Originally, Jack had planned to start investing in real estate after retirement. But, an opportunity to buy a fixer-upper from a fellow Lower Town neighbor just kind of fell into his lap last year and, before he knew it, he was a real estate investor. Unfortunately, there were a few hiccups with the deal, which made renovating and reselling the place take a lot longer than he expected. Afterward, he confided in me that he wished he’d had an established peer network to rely on for advice during that first project. So as not to repeat the same, or similar, mistakes on his next deal, he was thinking about joining the Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club. He knew that if he wanted to get serious about starting a real estate investing company full-time, he’d need a good network to help.
But, there are pros and cons to joining the Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club, just like there are to joining similar clubs in other cities. I wanted to make sure that Jack was aware of these so that he could stay on track with his determination to make better decisions. Here’s what I told him.
The Pros and Cons of Joining the Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club
As a new investor, having access to an established peer network for ongoing guidance and support is critical to ensuring that the mistakes you inevitably make aren’t career-ending blunders. Jack was lucky that his first deal, though not a smooth one, provided a kind of quick and dirty on-the-job real estate investor training session and not such a hard kick in the proverbial pants that he lost it all. Not all investors are so lucky. That’s why, when you’re just starting out, being surrounded by more experienced investors who can give you everything from contractor suggestions to investment property renovation tips is a necessary part of building your business. But, is the Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club the best place to network?
In 2008, the Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club was established to provide educational and networking opportunities to investors of all skill levels. Now, more than a decade later, the group boasts over 1,300 members and a wide range of classes and workshops, in addition to their regularly-scheduled monthly meetings. By joining, you have the opportunity to learn more about performing market analyses, incorporating your business, and implementing successful real estate investing marketing ideas. You also get the chance to hobnob with guest speakers once a month, share deal opportunities with the group, and even tour the occasional investment property work-in-progress.
What’s really interesting about this group, however, is that they also offer laser-focused monthly team meetings, called ACTION, as well as Mastermind Group sessions. When the ACTION team meets, they focus specifically on the topics of property acquisition, project funding, streamlining rehabs, and all things marketing. The Mastermind Group sessions, on the other hand, are designed to give individual members feedback on their current projects, overall business goals, and any issues they may be facing. Layered on top of the other meetings, classes, and workshops that are offered, these two learning opportunities do well to round out, and improve upon, the knowledge and experience of every new investor.
The cost to take advantage of all the events that they offer is only $250 for an individual and $375 for a couple per year. Considering all that you get for a few hundred dollars, it’s not a bad deal. But, if you’d rather avoid the annual fee and just pop into the occasional class or workshop, you have the option to pay-as-you-play, too. And, you can attend two events free of charge before deciding what membership path is right for you. In short, the Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club makes joining relatively easy and affordable and they do offer a good amount of bang for your buck.
My main concern with this club, however, centers around the issue of attendance. Most meetings are attended by only a fraction of the total membership and usually by 25 people or less. And, unfortunately, it’s the new investor Tuesday evening Meetups that attract the highest number of guests. That’s not to say that you won’t still benefit from the other meetings, classes, and workshops that are offered. But, you will, primarily, be surrounded by real estate investors who have as little experience as you do. Sometimes, they’ll have even less. This could actually slow your ability to build your network quickly and it will certainly limit the expertise you have access to.
So, my suggestion to Jack was that he should expand his support system to include more experienced investors whose advice and guidance he could call upon anytime—not just at a networking event. He might still want to join the Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club, but he should certainly think about joining another team too.
Where to Get More Support When Investing in Ann Arbor
In my experience, the best place to get the most support as a new real estate investor is with the team at HomeVestors®. When I was just starting out and full of questions that required fast answers, an easy-to-reach network of professional investors was exactly what I needed. As an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I got access to a large regional network of other franchisees with as much or more experience than me who are generally ready, willing, and able to help. Not only that, I have a dedicated and experienced Development Agent who mentored me through my investment business’s growth. I’ve got fewer mistakes—and a lot more successes—to show for it.
Expand your support system and your investing business. Call HomeVestors today about joining the team!
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.