Real Estate Investment Clubs
By Steve Gillman - 2006
The first thing that your local real estate investment clubs
or associations do for you is educate you. This won't be book
education, but real knowledge about your local real estate market.
These people are investors, many who have gotten wealthy investing
right in your town. 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.
Then there are the actual money-making opportunities that
you'll have. There are people there who need a partner with money,
or a partner with time to find deals. There are investors who
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 is in any way related to real estate, you can make valuable
contacts here. A handyman or landscaper can often find business
at our local real estate investment club meetings.
Real Estate Investment Clubs - An Example
I'll tell you about the local association that my wife and
I belong to as an example. It is AZREIA, or "The Arizona
Real Estate Investors Association." Even if you don't have
a similar organization in your town, this may give you some ideas
for what to include if you start one.
The association sponsors a wide variety of educational events
and seminars for reasonable fees, but the regular meetings are
once each month. It cost about $200 per year for the two of us
to join. As I write this, I am looking forward to tomorrow night's
meeting, which will include "The Apprentice" TV show
winner Kendra Todd, telling us how she made her first million
in real estate.
The speakers are great, but the part that I like best about
the meetings is the regular events. Every meeting has the Pre-meeting
"Open Networking," for thirty minutes or so. This is
an opportunity to meet people, learn a little, and take down
names and numbers. Each of us has a name tag that also tells
everyone what our primary interests are, ranging from rental
properties to fixer-uppers to wholesaling.
The meeting officially starts with the "Structured Networking."
This involves filling out a 3 x 5 card with your name, occupation,
experience in real estate, and what investments you are interested
in. Turns are taken trading this information with randomly chosen
others. It is amazing how often profitable connections are made
during this process.
My absolute favorite part of the meeting is the "I have
/ I want" part. Anyone can stand up and announce what they
have and what they want, and the host writes their phone number
on the overhead projector. Sometimes it is something as mundane
as a microwave an investor needs to get rid of, that someone
doing a fixer-upper might need. When I once announced that I
was looking for a mobile home park to buy, I received three calls
within a week.
These are not formal affairs. Millionaires in the room are
as likely to have jeans on as a suit. Everyone is there with
a common purpose - to make money investing in real estate. Even
if you have no money to invest, go find a great deal. If the
numbers truly work, you can probably find the money at these
meetings. There is just one more great thing about real estate
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