Local REIA clubs (as they are referred to) have been around for decades and most are non-profit associations whose members gather together monthly to share ideas and network.
Local real estate clubs meetings serve as great opportunities for investors to attend and network with other real estate investors, agents, brokers and people interested in the real estate investing market. Attending a meeting at your local Real Estate Club may also provide you with educational information, and deal-making opportunities.
When I first started investing, I went to as many monthly REIA meeting I could make. It benefited me greatly because I did connect with a great Inspector, Appraiser and an investor friendly Title Company that helped closed some creative deals for me back in 2007-2008. Just those three contacts alone made it all worthwhile for me.
To find a local club near you, here is an up-to-date list: Real Estate Clubs
5 Tips For Attending Local REIA Meetings
Here are some simple tips for attending your local REIA club meeting:
Tip# 1 – Check Time & Location
Some real estate clubs have meeting throughout the month that meet at various locations and time. Alway a good idea to drop them a line to confirm.
Tip # 2 – Network Strategically
If you attend a local REIA meeting, have a goal in mind as to what you want to accomplish, such as what type of investor/agent/vendor you need to bring in on your team
Ex: Hard money lender, a real estate agent, escrow officer or contractor.
Tip # 3 – Listen First, Speak Later
Attend the meeting like it's an official business event. Observe and listen before you start talking about what you do, want to do or discussing deals your are considering. Besides the obvious like having a more experienced investor come in and scoop a deal from right under you (yeah that can happen), you want to spend time to learn who the beginners are just like you, figure out who may be some of the experienced deal makers and who just wants to socialize.
Tip # 4 – Attend at Least 3 Meetings
It may take at least 3 meetings to really know if a REIA is the right fit for your investing style. People, Focus and time of meeting all play a factor.
Example: There is one REIA in my area which seems to have all the “Landlords” and thus many of their meetings and education sessions focus on “cash flow investing”. You can imagine how a wholesaler might not benefit much from attending this type of REIA.
Tip # 5 – Finding Deals & Money
Ask tons of questions. Use the relationships and the resources of the group to help you find or partner on deals.