Are real estate investor clubs a productive use of your time to attend? I get this question a lot. Real estate investment clubs have been around for decades and most are non-profit associations whose members gather together monthly to share ideas and network. The larger the city, the larger the group, and in some cities, there are more than one in the same city. On the surface, real estate investor clubs seem like ideal meetings for local investors to attend. However, there are some things to watch out for and some rules to follow to optimize your experience.
When I first got started investing in real estate, I went to every monthly real estate investment club meeting. What I discovered was that the most successful investors in my area never attended those meetings! Where were they? As I began to ask myself that question, I also began to look around at the other attendees around me. The majority of the people at those gatherings were beginners just like me and getting tips and ideas from them was like the blind leading the blind!
Then, I hit a breakthrough after talking with a very experienced local investor that wasn’t a member of my local real estate investing club. I learned that the reason why he didn’t attend those monthly gatherings was because he didn’t want to share the secrets he was using to make a ton of money. His question to me was, “Phil, why I am going to take time out of my schedule to go create competitors?” Instead, what he did was join a community of top investors from across the country to network and share ideas with because he knew he wouldn’t be creating any local competitors.
On the other hand, in my early years of attending real estate investor club meetings, I did find a dynamite hard money lender and a terrific closing company that helped closed some creative deals for me. Just those two contacts alone made it all worth while for me.
Many years later, after mentoring thousands of real estate investors from all across the country and watching their experiences with them, I have developed two simple rules for dealing with real estate investor clubs:
Rule # 1 – Loose Lips Sink Ships: Be quick to listen and ask questions and be very slow to speak. It’s OK to collect ideas from others but resist the temptation to share ideas on what you are doing and what you know. That may sound counter-intuitive and the opposite of what others may teach, but it’s the truth. The spouting whale gets the first harpoon. On a local level, when you share your good ideas and learning lessons at investment club meetings, you are empowering the competition. On a national level, it actually helps you tremendously. The students in our program benefit tremendously from the others in the group because everyone is scattered across the country.
Rule # 2 – Network Strategically: If you attend a local club meeting, have a goal in mind as to what type of vendor you are looking for; whether that be a hard money lender, a closing company, a mortgage broker, a real estate agent, etc. Center your attention on locating and networking with just those vendors that are critical to your business. Aimless networking may eat up your time with nice people who may not be a good fit for helping your business and may prevent you from reaching the most important players in the room.
Follow those two rules and you will make your attendance at a real estate investment club meeting very productive and helpful. To find a local club near you, here is an up-to-date list:
What are your thoughts on real estate investor clubs?