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  • Property Training/Mentoring

    Educator Wars - Progressive vs. Touchstone

    So, what's the score on Mr Smith calling out Mr Moore last night on a FB video?...where's that one going to go.


    I guess you are referring to this article on the Progressive website:


    If you’re looking into Paul Smith (previously know as Paul Porter Smith) you should be aware that Paul Smith and his company Touchstone Education are a relatively newly formed company which have results as a property investor and their property success of a £8million portfolio as unclear.

    Their claim of managing a portfolio of over 200 HMO lets as well as serviced apartments and commercial properties, are unclear too.

    Whether this refers solely to their own personal portfolio or managing other people’s properties isn’t clear. You shouldn’t take what you read at first glance as true, but this doesn’t necessarily make it a scam.

    He claims to be a landlord and have a property portfolio, and he gives out information about property investing regularly. You will need to do your own due diligence to rely on such information.

    A lot of their 5 star reviews on their serviced accommodation business, Diamond Service Apartments (DSA) have allegedly been written by their own team, family members and other staff who work for Touchstone Education.

    We cannot comment on why the majority of these reviews have been written internally, but one should proceed with caution & not take what you read as true. When people have questioned this, their team have seemly blocked anyone who wanted the issue clarified. Again, you should proceed with caution.

    Full/source article

    In his video, Paul Smith retaliates with how much he paid to Progressive for training and mentoring - £91K in total - and says it is a "betrayal of trust" and "truly shocking" for Rob Moore to post such an article.

    He says that he is going to reveal the truth about Progressive at his Summit this weekend.  He then goes on to market his event, highlighting the scoop about Progressive as a reason to attend.

    See - Paul Smith and property training in general

    Paul Smith | Touchstone | Denison House


    Thank you for expanding on that Vanessa. Yes, I have followed the Paul Smith debacle for some time.

    Blatant self promotion for his Doncaster summit slipped in there, and he did say he will be publishing a full rebuttal..should be interesting.

    Unbelievable, the gall of some of these 'educators', really believing their own hype and never believe they do anything wrong. I could not find the Progressive article though.


    It's good to see that Rob Moore reads Property Tribes as the information he quotes regarding the fake Facebook reviews of Diamond Serviced Apartments from its employees was well publicised on the now deleted  failed Denison House project thread.


    Forgive me LL, but I must correct you.

    The staff reviews are still available to view on Property Tribes >>> here.


    Paul Smith has posted a FB Video in response to being questioned online as to whether he owns any properties or manages properties for others.

    In the video he speaks to Amy and Naomi who work within his companies, they confirm they work for real companies and confirm he owns 10 serviced apartments in Doncaster as well as some others in Scotland, in Helensburgh and Dumbarton. Amy confirms they manage 186 HMO rooms in Doncaster, mostly managed for other landlords but some being Pauls in addition to managing other landlords serviced apartments and single lets.



    Progressive should have provided substantiation for their claims, otherwise it opens them up to legal action by Paul Smith. 

    All I can surmise from what has been published so far is that something triggered Progressive to write this, and also that they are sure of their legal standing when making such claims about a former trainer who was in their network. 

    Perhaps they did not consider it, but imho it also calls into question what due diligence they did on Paul Smith before inviting him into Progressive and giving him a platform as a credible property person.   

    At events, Paul Smith told people his back-story prior to joining PP including details of his own business journey and personal property wealth, and now its notable that the Progressive article questions those claims while giving another version of his name.


    Paul's FB thread was criticqed earlier, below post and responses, PT get's a little mention......

    Aaron Taylor Paul, this is a bit ironic, you're doing the same thing back to get attention to fill your events? To be clear, I do not know Rob or you personally and have never attended any of your events or spoken to any of you. But I know many people who have attended your events and they don't have many people at all. they are 'dead', but the fact you used Progressive's and Rob Moore's names, you've probably had more views and comments then any other vides on your facebook page (it looks like it in your shares, and no of comments).

    You've said you don't know why he is doing this then say its for SEO purposes? So if you know why are you making a song and dance about it? I'be just read the article, its quite clever, and I can't deduce anything which constitutes slander.

    Why do people have to attend your event to see your rebuttal? It's obvious you have both had a disagreement, but its obvious what you are doing - piggybacking of the biggest property training company in the UK. BTW - your offices, website etc looks almost identical to that of Progressive and you should probably thank them, otherwise people would not know who you are. Didn't they launch your book and get your name out there?

    By the way do you have proof Rob moore actually wrote the article, they have lots of staff, so what you have said could also be slanderous, you might want to get your facts checked out too. If you have were so pissed off about it, you should have called a meeting, or written a letter, you have just done the same thing back, to get attention, its pretty pathetic to be honest ('he said/she said' playground stuff), calling people out on facebook, this is like how Property Tribes was back in the days, a pointless soap opera or a property version of Jeremy Kyle.

    Paul Smith Hi Aaron... I can not agree with many of the points you make.

    1. Doing the same thing back.... really? What would you do if your old mentor published this innuendo and nonsense on his website?

    2. You know "many people" who have attended our events and they are "dead" seems a little contradictory... last time in London we had about 200 people and normally in Doncaster we enjoy the company of 60 to 70 people which is a group size we like and they seem to like. Our Trustpilot reviews from attendees are rated as excellent which is feedback we value and work hard to deserve. Our website typically has 17,000 unique visits a month and growing pretty fast. I could go on. You are of course welcome to your views on the "dead"ness or otherwise of our events.

    3. I have no idea why Rob Moore decided to do this you would need to ask him.

    4. I can see it has been written for SEO purposes simply because many of the comments make no sense yet if you google my company this article comes up first. I also know how much of my website traffic this is likely to be hi-jacking and costing people the opportunity to change their lives.

    5. You think the article is "clever" .. OK I think a reasonable person reading it might reasonably conclude that there was a Scam involving me or my company. That is not "clever" in my view. I am advised is the relevant legal test.

    6. People do not have to attend my event if they are not interested. I realise for the vast majority of people this article is a non-event.

    7. Why do you think Progressive is one of the biggest training companies in the UK? Their accounts are below the audit threshold so very little information is available.

    8. Our office / website looks identical... I do not agree. Why that is relevant?

    9. I do thank Progressive for many things. Not this article however.

    10. They helped promote my first book and I thank them for that.

    11. Thank you for your advice about checking my facts.

    12. I could indeed have written a letter or called a meeting. Emails, texts and people that know us both have all been fruitless in getting the article removed. I agree with your suggestions here which is why we tried that. Faced with a refusal to remove the material what would you have done if it were you?

    13. Your final comments are of course you prerogative. Regards Paul

    Aaron Taylor Paul Smith Thanks for your reply Paul, I have no axe with anyone, I'm just seeing it from my POV.

    Re your points, I'll answer back:

    1) Certainly not what you've done. Why? Tribes and other groups who save/screenshot these posts etc will now be stuck and indexed on google and facebook. They made one article, but it seems like you're posting it everywhere trying to get the upper hand and make the bigger noise. It's pointless. 

    2)I know 6 people who attended Doncaster and said it had 30 people. Many of your trust pilot reviews seem to have come days apart, or most on the actual day (3-4 reviews on the same day) and others within 1day, which raises an eyebrow as to you perhaps asked your attendees to review? Which is fine, no issue with that at all and I have no gripes about that at all. 

    3)You mention a few times, its for SEO. It's perhaps more likely of other issues you may of had privately and that's between yourselves, I don't know, only you all are privy to that. 

    4)Yes it probably is, there is no law against it, and certainly most likely now you have your answer as to why. They are a training company too, you see paid ads ALL the time. For instance, they've written this article which will get and gain traction perhaps to their events, people do this with paid ads, so instead of this article popping on google, there would be a paid ad to their training event. Maybe they can also change lives too? 

    5)Yes I do from a marketing/angle point of view of course and it worked. It's genius. It's called keyword jacking. To be clear no one has said you have scammed anyone. Or Touchstone have. It's presenting facts(or to their best ability) and asking the reader to do due diligence on any training provider. You see supermarket commercials saying we are x% cheaper than Asda, x% cheaper than Tesco etc.

    6)I know you have the right to be upset, but business is not for wimps (not calling you this at all). In business sometimes you have to eat s'hit and like the taste of it. 

    7)Biggest social media reach. Biggest database perhaps? One of the longest running, the training company most people know about, probably train and host more events, have more trainers and employ more staff than any other property training company?

    8)It's not, I was just saying its funny how many people have been taught by Progressive, they start up on their own, model and scrape what they do and then there is a mud fest among past 'friends' on public places.

    9)I'm glad there's some gratitude. And agree what the latter point. Now do you really want this to drag on, what if they fire back? In the end, what is this going to achieve? Let's say they take the article down, lots of people have perhaps screenshot it, do you want even more 'bad blood'? I'd say the same thing to them too.

    10)That's nice thing to say. 

    11)Sometimes in the heat of things, emotions take over.

    12)I would have written a letter, tried to get a median person to mediate, be the 'better person' if I had to, perhaps even written an article on my website. I wouldn't have a social media campaign, I have seen a few suggestions that its to promote your event off the back of this. Even if its not true people think it and are always watching in the background. Of course, you don't have to take any note of what I say at all. You're a big advocate of Dr Demartini, what do you think he would have done? I highly doubt he would have done the same.

    13)Thank you. Cheers. Ps not picking a fight with you or anyone, just stating my thoughts. You can delete my posts if you like.

    Paul Smith Aaron Taylor thank you for your feedback... why on earth would I delete them. Best regards Paul

    Aaron Taylor Paul Smith hope it gets resolved quickly. There’s enough room for everyone to do and teach.