Fees for REIA meetings?

26 Replies

Greetings BP!

As a newbie I'm trying to absorb as much of the great info here as possible. I'm scheduled to attend my first REIA meeting this evening. However when I received the confirmation email it indicated a registration fee of $20. I didn't see anything about fees when I signed up and although I have no problem paying the $20 for potentially great info and networking possibilities, I was just wondering if this is typical. I understand the organizers have to pay for the venue, so I'm guessing its normal and not something to run from. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Brian

Hi Brian! Which REIA is it? Usually, REIAs let people attend their general meetings for free on the first visit. Or, this meeting you signed up for might be at a restaurant, so the cost could be covering your meal. Otherwise, yes, you can pay by the meeting, or purchase a yearly membership. I paid about $179 or so to be Baltimore REIA member; I can also write this expense off since I have a business.

@Brian Risi  What @Nicole W. said. Our REI allows the first meeting for free, then $10/meeting. Yearly membership is $150/year. We have 3 meetings a month (for those who were doing quick math).

@Brian Risi  

Fees are typical and common.

You might try meetup.com for free meetings.

Money paid is worth it for connections and learning.

Paul

Thanks everyone! I'm still blown away by how quickly everyone here is willing to answer questions and provide info.

@Nicole W. The group is Capital City REIA. The meeting is at a hotel (conveniently on my way home from work), so I'm guessing most of the cost is going to cover the renting the meeting room.

@Joe Villeneuve  Sounds like a good deal...wish I was in your area :)

Account Closed That's what I figured, and like I said, I'm willing to invest the money in my education. I did actually sign up for this particular one through meetup.com, on the advice of another BP member.

Seriously, I doubt there is much value educationally for these groups, they are a business, like a sideline for the guy who runs them.

$20 is fine to go meet and greet, get their numbers and contact them individually to get to know others.

I see meetings posted where they say there will be no pitching by some speaker, well, not entirely true as the speaker doesn't speak to hear themselves talk, they clearly have expectations of business to be had, the pitch just comes later after they tweak your interests.......that's fine.

Going to some meeting where you have a bunch of old RE types there, understand that what they may teach or talk about is what they have been doing for 20 years, you'll get outdated, often unethical or even illegal stuff if these guys don't change with the times and stay current, it's hard enough getting Realtors to stay current, much less some old landlord or rehab guy.

The promoter is likely to tell you they have a great group with good speakers and great education, I just doubt it in reality. Your teacher or mentor needs more knowledge than some niche, but can tell you how they do things, but your job then is in the due diligence of what they teach as most are not really in compliance in everything or even current.

Why do the old salts show up? To pull in newbies and work deals with them. It can be beneficial, but understand many specialize in letting newbies do the ground work, find the deal and then they move in taking a profit for the direction they give. They may be successful at working partnerships, they may not be so successful working alone, if they were they wouldn't be taking on partners.

Don't be so naïve to think everyone there is there to help you, they are all wanting to get into your pocket in some fashion, that's the way RE operates, it does take others to get started and even later on in doing deals, but just understand that these meetings are to advance business, they aren't a school room or class.

Certainly attend, meet others, get to know them outside of that group, you can have your own group get together, do anything you like, form your own relationships. Any time you have 3 or more gather in the name of real estate, at least one wants in your pocket, just as you want in theirs! :) 

Don't be so naïve to think everyone there is there to help you, they are all wanting to get into your pocket in some fashion,

Exactly.  These are money making businesses for the folks who run them.  They get your fees, though they do often have to pay for the space.  And when they have "educators" at the meetings they get a cut of whatever the educator sells.  These meetings are useful for meeting people.  That speaker up front is often just a distraction.  Sometimes they have a few useful things to say, sometimes not.  The real value is a chance to meet people in your area.

WOW Bill, I thought I was the cynic.  Yes, the meetings are to give some superficial knowledge and then promote the organizer's own program or seminar for only $99 if you sign up right now. BUT there are usually 50 or 100 people there at the meetings.  I dont pay for the weekend seminar or the other junk that is pitched.  I have met lots of people who are doing the same thing as me.  

In a big city you are not competition with each other.  I find buyers, lenders, wholesalers who are just trying to find other investors who they can network with.  As long as you go in knowing that some people will be trying to "sell you" on some product it will help you steer clear of them and you can get some networking done.

It all should end up being networking.  Just remember that.  Dont take your credit cards with you to the meeting.

@Brian Risi  Now that we've heard from the "half full crowd", there are many groups out there that are highly educational.

I went to my first local REIA and it was hugely valuable. No pitch and had a panel of licensed contractors that answered any questions the room had.

I left with a handful of biz cards and answers to questions I had.

@Brian Risi I'm also a newbie to RE and have attended 2 REIA's so far. One was free and the other was $20. The one I paid for was definitely in a nicer venue with snacks and drinks provided. It also seemed to have a higher level of investors compared to the free one.

Both provided good information. If it was worth $20, I'm not sure. However the best takeout of these events is networking. You can meet 10-15 people at one meeting if you're smart with your time. 

You'll discover as a newbie you won't have much to contribute, not matter how educated you try to be, but you're out there being a part of the community that's going to hopefully one day help you achieve your goals.

My advice, just get out there, because this industry is all about networking with other like minded local investors.

I talk about the general differences a lot around here and on my blog.  Here's a post I did about how to determine what kind of club you may or may not be going to:

Educational:

  • Meeting Space: Hotel/Motel, Conference Room, School, or Library
  • Main Event: A Speaker will be talking about Domain Knowledge for about an hour or so usually with a some sort of presentation like a video or power-point presentation
  • Time Frame: Usually 2 hrs long
  • Benefit: Domain Knowledge! Be sure to come with questions about the topic being discussed
  • Attendees: You are going to get a lot of looky-lous, and wanna-be investors. Real Investors might be there if the speaker has a reputation or are interested in the topic
  • Other: Often times there will be vendors to help cover the cost of getting the speaker to the club. If the topic is a niche that interests you, it’s a great opportunity to be focused on your niche.

Retail:

  • Meeting Space: Hotel/Motel, Conference Room, School, or Library
  • Main Event: A Guru will be invited to the club to talk about their program, they are going to discuss how their system is the one that is going to take you to the next level.
  • Time Frame: Usually 2 hrs long
  • Benefit: Discovery of new systems and methods of being an investor and usually twist on the standard model.
  • Attendees: You are going to get a lot of looky-lous, and wanna-be investors.

Networking:

  • Meeting Space: Restaurant, Coffee-house, or a bar
  • Main Event: Meeting new people and catching up with other investors
  • Time Frame: Between an hour to two, usually includes time to eat
  • Benefit: Meeting new people who can help your investing career, from other investors to vendors who are looking to work with investors.
  • Attendees: Here you are going to meet people who have one or two properties, getting into investing and looking to build their team, and vendors looking to find new clients

Mastermind:

  • Meeting Space: Restaurant, Coffee-house, or a bar
  • Main Event: Talking about current deals, and giving/getting advice
  • Time Frame: Between an hour to two, usually includes a meeting time
  • Benefit: Getting advice on your deals
  • Attendees: Active Investors who enjoy sharing their experiences and helping each other out.

These of course are not strict definitions, most clubs are going to have a mix of each at each meeting. And if a club is mostly doing guru-selling then they are not giving active investors much help and are instead a sales team. Otherwise most of the clubs will give you different types of meetings to keep you coming back. A club should provide you with time to network; We are in the people game. No matter what niche you are in, you need some of the other niche players to continue to expand your real estate empire.

Originally posted by @Shane Willcox :

@Brian Risi I'm also a newbie to RE and have attended 2 REIA's so far. One was free and the other was $20. The one I paid for was definitely in a nicer venue with snacks and drinks provided. It also seemed to have a higher level of investors compared to the free one.

Both provided good information. If it was worth $20, I'm not sure. However the best takeout of these events is networking. You can meet 10-15 people at one meeting if you're smart with your time.

 If you met 10 people who can actually further your real estate investing, who could it not be worth your time and money?  If you are making $5k (wholesale deal) to 50k (rehab deal) or $300/mo (landlord deal) how is $200+/year not worth one of those types of deals?

I have to say that the REIA group that I belong to out of Bellevue has been absolutely invaluable. Yes, they have fees and all that fun stuff but how else are they going to pay for the meeting rooms?

And seriously, the $150 or whatever it costs you could result in a deal that brings you $5000 or could even completely change your life forever, for the better.

I started attending a REIA out of my county and have attended for free for a year and a half. I think they are going to start charging new members a small fee. The amount of information that I have received from these guys has been invaluable. I would always be dumbfounded on how it was all free. Of course there are coaching programs but there was NEVER any pressure to join or come out of pocket for anything. The topics were different every month from marketing, to mind set to how to find, fund deals. We've had J Scott and Ned Carey share their knowledge with us. Many of these members offered to sit and chat with you about your business and answer any questions.

Then I went to another REIA, and they were pitching from the beginning, I watched people purchase $1000s of crappy coaching materials for folks who were desperately looking for an easy way into real estate and a quick buck. That was a sad and sorry sight.

So absolutely do your due diligence. But I do believe you must pay your dues to learn and to grow period but it's making sure you choose the right people to help further you along.

@Frantzces Lys  What you just described is out group.  We when hit our 100th meeting, and 400th member, Russ Whitney was our guest speaker (one of our co-organizers is a personal friend), and he did a great motivational presentation.

We're about to hit our 500th member this month.  The reason our group has was we have, is we are educational.  We meet 4 times a month (that's different).  Each month has a theme, and one of the meetings is specifically designed for a (non-selling) guest speaker.  We are very active, with new and experienced investors...all of which are willing to share.

That, is what REI's should be like.

@Troy Fisher Thanks for the valuable info! I'll definitely keep it handy when looking at other REIA's to attend/join.

I appreciate everyone's 2 cents. I'm pretty skeptical in general so I should know pretty quickly whether tonight's meeting is worth it. If I can at least start to get my finger on the pulse of the local market and connect with a few individuals I'll consider it money well spent. 

@Joe Villeneuve It sounds like you have an amazing REIA. The educational component is huge!

Originally posted by @Brian Risi :

@Troy Fisher Thanks for the valuable info! I'll definitely keep it handy when looking at other REIA's to attend/join.

I appreciate everyone's 2 cents. I'm pretty skeptical in general so I should know pretty quickly whether tonight's meeting is worth it. If I can at least start to get my finger on the pulse of the local market and connect with a few individuals I'll consider it money well spent. 

 I would argue that your skepticism is a part of the analysis paralysis!  If you don't think that $20 and 2 hours of your time is worth surrounding yourself with Real Estate Investors, taken to an extreme is doing the proper due diligence on a property with title searches, home inspections, and marketing going to prevent you from making the leap on an investment?   Mind set!  

One meeting is not going to give the pulse of the market, constant feedback, research, and daily investigating is going to do that.  Remember, it's also a tax write-off!  Hey, Hey!  Another way to justify it!  While you can do this Investment thing by yourself or with the help of BP, sitting down with someone face to face, month to month to hear about where you are going and where they have been is powerful, powerful tool.

@Troy Fisher I won't deny that I have a little analysis paralysis. Real estate investing is a complete 180 from my day job, and the more I read, the less confident I become. That's part of the reason I'm trying to take action by attending some REIA meetings. Don't get me wrong, though. I'm more than willing to part with $20 (and more in the future) to get to learn from and talk with other investors. Lets face it, I could easily spend more on a few happy hour drinks and not get anything in return except for a buzz. I guess my skepticism could more accurately be described as cautious optimism.

I'm not a hippy dippy but mindset is the key.  If you start blocking your mental attitude off by using words like skepticism and doubt and key phrases like "less confident".  Be enthusiastic, positive, excited, willing, ready. 

Here's something that I'd do in getting ready for you first REIA, have a plan on where you want to be in 5 years (set those goals) and then when you are at the REIA you can talk to people about, "My goal is to XXXX, what path do you think I can use to get there?" Exude confidence and swagger a little bit. It'll draw people to you and they'll be willing to share. Follow up on how someone got to where they are at. "How did you get 5 SFH?" It'll help you a lot.

I went to the San Fran Summit this weekend, and then another RE meeting on monday, and third one on Tuesday. 4 Nights of great marketing and learning it was great. So I love REIA meetings they build that confidence, the attitude, and the support group to get moving forward.

Hi, Here in Phoenix, AZ ,the REIA ( AZREIA) is a FOR PROFIT company. They charge for membership & then they charge for sub group meetings ( Beginners,Ect). They are frequently trying to sell Programs / Courses & they receive a portion of proceeds. In Oregon (Portland), the local REIA (NWREIA), a membership was required but one did not have to pay for the subgroups. Please check the web site - National REIA for Local REIA;'s

Please be aware that some RE Guru's make Money in selling Courses & not from there success in Real estate. 

Best Wishes,

Mitch Stanley

Phoenix,AZ

Realtor, Keller-Williams Biltmore

Hey Mitch,

thanks for the heads-up. Sounds like a pretty shiesty business. 

Let's clear some things up about REIAs. There is a difference between a for-profit and a non-profit REIA. With a for-profit REIA, the dues and income derived from national speakers do go to the owners of the REIA. However, they generally cover expenses for the venue and other events they provide. They do need to produce a high quality experience for their members.

With non-profit, like NWREIA in Portland, OR, all the dues, which really are quite minimal, go right back into the membership. They too have costs associated with the general meetings, the occasional Saturday workshop, and the various subgroup meeting facilities. The Board of Directors and subgroup moderators are all volunteers and do not receive any compensation. Dues from its membership fees generally don't cover the annual operating expenses, so they supplement their income by bringing in national speakers that do have a product to sell. A portion of the sales does go to the REIA.

When I was the President on NWREIA, I tried on only have 3 - 4 national speakers per year. I tried to bring in good speakers with a topic that was needed for our local group. I also negotiated hard for the price point of their product. As I told my membership, if the product they sold meshed with your business model, consider purchasing the program. If the product was not part of your business model, then don't buy it. Being real estate investors with a business purpose, we all should have a business model that we need to stay within. 

For folks that don't think they need a REIA, these are the ones I frequently see that are out trying to do business with little to no idea on what they are doing, subsequently becoming the target of the authorities. Without guidance by a REIA that's mission is educating their members, these folks find themselves in conflict with the law, and then real estate investors get that bad reputation and laws are written.

NWREIA has a portion of their dues dedicated toward lobbying efforts at the State and Local levels to protect your livelihood. If you do not belong to a local REIA, then you are enjoying the fruits of the REIA labors in protecting the industry.

Also, NWREIA is a chapter of National REIA. With that, members enjoy significant benefits from their membership. They are aligned with Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams paint and a host of other vendors that can significantly reduce your expenses in your investing.

In conclusion, the REIA is also the best place to network. At the various events provided by a REIA, there are like-minded investors looking for a deal to wholesale, or are ready to purchase your wholesale deal, or other money lenders looking to finance your deal.

Don't overlook the value of a REIA simply because you don't understand the model and the benefits provided.

Cody Cox

Past President - NWREIA

Wow, this is a pretty polarizing topic. As a moderator for a national REIA chapter and now an owner of a for profit (LOL, I almost choked writing that) REI club I get both sides. We started our own club because we didn't like how the local REIA pushed gurus. This seems to be the model for most REIAs from what I have heard across the nation.

 I get inquiries weekly from "gurus" and service providers asking to speak to our group. Their pitch always lets us know the way we can profit from whoring out our network. It's easy to see why certain REIAs will run their business in that manner. It can be profitable if done that way. 

Not all REI clubs are ran that way. I know free clubs and paid clubs. They all have their place. I can say that we charge a $30 monthly or $300 yearly membership subscription because we want our membership to be active doers that understand the value of a networking club. We do not let gurus come pedal their systems. We simply provide a meeting format for members to come learn and network. We insist on new members coming for free to make sure they want to be part of that type of environment. It's a giving atmosphere, unlike the "taking" atmosphere that many people have already griped about.

It all comes down to the leadership of the club. Either the leaders are going to be takers or the leaders are going to be givers. The membership will follow that lead and the leaders will attract the mindset that they lead with.  

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