Real estate ruse pyramid scheme


Pwan Group came across my desk as Pwan Homes.

Trouble is while while Pwan Homes talked about home ownership, there didn’t appear to be an actual MLM opportunity attach.

Research lead me to Pwan Group, which seems to be the actual MLM opportunity.

Although it’s likely that interest in Pwan Homes is non-existent outside of Pwan Group, why exactly the company exists is unclear.

Both Pwan Homes and Pwan Group are based out of Nigeria.

Here’s their respective marketing spiels:

Our company is PWAN HOMES LIMITED and is an acronym for Property world African Network, Home Ownership Made Easy Scheme.

PWAN GROUP PROPERTY ACCESS CLUB (PGPAC) is an umbrella body of the Pwan Group which is saddled with the responsibilities of planning, recruiting and training of potential marketers using our network marketing model to create an income generating means.

Neither company provides ownership or management information.

Of the two, Pwan Homes appears to be intended as a public facing site.

Although Pwan Homes has a website, poking around reveals website development is incomplete (stock photos and template text, dummy email addresses etc.).

Pwan Homes’ website domain (“pwanhomes.com”) was first registered in 2012.

The registration was last updated on August 2019 and lists Marc Austine as the owner.

Austine (right) is also the listed owner for Pwan Group’s website domain.

On LinkedIn Austine goes my Marc Austine Onwumere. Onwumere cites himself as the Group Chairman of Pwan Group and Pwan Homes.

In an associated ZoomInfo profile, Austine goes by Augustine Ozioma Onwumere.

The ZoomInfo profile reveals Pwan Plus, which appears to be another irrelevant real-estate angle.

At PWAN PLUS, nothing gets in the way of your needs. When you’re looking to buy land in the 5th largest city in Africa, Lagos state, Nigeria, whether residential or commercial, we will always treat you as our top priority.

I wasn’t able to put together an MLM history on Onwumere, but a July 2018 puff-piece in eTimes cites him as ‘C.E.O of Buzy internet enterprises, Washaholic drycleaner, Oj Marc clothing‘.

Read on for a full review of Pwan Group’s MLM opportunity.

Pwan Group’s Products

Pwan Group has no retailable products or services, with affiliates only able to market Pwan Group affiliate membership itself.

Pwan Group’s Compensation Plan

Pwan Group affiliates either sign up as a Classics Partner or an Elite Partner.

  • Classics Partner membership is N36,000 (~$99 USD)
  • Elite Partner membership is N156,000 (~$429 USD)

Commissions are paid when Pwan Group affiliates recruit new affiliates.

Pwan Group’s compensation plan references a 5×6 matrix but it’s unclear beyond tracking recruits how the matrix is used.

In any event for reference, a 5×6 matrix places an affiliate at the top of a matrix.

There are six positions on the first level of the matrix, with each subsequent level (up to 6) housing five times as many positions as the previous level.

E.g. level 2 of the matrix houses twenty-five positions. Level three houses one hundred and twenty-five and so on and so forth.

Pwan Homes’ compensation plan ties commissions to recruitment as follows:

  • sign up as a Classics Partner or Elite Partner and recruit five affiliates to qualify as a Senior Partner Level 1
  • when five of your personal recruits qualify at Senior Partner Level 1, you qualify as Senior Partner Level 2
  • when five of your personal recruits qualify at Senior Partner Level 2, you qualify as Team Manager Level 1
  • when five of your personal recruits qualify at Team Manager Level 1, you qualify as Team Manager Level 2
  • when five of your personal recruits qualify at Team Manager Level 2, you qualify as Team Director Level 1
  • when five of your personal recruits qualify at Team Director Level 1, you qualify as Team Director Level 2

Note that Elite Partner ranks have are designated elite but qualification is the same.

Classics Partners earn N6000 per affiliate they recruit.

Elite Partners earn N6000 per Classics Partner they recruit, and N30,000 for each Elite Partner.

Both membership tiers also have different rank-based bonuses.

Classics Partner Rank Bonuses

  • qualify at Senior Partner Level 1 and receive a “goodie bag”
  • qualify at Senior Partner Level 2 and receive an N120,000 recruitment bonus (N180,000 if you recruit thirty affiliates at this tier)
  • Team Manager Level 1 has no stated bonuses
  • qualify at Team Manager Level 2 and receive a “center start up loan of up to N1,000,000
  • qualify at Team Director Level 1 and receive an N30,000,000 house, N10,000,000 worth of furniture, an all expenses paid trip to the UK, South Africa or Dubai for two and a new car worth N15,000,000

Elite Partner Rank Bonuses

  • qualify at Senior Elite Partner Level 1 and receive a N6000 grocery voucher
  • qualify at Senior Elite Partner Level 2 and receive N600,000 and an N24,000 grocery voucher (N900,000 and an N36,000 voucher if you recruit thirty affiliates at this tier)
  • qualify at Team Elite Manager Level 1 and receive a Go Pro camera and N60,000 grocery voucher
  • qualify at Team Elite Manager Level 2 and receive an “SUV worth N6 million” and an “Eagle Summit for two”.
  • qualify at Team Elite Director Level 1 and receive N6,000,000, a new car worth N15,000,000 and a house worth N18,000,000
  • qualify at Team Elite Director Level 2 and receive “a fully detached furnished duplex on a full plot of land”, a new SUV and an “all expense paid luxury vacation for the whole family”

Upline Bonuses

Pwan Group pays an upline bonus when personally recruited affiliates qualify at the Team Manager 2 and higher ranks as follows:

  • personally recruited affiliate qualifies at Team Manager Level 2 = N60,000 upline bonus
  • personally recruited affiliate qualifies at Team Director Level 1 = N600,000 upline bonus

Joining Pwan Group

Pwan Group affiliate membership is available at two price-point tiers:

  • Classics Partner membership is N36,000 (~$99 USD)
  • Elite Partner membership is N156,000 (~$429 USD)

Conclusion

The only tie in with real estate Pwan Group has with housing is the bonuses it rewards affiliates who recruit the largest downlines.

While I don’t doubt Mark Onwumere’s commitment to housing efforts in Nigeria, the problem is he’s going about it by running a pyramid scheme.

You sign up as a Pwan Group affiliate. You recruit others, they recruit others and once enough people have been recruited you start earning money and bonuses.

At no point is anything marketed to or sold to retail customers, meaning 100% of commissions and bonus rewards are tied to recruitment.

That’s about as basic of a pyramid scheme as you can get.

As with all such schemes, once recruitment tanks so does the opportunity.

While I can’t tell you the secret to housing affordability in Nigeria, what I can tell you is chasing pyramid scheme riches is unlikely to get you anywhere.

And on the off-chance it does, know that anything you gain will be at the expense of other’s misery.