Enter the phrase “real estate investing association” followed by any city into your favorite online search engine and you are bound to get a flood of returns. You will find associations that meet in person, some that meet online, others that are simply designed to deliver information and opportunities for investors. No matter what the alternatives are in your area, if you are going to invest in real estate, this is a first step you must take.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF REAL ESTATE INVESTORS ASSOCIATION?
Most real estate associations are organized and operated by local real estate investors. Some are set up as for-profit entities and others are set up as nonprofits. The biggest difference between the set ups is the quality of the content and the dedication of the operators. In a for-profit situation, the operators of the association are using the club as an opportunity to connect with local, experienced investors and first timers who are interested in getting started. The content is usually very good, but will often times be reserved only for those who are paying customers. Their topics tend to be universal in nature and not just reserved for a particular area. They also attract big name speakers and their talks can come with either additional costs or product pitches to help pay for the expense of bringing in high profile speakers. Many of these types of clubs have multiple meeting times and multiple functions each month designed to help every level of investor.
Nonprofits tend to be only slightly less organized, but they do have very good material. Usually the material is presented by local investors and not top-notch national speakers as they tend to be too expensive. Another bonus for nonprofit associations is that they tend to have presenters who are actively investing in a community or local leaders such as banks, insurance agents and even real estate agents who are able to present on more localized topics.
A new phenomenon is the online association that is still designed for a particular area. The nice thing about a group like this is that even in your own home, you are able to join in on discussions, participate in online presentations and interact with other investors in your community. These types of groups tend to be very free-flowing with a lot of local topics and discussion from multiple sources. A downfall of online groups is the lack of a moderator to screen discussion and as a participant you must be aware that not all advice comes from experienced, active investors.
WHY JOIN A LOCAL REAL ESTATE INVESTORS ASSOCIATION?
The benefits for an investor when they join a local real estate investors association are many, but can definitely vary from one organization to another. The biggest benefit with any such organization is the opportunity to surround yourself with like minded individuals who can assist you with your success. Even if you are only able to make one good contact that you would not have had otherwise, the return on your investment in time and money can be enormous.
Most beginner investment books discuss the concept of team building and developing a group of individuals that handle all of your essential services. Local real estate investors associations is the location where you can find all of the resources and team members you could possibly need and as you get to know these possible team members through the meetings, you can decide which will fit best on your team. This allows you to interview and interact with all the essential team members before you do any deals.
The second biggest benefit after surrounding yourself with like minded individuals and possible team members is the access you gain to knowledge and experience. For investment associations that meet live, the atmosphere that is created in a live setting cannot be denied. The opportunity to hear from other investors and the mistakes that they have made in the past as well as the successes that they have had is invaluable. I have belonged to five different real estate investors associations in the past and have not only met great individuals, but have been greatly inspired and motivated by the stories and opportunities they presented.
Finally, the training you can receive at a local real estate investors association is very important. Most organizations have designated classes or presentations geared toward new investors that are meant as pure education platforms. No selling is involved in these types of classes. Most have question and answer sessions for you to get advice and to hear the questions of other investors.
Regardless of the type of organization you can join, it is vital to the success of most beginner investors that they join an organization and begin to network with other investors. It speeds the learning curve and can greatly reduce the number of mistakes a new investor may make.
RESOURCES FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTOR ASSOCIATIONS
As I mentioned early in the article, you can use your preferred search engine to search for “real estate investor associations” and you are going to get hundreds of returns from online organizations which are great resources of information. But if you want to really expand and network, you are going to have to search locally and add the name of you the nearest city to your search. Memphis as an example has two organizations that meet in person and each are nonprofits. One hosts a monthly night meeting and the other hosts a monthly lunch meeting. There is also an online association in Memphis that ties investors from all over back to their investments in Memphis. So an investor looking for an association to join in Memphis will find at least three good alternatives. Most likely, that will be the case in any major metropolitan area.
Once you decide to get started in real estate investing, search for and find the groups. From there, it is up to you to take the next step and join!