Nouveau Riche University – What You Need to Know

03/19/2008 – 5:51 pm

Maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe not. The name is gaining popularity as more people turn to real estate as an investment. If you’ve been looking for real estate education, or even been to a “meeting” to learn about Nouveau Riche, you should read this article closely.

What Nouveau Riche University Is

Nouveau Riche IS an MLM company. Their most loyal and passionate “alumni” will argue otherwise until you’re blue in the face. Just remember, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it’s a duck. So what if it is? The concept of MLM is actually a good business model. It’s just that MLM has gotten a bad rap. For example, unethical people misleading others that “it’s not MLM.” For those living in denial, let me offer some advice. First, if you are so convinced that you’re onto something real, be proud of it. Most of the MLM stigma is because you’re afraid to admit it and “trick” prospects into coming to a recruiting meeting. Second, tell the truth. You created the stigma MLM as earned, you get rid of it.

How to spot an MLM? Look for the signs, catch-terms, and typical MLM phrases. Here are some Nouveau Riche terminology and its translation into MLM:

Independent Student Advisor (ISA) = Up-line, Sponsor, Mentor. This is the person who brought you in and gets a portion of your money you paid to get in. In this case your up-line gets about half of the $16,000 you pay to get in.

$16,000 Regent Tuition/Education/Courses = Product. If you don’t provide something in return for money, the government considers it an illegal pyramid. As long as you receive something “of comparable value” for the amount of money you paid, you’re not a pyramid. I suppose if it’s spun right, it’s not totally beyond the realm of possibility that you get $16,000 worth of education. Just understand that you can buy the same information at Border’s Books for under $500.

Learning Seminar = National Conference. Every MLM has them. They are very motivational, uplifting, attitude strengthening meetings. They are needed to keep you “in the game.” They are the high school equivalent to a pep rally. Nouveau Riche even throws in a few investment seminars. They have a few motivational speakers and self-help workshops that most can benefit from. You also get a heavy dose of the “success stories”, an endless parade across the stage of “ordinary people like yourself who’ve made it.” If you’re looking for a self’-help seminar, you might get your money’s worth. If it’s real estate education you’re going for, stay home, pick up a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and put the rest of the money you would have spent into a high interest CD. By the end of the year, you could have enough for a down payment on your first property.

Learning Event = Recruiting Meeting. Your first introduction will most likely be through an invitation to one of these by someone you know who probably just joined and wants to share this exciting new opportunity with you. The meeting starts with some exciting ways to make lots of money fast in real estate. They may show “hypothetical” examples of the riches that lay ahead for those who see the “opportunity” and are willing to make the “investment” into their own education. The “education” you pay for will give you ALL the tools you’ll need to be a successful real estate investor. Next up will be the testimonials of people who have “had their lives changed” from NRU. With the excitement level peaked, they tell you how you can start your education to riches. You can start for as little as a few hundred dollars, but the person who brought you will tell you why you want to get the Regent tuition package which is slightly higher, about $16,000.

Other Commonly Used MLM Words & Phrases: Opportunity, life changing, mentor, coaching, coachable, conference call, retirement, financial freedom, synergy, network, passion.

What Nouveau Riche University Is Not

NRU is not a scam. At least not totally. You will get an education in real estate investing. It’s just REALLY expensive and you CAN get the $16,000 Regent tuition equivalent education for much less than $1000. I give the same education for free. I say it’s not really a scam because they do tell you up front what you get, and usually most ethical ISA’s present things straight, although there is a lot of exaggeration that goes on. But then again, tell me when there isn’t some form of exaggeration when sales are involved. The problem is, most people that cry scam don’t do any research before jumping in head first. They got wrapped up in the hype and take it all at face value. There’s always some vision of “financial freedom and getting rich fast” the person has formed when deciding to “enroll.” Some time after shelling out $16k, they realize it’s not what they expected, a get rich scheme via easy street, and cry “foul.” For them, their education was a $16,000 lesson in life. Although $16k is a lot for a dose of reality, I know of “life lessons” that have cost people hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I will acknowledge that there are people who have made money in NRU. Some have made a lot of money. The success stories fall into two categories. The first category are the ones that should be commended. But these same people would have made it with or without NRU. These people have the discipline, mindset, attitude, work ethic and most important, the constant pursuit of learning and improving; qualities all successful people possess. These people applied what they learned at NRU and with HARD work, became successful. Who cares that they paid more than they had to for their education? They’re not complaining, so what do you care? The second category of people who’ve made it leave a path of destruction behind them. While it’s true they made money in NRU, their journey involved recruiting. Lots of it. After their first two Regent recruits, every Regent recruit after that puts about $8000 in their pocket. If you get someone decent at sales, put them in a room full of hype, frenzy and a road map to riches, well, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Each “fish” equals $8k. You do the math. It doesn’t take long before you’d have a nice war chest to start your investing. Sadly, most of those fish will soon be crying scam on some blog. They’re the path of destruction I referred to.

NRU is not a university. At least not in the context that many people enroll under. They do have fancy marketing stuff that looks official, but when you really look at it, it’s a very HIGH priced education that is nothing revolutionary or contains any top secret formulas. But if you think that paying $16k makes it valuable and empowers you, who am I to stop you? Just be smart and do your homework before forking out $16k.

NRU isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be. In fact, it just doesn’t work in most cities. The theories taught are real. But theory and real world can be very far apart. It’s possible that if you applied some of the strategies taught enough times (100 or more), you might eventually get a hit. But the reality is most people give up frustrated way before that. Also, it could literally take 100 or more tries to get that one deal. Along the way, be prepared for LOTS of rejection; some pretty personal and cruel. One of the education courses should be on developing thick skin and handling rejection. That would be the most valuable course. If you think the rejection thing is minor and you’re not worried about it, be prepared for an eye opening experience. You have no idea what you’re getting into.

NRU’s examples of their “favorite deals” on Concierge are not accurate. Question the numbers. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Now that you have a little more insight, here’s your homework. Read the comments on this post and see if you can tell the level of and length of time that person has been in NRU.

Here’s the scale:

1) Just joined – 1 year: Passionate defense of NRU; calling all naysayers ignorant, uninformed or close-minded. Anything negative about NRU takes a little toll on their faith and creates a little bit of doubt.

2) 1 year – 2 years: Defense not so passionate but still believe in NRU saying their experience was worth it.

3) 2 years – longer: Support of blogs calling NRU a scam.

Elliot Lau

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