The instructor closes the book, tapping it softly on an outstretched hand. He gazes at his small audience with the intensity of a salesman and a proselytizer.
"Mr. Trump would like you to get involved with this," he says, cradling the worn, bookmark-stuffed copy of Donald Trump's real estate manifesto, The Art of the Deal.
For those who have worried about whether there's a real Donald Trump out there, and whether he cares about you and me, fear no more.
"Now we have a billionaire reaching his hand out to you, the American public," Geoff Nowlin explains.
That hand, or at least Nowlin's, gives $500 Trump certificates to attendees at one of three recent "free" Trump University seminars in Colorado Springs.
This Monday afternoon in a Marriott conference room, about 25 Front Range residents listen as Nowlin offers tantalizing glimpses of what it takes to attain mogulhood. It all starts, according to a recording from Trump himself, with knowledge. And by listening to carefully picked instructors at Trump University, he explains, you can learn exactly what you need to be successful.
"If you don't learn from these people ... you're not going to make it in terms of success," Trump says.
With that, Nowlin starts his presentation, aggressively pacing the front of the conference room while wearing what might be described as a power headset.
"Is there a right time to buy?" he asks.
Yes, the class intones.
"When's the right time to buy?"
"Spring?" a woman replies.
Nowlin smiles, pressing a button on his headset to summon a tinny voice that intones, "You're fired!"
No, fall is the time to buy, he says. He then asks how many attendees have done a million-dollar deal.
No one lifts a hand.
You can, Nowlin proclaims. In real estate, "the zeroes don't count!"
To hammer home the point, Nowlin tells a story about Trump making millions on an apartment building deal while only a sophomore in college. While he talks, Nowlin gestures often to a huge poster of Trump, in all his combed-over glory, at the front of the room.
"Is there anybody that doesn't recognize this man?" he asks.
No, the crowd says, laughing.
Things get serious later. Foreclosures across the country are going way up. You can help those people, Nowlin says, by using "no-money-down techniques" and buying up their properties. And later, you can sell at a profit.
Only 1 percent of people are financially independent at the age of 65, Nowlin says.
"Donald wants to fix this," he proclaims, reflecting on Trump's generosity. "I think it's really cool that a billionaire wants to fix that."
The fix doesn't come free. A three-day seminar on how to play the "foreclosure game" will be offered in Colorado Springs in coming weeks for "only" $1,995, less $500 for those with a Trump University certificate.
Making thousands on your first real estate deal will be huge, Nowlin says.
"Can you imagine how good you will feel?"
A woman admits that she and her husband are somewhat scared to invest in the class and in real estate, given their ages. "We can't afford to fail," she says.
No worries, Nowlin replies. Trump University staff will be there to help.
"We want to get you in the club," he says.
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