Back in 1982 when I first joined my local Real Estate Association, I was fresh out of my first seminar and had no idea what I was getting myself into. After attending a few meetings, I came to the conclusion most people in the room didn’t know either. I was in the group for 2 years before I was finally elected President, largely because I was the only one running.
But, I can tell you that hanging around the people in that group probably saved me from the dream stealers and kept me from making up my mind that I couldn’t do real estate because I had no previous experience, no money or credit. Over time, I learned the value of that group was immeasurable because of the following reasons:
1. It gave me a place to get the resources locally that I needed and shortcut a lot of the process of doing my own research and hunting down vendors, contractors, attorneys and all other types of relationships you need to be in the real estate business.
2. It surrounded me with like-minded people who kept me thinking in the right direction and helped me get over a lot of hurdles when I went to the meetings and found other people were having the same kinds of problems I was. I found I wasn’t out there all by myself. It gave me a group to talk to, a group that understood me and in time, these were the only kind of people I wanted to be around because if they didn’t want to talk about real estate, I didn’t much care to associate with them.
3. Your local real estate group is a great place to find joint ventures or partners. Whatever you are lacking, someone in the room has it. If you need money, someone in the room has it if they truly believe you can get the deal done. If you need deals, and you’re the one with the money, you’ll be the most sought after partner. And, you’ll have no problem finding people who would love to have your money to do deals. If you’re a private lender, there are plenty of borrowers in that room. If you’re a borrower, there are usually private lenders in that room.
If it hadn’t of been for this group always wanting to know how I was doing deals because they heard me talking about them at pretty much every meeting, I can tell you truthfully that I wouldn’t be teaching today. It was the ongoing questioning that caused me to do my first seminar that caused me to do my second seminar and on and on to the information marketing company I have today that actually started in that local REIA group.
I learned to speak real estate. I learned to think real estate. I learned how real estate investors made their money. And, I also learned that the majority of the people who come to the meetings are just looking for a miracle or a handout or some way to get something for nothing, so be careful when you go to the meetings to hang around the right people in the room. Those are the people who are doing the deals, not the people who are talking about doing the deals. That is no more than 10 – 15 percent of any REIA group anywhere across the country. This year, I’m personally working with 15 of those groups to help them grown their local REIA by applying marketing skills I’ve acquired over the years, and we’re developing a close relationship, so I can tell you that the struggles these groups have today are no different than the struggles of 30 years ago.
However, during that time, we’ve learned a lot we didn’t know then. So, if you’re not a member of your local REIA, I’d strongly suggest you to hunt one down and go take a look, and see if you like it. You can go to http://www.NationalREIA.com and get a list of groups throughout the country. Join the group today!