Your local real estate investment clubs or associations will educate you. It won’t be book education, but useful knowledge about your local real estate market. The people there are investors, many who have gotten wealthy investing right in your town. This means you’ll get meaningful and specific advice on what is working in your area, where to go for an inspector or property manager, and many other tips and based on real experience.
There are also the actual money-making opportunities that you’ll find. People there may need a partner with money, or a partner with time to find deals. Some have properties for sale and want to save the sales commission by selling to one of the members. Also, if you have a business that’s in any way related to real estate, you can make valuable contacts. Handyman or landscapers can often find business at our local real estate investment club meetings.
Real Estate Investment Clubs – An Example
The local association that my wife and I belong to is AZREIA, or “The Arizona Real Estate Investors Association.” I’ll tell you a little about it. If you don’t have a similar organization in your own town, this may give you ideas for what to include if you start one.
The association sponsors many educational events and seminars for reasonable fees, but the regular meetings are once each month, and included in the membership fee. It cost $195 per year for the two of us to join. As I write this, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s meeting, which will include a winner of the TV show “The Apprentice,” Kendra Todd, telling us how she made her first million in real estate.
Speakers are great, but I also like the regular events. Every meeting starts with “Open Networking,” for thirty minutes or so. It’s an opportunity to meet people, learn a little, and take down names and numbers. We each have a name tag that also tells everyone what our primary interests are, ranging from rental properties to fixer-uppers to wholesaling.
The monthly meeting then officially starts with “Structured Networking.” This involves filling out 3 x 5 cards with your name, occupation, real estate experience, and investments you are interested in. This information is systematically traded with randomly chosen others. It’s surprising how often profitable connections are made during this process.
The best part of the meeting is the “I have / I want” event. Members (or even visitors) can stand up and announce what they have and what they want. The host writes their phone number on the overhead projector. It is sometimes something as mundane as a microwave an investor needs to get rid of, that someone doing a fixer-upper might need. Often, it is someone who has money but needs help finding good investments. I once announced that I was looking for a mobile home park to buy, and I received three calls within a week.
The meetings are not formal affairs. The millionaires in the room are as likely to have on jeans as a suit. Everyone shares a common purpose – to make money investing in real estate. In fact, even if you have no money to invest, yuo can do just fine. Just go find a great deal, and if the numbers truly work, you can probably find the money at these meetings. It is just one more great thing about real estate investment clubs.
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