Going to my first meetup - any advice?

6 Replies

Hey all, 

Wondering if anyone has any advice they wish they'd heard before going into their first meetup. My first one is this Thursday, and I'm very excited. 

I know my goals and I know my strategy. I am looking for a niche to get in on my first property as I can't do it alone. What should and shouldn't I be specifically aware of going into this event?

Thanks everyone

Hey there! I'm relatively new to the local meetups as well. I've been to five over the course of the past half year. I finally made the decision to clear my busy schedule and make them a priority because I have set goals to connect with a mentor and get into multifamily investing. I realized the best way to do this would be the meetups and it has been super helpful. Now, two monthly local meetups are etched into my calendar and I don't miss them anymore. They are essential IMO, especially just starting out.

My suggestions:

1. Have a solid goal in mind and be able to recite it in a brief and concise way. Your elevator pitch (but without being a "pitch") What ARE you looking for exactly. Nothing loosy goosy like "I want to invest in a property this year." More defined than that. Have that figured out before you arrive.

2. If they have an open mic portion, USE IT. Get up in front of everyone, introduce yourself, brief background, and recite that elevator pitch. Tell the room what you are looking for and why you are there.

3. When others do this, write down the names of the people who introduce themselves with a note on their pitch or background that interested you. Make a point to talk with them before the end of the meetup about what they are doing.

4. Bring a notepad or buy a Moleskine type pad and document everything... people you meet and a description of what they are doing (so you can remember later)... this is network building. Over time, you'll have names and references in that book that tie into the many things you'll want to execute down the line. It's a perfect reference and no one will hold it against you if you write everything down. In fact, that might be a reason they want to explore a working relationship with you.

5. I try not to overthink it. When the main presentation is over and it's "networking time" I simply look around the room, find that person, grab a chair, plop it down in front of them with a smile and say "Hi I'm Jason! What do you do?" and boom, we're off to the races. It's as good an ice breaker as any and gets the discussion rolling. No time wasted. Next thing you know, the place is kicking you out and you've been talking real estate investing for 3 hours!

I'm sure there are seasoned veteran Meetup-ers with more concrete advice but in my short time, this has been a big part of me actually walking away from them feeling like I learned something, got something valuable out of it. I'm meeting up with a guy this Wednesday for coffee that I saw at a meetup last week to talk about multifamily deals and possible mentorship as I enter into this new direction of investing. And so it continues. :)

Good luck!

I love the replies already given. I would simply emphasize that you talk to people. Introduce yourself, where you are at, and where you want to go. Also...keep going to meetings to build relationships with those people (and so that you know which ones that you want to build relationships with and which ones may not be as helpful).

Mission accomplished! I have returned from my meetup in one piece. Overall, the 2.5 hours was a enormously worth it and the event itself was a huge success. Here's how it played out-

I arrived on time and people were still filing in. I put my name tag on, and walked into the upstairs floor of an Irish Pub of maybe 25 people. Banquet tables everywhere with nobody in the seats. Everyone milling around engaging in conversation. Not knowing anybody I walked around awkwardly for probably 30 seconds before someone saw my name tag and said "Gabe! Come over here meet my new friend Peter, I know you guys know each other!" Of course we didn't but what a great icebreaker. This is how the next 45 minutes went. I had my notepad and met a Financer, a lawyer, husband/wife Real Estate combo, a flipper here, a buy & hold like me there, one guy was just starting up as a wholesaler. People were looking to investing local, across the country, doing single-family, multi, condos etc. You name it and someone was hustling that angle. All in all there were 75 people by the end of the night. Maybe 20 were new comers. Great, great crowd. 

The hosts introduced themselves and what they do, then they had two Hard Money lenders talk for about 30-40 minutes about that whole process. I learned a good amount. We as a group were interviewing them. I learned about their rates, what qualifies, what stipulations are common, and what to look out for as red flags with Hard Money. Most importantly I learned that there is a person and a business behind Hard Money that (when done correctly) wants you to succeed and will assist you during the origination process to ensure the deal won't fall through. Just incorporate their 12 month interest only balloon prices into your model. They serve a purpose for some situations.

The hosts then showed a quick slide for each of the 5 local flipping deals they had available. We wrapped up and networked a little afterwards. I may have found myself a RE agent. There is another guy that is flipping houses in my area that I want to take to lunch one day, so I'll email him tomorrow. 16 houses in 24 months. That's who I want to answer my questions for sure! A financier who's been in the business for 40 years, one of the old timer types, who I may run ideas by. I got a better idea about REO's as well talking to a couple.

Lastly, I got some great tips from the host's project manager on how to up my game (starting from zero here people) to estimate rehab costs and how to work with your agent to estimate ARV. Admittedly, these are my two most-glaring weaknesses, so I will have to work hard to drive those points home.

What I learned: 

  • I am more outgoing than I thought.
  • I know more than I thought! I kept up every conversation I had as well as the entire Hard Money discussion and have been consuming investing information for less than 4 months. I was expecting to be confused at least half the time, but that definitely was not the case.
  • I have something in common with each person in that room regardless of experience, so plopping myself in front of people with a smile and a handshake was the best way to start the conversation.
  • Everyone, literally everyone, wants to talk about real estate and hear how you might potentially fit in.
  • I realized after 5 minutes that I had way overthought my elevator pitch. Keep it simple stupid
  • Don't underestimate your notepad
  • 10 out of 10 will go back next month! 

Thanks for the advice heading into this. 

I hope this thread can help someone take the plunge and get to a meetup to talk about their future.