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Last night I went to a real estate invest presentation.

I responded to an ad on Craigs list and was invited to a presentation. The presenter was really entertaining, he went over the company (Renatus), offered courses that would help to educate potential investors for a fee (between $2K – $15K depending on the your course selection). The program is designed to walk new investors through different real estate tractions with an experienced investor. It was presented like a win-win…

My question is, have anyone heard of this company? I have done some research and I am finding mixed reviews. This idea of a one stop shop is appealing, but I dont want to put myself in a hole falling for a gimmick.

Oh yeah, they have been discussed here a LOT.  Use the search function to find the numerous discussions.  Also search their old name:  Nouveau Riche.

What did the invitation look like?  Did it sound like they were looking for assistants or people to work for them.  And then you got their and they tried to pitch you an exorbitantly expensive training course and mentor ship program?

Be careful.  There are a lot of gurus in this business that are pitching a dream of quick and easy riches if you will just hand over $10,000.  They target gullible newbies.  Dont be that gullible newbie.

@Marisa DicksonI personally dont think its necessary to pay that kind of money to learn. There are plenty of posts here on BP, blogs, podcasts, webinars, free info. etc. that take you from start to finish on a rehab deal, and its mostly FREE. However; theres even more as a paid member, and the cost is well worth it in my opinion.  What you dont find, you can ask and get free information. You can also find real people at local meetups Look on the forum Events and Happenings to see if your area has any, example:Chicago Meetup

No matter where you meet people, or what training you do, do your due diligence. There are always people ready to part your money from you! Talk to actual people and get references. Slick salespeople can sell ice to an Eskimo as they say.

I am a person that does due diligence. I really appreciate it Karen…

@Jon Holdman Yes, yes and yes… I do not want to be that gullible newbie spending thousands of dollars just to end up with nothing (literally). I like the fact that this forum is here. I would have went back on Monday for the follow up…

Look at the nationalREIAwebsite and see if there is a REIA near you. Most of them are really good and you can meet others who are doing what you are thinking of doing yourself. They can be great mentors.

And raves advice.  Learn as much as you can on BP and from other sources.

Disclosure:I am a customer (student) AND I can get paid if I sell the education. In this post Im trying to answer the posters question, not generate a sale.

I may catch some flak for this, on this site.  Im a current Renatus student in Chicago, based at the same Downers Grove office you probably visited.  Ive just been a student for a little over a month.  I believe, personally, that its the right fit for me.   But Im not going to say that everyone/anyone NEEDS a Renatus education to succeed in Real Estate.  Its true as other posters have stated, that that there is a LOT of information right here in the BiggerPockets community.  In fact, I usually listed to BP podcasts on my Thursday commutes to the office for study groups.

What Renatus and the Downers Grove office study groups give me are the comprehensive, structured education, followed through in study groups, and a community of students and mentors who have gone through the classes and have gone on to make a number of successful deals. There is a group accountability to complete the classes, there are discussion groups to make sure concepts are covered, there are regular events (these events are NOT visiting gurus whose appearance is aimed at selling additional products).

You would be with people whom you will be in a graduating class with, have had education together with in study groups, and will be able to do deals with. Ive gotten to know several of the other students and instructors pretty well in the short time Ive been with them. There are a number of other activities hosted by the Downers Grove office: Today after work I visited a fix and flip in Barrington thats about to go on the market – where Renatus students who participated are going to make a ton of money. After that, I traveled down to Downers Grove and in a small group I played the Cash Flow 101 game. This is a Rich Dad product aimed at training you how to think about real estate investments at a broad level. (Other ChicagolandREIAs also host Cash Flow nights for the same purpose).

If you do not pursue Renatus education, you can find communities of Chicago investors throughREIAgroups, including Meetups which are listed here. Im sure Brie Schmidt has already reached out to you if you have made an introduction here, and she can probably steer you to her REIA group. If you tend to work better with some structured education and with a group of people who will motivate you, hold you accountable, and keep you from procrastinating, and if you can commit to traveling to the Downers Grove office on at least a weekly basis (Thursday nights), then Renatus may be a good fit for you, at the $2k Essentials level.

Renatus DOES have an education marketing side, which is completely optional. Myself, Im not focusing on that. In fact, when I was first introduced to Renatus, the education marketing side gave me red flags, since I perceived it to be a MLM. I like to steer far away from MLMs and have had a couple MLMs pitched at me which Ive declined in the past.  I feel education marketing is 180 degrees from what I want to do. But I can understand their argument that you need to learn to market to be successful in real estate anyway — whether its marketing yourself, your abilities, your properties for wholesale, for rent, for sale, etc. The companys arguments for giving students the option to market its education are:  1) it keeps the money in the community where it can be reinvested rather than sending it to ad agencies or other advertising vehicles, 2) It allows students another mode of cash flow so they can build an operating/investing budget with which to start their RE investing 3) It helps train students to become salespeople, and this discipline is valuable in real estate.

I personally think that Renatus idea to market the education this way also gives them a terrible image problem, considering that I resisted the first opportunity to join because I checked up on Renatus online and concluded it was an MLM scam, and you can see that there are many who bring up the MLM label in regard to the education sales.  I personally am not focused on selling the Renatus education. Youll see that I do not have any kind of link in my bio or in this message pointing you at any kind of place you can register. In fact, this post is the first time I have ever mentioned the company on Bigger Pockets.

Whatever your decision, I wish you all the luck in your investing career. If you sign up, I will NOT get a commission based on your decision – that would go to the person who recruited you through the Craigslist ad.

Why pay for information you get for free online with a little time and effort doing research?  I have a real estate network group that met last night and we had this exact conversation.  For some people, they find value in a turnkey system that they will pay for.  Ive developed systems for over 20 years so I know how to do research.

Disclosure:I am a customer (student) AND I can get paid if I sell the education. In this post Im trying to answer the posters question, not generate a sale.

Im a Renatus student in Atlanta. I agree wholeheartedly with Scotts post. Whatever you choose to do, you want to do your due diligence, but my experience with Renatus has been a very positive one.

One of the posts on here said why would you pay for information you can get for free?. Well, Ive got two comments about that, 1) You usually get what you pay for, and 2) Why would someone buy a McDonalds franchise if they already know how to make a great hamburger? You buy a McDonalds franchise for the SYSTEM.

I recommend you do ONE thing… MEET some of the students who are CURRENTLY doing some LOCAL deals, and ask to see PROOF of those deals. If you were in Atlanta, we would be able to do that for you EASILY. As a matter of fact, we have a property caravan happening at the end of this month where we are going to take interested students around to show them some of the local deals that are being done (some Wholesale deals, some Fix & Flips, and some Lease Options).

Renatus is not an MLM, and Renatus does not follow the business model of many of those other gurus (i.e. 1) free afternoon workshop to sell you on the 2) paid 3 day workshop to sell you on the 3) expensive Mentorship program to just 4) give you an 800 and leave town). Just last month, I was with some of the investors Ive met through Renatus and we attended one of the local foreclosure auctions where I got to witness them bid on and purchase some properties.

So, I wish you the best in your real estate investing endeavors. Just as Scott said, I dont get a penny from you joining Renatus. So, Ive got no vested interest in whether you become a student or not. It may be for you or it may not. There are plenty of companies out there that are great companies, but they are not for me (that doesnt mean that they are not still great). I just like it when people are able to make an INFORMED decision based on CORRECT information.

@Marisa DicksonI went to one of those in NYC. It was framed as a Meetup group and a free real estate workshop. Then when I got there a fast talking guy gave a presentation about strength in numbers and how you can start investing using yourIRA, etc… He also spoke about how they are getting together and doing big deals all over the US (strength in numbers) and how they go on trips together and such. It was all sounding nice until I saw those dollar signs! There was a follow-up webinar the next day that I attended because it was based on showing us how we could pay for our education without using our own money (Ill admit I was intrigued by that). However, it was the same fast talking guy (that turned me off) who pretty much again talked mostly about selling Renatus and how after selling I could make money from my commissions to pay for the education or use a bunch of other methods.

If it walks like MLM, talks like MLM then its probably MLM (AFLAC!! lol).  After explaining how I can get regular checks bringing other people and having them sign up I was out!

You have to pay for a certain level of education just to get access to certain things, Im fine.  If I have 10k then I can invest that into real estate and use the MANY free and cheaper resources available in the world.

I will say as a side note, I met one woman (not the initial person who invited me and who would have been my assigned mentor) who was VERY STRAIGHT WITH ME.  Her words were in line with some of what @scott stelzer was saying.  You can focus on whatever you want to do.

Bottom line for me, I had already started marketing, making connections and taking action on my own.  I had been learning for about 6 months before then.  I didnt feel giving them $2-15k would have benefited me in the slightest.

You described it just as I experienced it. I am disappointed to say the least because I was really excited about having a mentor. I want avoid making huge mistakes, but I know that this forum, podcast and meet up events should guide me in the right direction.

I am tired of seeing people bash Renatus when they have no clue except what they read about it in the past. First it has nothing to do with Nouveau Richie. They closed in 2010. Yes the education is around $15,000 for the full package, which gives you life time access to the training and you can bring a partner in with you for no extra charge. But I ask you. WOULD ANY OF YOU take a group to the courthouse steps, purchase a house (USING YOUR MONEY), rehab that property with the group (USING YOUR MONEY) then once you sell that property after you collect your initial investment split the profits with the group. Once you do that you do that you have room to talk.

The education is setup just like Phoenix College, where you have post and pre testing after every module. There are weekly study groups and monthly workshops and yes once a month a group goes to the courthouse steps and purchases a property. We also have access to our own funding for our deals, do you? We recently purchased a block of 92 properties which made us a PPM (Hedge Fund) are you?

Have you ever been to one of the so called weekend guru boot camps. I have, and wasted a good bit of money. I was lured in with the free 2 hour seminar and then sold the 3 day boot camp. I have to admit that I did learn a lot and took a lot of notes but once they are gone, they are gone off to the next city doing it again. I watched people clamber to the table and pony up $20,000 for the one on one, 3 day training. That is just for 3 days, no guarantees, no additional one on one support after the 3 days. Renatus is all local, in 23 markets right now and more coming. The gurus are local and live in each market. They will work with you one on one in assisting you with any situation they can help with, WILL YOU!

So until you PONY UP and offer what RENATUS does, CLAM UP or put your MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS and you teach me and after I learn I will pay you back.

Any takers or are you all talk with no action.

75% of the time is spent trying to get you to recruit more students, so you can make $125 – a couple thousand off them. Thing is, if you look for real estate jobs on cragislist, they have FLOODED it! So, good luck in selling it, with countless others trying to do the same. I lost count of how many people told me saw this, not interested, or just not interested in spending hundreds or thousands of dollars.

On the investing side, nothing came for it. I thought I had a deal, and when I forwarded thePOFletter to the agent, all contact dropped dead! The company name on the letterhead, when I looked it up, the only thing I found was a LinkedIn Profile of a woman in Mexico. The phone number was to an employment agency in KY!

Eddie will you send me a copy of thePOFletter.

@Marisa DicksonBigger Pockets is a great source to educate yourself for free about Real Estate Investing. You dont really need anything more really to get going. However if you would like to read something motivating and structured I highly recommend the Weekend Millionaires, I have re-read it recently and for the most part i had find it to be very relevant for todays RE Market.

You really dont need a mentor to get started. My personal believe is: it is more useful, and will have a better chance of success finding someone  (Mentor) to help you when he/she sees that you toke the time and effort to educate yourself and perhaps did a deal or two, because it shows that you really are committed to RE investing, so it is worth for an experienced RE Investor to spent the time and energy on you to help you along.

Dont waste your time or money with Renatus. I worked their system for almost a year. Put two thousand people in the webinars Scott Rowe hosts. You will be the biggest spammer on Craigslist. They will not teach you much about real estate, but they will teach you to take other peoples money.  MLM

A better idea is to read Bigger Pockets forums and participate in a local investors club.

I will tell you own personal experience, being THIS CLOSE to buying their full program.

I contacted someone off the CL ad because I was looking for a mentor, or group to teach meREI. The person who put the ad in was 2 hours away! She sent me the webinars and then I went with her to the cash-flow game, and had a ton of fun playing the game. Its great to help shift your mindset. The guy presenting was low pressure, seemed like a really nice guy and had a great story. He even pulled out an email from one of his students. This was in Denver, the host was flying in every week from Salt Lake City to host these cash flow nights.

At this point I was looking for education as I had been invited to a Nick Vertucci NVREA seminar that my friend paid $1500 only be pitched a $40k 3 day bus tour. Ill write about that experience on another post. Well one thing this did was light the fire to start withREI. Also I contacted the CL ad as part of my researching on NVREA on the 2nd day of the seminar, and I have to say that at least Renatus gave me an alternative to $40 because believe it or not, my friend put down the $20k downpayment for the bus tour! So 15k was looking a lot better and had what we were looking for a structured system with a network. So we were pretty sold from the get go.

I then attended another cash flow night, it was a big set up, he had 6 other people helping. Laid out a very similar spiel and pulled out the same email. It became very clear that he was making his money selling education not real estate. Just like the NVREA people. Its much easier to sell education and real estate. They will push you to get finance with them at 18%! Turns out they will help you fund deals at 18% too. The more I looked into the group the more I realized that they are priming students to borrow from them at ridiculous interest on crummy deals they make the bulk of the money on while you get to do the work.

If this guy, nice as he was, was making money selling real estate and was so busy as he claimed, why was he putting so much effort and money towards selling education every week in a city a plane ride away? Because this is the purpose of Renatus to get you to sell education not real estate. They push you hard to sell their education. Yes their commission package is big IF YOU BUY THE FULL $15K (now 20k) program. Its not MLM and you probably will make money if you shell out for the full program – just know that your focus will be selling education – notREI. The lady who I contacted has yet to buy a property and shes been involved at least 6 months. Since Im interested in REI – NOT selling education, I said thanks but no thanks, and bought a small apartment building with the person who invited me to the NVREA seminar, now business partner.

My experience is that these education programs will only take your focus away from pulling the trigger onREI. If you are serious about investing, all the education is there for free, and the biggest learning will be had on your 1st deal, and will continue with your subsequent deals.

I have to stand up for Renatus here.  I am currently taking my educational classes through them and have been amazed by the quality of them.  I am an accountant by trade so not some dummy looking to get rich quick.  Some of the most impressive classes Ive seen have been the amazing tax and legal strategies taught by Mark Kohler.  Mark is a CPA and an attorney and he gets them both to work together.  All of our instructors are extremely successful practitioners and teach what they do.  It isnt 1 instructor for everything.

We have some manyREIAmembers joining our group it is unbelievable. They come to us not understanding how we are able to accomplish what we do. For new investors, we have funds available and buyers available which almost allows us to practice before we jump right in. The mentorship is amazing and the support is unbelievable. This is not a guru group by any definition of the word. A guru will sell you something, leave you, and try to sell you more.

If you want unbelievable support while you learn real estate investing, this is the place.  There is no MLM aspect to this at all.  We have a great income opportunity that Bob Snyder has initiated in hopes of getting people out of their jobs and into real estate full time.  How much investing can you do when you work 9-5 somewhere else?  Im only in my 4th month and I have a $10,000 payday coming followed by several more.

We look for people who share the same vision as we do.  We understand some people think everything is a scam and they dont believe in opportunities that are too good to be true.  That means they settle for mediocre opportunities all the time.

An A rating with the BBB is worth something.  It is better to speak with people who have knowledge of something rather than rely on speculation and words from people who failed at something.

Go to the BBB and look them up.  They have a A rating and it was not paid for to achieve.  I looked for 8-10 years and took all the guru courses.  There is always an up sell with the others.  We tell you everything up front.  We dont sell you.  We present information and if you like us, great.  If not, we wish you all the best.  Yes talk to some of us that have tried all the other stuff and still never got enough info to do a deal.  Check it out!  We want you to.  Happy to talk to anyone, anytime!

So you are Currently taking your educational Classes with Renatus, how Long do those classes take and what level did you buy?  2k, 15K? Did you also buy into the marketing section?

You say in your post For new investors, we have funds available and buyers available which almost allows us to practice before we jump right in.  Who is we?  You have done a flip in which Renatus gave you the money to buy and renovate that flip?

Then you say Im only in my 4th month and I have a $10,000 payday coming followed by several more.  So if you are getting a payday from Renatus, and a ten thousand dollar one at that, you are getting that payday from recruiting students to buy the 15K package and not from investing in Real Estate correct?

So in four months of Renatus Education you have spent 15K on the education, you have a $10000 payday coming, how many properties did you buy and flip so far?  Just wondering, and oh ya, can you give me an address of your most recent flip.  I love doing research on tax records and Sales history and Mortgage history.

Hi Marisa. Thanks for the great question. I agree man.  Be careful in your decisions to work with companies that promise the world of investing in one expensive program, but that does not mean to write them off.  There is a vast selection of programs available for real estate investors of every experience level and in all price ranges. That is a good thing because every person has different needs and ways they like to learn.

Bigger Pockets provides a wealth of information to investors and it is a wonderful place to learn and interact with fellow investors of all experience levels and in many different investment areas.   Whether you are new or a seasoned professional, learning is a process that continues throughout life. I believe when we cease to learn, we are headed in the opposite direction of success.

Evaluate your personal needs by asking yourself questions and make decisions that are best for you. Decide what you want from a mentor or program and look for that which meets your requirements.

So glad for this post. I saw an ad on Craigslist for rei solutions which seems very similar to Renatus. Was trying to find info on them before wasting my time contacting them. I went to the rei solutions facebook page and checked out every person that has liked the facebook page. Of the 35 likes I found one person that seemed to be in rei or had any comment concerning rei on their page. So did a search for that person on bigger pockets and found a post from them on this post defending Renatus stating that they were a student. However, their facebook page states that they have been a mentor, leader and investor with Renatus since Sept 2014. Interestingly they posted in September 2014 on here that they were a student on this post. Now I really know to keep away.

Im interested to know what you did or are doing to pursue your desire to do more, be more in real estate?REIis a fantastic way to make both passive and massive income. I was a Mortgage Banker for years and along the way I did several REI transactions on the side. Now Im full time REI. Your day job should lend itself to REI. I heard the other day that Cook county has tens of thousands of tax foreclosed properties. Good luck its a worthy endeavor.

Disclosure:Affiliate but make no money from them

I posted before but I must post again. Stay away from Renatus. I got involved and I lost basically my 15k. Yes, I am a fool. What they are about is selling the education, period. Thats how Scott Rowe makes most of his money. Sure, he does buy apartment buildings. But he is probably making close to a million a year on overrides from other people selling and buying the education. Dont be fooled. I regret it. And they also recommend this and that, like self-directed IRAs. Well that company APS, is in receivership and they want everyone who has money in there to pay 10% of it because of a 22 million shortfall. Yes, again a fool. They also pushed a duplex deal where it cost 45k and the rent was $1,200 a month. Sounds like a great deal — not. they used to use it to entice people as a way to pay for the education. Everything is about that. But guess what. The guy managing the Property eventually rips you off with fees and repairs and you end up owing him money. Great cash flow. I almost did that one but luckily I didnt. But I know people who did, a lot of people in Renatus got taken by that scam.  Need to fix your credit, they know a guy. But trust me run away from Renatus as fast a  you can

If anyone out there knows a lawyer that wants to sue bob snyder and Scott Rowe about the APS mess please contact me somehow. Like this post or something.

Disclosure:very satisfied and profitable student/affiliate

Lets answer the bell again Debra Vance… as for Real Estate Investing… I completed wholesale deals because of renatus classes, I did my first and continue to Fix and Flip as a direct result of Renatus classes, all the rental properties I now have are a direct result of my Renatus classes… the NOTES we create and move are a direct result of the classes… because I took classes… tested out… and used them… I even wrote off the education as a direct result of my classes… why if you and I started exactly the same way answering an ad are you not having the same success I am… this is the question an intelligent person must ask to make intelligent decisions… I am involved with APS the same exact way you are looking for solutions like you are… and dealing with that arm in arm with you… but that isnt Renatus… Renatus didnt make me choose APS… that is a separate company we all thought was good because of a track record they showed us, the only people I can sue are the ones you can sue… check back in with your teammates on the 2 units… new management and refis that we got them means we continue to help students/investors too… gets them a 12%-14%NOI… that NOI is fantastic… if they dont want that NOI I will take those properties off their hands… especially with the market squeezing margins great NOIs… again Debra… every story has 2 sides… your side is one of frustration… remember you are still a student and I am still here to help you… you have my direct number and I have NEVER heard from you… why is it you dont take me up on my offer to help you… is it because you are happier being angry than profitable?… think about that… hope to hear from you…

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