Went to first REIA meeting

32 Replies

So i went to my first REIA meeting on Saturday and honestly I still am a little confused..Let me give a rundown of how the day started...

I go in register and get my name tag.. And because there was not enough seats I missed the briefing for new members interested in joining.. I was able to see checks on the walls with various members who made money on different wholesale jobs so i figured they were going over how this to can become you.. Then we are all lead into a bigger room and we then get a presentation on how in 21 days we could also make from 5,000 and above on various transactions.. The ppt was about 1 hour long and towards the end there were various products with VALUED prices.. The last slide then calculated all the Value prices and it came up to around 9000.. Of course everyone was looking around like NO WAY!! lol so then they slashed the price and people still were kind of uneasy.. So then the presenter says well do you want to know how you can get it for free.. They then ask you to join the REIA and there are two prices one around 170 the other around 200 both per month...( I dont know what the typical REIA membership fee is monthly) So I saw people signing up and getting the started kit but there are other courses that you can get but you would also have to pay for... I then went over to see the application and I saw that it required that you have to have 2 cards on file (again i dont know if that is typical practice)

I guess my question to the BP community is this how most REIA operate? I left a little confused and wandered maybe this what happens.. Also they offered to show you how to market on Craiglist, facebook, use listingbook, and give you access to dealer analyzer software... I thought a lot of these things were offered for free online but I could be wrong.. I dont want to say this was a bad place but I will go attend others in my area to see how it goes...

Any thoughts?

Never been to one, but I sure wouldn't sign up for that. Sounds like a scam to me. Just my personal opinion.

@Whitney Moore  that sounds like a sales vs educational event.

I've been a member of my local REIA for the last year. I go for networking and have made some good contacts. There's an annual fee of $179. Presentation topics vary, but if I don't learn something at the monthly meetings, I leave early. I get frustrated with heavy sales pitches, and unfortunately that's the format sometimes.

If you're looking for education, you could check out meetups in your area or other REIAs. They can be good opportunities to meet others and get an overview of different investing topics. Keep up your networking and you'll meet knowledgeable people.

You wrote: I thought a lot of these things were offered for free online but I could be wrong...

Many memberships, classes and tools aren't free, but the good ones have reasonable prices. Watch out for heavy upsell, like the meeting you went to. 

Regarding "...The last slide then calculated all the Value prices and it came up to around 9000.. Of course everyone was looking around like NO WAY!! ... well do you want to know how you can get it for free.. They then ask you to join the REIA and there are two prices one around 170 the other around 200 both per month..."

If $170-$200 per month is free, can you imagine what their pitch will be like when they want to sell you something? I'd find another group. And of course there is the BiggerPockets community. It costs a little less, no hype, and most likely has better content.

@Chris Martin   I know I just wanted to put it out there to get more opinions.. I was a little discouraged because I was so excited.. I just know that I have to keep researching and educating myself even more.

@Susan Gillespie  You are so right about paying a fee.. I am find with that but I think that the monthly rate that they are offering was a bit much.. Thanks for the advice.

@Whitney Moore I stopped going to my REIA a long time ago because of the constant sales pitches from "GURU's" Most people say stick around for the networking but most of the successful investors didn't go to the big REIA meetings...

I agree the smaller meetings from meetup.com or possibly a group started here on BP is definitely better.   

In the end just keep networking with people until you build up a small group of friends.  Then you'll have your support group.  You really need to surround yourself with like minded people.

@Whitney Moore - would love to respond...

There are lots of good REIA's in our region, but if you ask most members, "who's really getting rich around here?" They will tell you its the guy at the front of the room and no one else.

Our story is very different...

DC-REIA IS different than just about every other REIA in the region, and here's why...

1) We own our facility (10,000 s.f. Academy in Upper Marlboro, MD);

2) We have some type of training taking place in our facility 3-4 nights a week, every week;

3) We have our own brokerage firm (38 agents and growing) staffed with investor/agents who get paid when our members close deals.

4) Our members close 2-3 deals per month.

Most REIA's meet once a month, in a hotel with an outside speaker.

We meet 3-4 nights a week in our own facility.  There is no cost to our members to attend these meetings.

To be fair, you mentioned that you came late, so you probably did not hear everything that was said from the very beginning.  My apology you did not have a seat.  We ask people to pre-register so we know how many to expect, and for some reason we were expecting 20 people and 50 showed up for the new member orientation, prior to the meeting.

The figures you discussed were all disclosed and total $9,000 worth of training and programs, including your own access to the MLS (again, we have our own brokerage and can grant MLS access). Included in that figure is a course that sells on the Internet for $2,497.00, which again is included when you sign up for membership.

One thing you did not mention is that we have a 100% money-back guarantee for anyone who decides that our program is not for them. We've been at this for 12 years, and no, we are not a scam, but we are not for everyone. I'm the first to admit, we do things very differently, and as a result we have a very different outcome. Again, our members are closing deals at a rate of 2-3 per month and we have the HUD-1's to back that up.

We never have a problem with people who don't like what we do, but do have a problem with the story is not presented fairly...

Sherman Ragland, Broker in Virginia (#0225192997), DC (#PB600736), and Maryland (#23810)
(301) 218-4333

@Sherman Ragland Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my post.. Again this was not an attack on DC REIA i was just giving what my experience was of the meeting.. An open up a dialogue with BP community.. That is why I LOVE this forum because I am able to put a topic out there and get various opinions.. I know where was trying to discredit you or your organization but i was simply giving MY experience and wanted to get input for my fellow BP members... I also trust my gut feeling in certain things and I got a weird vibe for the lady that you had a front... But that is just me and I didnt even go into that in my original post.. Everyone that has PM about going to a meeting I have stated to GO and experience it for YOURSELF.. Again I am sure you know what you are doing or else you want not have had the success that you have achieved and please dont make it seem like I am trying to discredit your organization.. I simply was making a statement about my experience and people responded.. I wish you and RealInvetors the very best!!!!

Thanks Whitney - appreciate the feedback!

Sherman Ragland, Broker in Virginia (#0225192997), DC (#PB600736), and Maryland (#23810)
(301) 218-4333

The meeting after the meeting is best!  You can network with locals doing it in your market. The gurus give you tidbits of info, but for the real "stuff" it will cost.$$.  A meet up was started in my area, so I attend both..It's always good to network with like minded!!.. It might take some time to find a connection..

It's funny to me how so many people on BP bad-mouth "gurus" and coaches, but then they turn right around and tell you to go to a REIA. What most newbies don't know is that many of these REIAs are actually for-profit organizations. They plan to make money off of you via membership dues and selling you stuff. That's not really my definition of an "association", but many of them are like that.

Bryan is 100% "Spot On!"

The business model taught by NationalREIA is to host a once a month meeting at a hotel, where you bring in an out of town guru EVERY MONTH, and sell stuff.

Like most REIAs, we bought into this strategy for 2 years until I realized 50% of our members (back then) never showed up again after 4-6 months.

This model contributes to lots of folks walking around "dazed and confused" about how this business really is suppose to work.

In 2005, we bought our own building to teach our own classes using local investors who really do deals to teach.  Using actual properties they were working on, or had completed as case studies for the class.  In 2008 we opened our own brokerage to provide assistance to our members in getting started and closing deals, and in 2010, when many REIAs closed up shop, we doubled the size of our facility to meet the increased demand for our local classes and so our investing teams would have a place to meet.

Very proud of what we've done, but mostly proud of our members who currently are closing 2-3 deals a month.  We have less than 2-3 out if town gurus come and speak during an entire year.

Yes, we do have a one (1) hour session at 8:30 in the morning, once a month, to explain what we do, and why we're different, and why someone should consider becoming a member of an organization that's "very serious" about getting people on the right path.  But it's a little unfair, if not inaccurate, to say we bring in out of town gurus to pitch products.  Been there done that, got the t-shirt.

But what is fascinating are the folks who honestly believe they are never going to spend a penny on any type if training, but still wake up one day as a successful local investor. Understand people's bias against going to "pitch-fests", but at what point do you stop going from Meet-up to Meet-up, REIA to REIA and actually get some mentoring and coaching and start doing deals?

Sherman Ragland, Broker in Virginia (#0225192997), DC (#PB600736), and Maryland (#23810)
(301) 218-4333

Regarding "We never have a problem with people who don't like what we do, but do have a problem with the story is not presented fairly..." You say "There is no cost to our members to attend these meetings." However to be fair, over the course of a year, membership is $2,040 to $2,400.

Regarding "But what is fascinating are the folks who honestly believe they are never going to spend a penny on any type if training, but still wake up one day as a successful local investor." We are not talking about a penny. And your assumption that investors can't succeed without you is rediculous. I've paid for RE classes at Wake Tech and (a long time ago) NC State. Each case was 1/10 or less what your organization costs. 'Pennies on the dollar' some may say. And BiggerPockets is free. There are lots of successful REI people here, many who have only paid for real estate broker training/classes. Not a knock on your organization... I'm just calling it like I see it.

Chris - let's tell the whole story...

Like most REIAs we offer the chance to come in once a month at no cost.

Actually, most REIAs charge just to get in, even though they meet just once a month.

The meeting is structured so there is an orientation, for folks who want to know more about what we do from 8:00-10:00, then there is a General membership and lunch, for FREE.

As stated previously, we do things different from other REIAs in that we have our own facility, active teams (that meet weekly) our own brokerage with 38 investor/agents, and training programs (not boot camps) that run from 60 days to 90 days and are taught around actual projects by the people who actually put the deals together.

For anyone who decides to join a program that actually teaches you how to go from "talking about real estate" to making money "doing real estate" we offer a package of services, including direct access to the MLS, Access to Capital, coaching and mentoring, and a $2,400 course, up front for FREE, when you sign up for a year of membership.

Granted, our program is not for everyone, but what you fail to mention Chris, is that for the person who is still unsure if they even want to do real estate, or the person who wants to just "hang out and network", they can come to our FREE monthly meetings and network, hang out and get great information, once a month.  Just like the other REIAs...

But for the person who is serious, and wants to take it to another level, we offer a membership package that no one else can touch, and is the basis for so many deals happening at DCREIA.

Haters will hate, but not gonna stand back and watch people post stuff they know is not true, sorry...

Sherman Ragland, Broker in Virginia (#0225192997), DC (#PB600736), and Maryland (#23810)
(301) 218-4333

Again...."What is good for the goose may not be good for the gander" I think my post was respectful but again its was my experience.. Anyone that is in the DC area please go check it out for YOURSELF!!!! I will keep saying it.. With that being said I dont think there were any "haters" in the post I think people are giving their opinions and that is why we are all members of the BP community.. 

Everyone have a great day on purpose!

Pretty sure when someone says..."your assumption that investors cannot succeed without you is ridiculous" was not made out of love ;-)

Never said any such thing...

What I said was that people who expect to make money in real estate without making some type if investment in training, coaching, or mentoring are not being realistic.

The question then becomes, what's the Best Way to get the training, coaching and mentoring needed to become successful.  BP, and online forums like this are a big part of getting ready, and ultimately staying on the path.   But to make things (actually) happen, you need to get out there and have someone show you the ropes.

I would put our program up against anything else out there, and since the post started with information specifically about what we do at DCREIA, and why and how we are different, thought it only fair to present our side of the story.

Some folks, however, viewed that as an open invite to change my words, or imply I said some things that I did not say.

Forums like this are great, but they also require mutual respect when an opinion (or facts) different from what we believe are presented.

For the record...

We have a free meeting (once a month) that anyone can attend, and can continue to be a part of to network, learn and exchange ideas. Just like most REIAs , with the notable exception that our once a month REIA meetings are free.

We also have another level of membership that is designed for the person who's a little more serous, and includes being a part of a group of investors who meet 2-3 times a week in their own dedicated facility, with local coaches, local support and a chance to participate on one of seven (7) teams, lead by someone who is actually a full-time investor.  For those who choose this option, we give them several thousand dollars worth of on-line and home study resources, up front, and show them how to use them to get deals and to get paid.

Others, who are not interested in this option, are always welcome to come and join us, once a month (like most other REIAs) at our FREE monthly meeting, with zero obligation to step into the other level of membership(s).

As my mentor said to me when I was first getting started, "You Learn This a Business By Doing It!" After many years of doing it like the other REIAs, we simply think we've created a better (REIA) model for helping people to get started and stick with it.

Sherman Ragland, Broker in Virginia (#0225192997), DC (#PB600736), and Maryland (#23810)
(301) 218-4333

@Sherman Ragland  I appreciate that you are defending your organization you should! And you are so right there are two sides ( really 3 lol ) to the story.. For the third time I encourage people to go and experience it for themselves.. 

This is my last post on this topic. You can obviously run your REIA any way you like. The free meeting that Whitney went to sounds like a guru type pitch. That's just my opinion. You and others may disagree. What you said is:

"The question then becomes, what's the Best Way to get the training, coaching and mentoring needed to become successful. BP, and online forums like this are a big part of getting ready, and ultimately staying on the path. But to make things (actually) happen, you need to get out there and have someone show you the ropes." (emphasis mine)

What you said, and the part I disagree with, is that what I (or anyone else reading your words) need "to make things (actually) happen" is "have someone show you the ropes." In your words, I can't do it myself. Someone needs to show me. The implication is I need coaching and mentoring to be successful. Personally, I find that concept offensive. Again, I'm not representing the BP community, just my view.

Peace indeed. Peace sells... but who's buying?

Sorry Chris, but you can be offended, but you are incorrect on the facts, regardless of your opinion...

Normally, I would not continue to comment, but the topic of the thread is the meeting starts with our REIA, so therefore, YES, I will respond when someone knowingly posts incorrect information on our organization.

We welcome you with "open arms" and if after you have attended one of our sessions you think we stink, then I would be hurt, but I would concur (at that point) that you were entitled to your opinion, based in fact.

BUT at this point, you're just commenting on something with which you have ZERO first hand knowledge.  So, yes, I will continue to call it out when its factually wrong, opinion or not.

As stated before, once a month we host our REIA meeting at our facility.

It has three parts...

In the morning we do a recruitment session for anyone who is not familiar with what we do. By definition, a "recruitment meeting" has some element of marketing.  I make ZERO apology for this.

Then at 10:30 have our general membership meeting, which again is FREE and open to the public.  What was never mentioned in any of the prior posts, was the fact that this is 100% content and is open to anyone, whether they choose to take advantage of the higher levels of membership, or simply chooses to be a "regular member" and just take advantage of the free stuff once a month.

At NOON we feed everyone, again for FREE.

Yes, you are entitled to an opinion, but having at least a "thimble full" of knowledge on the topic would lend more credibility to the opinion...

Sorry to be so adamant, but it really is offensive when people make lots of posts and comments when they have zero first hand knowledge. Again, you are entitled to your opinion, but when you use words like "scam" and "ridiculous" and have not even stepped foot inside the meeting, nor have any first hand knowledge, you invite the types of response you are getting (and will continue to get) from folks like me who invest a great deal every month to create an alternative to the "guru-driven" typical REIA model that does nothing to really educate investors how this thing really works.

Chris, you're welcome to join us at a future meeting and I look forward to buying you lunch and showing you how we get it done in DC, without the B.S.  ;-)

Sherman Ragland, Broker in Virginia (#0225192997), DC (#PB600736), and Maryland (#23810)
(301) 218-4333

Disclosure: Founder

Seems like the "One Thing" that got lost in the conversation of this thread, is the answer to the question, "How Good Was The Information Provided at This Saturday REIA Meeting...?"

Here is a recording of what happened that day:

http://youtu.be/jFmVrfvY1lU

Hope the folks who are throwing stones at us, but have never stepped inside our doors, also make time to watch what we do, and then decide if we are really as bad as they want people to believe we are...

Sherman

Sherman Ragland, Broker in Virginia (#0225192997), DC (#PB600736), and Maryland (#23810)
(301) 218-4333
Originally posted by @Sherman Ragland:

What I said was that people who expect to make money in real estate without making some type if investment in training, coaching, or mentoring are not being realistic.

That's your opinion.  My reality is different.  I've made 7-figures in real estate (which has been well documented) without spending a penny on training/coaching/mentoring.  On top of that, I've seen, talked to and helped many dozens of investors do hundreds of deals without spending a penny.

It pisses me off every time I hear from some new investor who was ready give up because some guru tells them that they CAN'T be successful without paying for an education.  Ironically, most of those gurus aren't even investors themselves -- they spend all their time selling education instead of doing deals.  And they rely on FEAR (fear of not being successful, mostly) to drum up business from those who are too naive to believe them.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with training, coaching or mentoring (I've even written about those times when I believe paid training is the best course of action); what I'm saying is that it's not "unrealistic" for someone to be successful without it.

And to be fair to many people here on BiggerPockets, there are plenty of real estate coaches who participate here on BP.  But, instead of just pushing their paid coaching, they're providing tons of FREE information, support, help and coaching here on the forum.  They don't tell people that it's impossible to succeed without coaching.  Instead, they help people succeed.  And for those who want coaching, they provide it.  But, they don't use scare tactics ("You can't make money without spending money!) to shame investors into paying them.

It would be great if you choose to join the ranks of those coaches who are also providing help to our members by participating in the forums.  But, if you're just here to push your coaching and generate profits for yourself, you're going to find that you're not going to get a ton of positive response. 

Disclosure: I offer coaching and I am affiliated with a coach. But I have only been to a REIA meeting once.

@J Scott - Hey, what are your thoughts on the original topic of REIAs?  It seems to me that many of them are money-making organizations.  And that's fine, but that's not what I think of when I hear the word "association".

I recently heard of a man who "bought" a REIA. So obviously, he planned to make money at it. Many of these REIA get a commission off of every guru product that is sold at their meetings. But this fact is rarely known to the newbies.

J Scott - see you're from Ellicott City! Grew up in Columbia and graduated from Howard High. Would love to get you out to speak to our group.

I don't disagree with you at all, about the gurus. I do think you're the exception, being able to figure this out without a mentor, or taking any classes. Most folks need some help, especially getting started. But we're in 100% agreement about folks being taken for a rude buying bootcamp a with money that would be better invested into an actual deal.

Although I'm new as a member to BP, I am an active participant in the forums. And, no, I'm not here to sell, or pitch anything.

This particular thread caught my attention because the originator was talking about a experience she had with our club. She also sent me a private email. When I logged in to see what was being discussed, I saw a whole bunch of comments about me and my group, some accurate but most not.

Sorry, if I've spent way too much time in this particular thread, but not sure how anyone sits back and reads misinformation bring discussed by people with zero first hand knowledge and does not respond, when it's "their baby."

The reason we do, what we do, is because we see the same things you discuss here. People investing thousands with people who have questionable skills in the real estate business, but are only interested in getting their money in exchange for a bunch of 3-day bootcamps.

Like you, I had made over 7-Figures in real estate, before I started participating in the forums like BP. And like you, I want to see people succeed and avoid the pitfalls. Where we disagree is on the need to invest (sensibly) in some training. I got my real estate license in 1983, got my MBA in Real Estate from The Wharton School in 1986 and then spent 20 years making other folks rich in the DC commercial market, before seeing the light and started putting my own deals together for me and my family. Four years later started showing others in my local market once people started asking me to coach/mentor them. Then invested the next 10 building an organization that is unique in the world of real estate coaching in that our coaches get paid when their protégés make money.

Not here to sell anything, other than a philosophy that there is a right way, and a wrong way to do this business. A Philosophy I think we both share.

Sherman Ragland, Broker in Virginia (#0225192997), DC (#PB600736), and Maryland (#23810)
(301) 218-4333
Originally posted by @Bryan L.:

@J Scott - Hey, what are your thoughts on the original topic of REIAs?  It seems to me that many of them are money-making organizations.  And that's fine, but that's not what I think of when I hear the word "association".

Completely agreed.  Some REIAs are better than others, but for the most part, they seem more concerned with generating profit than teaching real estate education.  The fact that a typical monthly meeting will spend 30 minutes on education, then 90 minutes on guru pitches tells me that they care more about the bottom line than they do about the success of their members.

That said, the breakout sub-groups (separate meetings focusing on a particular topic that take place once a week or once a month) are often very valuable. The difference is that the sub-groups are generally run by volunteer members of the REIA, not the management of the REIA (there's not much money in sub-groups, so why bother :).

Btw, for anyone in the Baltimore/Washington area, there is a fantastic (and free) Meetup group (BWI Meetup) that is better than any REIA I've ever been to. Essentially no pitching, and tons of pure education. I spoke last month on flipping, Ned Carey spoke this month on Tax Liens, and the previous months were packed with great info as well. Check it out!

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.