THE TWO-TIER TERRORISTS

The spruikers are trying to sell the consumers an over-priced and under-quality piece of property

This is not one specific story. Rather, it is dozens of identical stories happening to different people all the time. It's a story that constantly loops through Neil Jenman's life.

It's a story of rescuing investors from spruikers who should be called "two-tier terrorists".

These are the spruikers who target consumers all over Australia with an offer to show them how to "pay less tax" or "pay off their mortgage quickly" or "secure their retirement".

Whatever the offer, the motive is always the same. The spruikers are trying to sell the consumers an over-priced and under-quality piece of property.

These spruikers find their victims in a variety of ways. Sometimes they will set up booths in the shopping centres where they will offer a prize in return for a name and contact details. Other times they will hire tele-marketers who are given scripts on "tax reduction" or "wealth creation". The tele-marketer's aim is to set up an appointment for the consumer to attend a seminar or to have what's called "an in-home consultation". Some spruikers tour the country placing large advertisements with tantalising headlines in the newspapers.

Whatever their method of finding victims, again, their motive is the same. To sell an over-priced and poor quality property to naïve investors.

The consequences of buying over-priced, poor quality properties can be catastrophic. Instead of improving the investors' lives (as promised), these spruikers can destroy people's lives.

Often, it's not until months - or even years - after they have bought their properties, that many investors realise they have been duped. It's only when it comes time to sell that they realise they paid too much.

Most investors are told that their properties will only cost them "a few dollars a week after tax" (one investor, a young mechanic, was told that the cost of buying a property was "less than a slab a week, mate").

But the cost of holding properties is always higher than the spruikers reveal. For many investors, the holding costs (which, are in effect, mammoth weekly LOSSES) cripple them. One mother struggled to find enough grocery money after paying the costs of the family's investment property. Many investors are forced to 'bail out' with significant losses.

Of course, the spruikers are quick to say, "You should not have sold." They ignore the fact that the investors cannot afford to hold.

The best way for investors to avoid being attacked by these two-tier terrorists is to avoid buying from them in the first place. And this is where Neil Jenman so often comes in.

Here is what happens in hundreds (perhaps thousands) of cases. The spruikers contact the investor and give them what looks like an irresistible sales pitch. The investors then Google the name of the spruiker or the spruiking company and, presto, they discover an article written by Neil Jenman.

The investors then say to the spruikers, "I am not going to deal with you because I have read about you on the Jenman web site."

Naturally, this enrages the spruikers who then do all they can to smear and discredit Jenman.

Unfortunately, for the spruikers (and, fortunately for the investors), Neil Jenman is not in the business of selling real estate. His sole motive is to protect consumers. And so, the spruikers' insipid arguments - such as "Jenman is just trying to get more agents" or "Jenman is not very well liked" - have no effect on the now wide-awake and much more astute investors.

In other cases, investors will be in the process of buying a property from a spruiker. They will do a search and find no critical articles. But they will still find Neil Jenman to whom they will send an email that goes something like this…

Hi Neil

We have been contacted by XYZ company who tell us that they can help us to pay off our mortgage more quickly. They tell us that we should buy a property (brand new) from them and it will only cost us $X dollars a month.

Have you heard of this company? If so, what do you think?

If not, we'd still like to know what you think?

Regards

Concerned Consumer

Neil Jenman will then reply to the budding investors and show them how to avoid being caught in a two-tier marketing scam. It's as if Jenman shows them how to do a 'test' to see whether or not they are about to be ripped off. In many cases, the test comes back positive - the investors were indeed about to be ripped off. They then contact the spruikers and cancel the proposed investment.

In some cases, the investors may already have signed a contract and paid some money. Neil Jenman will then launch a rescue mission. In many (probably most) cases, if the sale has not progressed past settlement, Neil (and his legal colleagues) are able to successfully rescue the investors.

[Although Neil himself does not charge, in some of these cases, the investors will incur legal fees. But a couple of thousand dollars in legal fees is better than a lifetime setback from buying a dud investment property].

WARNING: Please be aware that, during boom times (as occurred in Australia in the past few years) many over priced and poor quality properties can appear to be well priced and good quality.

Investors (especially those without experience) may consider any profit (no matter how modest) to be a wonderful profit. They will then give glowing praise to the spruikers who will then boast about having "created property millionaires". The spruikers will tour the nation boasting about their string of success stories.

Just remember, these spruikers are nothing more than the modern equivalent of snake-oil salesmen who used to tour in their horse-drawn caravans claiming to be able to offer miracle health cures.

The old snake-oil salesman is alive and well. Today, he is a travelling property spruiker.

FOOTNOTE: To recognise some of the signs of a two-tier marketing scam, please click here