Shelley approached me over at Needler’s Fresh Market the other day to get my input on the real estate investment clubs here in Indianapolis. She’s read a lot of books on investing, listened to a few podcasts, and attended a couple of weekend seminars. But, what she hasn’t done is connect with a mentor who can help to sharpen her skill set and walk her through that first deal. Our kids go to school together, so she knows that I invest in real estate and have done quite well for myself in the last several years. She correctly assumed that I know a little something about the investment clubs in town. So, after we each stocked our kitchen shelves back at home, I had Shelley over to talk about the pros and cons of some of the local clubs and whether any of them might offer a good real estate investor mentor program.
The Pros and Cons of Real Estate Investment Clubs in Indianapolis
As a new investor, Shelley was already on the right track by making her education a priority. Without comprehensive training behind you, you risk making rookie mistakes such as overpaying for a property or forgoing real estate investor insurance—both of which can be disastrous to your bottom-line if the unexpected happens. But, even with the right training, it’s always a good idea to network with other investors and work with a professional mentor. You might only want renovation tips for an investment property one week, but you might have questions about taking your business to the next level the following week. If you’ve got a good team that can reliably advise you on whatever you need, whenever you need it, you’ll have a better chance of becoming a success yourself.
For the most part, real estate investment clubs are designed to help you develop this team. There are pros and cons to joining them, but it’s not impossible to find a network, as well as a mentor, that can help you advance your skills and, ultimately, improve your bottom line. Below are three real estate investment clubs in Indianapolis that may do just that.
Central Indiana Real Estate Investors Association (CIREIA)
The CIREIA provides multiple opportunities to learn about investing and connect with peers and potential mentors. They schedule 11 or more classes and workshops every month, in addition to their main meetings and networking events, where you can learn the ins-and-outs of buying foreclosure auction homes and how to prevent crime on your rental properties, among a variety of other topics. There are four levels of membership to choose from and most of those include free attendance to several events each month, a professional website of your own, and discounts and rebates from participating vendors in the area. So, you get a few extra perks above and beyond the chance to meet with your fellow investors. There is a fee to join, and it’s pricey, but you can choose to pay in monthly installments or once a year. With so many chances to meet your fellow investors, joining the CIREIA might not be a bad place to get your foot in the door.
Unfortunately, finding a qualified mentor with an interest in working with you one-on-one may cost you more time and money than you have. CIREIA holds occasional weekend workshops with a focus on mentoring, but you’ll spend almost $1,600 to attend and you won’t get individualized attention. That doesn’t mean you won’t meet a more experienced investor who’s willing to mentor you personally at one of the other events, but you’ll have to attend several to find one who fits. Even then, the cost of a good mentor is also usually expensive and it’s not always easy to tell the good from the bad.
Indianapolis Real Estate Networking and Coaching Group
This group invites real estate investors and those who work in related fields to share strategies on how to build a real estate investment business with other like-minded professionals. They don’t offer classes, per se, but the group discusses a wide range of subjects when they do meet, from how to fund your deals to how to market your properties when it’s time to sell. There doesn’t appear to be a cost to join, but you will have to pay a nominal fee for most events. With both new and seasoned investors invited to join, and with a total membership that now exceeds 700, the possibility of finding a mentor within this large network of real estate professionals seems promising.
But, as with many things, looks can be deceiving. This particular club rarely meets—only a few times a year, in fact. And, when they do schedule a meeting, attendance is poor. Though the intention of the organizer may be well and good, the probability that you’ll find an expert investor to mentor you is low. You won’t have an easy time growing your business by relying on this club’s absentee network for advice.
Indiana Real Estate Investors Association (INREIA)
The INREIA is also open to real estate investors and related professionals who want to help their peers succeed. They only schedule one regular meeting a month, but they do encourage networking—in person and online—and aren’t afraid to dive deeply into subject matter that every investor should know. Members discuss tax law, property management, contractual issues, and even tackle the 101 on hard money. Membership is free, as is attendance to their meetings and events. So, it’s possible to get something out of joining without having to give much up.
But, because the group typically only meets in person once a month, it could take you some time to find, and feel comfortable with, a mentor if you only rely on the meetings. You could try to connect with one through their social media channels, except that those appear to be focused more on promoting the INREIA’s videos and live events. And, even though the group is over 1,000 members strong, you might find it hard to build a solid local network from this club as well. Few members seem to attend the live meetings and most of the online chatter centers on the group’s video feed—not on providing critical feedback to fellow investors.
If you have the time and energy to check out, maybe even join, each of these investment clubs, you might improve your chances of developing a reliable network and finding a mentor who’s interested in your success. But, if you have a family or other responsibilities like Shelley and I do, you probably don’t have a lot of either. So, I’d like to recommend another way to connect with the pros you need that’s easier and faster than joining a club.
A Better Way to Connect with the Best Investing Pros
Personally, I like what most real estate investment clubs set out to do. And, though we have very few here in Indianapolis, I believe they are run by good people who want others to succeed. But, when I was a new investor, I needed access to a network of more experienced professionals as soon as I started buying, renovating, and selling houses. I couldn’t wait for once-monthly meetings to come around, nor could I make the time to attend several events every week to increase my odds of finding the right people—or a mentor.
I found the solution to my problem by becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. From the moment I completed my comprehensive week-long investor training, I had a network of other regional franchisees I could call on for any question, concern, recommendation, or referral I needed. I also got the one-on-one mentoring with a HomeVestors® Development Agent I needed too. With the help of my local HomeVestors network, I was able to do everything I could to help me achieve my investing goals. Now here I am, helping Shelley do the same.
Get a solid network and a dedicated mentor by calling HomeVestors today!
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