Current estimates indicate there are between 150 and 200 real estate investment clubs across the United States, representing somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 individual members in 2019. The real estate market is a thriving environment, where the new and the old come together to share ideas and discuss investment opportunities.
Club members typically pay between $50 and $250 a year to join these groups, which are usually set up as nonprofit organizations. Membership fees normally include such expenses as admission to field trips to evaluate properties, monthly meetings / workshops, and even a subscription to a real estate investing newsletter.
One of the driving forces behind the rapid rise in interest, and the growing participation, in real estate investment clubs is the rise in housing prices experienced in the past. In fact, when some areas of the country realized a 50 to 100% increase in just five years, the real estate boom spawned what seemed like a no-lose investment strategy.
The openness of these real estate clubs appeal to the young, not-so-young, experienced, and inexperienced investor. Education and the sharing of information is the mainstay of the club's monthly, and sometimes even weekly, meetings.
For those that have never attended a club meeting, the following is a quick list of what can be seen, and heard. This list will also include some tips that will allow attendees to get the most out of their membership fees, as well as time spent at these meetings.
Since most clubs are structured as nonprofit organizations, how much they can pay speakers will be limited. This means speakers that "volunteer" to attend meetings will normally have a hidden agenda. They are going to provide the audience with good information on the current trends in the real estate market, and they will also try to sell something.
While members might not always appreciate getting a sales pitch, it's important to listen to the discussion because the best speakers will also provide some valuable real estate advice.
Individuals planning to learn something about real estate at these club meetings need to follow the local rules. Show up to the meeting on time, don't solicit business without first asking permission from the club leadership committee, and don't distract others at the meeting by talking during presentations.
New members will get along a lot better with veteran club members, and learn a lot more, if they do more listening than talking at club meetings.
The primary focus of most clubs is to educate their membership on strategies that will allow them to find real estate properties poised to move up. But the networking that occurs at the club meetings often results in leads on properties that haven't even hit the market.
Since these clubs often attract professions such as attorneys and builders, members can count on getting "free" advice that ranges from getting sued by tenants to the cost of rehabilitating a property. The information gained, and the connections made at the meeting through networking, is a great return on the membership investment.
When there is a need, there is always someone ready, and willing, to provide an answer. Finding a local real estate club is no exception. In the following sections are links to websites that provide individuals with the ability to search for a club by state.
The National Real Estate Investors Association is a non profit trade association representing local clubs, property owners, and landlords throughout the United States. The association claims to have over 40,000 paying members, and is the largest organization dedicated to real estate investing in America. The website offers a graphical depiction of the United States that allows individuals to find real estate clubs in nearby communities via the click of a mouse.
Although not affiliated with, or the sponsor of, real estate clubs on a national scale, Real Estate Promo offers surfers an opportunity to find local clubs. The site contains a text listing of each state that directs the user to a catalog of the contact information for these clubs. One nice feature of this site is that a user can find both the street address of a local club as well as contact information such as email addresses and websites hosted by the club itself.
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