Is Armando Montelongo a Real Estate Guru?
Has anyone ever heard of Armando Montelongo? For the uninitiated, along with his wife–Veronica Montelongo–and a few helpers, Armando Montelongo’s work as a real estate investor / flipper is featured on the A&E Television Network’s reality show, “Flip This House,” which can been seen on Saturday evenings at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/8:00 p.m. Central on A&E. According to the A&E website, “Flip This House” is an hour-long “docu-soap” that follows the sometimes painful efforts of three real estate developers in New Haven, CT; San Antonio, TX; and Atlanta,GA, where “…each boasts a team of characters that buys homes, renovates them, then flips them for a profit.”
The Montelongos head up the San Antonio contingent, and like other reality TV personalities, Armando Montelongo appears to be looking to leverage his new found fame via the Internet. Some Internet marketing “gurus” even refer to him as “Armando Montelongo, the Internet millionaire,” but you need to take such endorsements with a grain of salt. Internet endorsements are often indirectly paid for through “affiliate” marketing; that is, one business financially rewards another for delivering paying customers.
I recently received the following report from a Flipping Frenzy reader who claims that Armando Montelongo’s company is essentially ripping him off:
“I answered a radio ad for free dvd for flipping houses. It was Armando Montelongo’s Flip and Grow Rich. I gave them my credit card# for shipping. They sent a package of books and cds and dvds. All of which I had 30 days to return. I called and got a Return Authorization Number. I also got a receipt post card from the Post Office. Yet 3 months later I am seeing charges of $86.55 on my credit card statement. I have called them to no avail.“
It doesn’t take much looking around to find Armando Montelongo. Each of these sites…
… eventually leads to the same pitch (captured below, sans video):
Opening shot: Montelongo drives a beautiful Mercedes Benz automobile toward the camera–presumably the car is his own, secured via all the money he makes flipping houses and teach others how to do the same. Notice that he’s driving through an industrial office park–again, presumably he has an office here, and you’ll be able to afford one here too if you follow his advice.
Scene continues: Armando Montelongo exits his car…
… and says the following, word-for-word:
“Hi, I’m Armando Montelongo from America’s #1 Hit real estate reality Show, Flip This House San Antonio. Right now I am filming my third season of Flip This House, and guess what, I’m looking for a new eager intern to teach my multi-million dollar real estate secrets to. So if you’re excited and you want to learn about real estate from the absolute best, for totally free, and get an amazing education at no expense to you, simply fill out the form below and I’ll be contacting you to see if you can qualify to be my new eager intern. Fill out the form below, and you could be my new real estate millionaire.”
Taking a look at each of Armando Montelongo’s sites, it’s easy to see why someone may choose to question his tactics:
- Nowhere on any of his sites is there a telephone number
- Many of his sites are packed with Google AdWords–a common tactic used by so-called Internet marketing gurus to generate additional revenue
- There is no mention anywhere of a money-back guarantee for any of his courses, products or services
- His video states he is looking for an intern but there’s no application, job description, or even a hint about who might qualify
On the surface, it would appear Armando Montelongo is preying on the get rich quick hopes of what low level Internet marketers call the “business opportunity” consumer. We’ve all seen “Biz Opp” advertisements, haven’t we? They can be found in the classified section of newspapers and on Craigslist, and they look an awful lot like these:
- Earn $5,000 a WeekWorking From Home!
- Get Real Results Fast! $250,000 1st Year! Not a Trick!
- $$ Make $2000+ per week… EVERY WEEK! $$
- Hottest Opportunity Ever (No Cold Calling)!!
- Get 100 Internet sites for $8,995. Retire Early! Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX.
To be fair, I sell my own real estate investment training via books, including Flipping Houses For Dummies (published by Wiley Publishing), Protect Yourself from Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud (published by Kaplan), Foreclosure Investing For Dummies(published by Wiley Publishing), and Mortgage Myths: 77 Secrets That Will Save You Thousands on Home Financing (published by John Wiley & Sons). The big difference may be that I present real estate investing in a more realistic light. I am always careful to warn prospective investors that investing in real estate requires hard work and carries real risks (and who knows, maybe Armando Montelongo does the exact same thing, but when he uses language like “…you could be my new real estate millionaire,” one seriously has to wonder). Some people–especially those looking to get rich quick–just don’t have the mindset, resources, and support network in place to be successful at flipping houses.
Like Mr. Montelongo, I too have had my fair share of real estate failures, and I’m not one to hide or run away from them either. I tip my hat to Armando for telling it like it is (this statement can be found online via another one of his promotional videos):
When you see me on television, you get to see my successes. What you don’t see is all of the failures that I have had before I started flipping houses. It’s very easy to share your success, but much harder to share your failures with the world. However, I believe in being dirt honest and by doing so, I believe that sharing my failures will actually help you be more successful.
To be clear, I am not saying that Armando Montelongo is a person of questionable character or a real estate guru. I don’t know him personally, nor have I purchased any of his products or thoroughly reviewed his system. Who knows–perhaps he received some poor advice on positioning himself online. Maybe he himself got taken in by an Internet marketing guru who told him that this is how it’s done online. I can only ask the question: Is Armando Montelongo a real estate guru? Is the experience of the Flipping Frenzy reader mentioned above a universal one or an isolated incident?
If you or someone you know has ordered or purchased products or services from Armando Montelongo, please leave a comment to let us know about your experience.