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Beware Of Property Gurus

Property gurus & experts

The rise in the buy-to-let residential investment market has been accompanied by the appearance of the so called ‘property guru’ or expert. These ‘gurus’ spend all their time instructing property investors how they too can make millions out of investing in residential property if they just follow their plan. This normally costs ….in many ways!

I’m instantly suspicious of anybody that appears to want to tell you how they made a million and how you can do it too. My question is always…. why if you have found such a brilliant way of making money would you want to share the secret with a whole load of potential competitors? Are they completely mad and having discovered the recipe for making gold out of sand and water they want to give away the secret to everybody. Perhaps they are like a charity or social enterprise and they want to give away their property secrets to everybody but if so and they are doing it for the love why charge?!

Why are so called property experts charging?

The answer is normally that these property gurus are trying to sell landlords something and make money in the process. They nowadays increasingly dress themselves up as a property investment mentor.  They feast on the froth of a buoyant property market. Most property gurus have traditionally tried to sell residential investment property for which they will receive a commission from the seller or the development company. They act as a property agent taking a commission from the agent or developer each time they sell a potential buy-to-let investment.

Other property gurus will promise the unsuspecting or novice investor a fool proof system and invaluable advice on how to build up a buy to let portfolio in double quick money and without any cash to put down as a deposit. Nice!!! All they need from the unsuspecting investor is a few hundred or thousand pounds to reveal all their property secrets.

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Property guru warning

Any landlord looking to follow the advice of a ‘property guru’ needs to stop and think first, what are their motivations? 

Property investors should make sure not to get caught up by a guru’s flash car, confidence, swagger, promises and pictures of a bright and wealthy future. 

Instead what property investors should do is:

  • Do as much research themselves. Use the internet to dig around and find out about the gurus proposition and their background. Could it well be that the guru is not quite what they make out they are. Have they been in trouble with the law or their professional body.
  • Try and understand why residential investors closer to the proposition aren’t ‘snapping’ up the investment opportunity. For instance if the investment proposition is so strong in the US, the heart of global entrepreneurship then why aren’t all the local landlords and property investors falling over themselves to buy such great property investments.
  • Ask the most pertinent question. If these residential investment properties are such great property investments why are they not keeping quiet and buying them all themselves. To which they may reply that; ‘they don’t want to be greedy and that they have enough money already’. In which case you may want to suggest that they refund any commission that they receive for their sales.

After this careful research by a landlord it may well be that the residential investment proposition, and indeed the ‘property guru’ is not all they seem to be.

What happened to the property gurus?

Well as you would expect some property gurus despite their fabulous insights have not fared so well. Here is a little update of some of the property gurus who have come and gone over the years.

Nick Rampley-Sturgeon

Some of our landlord property investors may have heard his name before, Nick Rampley-Sturgeon. His book was published by the Financial Times publishing house Prentice Hall under the title ‘Buying to Rent’. You may have attended one of his ‘Property Bootcamps’. Apparently Nick didn’t take his own advice as his residential investment properties located mainly in Daventry were eventually repossessed. The unfortunate Mr Rampley-Sturgeon who was the subject of an article back in 2004 in the Financial Times entitled Bricks & Slaughter has now moved to the States. It seems a posh name and a book published by the FT is not always enough to guarantee financial success.

Grant Bovey

Grant Bovey the high profile ex husband of Anthea Turner has experienced a mixed ride with his business Imagine Homes that sought to provide a one stop solution for buy-to-let through his company Imagine Homes. Unfortunately, the buy-to-let bust caught up with him and laid him low. Whats that about not “putting all your eggs in one basket!?”

Rhett Lewis

A property guru who promised not only how to make you a buy-to-let millionaire but a billionaire. No small claim. Unfortunately his own advice was not enough to save himself from his own ineptitude as his millionaire scam was closed down and then ultimately this property guru bites the dust.

Ajay Abuja

Not all property gurus have faired so badly. Ajay Abuja, accountant and one time author of the Buy-To-Let Hotspot and previous property guru has left the talking to other people and after a number of years of promoting himself as a property guru has clearly found it far more profitable at building up his own property portfolio of 200 properties. This proves my point that actually if you know what you are doing and are good at it there is more money in doing it yourself than trying to sell other people the buy-to-let dream.

And there are so many more!

Watch out for the buy-to-let sharks

A word of warning is that there are still property gurus out there that profess to be able to provide you with the secrets to property investing success. Many have gone bust and then popped up several years later with a new name but still doing the same thing badly.

Me…I’m ticking along nicely, but then I don’t profess to be any kind of property guru. My advice is for free…and has been hard earned through 30 years of property investing. I’m the first to admitt I’ve made some successful investment decisions and some less brilliant moves. I like other landlords continue to learn and evolve my approach through experience. Here’s to another 30 years of successful investing. As a Norwegian Cruise ship captain once said to me before we headed off on a particularly choppy part of the voyage “buckle up and enjoy the ride!”

Property Hawk unbiased comment on UK residential investment for UK landlords.


More stuff on property investment:

Guide for new landlords

Advanced investment strategies

Finding investment property

3 Pillars of buy-to-let

Below market value properties (BMV)


I know all the ones you talking about and more , Ajay ahuja he used to be in Harlow essex think he’s moved up north somewhere and buying cheap very cheap some years back like he done in the mid 90,s or so buying cheap in Harlow .
Not sure where he is exactly but he’s had some issue in past so not sure what’s the situation .

Even the more popular ones about now are being now more careful and mature as they are covering some of there pasts and judgements , not naming any names .
There can’t be many that I don’t know of or heard of met many especially in the mid / late 90,s .

It’s ok to say yes you can buy with no money . That is actually not true as , eg if you buying in London it’s almost impossible if a 3 bed house is eg .£500k .
You need huge mortgage which you will not get or is very very hard to get unless you are on silly wages and then you need a very large deposit , that’s got to come from you if not you a family member , friend or a loan from a loan company or something so it’s not a no money down really is it .

You just got to be very very carefull and personally if I had money I would not buy at precent as it’s very tough prices going down and asking prices getting lower .

It’s ok for experts to talk but they have many properties from the past and most of these have them from mid 90,s , late nineties but they will not tell you and there out there to make money simple .
If they make money from courses they use that for deposits on auction properties which have potential and they do joint ventures with there own property guys they don’t tell you everything only what they want to .

Anyway enough I can keep going on even name and go into details but I don’t do that and would never as that’s not wright .

Best is save as much as possible and even with friends and family and look at opportunities later mid late 2020 earliest , we don’t know what’s going to happen .

It’s not just the buy to let property guru’s out there with their get rich portfolios and so called mentoring entrepreneur look at me status, there is the same marketing technique being used to sell the Rent 2 Rent model…..there all out there the pod cast, the chats on Facebook, the Seminar Mentoring.

Starting to see a lot of these so called gurus and experts popping up around the Glasgow area. Their flimsy claims of huge experience and knowledge are easily exposed by some quick research. Most set up their limited company less than a year ago. It’s comical and tragic at the same time.

I will say Mr Rampley-Sturgeon isn’t in the states as last I came into contact with him he was managing two what could be said were close if not maybe called slum HMO lets with short term lease and bi-weekly rent agreements in Bradford that I had the unfortunate pleasure of staying in one in 2017/18. Aimed to attract those with little to no income or on benefits who would end up living with rats, poor conditions along with long waits for repairs to be made with an oven replacement taking a month to happen.
Also he would often change business names and at one time there was a point the key could have gone up in flames due to a bypass wire in the electric box that started to burn a hole through the wall.
Anyone in the Bradford area should be careful despite how long it has been since I heard of the man I’m still dealing with the mental fallout from staying under the roof of a property he ‘managed’.

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