An Accurate Review - Is Carlton Sheets A Scam?
not affiliated with Carlton Sheets, Carleton Sheets, American Marketing Systems or No Down Payment
[Sources for reviews include the Better Business Bureau, Attorneys General, FTC, customer input, and our personal review. Carleton Sheets may contest any info provided clear, compelling evidence is supplied]
Carlton Sheets started his adult career as an industrial salesman, and true to form, he is still a salesman. He is not really in the business of teaching anyone how to grow wealthy from real estate. He is in the business he has always been in - selling. Only now he is selling dreams to desperate people. Dreams he does not do much to help to fulfill.
COMPLETENESS: Of the 22 methods of real estate investing, the Sheets' real estate course only covers a few basic methods - mostly involving lease options or buy & rent. The materials, themselves, are scarce on details, in an attempt to induce the customer to buy into the expensive mentoring. This strategy of "up-selling" is pretty standard among the gurus, with the exception being the Bill Vaughn course, which does not have any add-ons or monthly fees.
COACH COST: Mentoring from the Carlton Sheets organization begins at $2,000 and appears to extend up to $5,000. Although that is cheap compared to many of the "infomercial gurus", it is still far too expensive. The basic program without the mentoring is of little value. It was Carlton Sheets, the "father" of "infomercial real estate gurus" who began the scam-type system of selling an incomplete course, then pressuring the customer into more and more expensive "add-ons" like coaching.
COACH QUALITY: Mr. Sheets' now claims his coaches are professional real estate investors, but that is only his claim. It may or may not be accurate. It is unlikely that a Sheets mentor will prove of any substantial value, however, judging from all the complaints. Still, it does appear his coaching is somewhat superior to many others. If coaching is important to you, only "The Simple Man's Guide to Real Estate" by Bill Vaughn provides professional coaching for free, by actual investors, as it is offered by a non-profit.
SUCCESS RATE: Unknown. The Carlton Sheets organization apparently does not track success rate. Information from all available sources indicate some of those who buy into the mentoring may achieve some degree of success, but since the strategies are limited, so is the level of success.
BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU RATING: The BBB seems to be relatively satisfied lately (B rating) with the company that been marketing the Carlton Sheets program (American Marketing Systems Inc.) as they finally decided to take complaints more seriously. In the past, they were ignored. However - and we find this to be important - this company still receives over 300 complaints during any complaint period (generally 3 years). A good company does not allow that many complaints to make it to the BBB - instead, they willingly resolve complaints with customers before they become such an issue. This would seem to indicate that American Marketing Systems does not resolve a complaint unless forced to, giving the appearance of a Carlton Sheets scam. On the up-side, however, Carleton's Coaching company (Legacy Learning) currently has an A+ rating, equal only to the Bill Vaughn course (A+).
OVERALL COST: $360/year ($30/month). Mentoring costs a mimimum of $2000. Add-ons are extra, up to at least $5,000.
COMMENTS: The Carlton Sheets real estate course is a fair, basic course for the beginner to learn a couple of basic methods, so we would not call this a scam. But the beginner may not be able to use the info without the expensive mentoring - which is of questionable value.
Sheets has often made the claim of having been inducted into the "Real Estate Investors Hall of Fame." We find that remarkable - it is always remarkable when someone is inducted into a non-existent Hall of Fame.
Some real issues we have with Carlton Sheets is his use of what appears to be bogus information - not only about real estate, but about himself, as well. For example, he has often touted he was awarded "Specialist in Real Estate Securities" designation by the Real Estate Securities and Syndication Institute. What he does not tell you is that the institute went bust more than 20 years ago, as it was nothing more than a limited partnership that, like many real estate investing groups, bled money from investors to enrich the partners. Investors caught on, resulting in the ultimate demise of the "institute".
The world of real estate investing does owe Carlton Sheets a big hand, however, for the mere fact that he single-handedly brought the potential of real estate investing into the living rooms of millions of people. What the world of investing does not owe him is the cost of his course.
A BETTER, SOUND ALTERNATIVE:
Before risking hundreds, or thousands of dollars on Carlton Sheets or any other course, do yourself a favor and check out the only real estate investing course that rates 4 stars - Bill Vaughn's "Simple Man's Guide to Real Estate". Then take all that money you might have spent on Carleton Sheets and invest it in yourself!
Offered on a non-profit basis and is affordable to all, "The Simple Man's Guide to Real Estate" is complete with everything you need to succeed, and has an "A+" rating at the Better Business Bureau and has the highest documented success rate of any real estate course. All at a fraction of what other courses charge. You will also discover a ton of useful and free information at the IntelliBiz site, like the credit repair ebook. They pride themselve on answering your questions and providing all the information you are seeking.
If you are truly interested in really learning how to make money in real estate and receive the benefit of free, unlimited coaching, all at a price anyone can afford, "The Simple Man's Guide to Real Estate"® is worth considering.
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