Regulation of the property investment training sector
Regulation of the property investment training sector
We are calling for a petition to regulate the so call ‘wealth creation/property training’ market.
Over the last 15 years, the “wealth creation/property training” market has grown to become a multi-million pound market with little regulatory oversight. This lack of regulation has created an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to run rampant.
Significant numbers of people are being pushed into debt after having been sold an expensive dream of easy riches. Many more find themselves in a worse financial situation than before they signed up to the expensive ‘training.’
This petition is set up to call for regulation of the “wealth creation/property training” industry to protect vulnerable people from being seduced by sophisticated marketing to part with large sums of money.
There are a number of forms this could take including credit checks and high regulation that must be followed before selling people training courses.
• The sales and marketing tactics should be regulated to ensure they are not crossing any moral boundaries and making false claims about how easy it is to become wealthy by the trainer’s methods.
• Prices for the courses should be regulated and ensure they are proportionate to what they’re offering with the trainers signed up to an ethical public body and required to demonstrate how much money they have made from the subject they are teaching compared to the actual money they made in the industry they specialise in.
• A ‘Property Trainer’ to have an extensive portfolio that they acquired before teaching and be able to evidence this through their tax return, credit report, and Companies House data. Individuals should also have been active in the field for a minimum of 5 years before being allowed to offer training or mentoring.
The story of Danny Butcher was featured on BBC “Inside Out” which aired Monday 20th January 2020. A former soldier recently married and father, Danny took his own life on Sunday 27th October 2019 because of the suffering and debt caused by the manipulative and abusive marketing tactics, caused by what our family believe was the wealth creation/property training industry.
Over gruelling ‘training days’; statements such as “becoming financially free, so simple anyone can do it and you’d be a loser” if you didn’t sign up to their training. Constant reference to the Trainer’s only desire to help others on their journey to ‘financial freedom’. Engaging in evangelical style prosperity preaching and fear tactics; reducing the price of the course for the first 50 people who sign up on the day, pressuring people into making instant decisions.
To reinforce how successful you can become following their training, previous attendees are invited on stage to give their heartfelt account of how life-changing the training has been for them, tugging on the heartstrings of the audience at times crying on stage and claiming that they’ve turned their life around due to the support and training they’ve received.
Repetitive common sense and scepticism are broken down with a slew of techniques that result in a high proportion of people signing up for the course, even if they cannot access finance, and some may even put the payment on a credit card, thereby instantly going into debt without being sure of a provable outcome.
It is clear from online forums and Facebook posts that many of the people signing up for these courses are inexperienced and vulnerable individuals. Social media enables these property gurus to reach uninformed and impressionable audience via such platforms as YouTube and Instagram. With no need to fact check because of lack of oversight, their claims can flourish unverified. We have witnessed people as young as 18 attending these events and being told to forgo jobs and formal education and qualifications to set up a property business. But people of all ages are falling under the spell of these pied pipers of property. Parents and Grandparents have lost their life savings under the ‘guidance’ of gurus who seem to grow richer only through peddling their courses, books and lifestyle, rather than any expanded property portfolios.
Danny was encouraged to get into £18,000 worth of debt that he put on Credit Cards and loans. Accumulated by the course, interest, hotel bills and travel.
The promised 1-2-1 training, the hand-holding, bespoke coaching and advice, accessing the wealth of knowledge and direct, no nonsense approach of the trainer, were empty words used to entice individuals to run to the back of the room and sign up for their training.
The training which Danny received was little more than membership of a Whatsapp and Facebook group. Danny and members who raised valid concerns regarding the quality of the training were unceremoniously kicked out the group as their comments were deemed as ‘negative’ and only positivity and encouragement was allowed.
It is important to understand that Danny did not only lose money, he lost hope for the future. The company in question focuses on people’s dreams and encourages them to quit their employment in order to pursue them.
Now we have lost Danny Butcher, a beloved son, husband, father and brother we must not let his death be in vain.
The so-called ‘wealth creation/property training’ industry needs to be cleaned up. Consumers need protecting from unscrupulous individuals engaging in unethical business practices so that they are not pressured into making decisions under the influence of cult-like groups. Regulation of this industry would save countless others getting into unmanageable debt; we must not let Danny’s death be in vain.
Please sign the petition to show that you want the government to get the wealth creation/property training industry to clean up its act!