The best real estate investors are those that utilize every advantage at their disposal. One of best ways to get your business off the ground is by joining a local real estate investment club. If you have never been part of an investment club, they are filled with educational and networking opportunities. These monthly meetings may not be your ideal way to spend a Thursday evening, but they can quickly accelerate your business growth. If you are still on the fence as to whether or not they are worth it, here are four reasons to join your local real estate investment club:
1. Networking: One of the primary reasons to join an investment club is for the networking opportunities. Most clubs meet once a month and allow members to gather for an hour or so before the formal meeting begins. This time should be used to network with local investors, attorneys, mortgage brokers and contractors in your area. Depending on the state and the location of the meetings, these are most likely valuable contacts that you can utilize in your everyday business. If you can connect with just one or two new contacts a week, the meeting will be well worth it. Real estate is largely done locally, with the help of personal contacts. Networking at these meetings will grow your contact base, which will indirectly help you find deals. You never know when a new contact will completely change your business. By getting out to meetings, you give yourself a decided advantage over other investors in your area. People will see you and know that you are serious about the business. Investment club meetings offer a great way to increase your networking base virtually overnight.
2. Education: After the informal networking session, there is typically a guest educational speaker at most meetings. They could discuss anything from the benefits of an LLC or a new loan product. Whoever the speaker is, they have information that you may be able to carry with you to your business. Some of the speakers will discuss topics that you may never previously have thought about, but will change your business. Like any other business, the more you know about it, the more successful you will be. This education will allow you to hold a conversation with other investors and people you meet in the business. Having knowledge of your craft is never a bad thing. Regardless of where you are in your business, you should be able to find time to learn something new every month. A real estate club affords you the perfect place to do that.
3. Real World Experience: There is a big difference in having education and knowing how to apply it. One of the benefits of investment club meetings is the ability to interact with people who are really closing deals in your area. There will always be a few people who will tell you how great they are doing, but more importantly there will be people who will tell you some horror stories. These are often much more valuable. By listening to stories from fellow investors, you will get an idea of what not to do. Things that you may have never considered like local rental laws or what to add to your budget are discussed. Even if you just listen to other people, you can pick up a few valuable pieces of information. Not only can this information help your business be more efficient, but it can save you time and money. There is something to be said in learning through experience, but if you can avoid this by listening to others, the better off you will be. Surrounding yourself with people in the business and listening to any issues and concerns is definitely worth the price of admission.
4. Deals: Going to meetings also has a direct payoff. It may not happen at your first one, but in time, attending meetings can lead to deals. By forging relationships with attorneys, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and fellow investors, you never know when they will have a deal that is a good fit for you. Like any other business, people want to work with people they know, trust and enjoy being around. If a real estate agent sees you at enough meetings, they eventually may have a deal in your price range in a specific area. You may not be their first choice, but by seeing and talking to you, a connection is made. This works with most of the contacts you talk to at these meetings. There are deals to be had out there, and if you put yourself around enough people eventually they will come your way. Investment clubs do not guarantee deals, but they greatly increase your chances.
You should be able to pull one or two things from every meeting that makes it worthwhile. These could range from something practical to something educational. Either way, if it helps your business, it is probably worth the sacrifice. If you are like most investors, your day is filled with deals, networking, projects and family obligations that could make skipping a meeting or not joining very easy. However, sacrifice a few hours to see where one takes you. It may be jusst what your business needed.