As my parents got older, they asked me to help manage the rental property that occupied half of their two-family home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The extent of their real estate experience involved finding tenants through word-of-mouth, charging an absurdly low rent, collecting a check each month, and hoping no major repairs were needed as the year progressed. Admittedly, I knew little more about real estate investing than what I’d observed from the actions of my Mom and Dad. It seemed pretty simple so I was more than willing to help out. Besides, I’d had some business exposure of my own through the ownership of a small insurance agency.
Long before I started debating whether I should buy investment property or not in my hometown of Detroit, I was a student at Michigan State. It was there that I met my husband, Derek, who was already on track to become a writer. For the both of us, getting a degree was really just a formality. It was clear that neither of us were built for the corporate world and that it was only a matter of time before we’d break out on our own. But, what I learned at school about the power of networking with your peers proved to be invaluable over the years. Without the support of my fellow students, college might have been tougher to get through. So, when I decided to start a career in real estate investing, I sought out different real estate investing clubs in Michigan. I knew from experience that if I could find a network of investors to connect with, there’d be nothing I couldn’t handle.
The Value of Real Estate Investing Clubs in Michigan
The value of joining any real estate investing club lies in the potential to meet other investors and industry colleagues who can help bolster your career by sharing their knowledge and offering support. When you’re a new investor, in particular, connecting with peers who have more experience than you can be a critical step toward learning how to make good real estate investment decisions and how to avoid making common rookie mistakes. Even if you have some experience behind you, a good network can offer investment property renovation tips that you might not have considered before or recommend a mentor to help take your business to the next level. So, joining a real estate investing club could have its advantages.
But, do these groups really give you all these things and more? Is it worth your time to find out? To help answer which real estate investing clubs in Michigan might provide you with the knowledge, experience, and support you need to succeed, check out the options below.
Michigan Real Estate Investors
The Troy, Michigan Real Estate Investors meet monthly to discuss everything from local real estate tax laws to purchasing multi-family properties. The group is made up of full-time and part-time investors, as well as real estate agents, lenders, attorneys, and other industry pros. The cost to attend the meetings as a non-member is only $20, but your first meeting is free. Because an annual membership ranges between $179 and $505, I like that they offer the option to try before you buy. The group also holds quarterly coffee events, where they encourage you to network and make deals, and one-day workshops led by national speakers to give you the chance to learn about subjects—like retirement planning—not covered in the regular meetings.
My main issue with this club is the infrequency of scheduled meetings. Once-monthly gatherings and the occasional networking event or workshop simply don’t provide enough learning opportunities to get you buying, renovating, and selling houses as soon as possible. So, in order to accelerate your career, you’re likely going to have to take more classes elsewhere and join additional groups. Except that, in Troy, your pickings are slim.
Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club
The Ann Arbor Real Estate Investors Club meets three to four times a month for a variety of networking and educational events. They hold regular meetings for new investors who need a basic understanding of how to formulate real estate investment strategies, in addition to laser-focused meetings for the more experienced members of the group. They also host classes and workshops on topics such as forming a business entity and performing a market analysis. It’s an active group of over 1,000 members with varying levels of investing expertise, and joining will only cost you an annual fee of $250 as an individual or $375 as a couple. Before joining, you’re welcome to drop in to some of the events for a small fee to determine if it’s a club that’s right for you.
Unfortunately, the number of attendees at each of the meetings tends to hover around 25 or less. That’s a small percentage of the group’s total membership. And, the sessions with the highest attendance are the new investor meetings, which further reduces your odds of connecting with more experienced investors. This is a critical piece of information to consider if you plan to join. Speaking with other novice investors certainly creates friendships, but it’s listening to the experts that will help build your career.
West Michigan REI Club
The West Michigan REI Club holds monthly meetings in and around the Wyoming area for new and more experienced investors alike. Past discussions have centered on informative topics such as removing hazardous waste, navigating online real estate auctions, and creating cash flow with rental properties. Membership is free, as are the meetings themselves. And, the group is partnered with the Rental Property Owners Association (RPOA), based nearby in Grand Rapids. Membership in the RPOA is not free and even appears to be based on your zip code. But, by being a member of both clubs, you have an opportunity to broaden your access to educational resources and expand your network.
Even if you decide to join both organizations, however, the regular meetings just don’t happen regularly enough. If you’ve already gone through a comprehensive real estate investor training program and only need to occasionally connect with peers and brush up on your skills, then a once-a-month gathering could work. But, if you’re more interested in learning about how to invest smartly and want to surround yourself with those who do, you’re going to need more time with investors who know and share more often.
Michigan Real Estate Investors Club
With meetings held in both Detroit and Livonia, members of the Michigan Real Estate Investors Club gather regularly to discuss wholesaling, landlord best practices, and how to start flipping houses. Once-a-month networking meetings are free and the cost of attending monthly learning sessions are only $20 to $25. The group also provides the option of hiring a mentor—a perk that other clubs don’t clearly offer. And, with over 3,000 members, there’s a better-than-average chance you’ll meet more experienced investors who can help you learn about a wide range of investing-related matters whether you hire a mentor or not.
Of course, to learn all there is to know about investing in real estate as quickly as possible, having a mentor in addition to a network of other, more seasoned, investors will improve your odds. But, since the cost isn’t advertised, whether or not you’ll get what you pay for if you hire a mentor from this club is unknown. It’s equally troubling that out of thousands of members, only a small number ever attend the meetings—sometimes as little as 10. Therefore, I’m just not sure it’s worth the trouble to join this group or, at least, to rely on it for connecting with successful investors who want you to be the same.
Being a big proponent of networking, I don’t want to completely dissuade you from joining a real estate investing club. But, if I had my way, I’d also have you join a team whose purpose is to give you all the tools, resources, and support you need to succeed as an investor, and throw in a real estate investing mentor to boot. I only know of one place you can find all that: the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” team at HomeVestors®.
A More Valuable Option for Learning How to Invest
You’ve probably seen the billboards or heard an ad or two on the radio. The HomeVestors®’ nationally-known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” advertising campaign is everywhere, including all over Michigan. And, it’s probably obvious that these ads are designed to let distressed homeowners know that they have options for selling their homes. What might be less obvious is that, if you want to join the team as an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, you can call too. Not only will you be trained on how to buy, renovate, and sell houses, you’ll be set up with a HomeVestors®’ Development Agent, a mentor to coach you toward success. You’ll also get access to a regional network of other franchisees, like me, who happily share their knowledge, offer tips and recommendations, and provide support whenever you need it. So, while you’re helping distressed homeowners, you’ve got a team that can help you. With that kind of backing, I’m betting there’s nothing you can’t handle.
Join the team that adds value to your business so that you can create value in the lives of others. Contact HomeVestors to start buying and renovating “ugly” houses today.