You need to know that what you're learning actually works and can be duplicated by you.

So how do you know when a “guru” is cheating?

Today I’m going to share six ways for you to use so you can tell if that “guru,” that expert, that vendor that’s on stage or on Facebook is legit or if they are cheating.

And here’s the thing. I’ve used this for a long time and I have found vendors and “guru’s” that are selling to us as real estate agents they’re cheating.

I’ll show you what I mean- recently, actually, let me introduce myself. I’m Christina with Leads and Leverage and I help real estate agents create more time, make more money and enjoy the journey.

SO MANY voices out there! I know, right! And it was really funny because as I’m writing out “what are the steps?” and “what am I gonna do?” I’m like, “you know what this sounds like?

This sounds like what we used to be taught in real estate and that was to answer people’s questions about Realtors and how to pick the right ones” and I was giggling, going “yeah, it kinda sounds like that!”

That’s not what this is because I want you to use all of these ways on me and if I don’t fall in line and if I don’t get that “good feeling for you” then guess what? You shouldn’t be listening to me.

Here’s what happened. Recently, when Facebook decided to make available for all eyes to see, all of the ads that a business page is running and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I can actually do tomorrow’s video on the info and ads tab that is now available on everybody’s business page.

So now everybody can see any ads that you run so recently when Facebook decided to make that available for all eyes to see like the day they made it available, out of curiosity, I went to the big “guru” pages.

You know the ones. I’m not going to name any names in this video, however, they are the ones that are at all of the big real estate events, speaking from the stage, the ones that are always vendors at the expos, the ones hosting their own events, the ones that have tens of thousands of you guys in their Facebook groups, the ones everyone seems to respect and follow and listen to.

I went to their pages. I wanted to see what ads they’re running. I want to see what this option is going to give me. Is this legit? Is it not? Is it going to work for me to look at other people’s ads? I’m going to do a video on that for you on how to leverage that.

But here’s the thing. Imagine my surprise and ultimately my frustration when I found that at least one of those “big guru’s” and I’m talking “BIG guru’s” was cheating their success. I will go into detail and explain what I mean. I was baffled. I was frustrated and then I became really angry.


Not because they’re big but because they are influencing you and they are cheating their success and their efforts and yet they are teaching you how to become successful.

In other words, they are teaching you how to use Facebook for your lead generation and they’re not doing it themselves and they’re actually cheating. I’m going to show you. I’m not going to show you screenshots. I did take screenshots and I checked yesterday.

They no longer are running those ads because everybody could see what they were doing and if anybody who had any gumption, they would look at that and just go “what the heck?”

Are They Legit Or Are They Cheating?

So today I’m going to both share with you what I found, not who I found it on but what I found.  Then I’m going to show you six ways to tell if that “guru,” that expert, that vendor on stage or on Facebook is legit or if they are cheating.

Quote Barry says “I always check every guru at ripoff report"

The problem with that is that a lot of them are not on there because they are not actually ripping people off. They are lying to you about their results.

Let me explain so tell me. Have you ever wondered who to listen to? Who to follow? Have you felt that something was “off” about someone that everyone else seemed to really admire?

Without sharing who because I do not want any names in this, without sharing who that person or expert is or was, were you ever able to factually determine what that “off” feeling was for you.

Would you share that below? Were you ever able to determine why there was just something not right and you just stopped listening to that person?

Remember don’t disparage anyone because I will delete those comments. Don’t say names. Just share if you were ever able to legitimize that “something is off” feeling or if you just let it go.

Then, on that, how do you do your research now?

How do you know if someone is legit?

How do you determine if someone is helping you or just helping themselves?

Barry shared that he used ripoff report

What do you use? Is there a process that you use or follow?  Another member says “gut instincts.” Yeah that’s interesting, using “gut instincts” but there are sometimes where you just don’t know because you have no interaction with them.

So that’s what I want to talk about today. Today I’m giving away my six tips on how to tell if someone is legit or if what they are teaching you is legit.

Today I’m going to be giving away MY six tips, six tips that I use, kind of a mental checklist that I use and process that I go through to check and see is this person legit, if they’re someone who’s legit or if what they are teaching me or you is something that I could listen to and I could trust because there are a billion voices not just in the real estate industry but outside the real estate industry.

So how do you know? How do you know?

Now the steps or these tips. They are not foolproof. I can’t guarantee foolproof but they are a definite, solid foundation to make a judgement on, to base this judgement on.

If you are watching this on YouTube, IGTV or Twitch, you’ll find the link to this original broadcast in the description so click through, come over and get the notes.

Are you ready to dive in?

Today, I’m going to walk you through the six ways to tell if that guru/expert/vendor on stage or on Facebook is legit or if they are cheating you.

So as I told you in the beginning, I went to the info and ads section of several dozen big and well-known real estate “gurus” and vendors.This was right when Facebook opened up all ads for ad-transparency, right?

What I found was a bit shocking to say the least. There were things that I’m going to actually teach you what I found that’s unrelated to this but they are very important to know. We will talk about that in another show.

Here’s what I found- two in particular, very big. One was running video ads and what this info and ad tab tells you is you can see every single ad that that business page is running and you can see what countries those ads are running to.

So this very big real estate whatever, was running video ads which is normal. I run video ads after I have do Facebook Lives. I run these out as ads, absolutely but I run my ads to the United States and Canada which is where most of you are. I’ve got some in Australia and New Zealand but for the most part I run my ads to the U.S. and Canada.

Well, they were running 100% exclusively pushing video ads to India. Now do you know why they would push video ads to India? English video ads related to United States real estate transactions. I mean, I watched the video. I checked to make sure.

Why would they do this? Do you know why they are doing that?

They’re doing that to appear so that the video appears to have thousands upon thousands of video views which “legitimizes” their video in the eyes of  agents in the U.S. because all they see is the number of video views. That’s why they do it. It’s go give it more views than it actually got. In other words, to fake pump up what they do.

Running page like ads, everybody should be running page like ads but when your page like ads are run to Third World countries like India that are not English-speaking. Yes that’s their second language but that’s not who they are targeting. Their business is for U.S. and Canada and North American real estate agents, here’s the thing, they are running these ads to build up their page likes.

There was a Facebook expert who is on many stages outside of the real estate industry. They had bought their page likes. They had bought their page likes. They were running page like ads in India and 95% of their page likes were from Third World countries but on the surface it looked like they had a lot of page likes so it looked like maybe they were legitimate, right?

When you have all this and remember some of you are in these groups and you’re trusting them because some of them are affiliated with big franchises.

It’s not the franchise itself but some of the people who are running some of these things are affiliated with some of these big franchises so this is where even checking reputation and testimonials and stuff like that and reviews….those might be good but what they are actually doing is cheating and they’re trying to teach you… they’re not doing what they are teaching you to do.

But it looks like they are on the surface because they have the video views and because they have the page likes. This is where it becomes a problem.

So here’s six ways plus a bonus way for you to really kind of check and see if these people are legit, beyond checking review sites, beyond “Ripoff,” because they are thousands of people who love some of these companies or businesses or whatever they are. They do. They love them but they are still cheating.

#1 Check For A “Meteoric Rise”

You want to check for a “meteoric rise.” How old is their Facebook business page? How old is their business? That’s a thing. How fast are they rising? What I have found is a few things. If the rise is crazy, like tens of thousands in a year or less, it’s not legit. It’s not legit so you want to check for a meteoric rise.

That’s not always available to see and some of them have been around for several years so it won’t apply but watch that.

One that I’m specifically thinking of, not a real estate specific person but they bought all of their page likes and they rose so fast that people on the surface, big companies on the surface thought that this person was legit and they were not. They were not, okay?

#2 Are They A Speaker But Not A Doer

 Are they on stages, or whatever, on video speaking about it? Do they have proof that they are actually doing it? Are they a speaker, not a doer?

#3 Is What They Are Teaching You Duplicatable?

So for example, in what I was telling you about before, it will benefit you in no way to go run video ads to India to get 1/100th of a cent video views in your local market.

It will not help you. It will not help you because that’s not building a video view audience. It’s not understanding the steps. That is literally just to try and get “video view” numbers up. That’s it.

That’s like deciding to go and buy a 2019 Mercedes, whatever the big, expensive Mercedes there is, you’ll have to lease it because can’t freakin’ afford the thing and you want to “look the part” but you aren’t the part. Not a good thing to do.

Is what they are teaching duplicatable and “tweakable” or does it require only specific software that they sell? That’s number three.

#4 Their Page Like Audience

Now, there are tools out there that people can get access to, legit tools and you’re not going to want to pay for them. That’s cool.

Page like audiences where I can actually look and see where their page likes are from and actually that’s not as available anymore because of the changes that have gone through Facebook but here’s the thing. Here’s how you can tell.

I can tell where their page likes are from. If it’s an American company or Canadian company, North American company and 95% of their page likes are from Third World countries, cheap countries where they bought page likes from, then that’s not a legit company. They are not legit. They do not know how to do what they are trying to teach you to do.

So here’s how you can check their page likes audiences. You are probably friends on Facebook with a whole lot of real estate agents around the country, around the U.S. and Canada right so is their page like audience are there a lot of friends in that page like audience if it’s a real estate vendor, guru or trainer?  Are a lot of your friends also liking that page?

I have found this. There have been companies and businesses that attempt to steal or whatever.

They join my membership and try to steal everything and then they try to sell it on their own page and you look at their page likes and they have like 600 – 1,000 thousand page likes and then they stopped growing and not a single one of those page likes is a connection of mine and I’m connected with a lot of you guys, right?

So not a single one is someone who’s in real estate- that’s a pretty big indicator that it’s not a legit site, that they are literally just trying to cheat you, okay?

#5 Where Are They Running Their Ads?

Go to that info in ads tab and look at the countries that they are running their ads to. Are there questionable countries?

So if it is a business that is there to help real estate agents in North America and they are running their ads to India or China or countries that don’t work the same way, they are going for cheap likes, video views, etc.

They are not actually going for helping you. They are going just for the look of it.

#6 Does Their Page And Website Reflect What They Teach?

Quick Tip:

What are they posting on their page?

Is there interaction and engagement?

Is it all sales pitches?

I cannot tell you how many pages I’ve gone too and they do videos. There’s one out there right now that they are literally taking my verbiage, my stuff and creating their own videos and it’s so obvious that they have no idea what they are talking about.

They are just parroting out stuff and, because of what’s on their page alone is they’re not getting engagement, and it’s not actually helping anybody. It’s all just sales pitches or they don’t understand what they are doing.

So when you are looking at somebody, does their Facebook page and their website reflect what they teach? Are they posting? Is there interaction and engagement or is it all sales pitches?

Bonus Tip #7

Now, bonus tip number seven, this was often before we had Facebook, before we had all of this. This was the number one thing that I looked at before I would listen to somebody. Like seriously- every time I went to conferences, this is what I wanted to know absolute, foremost and done.

Have they ever been a successful real estate agent and/or are they building, running and working their own business currently? Those two things or are they an employee selling a product?

So unless they had been an actual successful and when I say successful, I mean I needed them to be doing more than me, more than what I was doing.

Now if you are doing ten or twenty transactions a year somebody who is doing twenty to forty transactions a year, yeah they could be somebody you listen to but you are really going for people who have done a minimum or doing consistently over five, ten years, more than 100-150 transactions a year. That’s what you are looking for.

You aren’t looking for temporary big wishes. You’re not looking for someone who is just successful with REO’s for two or three years and that it’s. You are looking for long-term success, real success.

Have they ever been a real estate agent and/or are they building, running and working their own business? I watch people on stage and they are teaching and promoting stuff and they are “just” a teacher.

What I mean by that is, there’s nothing wrong with being a teacher or a trainer, heck, I am one, however, if they are teaching you how to lead generate and they’ve never lead generated themselves, do they really understand what they’re teaching?

Do they understand the nuances? Are they just trying to sell a product? Are they an employee selling you products?

So here’s one of the things that I always had. It’s very interesting, whenever you go to, you know, continuing ed stuff, a lot of those teachers; they are teaching a power point presentation or a keynote presentation that they’ve attended once. Yes, this is legit.

I was a certified teacher with Reebok, a teacher-trainer and all I had to do was go and attend the training once. Literally and then I had to teach their class.

So here’s the thing, That’s why I didn’t ever really teach more because most every single thing that I saw made is like “that doesn’t work. Why are they teaching that? They need to be doing it this way!” And you couldn’t modify stuff.

So are they just teaching the things for all the designations or are they actually using it? Do they know what they are doing? And I know this is controversial what I’m saying but I don’t care because it’s true.

I don’t know how many of you have come to me and said “ oh my gosh, I was in a Facebook training and they said do this.

Just last night one of my members actually said this “my broker is telling me to stop doing what I’m doing.” And I’m like “wait, what you’ve been doing so many years that has made you the top agent in your brokerage for the last several years? They are telling you to stop doing that?

Why?” Because the broker has become a ‘guru’ of teaching how to do a certain kind of leads but they are not doing it. They are not actually succeeding at it.

You have to be aware of this if you are going to learn from someone. You need to make sure that they have done the same thing and it doesn’t have to be in the same industry. You’re running and building your business! If you are listening to somebody who’s never had to build a business before you shouldn’t be. It’s really that simple.

Let’s Recap These Again

Let’s run through these again- so number one, watch for a “meteoric, uncharacteristic rise.” If they have not been in the business for long enough to have actually had that increase on their page, on their website, etc. or the numbers that they’re talking about then be wary okay?

Number two – Are they a speaker not a doer? And that kind of relates to the bonus that I talked about. Are they more of a speaker or a trainer or are they actually doing this stuff?

So I did. Everything I’m teaching you, the strategies I’ve done for the last twenty-three years in our real estate business and now I’ve done it for the last five years for Leads and Leverage.

Literally, I am teaching you exactly what I do. To build and I’ve had other businesses so that’s what I’m doing. If they are a speaker and not a doer, take it all with a big heaping grain of salt, big huge amount of salt okay?

Number three is what they’re teaching you duplicatable and tweakable or does it require only specific software that they sell? Yes, I recommend different softwares and different platforms but I do not sell one. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing to sell it but if what they are teaching you cannot be done on something else than what they are selling it’s questionable.

Number four, page like audiences. Check their page like audiences! Do you have friends of yours that are on Facebook, that are in their page like audience or are there zero? Like do they have several thousand page likes or tens of thousands of page likes and you don’t know a single page like? Because usually, what it shows you that such-and-such amount of your friends also like this page, right?

If they don’t have any of those, I would run. I would run because it means they have bought their page likes and they’re not legit.

Number five, where are they running their ads to? What countries? If it’s not your country, if it’s not a country that makes sense so it makes sense that people would run ads to the U.S., to Canada, even to New Zealand, Australia, a couple of other places if they’re in this market because our markets are somewhat similar.

How we do real estate is somewhat similar but if they are running to India or China or Thailand or these places where it’s very, very cheap page likes or video views or things like that, I would go running from them.

Number six- does their page or their website reflect what they are teaching? Does it really? What are they posting? Is there interaction and engagement? Is it all sales-pitches? Are they going deep enough with you?

If they’re doing videos like the one I was talking about that keeps copying me, my verbiage and everything, that person does it so superficially, so shallowy, it’s obvious to me that all they are doing is reading the list and doing it. They’re not going deeper. They’re not giving personal examples.They aren’t showing what’s going on so this is a big deal.

And the final bonus one number seven – have they ever been a successful real estate agent or are they building their own business or are they just an employee selling a product?

Here’s why I say this. I cannot tell you the number of agents who have not succeeded at real estate that have suddenly become social media “guru’s.” I’m serious. So it’s like “oh really so you are a social media guru? How? And where?” And I hate the word “guru” but they aren’t an expert. They’ve never done it. They’ve never actually applied what they are teaching to anything.

So be very, very careful with that especially if they are teaching you how to run a real estate business. If they can’t do it themselves and now I’m not talking about people who have done it and don’t like it.  I don’t actually like working with buyers and sellers.

I like working with all of you but we have generated over four-thousand transactions, over the twenty years I was active in the real estate business, four-thousand transactions, that’s not too shabby but I didn’t love it. I didn’t love it.

This, with you all of you, I love. I love helping you. I love empowering you and that’s why when we started our brokerage, that was the thing that really got me.

I didn’t want to be a babysitter at all but I really want to help and empower agents because so many of you don’t realize that you are your own boss,  that your broker doesn’t control you, that vendors don’t control you, that you don’t have to let the market control you so make sure that whoever you are listening to has been successful, if not in real estate, then that they have their own business that they are successful in.

So a name that I’m going to say on here that I like and respect and admire, who has never been in real estate before but she does have her own business and over the years she has proven it through her history, through everything is Katie Lance.

She knows the market. She understands it. No she’s never actually been a real estate agent and she doesn’t actually have the “in the trenches, how to get started in real estate, etc.” but she does know how to start a business and run it and make it successful.

So that’s what I’m talking about. They don’t have to be in real estate but who are they? Are they just selling a product or a service as an employee or do they have an vested interest in succeeding in their own business.

Two very different things and you’re building a business. You need someone who has gone before you who has that expertise that you can listen to and follow.

Julie says 

you have a copycat?

Oh, I have several, yes, several using my own wording, taking my video topics, etc. It’s actually kind of amusing but they can’t catch up to me so that’s good!

What Was Most Useful For You?

Alright, so, as always, this is the number one thing that I really need you to do for me- I need you to tell me what was most useful for you today? What was most useful? Did I miss something that you do to figure out if someone’s legit or not?

I know a couple of people shared ripoffreport or that checked reviews, etc. but what if they don’t have reviews? Like I don’t think there are any reviews for Leads and Leverage out there because I don’t use the reviews on the Facebook page because here’s the thing.

There are spammers out there that go around and do one-star reviews on pages so I just turned it off. I didn’t have any reviews. I’ve never ever had it turned on so I don’t have reviews for you to check but I wanted to give you a way you could check without that.

If it’s a new company or a new business or a new vendor that is not a bad thing. You just want to check and see if they’re legit and like I said all of these seven ways will help you.

So what was most useful for you? What was most useful for you that stood out to you that you feel would help you today and also what do you feel like was missing? Where did I miss on this?

Q & A

Pam is asking 

"how do you handle copycats?"

Well, Pam, there’s a couple of things.

How do I handle copycats? I ignore them. I literally keep doing what I’m doing and here’s why- number one, they’re not me. They can never be me.

They do not know what I know. They don’t know my experiences. They don’t know what I’m teaching and when I look at it, I just start laughing. When I watch one of their videos, I’m like “they don’t know what they are talking about!”

Now you don’t know that they don’t know what they are talking about but what I can do is put out there, not their name, not their stuff but I can put out there what you do need to know so that you know that they don’t know what they are talking about. That’s like inception, wan’t it? So that’s how you handle it.

It’s the same thing like when we had retail stores, you get something in the store, someone else gets it. Same thing with real estate- you start doing a marketing piece and then people try to copy it but they don’t know the strategy. They don’t know everything that’s behind it.

Nine years ago when we started our own brokerage we got a very unique logo made. We had a very unique sign made. Nobody had the color or the style that we had and it’s funny because we traveled for a year and a half and when I came back and I was driving around and going “dang it if everybody doesn’t have literally many of them had the similar type of logo now as our brokerage and they have similar colors.

So people are incapable of figuring out stuff for themselves. They think that well if I just copy what I see on the surface, then I’ll be as successful or whatever and that’s not true. It’s not true. It’s not the logo. It’s not the sign.

Well now, we don’t stand out anymore in that way but that’s okay because we have a multi thousand person email list and snail mail list. That’s where we get our business from.

Here’s the thing. You just don’t have to worry about them. You just ignore them. You ignore them and keep moving on because they are where you were. They are where you were.

They might have a temporary rise but you keep holding on, you keep serving, you keep giving, you keep doing what you know works. Don’t let them distract you.

Edie says

"what’s the difference between posts and info and ads?"

 Well, posts are what’s on their page and info and ads is a tab that you go to that shows ads they are paying to run. That’s the difference.

Sally says

"the age old adage- ‘if it’s too good to be true, it probably is."


Julie says

"aren’t we all training our own competition as we grow our businesses?"

Yes and no. I gotta tell you what I have found over the years which is why initially when I got into real estate, second-generation Realtor, I got in and everything I did to help grow my Dad at the time was people tried to copy it. They were trying to figure out what was going on and we were really secretive.

But then here’s what I realized and I should have remembered this from our stores that they don’t understand all the other pieces. They see one piece and they go for it. They see a sign. They see a logo. They see a direct mail piece and they think that’s what is going on but they don’t understand the strategy that’s going on behind it.

Also, here’s the real kicker of the truth, okay? I would literally lay out every single thing I was doing, give every single piece of what I was doing when I started speaking, etc. I would share everything and do you know how many people actually implemented what we were doing? Zero. Out of thousands because they weren’t willing to put in the time and work.

See, success is boring. Success is doing all of the boring crap that nobody else wants to do. It’s doing all the same stuff, every single day, day in and day out that nobody else wants to do.

I am doing these weekday daily live shows with you because I know what it’s going to do for you, I know what it’s going to do for me, for my business and I want to change the industry.

The way that I can do that is to be consistent and to be live. The other people can copy my topics all they want but they are not going to be willing to be live with you at 10 am, every single weekday for who knows how long? They’re not willing to put in that work. They want it easier, faster, different.

Same thing with you- you are doing a direct mail campaign. Nobody else is going to keep doing the same thing. They’re not going to want to put in the  work and the dedication. They are just not.

 Written by Christina Ethridge - the founder of Leads and Leverage, helping overwhelmed business owners eliminate the marketing chaos and get more customers. Simplify your marketing & bring in more sales. 
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