My earlier post ‘Good advice: Google the salesmen and their get-rich-quick scheme‘, included the suggestion that a bit of research and homework could save a lot of pain and regret:

Check that 'opportunity' out before paying a cent (or rupiah) (image:

look at the track records of these guys and their previous ‘enterprises’? Do some due diligence and don’t believe the hype.

I’ve been struck by the number of Asian buyers of the Shaun Stenning/Dean Letfus -delivered twalk & snipr hyperbolic sales pitch who have found their way to to express their disappointment at the transaction (read the comments) … now. Too late!

There’s a special kind of regret where you discover old warnings that you missed about something that you have slipped into. Some people self-blame. If only there was a way to turn back time for these people.

If only they could have digested the warnings that were online like Q: Is this a Shaun Stenning product? A: Er, cough. Well, yes and no … and Lowlife con-artist uses internet to fleece Kiwis about various operators and their track records. Perhaps it would have introduced a note of caution?

And then, in what almost looks like an entry for this month’s award for unconscious irony, consider the Subject line for a recent um, ’email marketing message’ re a six day research/buying tour of cheap Memphis, USA properties being promoted by spruiker Dean Letfus and his associates:

'Safe investing means doing your homework' Part of a sales pitch for a tour of US properties aimed at Kiwis and Australians.

For an extra heaping ladle of irony, you can’t go past the headline on their web page:

Want to learn how to create a plan to retire through property in 2011 without hype, nonsense or unfounded promises?

Well right now there is an unprecedented opportunity to create cash flow safely, simply and fast!


Priceless! (Get-rich-quick, anyone?)

Deja vu all over again?

I was aware of Dean Letfus running similar educational/buying trips to Australia’s Gold Coast a few years back. He was spruiking for an incongruously named property developer under a brand ‘Global Property Showcase’, viz:

Join us on a Discovery Tour

We run regular tours to the Gold Coast to showcase the area and the opportunities available. We will show you every project currently under development and give you a comprehensive education on the area and the investment potential. We find it is much easier to show you what is happening in a market than try and just tell you about it. And if you like what you see and proceed to a contract the cost of the tour is fully refunded.

Over 3 days we will visit developments from Burleigh heads to Coomera. You will meet and learn from local investors and traders. We’ll enjoy great food and company without any hard sell.

Email us now for more info or to book your seat on the Global Property Showcase Discovery Tour.

Regarding that line: “We’ll enjoy great food and company without any hard sell”, a friend of mine had a distressed professional client contact him after she returned home from one of Dean’s ‘educational’ trips.

He tells me she described the ‘pressure’ she felt that the selling machine exerted on her during one of these tours. Despite the assurance ‘without any hard sell’, she said she found herself in a place where she felt so obligated, and at their mercy, she felt she had no way out of signing up (‘proceed to a contract’) to buy one of those apartments off the plans… tsk.

Now, I’m not saying she was intimidated or anything unsavoury. How would I know? I wasn’t there. This is just how she described it to my friend who relayed it to me … and whose first piece of advice to her was: Get your own lawyer involved — don’t accept the Australian professionals the ‘selling machine’ had lined up to ‘assist’ with the transaction.

By pure coincidence, I have a close friend who works in real estate sales on the Gold Coast. While over there for a wedding shortly afterwards, I asked her and a colleague what they knew about the development company Dean was representing — ‘doing my homework’ you could say.

I won’t repeat what they told me, but suffice to say, their comments and others I heard from another Aucklander who had worked briefly selling apartments off the plans for the same company, made me wonder if Dean actually knew who he was dealing with. I don’t know how things ended there.

But here he is running a [superficially] similar scheme promoting tours to Phoenix and Memphis. Oh boy.

I guess the wisdom in ‘you will know them by their fruit‘ applies.