While vacationing in Cape Cod last week, my friend, Marc, and I had a lengthy discussion on the advantages of buying real estate as an investment. I’ve been investing for years but he’s just getting around to considering it as a real career option. I think it’s helped him to see how successful I’ve become, even though I had a rocky start. In the beginning, I didn’t have a strong network to lean on for support. So, I just tried to do everything myself and, I have to admit, it didn’t always go well. Wanting to start a real estate investing company without experiencing the same bumps in the road that I did, Marc took the opportunity to ask how I eventually learned to connect with other real estate investors in Massachusetts. The hard way, I joked. Then, I told him how to make it easier.
Where to Network with Real Estate Investors in Massachusetts
To start, I told Marc, most new real estate investors join one or more clubs and associations to network with, and learn from, some of their more experienced peers. Membership usually gets you access to regularly scheduled meetings, special networking events, classes and seminars, and the opportunity to seek support from other investing pros as you grow your business. And, luckily, a quick Google search will help you find several different associations and real estate investment clubs in Massachusetts. Since I’ve always invested in and around eastern Mass, I’ll review some of those networking opportunities here.
Mass Real Estate
Mass Real Estate is a networking group that’s open to investors, other real estate industry professionals, and even homeowners. Their general meetings are held monthly in Peabody and are available to the public for a $25 entrance fee. But, for members, they also organize various events and workshops throughout the year in addition to a bi-annual trade show. So, by joining, it seems you have the opportunity to learn how to get capital for your deals, run your business more efficiently, and potentially meet and network with a large array of industry professionals. And, you can get all this for only $99 a year.
Upon a look at the group’s calendar, however, it doesn’t appear that any of their meetings, events, or workshops happen all that often—not even once a month as the website claims. That’s actually not going to give you a lot of opportunities to network with other investors, or with anyone else for that matter. And, that makes $99 look like a lot to spend for how little you get in return.
Boston AREIA is a real estate investor association that welcomes new and seasoned investors alike. They hold once-monthly meetings in Boston and surrounding areas, sometimes at rehab locations or at the offices of local developers. These meetings could give you the chance to meet and pick the brains of fellow investors in the process of starting or finishing a project which can make for a great learning opportunity. In fact, this group encourages you to bring your questions, and your deals, to any event so that other members can motivate and mentor you into becoming a success. Membership starts at $175 a year for individuals, but they offer a variety of discounts and payment plans to make joining easier.
Unfortunately, joining this group doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to build your own stable network from the other members who attend. In general, real estate investor clubs and associations tend to appeal to new investors. So, attendance can seem inconsistent as members come, gain experience, and go. And, it looks like this group might be designed to specifically cater to new investors since, for an additional fee, you can get access to monthly coaching sessions and other materials to help you grow your business. Of course, that’s all fine and good. But, you shouldn’t have to pay for advice when, as long as you can find them, there are others who will give it freely.
Cape Cod Real Estate Investors Association
Cape Cod Real Estate Investors Association draws together investors, real estate agents, developers, legal professionals, and anyone else who is interested in learning about real estate. They meet monthly to discuss everything from buying foreclosure auction homes to funding rental portfolios and frequently have guest speakers in attendance. As a fairly new organization—they’ve only been around since early 2017—they don’t yet offer any classes, workshops, or special networking events. But, they’ve maintained a reliable meeting schedule that could allow you get to know your fellow investors if they all attend each month. And, your cost: free.
As a new club, however, membership is pretty low and attendance is even lower. That’s not to say that the numbers won’t grow with time or that those who attend now don’t have good feedback to contribute. But, the reality is that if you’ve already started buying, renovating, and selling houses or want to jump into your first project right away, you’re going to learn more from—and feel more supported by—an established network that’s already been successfully investing for a while.
In my opinion, it’s never a bad idea to connect with other real estate investors any way you can. And, both clubs and associations generally give you that opportunity. Where they can fall short, however, is in providing reliable, ongoing support from other investors who are skilled enough to help you grow your business and interested enough to do so. And, the bottom line is, that’s what you need in a network. So, growing your network by joining clubs and associations, though not a bad idea, will simply take time—more time than you might have if you’re focused on building your career in real estate investing now.
A Strong Local Network for Wherever You Invest
As a new investor looking for other real estate investors to connect with, I spent a lot of time attending various meetings and events held by my local clubs and associations. Unfortunately, the experience, ultimately, slowed me and my business down a bit. I met a lot of great people with big ideas, but none who were capable of advising me when things got tough on a couple of my first deals. And, it’s not really their fault; most of them were simply new investors like me.
To make things a little easier and grow my network a lot faster, I decided to become an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. Joining the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” team, gave me a strong local network of other regional franchisees who provide the advice and support I needed. Thanks to my team, I made stronger choices, found better investments, and had more fun doing it all. And, you don’t have to invest in eastern Massachusetts like I do to get access to this network. Wherever you invest, your network will be there. Just ask Marc—our newest HomeVestors® franchisee.
Get the strong network you need no matter where you invest in Massachusetts. Contact HomeVestors to see about becoming a franchisee today.
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