Real estate investing is a people business. That is why it is so important to focus on building your network.
The easiest way to do this is by attending local real estate investing events. These could include events from BiggerPockets.com/events, Meetup.com, local real estate investor associations (REIAs), local Facebook groups, etc.
And if you can’t find a solid group in your area, start one!
It takes a little time, and you’ll make some mistakes, but it is a great way to improve your network—and therefore your opportunities!
What Is a Real Estate Investor Meetup?
A real estate investor meetup is an event where real estate investors come together and “nerd-out” about REI!
You may have heard the famous Porter Gale quote, “Your network, is your net worth.”
This statement is reinforced every time I attend a solid meetup and get around like-minded real estate investors.
Networking is THE most powerful way to take your real estate investing game to the next level. There are so many benefits to networking that it blows my mind when I hear people say they don’t take advantage of it.
Why You Should Host an Event
If there aren’t any meetups in your area, I recommend that you start one!
A little over a year ago, I was telling Brandon Turner that there weren’t any good real estate investor meetups within 40 minutes of my house. If I’m being honest, I was probably using the inconvenience of driving as an excuse for not attending more meetups. I wanted to attend but clearly was not making it as much of a priority as I should have.
That is when Brandon suggested that I start my own!
But… I’m not qualified to do that, I thought.
Why I thought I wasn’t qualified to host:
- I didn’t know anything about hosting an event
- We didn’t have a venue
- I was from out of state (which seems to matter in Hawaii)
- I didn’t know very many people who would come
- My social media following was small
Plus, I didn’t believe I was qualified to host a meetup because I was still a rookie investor.
NONE OF THAT MATTERS. Start a meetup!
All you need to do is post the meetup in the BiggerPockets “Events” section, and create an event on Facebook.
If you’re really gung-ho, you can even create a meetup.com event! I chose not to do this because there is a little bit of a cost associated with hosting events through meetup, but it is still a good platform.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many people come to your event, so stop making excuses, and see what happens!
I have found that beaches, local parks, coffee shops, and bars make easy venues to start. I hosted my first meetup in a local bar, and we outgrew it in two months! We tried a couple of other venues and eventually settled on a local beach park; it was Hawaii after all.
The meetup got larger every month, even with these changes, which proves that your venue isn’t really that important!
I host my event the first Tuesday of every month, and I bring two pizzas (purchased through the business card as a tax write-off) to the event. We hang out in the open, and if it rains (hasn’t yet) we will move under a nearby pavilion.
All this to say, your venue doesn’t matter. Your experience doesn’t matter. Stop making excuses and start the meetup!
The Benefits of Attending Meetups
Networking and attending meetups help you hone your craft. Hosting the event will expedite your learning curve!
People always talk to the meetup host.
Hosting this meetup will open new doors, and bring more opportunities to you! Also, there is no better way to learn a concept than by teaching it.
As stated above, people always talk to the host! When you host an event it gives you the opportunity (obligation) to meet every newcomer and make them feel welcome.
This automatically increases your networking opportunities. People will begin to see you as a thought leader in the space and will want to introduce other investors to you.
I eluded to it above, but I believe there is no better way to confirm your understanding of a subject than to teach it. For the same reason, one of the best ways to gain confidence in the real estate investing world is to host an event.
This puts you in the spotlight and forces you to learn and network more!
Yes, networking is so important that I put it on here twice…so do more of it!
Become the Guy!
As we have already discussed, when you host a meetup, people always talk to you. As a result, you will become “the guy.”
You will begin to meet everyone in the local REI community by hosting your meetups. This will create an opportunity for you to become “the connector” (a reference to the great book Go-Giver).
The connector is a title used to identify people that are good at making introductions. If you need to find a lender? They know just the guy. Need to find a property manager? They have you covered!
Becoming a connector, allows you to help solve problems within the local community. Being able to connect people is a huge networking strength. This will improve your reputation even more!
This ongoing process results in you gaining credibility in the area. Over time, other investors will be seeking you out, and you’ll find yourself, and your meetup, to be a hub of REI activity!
Talk about opening the door for opportunities!
What are you waiting for?
The only two downsides I can think of for starting a meetup are that it takes a little bit of time (maybe an hour a month), and there might be some costs associated with securing a venue or purchasing food.
Neither of these downsides outweighs the myriad of benefits to starting a meetup! If the small price is a concern, you can start a donation jar. You don’t have to provide food for the event either, but I think it is a nice touch.
Bottom line is this: If there isn’t a good meetup in your area, start one today!
Do you have any questions for me about hosting a meetup?
Ask me below or share your meetup success stories!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.