Endorsed by Kevin O’Leary, Snap Flip is a real estate education and training company that claims to help you make money in real estate investments using their own money, not yours. The two guys behind it, Drew Levin and Danny Perkins are the stars of a program on HGTV on buying and selling real estate.
While we don’t know much about the guys, we do know that due to the huge profits that can be realized from flipping real estate, the industry has been booming over the past decade. As a new investor, you might already be overwhelmed by all the things you have to learn for you to be profitable. This often leads to some fear of making a huge mistake, and that’s why mentoring programs such as Snap Flip are made in an attempt to get rid of all the mystery of real estate investing.
Nonetheless, there are a number companies and programs with similar “claims” who turned out to be scams. So, is Snap Flip really worth your time and money, or is it just one of these scams full of empty promises? Well, this is what our Snap Flip review aims to find out.
Snap Flip Overview
Snap Flip is a company based on the concept that ordinary people can buy properties at wholesale prices and then do quick flips on them. There’s no attempt to increase the value of the property; just buy it and sell it… fast. The founders promise to front all of the money. Furthermore, the program doesn’t require any money or credit from the people they train to find and make these deals.
The whole process starts with live event, similar to a seminar, where the participants pre-register to attend these free sessions and learn about the program. Once you sign up, you’ll find that they are quite meticulous to get you there, with friendly text messages and emails. Some invites also include the promise of a dinner.
Snap Flip Program Details
As previously mentioned, Snap Flip is a home buying business. Their program is a system of buying homes at a wholesale price and the quickly (Snap) flip them to other investors. The premise is that there are millions of homeowners who want to sells. Their reason for selling isn’t important, the important thing is that they must sell. There is no intent to cheat anyone. The aim is to help the must-sell homeowners (often in a desperate place) to sell their houses fast.
The program promises to teach each student how to find such must-sell homeowners and negotiate with them to make a deal. The deals are ideally all cash with quick closings – should be finished in a matter of days, not weeks or months.
When you buy the training, you can sell at the program, and you became part of the buying group created by the founders – Danny and Drew. It’s actually an organization, or a club if you will, that also pools the resources of the program for the benefit of all its members.
The process of buying the homes doesn’t require any money from the member or student, aside from the cost of the training. If you want in on what they do, you have to do the training, which will cost you just under $1,200.
In the 3-day training course and the subsequent home study, you will learn how to find properties, how to identify a good deal, and how to put it all together. Once you’ve found one, you can run it by them for approval. In case you find a deal that the company is willing to go for, they will put up all the cash you need to make it happen.
With the signed promise of receiving the funds, you can proceed to get the deal done with the property owner, and follow up until the transaction closes. When the deal closes (should be quick), you will be in charge of finding an investor in order to complete the quick, 21-day flip. This is where the name “Snap Flip” comes from.
The Snap Flip program promises to train students on where to find suitable buyers. The completed deals invariably become flips to the investors who want to renovate and resell, or convert the house into a rental property.
All the purchases are made with cash – no mortgages, loans, or contracts for deeds. Everything is all cash. It doesn’t make any difference if it’s a $100k or $1 million, the company will front all the money. As a member, you only have to put in the time and the effort to close the deals.
One of the tips shared by the program is that most buyers are investors looking to renovate or rent out the property. As such, they are mostly looking for properties at prices below their current market prices. In most cases, they fall well below the market price. The buyers of these flips are usually not interested in finding the different properties on their own, and are not interested in hammering out deals with distressed owners. The investors would rather deal with (buy from) the Snap Flip members, as it’s much simpler and easier for them.
How Much Everyone Can Make?
The Snap Flip team charges a flat 1.65% fee on the cash invested in the deal, along with a transaction fee of $395. Admittedly, we thought that the members would end up with a much lower amount, 50% of the net at best, and it was quite surprising that the amount was a lot better than that.
We crunched the numbers. The program is primarily designed to make things happen fast. We previously mentioned 21 days, though that’s not ironclad. However, there’s a purpose for all that. With a 1.65% rate, this is not APR. If the deal takes 30 days from the purchase to the flip, it would mean that the Snap Flip team will see a return of 1.65% on their cash within 30 days.
If the numbers are correct, this amounts to an annual return of about 20%. The assumption is that the original cash is reinvested into another deal immediately after closing the deal. As such, they are earning about 1.65% every month. Their strategy is t never have their money dormant – investing in as many promising deals as possible. So far, it seems their model is quite clever.
Although we have our doubts if it’s working perfectly, you get the idea. If they reach a 15% APR, they would be beating both the stock market and bank rates of return. Keep in mind that every dime is backed by the property.
What about the members?
Well, let’s crunch up the numbers. Let’s assume that the cash amount is $200,000. This is the amount paid to purchase the property. Then, the property is sold to an investor at a price of $250,000, which is a $50,000 gross gain. After the closing costs, let’s assume the net gain is $40,000.
In this scenario, the member would have to pay back the $200,000 from the proceeds, and a 1.65% fee ($3,300), plus a transaction fee of $395 to the Snap Flip team. The remainder ($36,305) would count as the profit. Of course, this is only an example to show you how the numbers work, which on paper, looks like a good deal.
All this, at least so far, seem to be a good business. At this point, we’re yet to get the slightest hint of a scam, or a tricky deal. The program seems like it would protect the member from making a bad deal. Plus, Danny, Drew, and the Snap Flip team seem to what they’re doing, and have probably done thousands of such deals over the years.
Where is the Catch?
One of the key problems with the program is understanding how everything works in the real world. For starters, there’s a large number of investors in any given area actively looking to make profit off the distressed home market. On the HGTV alone, where Danny and Drew host a program, there are several shows on the same industry, such as Flipping Vegas, Flip or Flop, Property Brothers, etc.
Many other people would like to have a piece of the pie. Some have more money lying around, some have credit, others have neither; but they have one thing in common, they all want to flip houses. This means that there’s at least a good level of competition for good deals. And if the cash scenario for Snap Flip works well and gives the members an edge, they are not the only ones with the cash.
Furthermore, finding good deals on properties takes a lot of work and time. Researching about foreclosures and staying updated on the same is more work. Plus, there are many other people doing the same research. While the Snap Flip program is a great concept, it will certainly not work for everyone.
With all this in mind, we decided to look more into what people who have already enrolled into the program have to say. This led to some eye-opening details as outlined below.
Snap Flip is a Scam
It seems that for most people, the $1,144 program is just an enticement that they use to pitch the students into buying additional training material. On closer look, the training packages can cost as much as $38,000. Crazy, right? Well, their model seems to be offering students a free seminar on flipping properties with a pitch that convinces them that they don’t need cash or credit, and then sell the $38,000 programs for tuition.
Another look at their site highlights the fact that Snap Flip is actually in the training program business. Their business is in the training of students into becoming “successful real estate investors”. The website doesn’t reference the Snap Flip concept that they usually pitch in their seminars. All they do is boast about how you will learn, especially in their advanced training programs, how to make money investing in distressed properties.
The scam part is mostly on the swindling of students into a false premise. What they share in their free events is far from what happens in real life. In fact, you have far better chances in winning the lottery than having them invest their money into your property deal, contrary to what they pitch in the free events.
Admittedly, we initially missed these warning signs, as we saw a HGTV branded business, endorsed by Kevin O’Leary offering what appeared to be a great deal with a good chance of success. Don’t fall on the same trap.
Another red flag is the fact that in a complaint filed against Snap Flip in 2016, HGTV itself claimed that they are not a part of the Drew Levin and Danny Perkins business, and that the HGTV trademarks are not part of this business.
Verdict: Is Snap Flip Really Legit?
It’s widely believed that a car salesman would do almost anything in order to make a sale. They will lie, use convincing language, make promises, and say whatever it takes, even if they know it’s not in the buyer’s best interest.
This seems to be the case with Snap Flip. It’s not the best interest of the investor to attend their seminars or buy their training material. Although the program appears to be endorsed by both HGTV and a Business Mogul, Kevin O’Leary, it’ll be better for you to just pass.