Eight Reasons Why You Should Join A REIA

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One of the first things I did when I was thinking about getting into real estate investing was to start going to my local REIA group.  REIA stands for Real Estate Investors Association and nearly every major city has one.  I am still very active in my local REIA group today, after almost ten years of successful real estate investing.

When I was a newbie, my local REIA offered some great speakers, courses and programs that really helped me get going down the right path.  I can recall attending many a Saturday workshop on subjects like landlording, rehabbing, flipping properties, income taxes, business structure, business systems, private money and many more.

Eight Reasons to Join a REIA

Yes, I am a lot more experienced now but I still go to my local REIA meetings.  Here is why:

  • Networking – I get to talk shop with many other local investors.  Plus I meet new people, such as contractors and other professionals that help my real estate business.
  • New Friends – I have met many, many new friends that I otherwise would not have had I not been active in my local REIA.
  • Advice – Many of these new friends have decades more experience than I do.  They have experienced and solved the problems I am dealing with today that are new to me.  Their advice is only a phone call away.
  • New Ideas – My REIA group brings together a variety of real estate entrepreneurs from all over the world at times.  It is great to talk with these folks and share ideas and come up with new ones.
  • Local Issues – My local REIA group has an active governmental affairs committee that keeps us informed of local and statewide issues that could affect my business that I otherwise may not find out about until it was too late.  Plus, when the government is involved, there is power in numbers.  My local REIA gives me the numbers.
  • Education – I still like to attend many of the educational programs.  Just one or two new techniques could make or save me thousands of dollars!
  • Camaraderie – Most investors often work alone and we are not able to gather around the water cooler and commiserate for a while.  My local REIA gives me a sympathetic ear.
  • Deals – I have signed contracts in the back of the meeting room.

There are a lot of great sources for real estate education out there, such as this website, BiggerPockets, of course, books, courses, etc.  But there is nothing like being able to interact with other local investors.  So read this website.  Read those books and join your local REIA.  If you don’t have a local REIA group near you, maybe you can start one.

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About Author

Kevin Perk is co-founder of Kevron Properties, LLC with his wife Terron and has been involved in real estate investing for 10 years. Kevin invests in and manages rental properties in Memphis, TN and is a past president and vice-president of the local REIA group, the Memphis Investors Group.

20 Comments

  1. Hi,
    Great read. One problem, I live in a small town in which there is no such group (that I’m aware of). Is there a web site that offers such connections?
    Thanks

    • Kevin Perk

      Steve,

      Thanks for the kind words and for reading and commenting.

      Biggerpockets.com through its forums and other features offers a pretty good way to look for and connect with other investors in your area and around the world. I encourage you to click around this site and use all of the features it has to offer. There are a lot of people here.

      The national REIA site at http://www.nationalreia.com/ has a search feature that will allow you to look for the REIA closest to you. I know at our local REIA folks will travel quite a distance to come depending on the program. Since many clubs tend to meet only once a month, maybe that will work for you.

      Perhaps you could start a local group where you live. Maybe not a full blown REIA club, but a group that gets together for coffee or a beer or lunch and talks real estate. We have a group here that meets for lunch every Friday and anyone is invited to join us. Maybe try placing an ad on Craigslist or in your local paper and see if you get any response. You may be surprised.

      Good luck!

      Kevin

  2. Kevin, I couldn’t agree more. The REIAs I have attended in the past are one of the bigget reasons for my success today – and I still attend as many as I can fit into my schedule. Although some of them are a bit “pitchy” – the bottom line there is no better place to meet potential JV partners, lenders, contractors, real estate agents and other like minded investors. Sure, everyone has something to “sell” but dont be turned off by that, REIAs are a must do for any serious real estate investor.

    • Kevin Perk

      Mike,

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      You are correct. Sometimes things can bet a bit too “pitchy.” It can be tough to balance at times. But my experience, and it seems like yours as well, is that a little bit of pitch is worth it for the other benefits we have received from our local clubs.

      Thanks again,

      Kevin

  3. I completely agree that REIA’s are a great place to network and learn. However, I think we should caution the newbies not to get sucked into every sales pitch, get rich quick program, and boot camp that somebody attempts to sell you at one of this clubs. Listen, learn, and talk to others, but don’t be a sucker.

      • I think we could help you out with that one Josh! Yes, they are great places to meet other real estate investors and network, but some of them are filled with sharks so beware. Having said that, some of my best money lenders, friends and partners came from REIA meeting networking.

        • Kevin Perk

          Mike,

          Good advice. I try to tell newbies I meet to be careful and think about what they are doing. Take some time and learn about the business before jumping right in. That there are sharks out there.

          If they take their time and learn, then like you and I they will meet many people who will help them be successful.

          Thanks for reading and commenting,

          Kevin

    • Kevin Perk

      No doubt about it. There are sharks in the water. Some of the speakers charge way too much for the content (to say the least) and some REIA clubs are designed as nothing more than conduits to generate leads and sell properties.

      The name of the game with any thing you are trying to pursue or purchase is caveat emptor or buyer beware. If it sounds too good to be true it likely is.

      I have also found that the market does a pretty good job of clearing out the sharks. We have had some over the years and someone does get taken every once in a while. But they generally can only do that once, or maybe twice before the word is out and they disappear. And when people often look back on the situation, they find that they let their guard down or forced the numbers to work.

      Very good point to bring up though and I am glad you did so,

      Kevin

  4. kevin, you put it right on the money regarding the importance of joining your REIA. I did join not that while ago and I have already experienced all the eight benefits you pointed out in your article. One of the benefits that I enjoy the most is the Camaraderie, every time that I go to a meeting I return home all fire up with my batteries recharged.
    Thanks, great post!
    Alex

  5. Kevin,

    REIA are one of the best ways to meet doers and watchers. You’ll know the doers, they usually sit in the back networking during the whole meeting. Watchers have business cards and that’s about it. We have several free clubs in our area. They put out good local information. I do think its important to start looking at national reia’s as well. Investors need to band together to prevent industry negative legislation. We could be a much more powerful force the NAR.

    Jason

    • Kevin Perk

      Jason,

      You are right we could be a powerful force. We investors have to constantly watch our local, state and national legislatures. My local REIA works on local issues and with other REIAs across our state when we need to do so. This work has helped defeat or at least change some potentially harmful legislation at both the local and state level. As I said, that is one of the great things that my local REIA does.

      Btw, I tend to sit in the back, but I like to give my cards out as well. You never know.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment,

      Kevin

  6. Hello, and thank you for the information.

    All of the REIAs near me are “for profit” and charge membership fees. How can I be sure they aren’t there solely to fleece newbies like me?

    Thank you,
    Chris

    • Kevin Perk

      Chris,

      Sorry for my delayed response.

      Very wise of you to ask this question.

      First, understand that most REIA clubs will charge dues or entrance fees. They have to pay for meeting space, for advertisements, club administrators, etc.

      Second, I think you will need to go to several meetings before you can get a true feel for the group. While you are at those meetings, make an effort to meet and talk with people. Do not be a wallflower. One of the best things you can get out of a REIA club is the connections made networking.

      Here is what I would look for.

      Does the club have a code of ethics for members and sponsors?

      Does the club utilize a variety of speakers and discuss a variety of topics? Or, does the club always seem to have the same speakers/sponsors running the show?

      Does the club consistently try to focus on and promote one product/sponsor/property program?

      As you meet and get to know people at the club, do they share their knowledge and experience with you or are they all just giving you a hard sell? People will not share all their secrets with you, but it should not be a hard sell all the time either.

      Understand that you will most likely need to pay for your real estate eduction. I know I have bought thousands of dollars worth of courses and some have really been very helpful.

      Ultimately however it is buyer beware. If something sounds too good to be true then it most likely is. Beware of those selling you a dream. Yes you can make very good money in real estate, but it takes education and effort.

      Hope that helps.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,

      Kevin

  7. A REIA was started in Sioux Falls, the person that started it was (is) very pro active, she got some very good speakers. However there were only 6 of us that showed up to the meetings, so she shut it down. SO, if there is anyone in the Sioux Falls area reading this, and wants to get it going, she has agreed that if she can get 30 members, then she would be willing to get it started again. Until then I guess we just network in here.

    • Kevin Perk

      Geoff,

      Sounds like you guys might need to do a little marketing. Place some ads and get the word out there! Where would investors most likely see your advertisements? Maybe purchase a list of non-owner occupied homes to market to. Sioux Falls is a small city but I bet there are enough investors who would be interested if you can reach them.

      Good luck!

      Kevin

  8. Hi Kevin,

    As a decade long member of different REIA’s and founder of a REIA group in Metro Detroit. I can honestly say that there’ no better bang for your buck for new and experienced investors.

    If it wasn’t for local REIA’s I’d still be stuck in my J.O.B. and would’ve never been able to become a successful full-time real estate investor.

    There’s definitely a place for national speakers and gurus. I’ve spent a lot of money on my own real estate investing education. However if you want to know what’s going on in your own area it’s always a good ides to learn from and do business with those who are already there.

    Keep up the good writing,

    Dylan Tanaka – Founder
    REIA of Macomb

    • Kevin Perk

      Dylan,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. You are absolutely correct about the local information. I will be writing another blog post soon that confirms what you say.

      Kevin

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