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Beyond the expected

Property “Club” in Canberra

By Joe Canberran - 7 August 2009 18

    “Property investors be warned – there’s a spruiking company called Lisson Pty Ltd that’s presently prowling some of the hottest real estate markets.”

So starts one article about The Investors Club (http://www.tic.com.au/)

A friend, knowing I can find my way around the net, asked me to see what I could find out about The Investor Club after their father had seen advertising for this “Club” on TV here, and was interested in it, but a little suspect that it might be a scam of some sort.

First up it is a legitimate property investment/advice business.

Lisson Pty Ltd ABN 53 080 115 872. Associated company, Club Loans Pty Ltd ABN 91 096 339 150.
Technology Office Park, 8/107 Miles Platting Road, Eight Mile Plains Queensland 4113. ph (07) 3456 4200.



So how do they make their money?

To quote one commenter on a forum talking about tic, it is a “Cleverly named a club but it is actually a business. Offer spotters fees, and salemanship under the guise of help. Lot of benefits for new investors. Always buyer beware though”

To me it seems to be a group of property investors (Kevin Young et al) who figured out there is the opportunity to make a lot of money at low personal risk by advising investors how to make money while making deals with the developers they are promoting to those investors.

ASIC looked into their activities in Qld in 2003. They put out a media release and then another.

And in 2007 the VIC parliament completed an inquiry into property investment.

There’s Youtube footage of the CEO Kevin Young and a list of youtube tic footage.

All up, I’m a cynical and wary individual with almost no money to invest at the moment at any rate and so I wouldn’t touch them with a stick but feel free to make up your own mind.

Domain data: http://www.who.is/whois/tic.com.au

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Property “Club” in Canberra
LSWCHP 9:02 pm 31 Aug 11

My boss went to one of these gigs. He came back with nothing but a wry smile.

chewy14 8:25 pm 31 Aug 11

BigAl said :

Well what do you know. Just after I posted my last comment check out what Neil Jenman has just posted up on his site. http://www.jenman.com.au/news_item.php?id=424

Firstly, a fool and his money…. Who would be stupid enough to buy a property this way without doing their own research and valuations. I have zero sympathy for anyone who loses money in a get rich quick scheme like this.
Secondly, dodgy, dodgy, dodgy.

BigAl 7:33 pm 31 Aug 11

Well what do you know. Just after I posted my last comment check out what Neil Jenman has just posted up on his site. http://www.jenman.com.au/news_item.php?id=424

BigAl 10:19 am 17 May 11

Joe I think you have hit the nail on the head with this one. A few other facts that readers may not be aware of:
1) Kevin Young the Club founder used to be called Kevin Sampy, that is before he was declared bankrupt.
2) Kevin Young has not lived up to many his promises, with dozens of members now demanding answers about their misleading claims. I am aware of at least one civil action about to be launched against TIC which could open the floodgates for many more.
3) In about June 2009, Kevin Young launched a civil action against Consumer Advocate Neil Jenman for defamation. I’m sure that Neil Jenman would have no problem finding evidence of Kevin Young’s practices now, so the outcome of this court action will be very interesting. Watch this space!
4) A number of senior staff have left TIC recently. Many are starting to read the writing on the wall I think, and have decided to get out while they can do so unscathed. It’s pity that these senior staff have been sworn to secrecy having been required to sign confidentiality deeds.
5) Kevin Young has been made aware of a number of incidents in which members have been forced to sell their investment properties, including their family homes, and discovered that the properties were purchased through TIC at well above their market value. His response is to blame everyone else for the situation (including the member) and always seeks to vindicate TIC.

TIC are nothing more than a property marketing company taking advantage of first time investors lack of knowledge. If you study their promotional material and in particular the comments made by Kevin Young himself, they always point to the advantages of buying through ‘the club’. However, many of these so called ‘advantages’ have turned into disasters for some members. Like many other property marketing companies they have a ‘one stop shop’ philosophy where they put you in touch with mortgage brokers, valuers, lawyers, accountants etc. It may not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye, but this practice is positively dangerious. These other service providers are often in bed with companies like TIC fleecing you of every cent they can in the purchase process. Once you have purchased and they have all been paid, they couldn’t care less what happens to you. This has been obvious from the responses (or in some cases lack thereof), that Kevin Young has sent to members who have found themselves in financial difficulty after purchasing through TIC.

Companies like TIC, (and there are many more of them just like it), should be treated with a lot of suspicion in my opinion.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 8:53 am 07 Sep 09

TIC is probably one of the better mobs that do this sort of thing, although that doesn’t necessarily mean I’d invest with them.

If they are offering free seminars, then why not go along and have a listen? There’s nothing to lose – just don’t get excited and sign anything without thinking about it for a couple of days first.

As to the bank valuations issue, bank valuations done for property loans (especially investment properties) will often come in up to 10% under market value. Banks like to be conservative, especially in areas where laymen are playing with decent sized chunks of their money.

If you want to find out more about property investment, I’d second minion’s recommendation to have a look at the somersoft forums. There are some very smart people that lurk and post there, and I’ve learnt a lot simply from reading through what they have to say.

Finally, before you purchase investment property, talk to people who have already been through it. Ideally, find someone who owns many properties, because you can practically guarantee they’ve made some mistakes and have learnt from the experience.

TurkeyBaster 8:00 pm 06 Sep 09

Hey Joe,

You mentioned that “ASIC looked into their activities in Qld in 2003. They put out a media release and then another.”

Well, yes this is true, as far as it goes.

I have been a member of The Investors Club since 1999 and have bought 8 properties through them and am happy with them all. I have had some problems along the way, including a period without a tenant. At the time, I was able to utilise the free NTNP program that the club had in place and was one of the two things that ASIC didn’t like and that the club was forced to stop.

This program compensated me, in cash, for the time that I had no tenant. It cost me absolutely nothing. No member or non-member ever complained to ASIC about this program. It was stopped because it didn’t comply with the regulations, to the letter.

A replacement program (RentSafe) is now in operation and gives members a cash payment of around 40% of the expected rent if they have no tenant. There are obviously conditions that apply, but again, this is a free program for club members.

I suggest that you do your own homework rather than jumping on the bandwagon and quoting others. Neil Jenman is a case in point. You quote a 2006 article by him, but fail to mention that he is currently being sued for defamation by Kevin Young and that many of his more salacious articles have been withdrawn from his web-site. I would also direct readers to an alternative view of his activities at http://www.jenman.org/

sandy 56 11:43 am 05 Sep 09

I have been a member of this club for 10 years. Your comments are ill informed, and are definetly incorrect. Perhaps you should spend more time at the meetings to learn more about the subject that you are spruiking about before posting such rubbish.

maloomike 8:53 am 10 Aug 09

Joe Canberran – Go to a seminar then you will be in a position to pass judgement. I have heard of them and actually been to a seminar. Don’t believe everything you read.

SheepGroper 10:10 pm 07 Aug 09

Not to mention if you’re buying several properties over time, you need to value them regularly to see how you’re doing and when you can get the next one. I may not intend to sell but I know what a professional, independant valuer thinks they’re worth.

Felix the Cat 8:39 pm 07 Aug 09

Sleaz274 said :

Why do they always tell people “never never sell”? So that teh buyer doesn’t become aware in a year or two that they bought at an extremely over rated price and that market price is still $20k-$90k below what they “invested” for.

The bank will soon let you know if the property is overpriced when you apply for the loan. These days with internet it is much easier to do the research on property prices before you buy. Though saying that I bought an investment property a while back (before the GFC) and researched thoroughly prices other similar properties were going for and satisfied myself that I was getting a fair deal. But the bank didn’t seem to think so, claiming the property was about $10K overpriced even though I found two examples of similar properties in the area that had sold for more.

Sleaz274 5:32 pm 07 Aug 09

These are also referred to by jenman who believes these “clubs” are simply designed to get naive buyers to purchase property at an inflated price in “researched” areas by the “club” and valued by “club” valuers. These inflated prices are usually for large developments or new developments and of course while claiming otherwise the spruiker or club receives cash from the developers for getting people to “invest” in their development.

http://www.jenman.com.au/

Has more info but just type “kevin young scam” into google. All these clubs operate in teh same manner and claim thousands of members who are really just a mailing list of people they have the details from.

My dodgy dodgy uncle is currently on charges down in Melb for running very similar scams such as the wine club or investment opportunity seminars.

Basically get yourself an independent lawyer and valuer at all times. Never rely on “club” lawyers or valuers. Do your own research it really isn’t difficult and it is your money after all.

Here’s the real question to ask? If the “investment opportunity” was so great why isn’t the business running the club purchasing these properties itself without competition in bulk at cheap prices? Why do they always tell people “never never sell”? So that teh buyer doesn’t become aware in a year or two that they bought at an extremely over rated price and that market price is still $20k-$90k below what they “invested” for.

The people who run these particular selling scams are very savvy businessman and they have worked out how to make positive cashflow not from buying property but by pointing people at it confusing them and then cashing in with kickbacks.

Buyer beware indeed. Of course the wealth accumulation strategies they go on about do work but you can get the same info out of a good property investment book. Kevin Young will refute this because his lovely mansion, car and boat were bought with other people’s money and dreams its unfortunate that the ACCC and ASIC are toothless.

Minion 5:15 pm 07 Aug 09

Your suspicions are right on. I recommend the Somersoft forums for property info
http://www.somersoft.com/forums

pug206gti 2:20 pm 07 Aug 09

I think I saw this mob at the retirement fair in 2007. The bloke actually said not to invest in Canberra because of land tax. All seemed pretty shonky in any event.

MissChief 1:03 pm 07 Aug 09

Shouldn’t this article be called “Dodgy Dealers Come to Town”?

Aaaaaaaah, only from Queensland!

SheepGroper 12:18 pm 07 Aug 09

I appreciate you doing the research and posting the article. I haven’t noticed any ads for it on TV but then I tend to watch local tv after having taped it first, and I fast forward through the ads.

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