I ordered this trial from DealBarbie and was morbidly curious to see what's inside. The kit is actually quite pretty, with three shiny black boxes (steps 1, 2, and 3) with metallic bands. The first "step" box has some DVDs I didn't watch, and a guide that presumably goes along with the DVD, which is actually not bad. It's basically a long list of all the things you should do when you are establishing credit, looking for properties, buying properties, various kinds of lease arrangements, landlord tips, selling properties, like-kind exchanges, etc etc. One loooong checklist, but I think a lot of this stuff is probably new to a lot of people for whom this is their first exposure to buying or owning real estate. So it's a pretty good little guide. This box also has a Helpline brochure with a rather scary smiling man on it.. makes me a little nervous. Step 1's title is The First 30 Days, but presumably one is not expected to do all of these steps in the booklet in 30 days. You could probably do a lot of it, though, especially if your credit is already good and you already have money.
Box 2 is the main program, and it comes with a fat pack of audio cd's - there is a little label on the front that says "easy listening". So presumably Sheets does not berate you. He seems like a friendly enough man, although it is a little odd that the same picture of him is used over and over. It also has three manuals included.
The first seems to be primarily to teach you to think like an investor - and to see real estate as the best investment there is. It talks about setting goals, time management, creativity - and also more mundane things like your credit (again) and how to work with other people in the real estate world. It's not any worse than any other self-help book, but I can't help thinking that people who are really great at setting goals, have good time management, and are very creative and driven probably already have a business of their own. I don't think being creative is something you can nurture, unless you have been unnaturally stifled. Some people are just boring.
Manual 2 covers a lot of mundane stuff - I bet many people who bought this kit hoping to get rich quickly are going to be very disappointed that one of the important skills you need in getting rich quickly is good telephone note-taking skills. It also covers valuation, getting financing (creative financing, that is), lease options, negotiation, and legalese you need to know. This manual seems a lot more useful for people who already feel comfortable in real estate - presumably you spent your first 30 days doing this.
Manual 3 is pretty technical. It starts out by telling you how to buy "distressed properties", but is somewhat light on how to find these. There is information other places though. A small piece on like-kind exchanges, then how to actually manage the property (presumably if you are holding it long-term), buying trailers (or "mobile homes"), working out a partnership, and a big section entitled "Harnessing The Power of the Internet" which seems to me like it could have its own manual. Seriously, who's going to write the next book on how to get rich quick on real estate you've never seen? That seems like the next step. The back has a continuing education quiz, which you can send in to Sheets' Professional Education Institute, whose CE credits may or may not matter to anybody at all. I wonder if he will come and take away your title of "real estate investor" if you don't do enough continuing ed?
Last is Box 3 - which I get to keep even after the 30 day trial, as Sheets' special gift to me. This box is a combination of useful and annoying. Useful includes: a neat mortgage amortization and payment estimation slidey-chart thing and a bunch of standard real-estate forms. Annoying includes two DVDs about distressed properties and getting cash out at closing (which is usually a terrible idea for long-term holders) as well as a CD from one of his students who made a bunch of money, and some more shiny promotional stuff.
All in all, I think that this kit (at least the first two boxes) is at least as useful, or perhaps more useful than buying a book on real estate investing, but this kit comes at it from the perspective of a completely new investor, which many of the books don't. However, I'm not sure what else they can really offer you beyond this point that simply having someone in your life to bounce ideas off of wouldn't. The helpline seems like you're basically paying to rent a friend who's knowledgeable in real estate - they can't go with you to see a property, or sympathize with you when a tenant trashes your house, but I guess they could help you on some matters. (Although probably not complicated legal ones, which is where a lot of people will get tangled.) The program does encourage you to check in with bank personnel, inspectors, brokers, anybody with experience, to help you out.
I'd say that the trial kit is worth the $10, but I doubt that's how much it would actually cost to KEEP this kit. So it'll be going back - I'm not that desperate for a paid-for telephone friend. (Actually, when I cancelled, the guy was really pretty nice and very cheerful..)