Real estate investing clubs are growing really fast. According to NREIA (National Real Estate Investors Association), numbers have quadrupled from 44 clubs to 178. There are hundreds more that popped up across the country. NREIA estimates about 500 existing groups which are not affiliated with them.
Due to the fast growth, established groups who are meeting once a month are now meeting weekly as their membership increase. An example of a fast-growing club located in Orlando, Florida reported that their members have already reached 1,000 people, doubling in recent years.
The Best Investing Club
According to the head of Central Florida Real Estate Inventors Association, Cheryl Kiser, “The clubs that are featuring too many speakers promoting themselves often alienate the members, who won’t probably come back.”
So consider the following when you’re looking for the best real estate investing clubs:
• Look for older clubs that will most likely have seasoned, stable memberships – they can truly offer valuable expertise to newcomers like you.
• Before joining, it’s best that you test the waters first. Attend one meeting or two. Normally, annual membership fees are not really so prohibitive – about $50 to $200. However, make sure that the club is the appropriate fit for you before signing up.
• Use your common sense all the time. A lot of seasoned investors will say that investing in real estate is not easy and nobody has the only “foolproof secret” to make money. Steer clear of clubs that tell you otherwise.
The Lure of Money
If double-digit equity gains are the ones fueling stock-investment clubs, rapid appreciation in several cities is the advantage of real estate clubs. And even in markets that are not booming such as Akron, Ohio (just up 3% last year, compared to 12.5% nationwide), membership in these clubs have still grown. “This is because low interest rates encourage more to explore investment opportunities in commercial or rental properties,” said club treasurer and longtime investor, Tom McCombs.
He further said “There’s money that can be made if you just know where opportunities can be found and then take advantage of them when you do.” He estimates that 95% of the people attending meetings in these clubs will never take the first step and invest in real estate because this industry requires more cash, stamina, and work than they have expected.
Unlike stock-market clubs, real estate investing clubs are not about communal investments or joint decisions. Instead, it’s about networking and education, peppered with pitches for tapes, books, seminars, and other investing services.