that’s a risky game to play.”

But enthusiastic alumni groups have popped up all over the country.

Co-founder and CEO Jim Piccolo, who says revenues will top $80 million in 2007, squelches naysayers and critics who suggest that the declining housing market makes this kind of investing particularly risky right now.

“There is no better time to buy, because real estate is on sale. You can never go wrong with real estate in the U.S. of A.,” he says.

Source: Fortune Small Business Magazine, Patricia B. Gray (08/08/2007)

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