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22 April 2003

ABC – Four Concerns



If you missed the Four Corners story on real estate scams, you can visit their web site and read a transcript of the program. If you are interested in real estate investing, it is worth reading.

Following is a brief outline of the program as displayed on the Four Corners web site.

“Bill Gates uses software. I use property.” – Real estate guru “You can go broke quick but you can’t get rich quick.” – Real estate sceptic

Property messiahs, wanna-be millionaires and the promise of riches…
Despite the forecasts of flagging interest, Australians’ love affair with property shows few signs of cooling…

In Melbourne alone, 100,000 new apartments will hit the market in the next four years. Most of these are being snapped up not by people who will live in them but by investors who believe they can’t lose on bricks and mortar.

The real estate obsession has spawned a new phenomenon – property messiahs who organise huge seminars and work their crowds with religious intensity.

“Dreams absolutely do come true!” one tells his audience.

Wanna-be millionaires are flocking to hear property gurus tell them how to get discounts from developers, or how to buy using deposit bonds that can be paid for later. The key message: you don’t have to have money to make millions.

Typically, a thousand people pay about $60 each for an introductory
lecture. More intensive courses may see hundreds of people paying anywhere between $5000 and $50,000.

The seminars are often just the front window on a network of marketeers, financial advisers, valuers, law firms and financiers. While these groups trade on an image of respectability, all too frequently there are conflicts of interest that remain hidden from the buyer.

While some have made money, thousands of investors have fallen victim to schemes based on inflated valuations and two tier marketing – one price for the locals, another for outsiders – especially in Queensland.

Four Corners discovers that despite belated action by Queensland authorities, many of the sharp operators are thriving – and that their focus has shifted south, and to Melbourne in particular.

Stephen McDonell reports on “Tall Stories” – Four Corners 8.30 pm Monday 21 April (repeated Tuesday 1 pm).

The Neil Jenman Group, by placing this notice, does NOT claim any endorsement by the ABC.
Stories posted on this site are authentic.
The only changes may be brief edits and spelling or grammar corrections.
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