You’ve gotten the flyers and seen the advertisements, but if you’ve considered joining a local REIA you may have wondered: Will it be worth my time and money? Great question. REIAs and other real estate clubs can be a goldmine for local resources, information and networking.
We’ve asked Visio Account Executive Rasmey Enn for his take on local REIA clubs and how they can benefit all investors, from beginners to experts.
One of the top benefits according to Enn is networking, meeting people and getting to know the who’s who in your local real estate investing community. Local clubs make it easy with regular meetings, conferences and educational programs.
“You will meet realtors, wholesalers, contractors, private and hard money lenders, and many others who are important in the game of real estate investment,” he said. “Start to build relationships one-on-one and learn from others who have been in the business for a while. You can learn what’s trending in the area, where to invest and where to avoid, what contractor or subcontractor to use and where to send your deal.”
Mentorship is another highlight of joining a club. If you are new to the industry, having an experienced investor to turn to when you have questions can be invaluable in your journey. For experienced investors, mentoring is a chance to give back and teach others what they’ve learned.
“Real estate is more micro than macro. If you are just starting out, a local industry player can help you know what is going on with the real estate market in your area,” Enn said. “It is important that you get that insight to implement the right strategies in your real estate investment.”
Other benefits to joining include listening to guest speakers, finding out tricks of the trade and being able to get honest reviews of wholesalers, brokers and the like.
“Clubs definitely will help new investors with networking, education and deals. As an established investor, it can get you deals, new funding sources and other opportunities that you might be missing if you weren’t a part of the club,” Enn said.
But before you run to your nearest meetup, you need to do your homework on which is the right club for you. Depending on where you live, this can be a fairly simple or a more detailed process. The first step is finding out your options.
“Start by Googling ‘REIA’ and checking out biggerpockets.com and meetup.com for events and clubs in your city,” Enn said. “Call them up and see what they have to offer. On Meetup, you can see how many people will be attending the meetings, which can indicate that the REIA is a good one, and popular within the community. On BiggerPockets, it’s easy to ask local investors in the area for their opinions.”
Empowered with information, attend your top chosen clubs and ask a lot of questions. Get a feel for whether the club really exists to help investors or if their goal is to turn a profit. And once you find that perfect club, is it worth the yearly fees to join? Absolutely, says Enn.
“The networking and relationships you build, and the education and insight that you gain will far outweigh the yearly fees, which can be as low as $100 in some clubs. Just like anything else, you get what you put into it. Make sure to get there early, leave late and really take advantage of everything they have to offer,” he said. “With all the networking opportunities, educational resources and local contacts you’ll find within your REIA, it could be the very thing that multiplies your success as a real estate investor.”