When my kids and I met up with my neighbor, Rob, and his kids over at the zoo last weekend, he admitted that he was just starting to build a real estate investment business. Rob had only just quit his corporate job. But, he already had his eye on a property to invest in and had a ton of questions. Besides me, he didn’t know any other real estate investors in Cincinnati. So Rob was wondering where he could connect with more experienced investors who might be willing to offer advice from time-to-time. He had read that joining a real estate investment club might be a good place to start networking. So, as we walked over to see Baby Fiona, I let Rob pick my brain about local networking options.
Where to Connect With Real Estate Investors in Cincinnati
Thinking ahead about where to connect with other Cincinnati real estate investors told me that Rob was already headed in the right direction. No one in this business succeeds in a vacuum. So, if you can surround yourself with investors who have a lot more experience, as well as the time and the willingness to share it, your chances of becoming a successful real estate investor increase. After all, when it’s your first time performing a major rehab on a much older home or hiring a real estate agent to help with selling the house, having on-call guidance can make all the difference.
But, when you’re a new investor, creating a reliable network from scratch can also be hard work. That’s why joining an investment club or association is often seen by those, like Rob, who are just starting a career in real estate investing as an easy means for making meaningful connections. And, they’re not wrong. But, not every ready-made network will be right for you, either. So, if you’re also looking for a good way to connect with a great tribe, here are the three different Cincinnati-based investment clubs my neighbor was considering and that might be worth it for you to consider, too.
Queen City Real Estate Investors Association
The Queen City Real Estate Investors Association provides networking and educational opportunities to its members through regularly-scheduled monthly meetings and occasional special events. So, you can hobnob with your fellow investors at a Wednesday membership meeting or learn how to perform a kitchen renovation on your investment property at a DIY workshop. Investors of all skill levels are welcome to join and membership comes with a host of other benefits besides free entry into meetings, like discounts from local vendors and partners. So, it’s possible you could connect with more experienced pros and find a few suppliers you’ll want to use later. And, since the cost to join is only $159 per year for an individual, you won’t lose much money if you don’t actually gain a network.
Unfortunately, you could lose valuable time—and waste a lot of energy—trying to meet experienced investors who are equally interested in meeting you. At approximately 150 members, the group is one of the smallest in the area to join. But, what’s worse is that not all of its members attend all of the meetings. In fact, it appears that less than 10% show up. It’s hard to create connections with folks you see only occasionally. You can bet it’ll be even harder if you rarely see them at all.
Real Estate Investors Association of Greater Cincinnati (REIAGC)
The REIAGC holds general meetings twice monthly for members but gathers almost all week long to discuss a variety of topics. So, if you’ve got the time, you can learn just about anything from how to make passive income from real estate investing to how to know what exit strategy is best for a deal. Membership gets you access to the entire library of educational materials and their full directory of investor-friendly service providers, too. Plus, the REIAGC will set you up with a free basic website or create a professional one for a fee, all for an annual cost of only $247. And, if the claims on their website are true, you’ll also get multiple opportunities to mingle with hundreds of professionals whose combined experience could teach you a thing or two about investing—hopefully, about how to succeed.
Of course, even if hundreds of people do attend every meeting, not all of them will be seasoned investors. In fact, membership in most real estate investment clubs and associations tends to be made up of mostly new investors. So, you’re more likely to meet people with a level of experience that’s much like your own. That can be great for making friends, but not necessarily for gleaning tips on how to succeed. Unfortunately, it’s also possible that, with so many suppliers and sponsors invited to every meeting, a good chunk of attendees won’t be investors at all. And, while that may be good for building their network, it doesn’t do much for building yours.
Cincinnati Multi-family Real Estate Investing Group
The Cincinnati Multi-family Real Estate Investing Group meets semi-regularly, and primarily online, to support the efforts of anyone interested in investing in real estate rentals—especially multi-family units. They teach everything from how to raise capital to how to perform due diligence on the properties you want to buy, as well as provide time for networking at each meeting. But, they also focus heavily on creating partnerships so that every new investor learns by working on the job. There doesn’t appear to a cost to join, except what you might pay to partner as a principal on an existing deal. And, though online meetings aren’t ideal locations to network with your fellow investors, this format is becoming more common because of its appeal to busy professionals. For this group alone, there are over 300 members. So, there is a chance you could meet someone whose experience and expertise is worth logging on for.
One of the problems, however, is that this club’s meetings—whether online or off—are both erratic and repetitive. Months can go by with no meetings scheduled. When they are back in action, it’s possible you’ll only hear everything you’ve heard before. And, if that’s not enough to be concerned about, there is the push to partner with the organizers who run the show. Yes, they may be legitimate and have your interests in mind. But, it sounds like they’re more interested in keeping their business ball rolling instead of helping you get yours started. Since your goal is to network and learn from the best, find a consistent source of moral support rather than providing one with financial risks.
After reviewing these and other real estate investment clubs and associations more closely, you might be tempted to think that none of them in Cincinnati are worth joining. After all, if you can’t count on connecting with enough experienced investors to create a network that’s invested in your success, too, then what’s the point? And, you’re right—to a degree. But, obviously, these groups aren’t all bad. It’s just that, for making good investor connections from the get-go, they aren’t great. I do know where you can go, however, to get the support you need to succeed.
Good Connections Begin by Joining a Great Network from the Start
I’m glad Rob ran his networking options by me since joining an investment club or association was something I did when I first became a real estate investor years ago. But, after several months of attending many meetings, it was clear that I was not on track to build up my network as fast as I needed to. So, after researching more options for finding a good team, I decided to become an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. And, I look back now at how the network of other new and seasoned regional franchisees as well as my Development Agent helped mentor me and changed the direction of my career, it’s also clear that joining the team was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Without them, I might’ve blundered my way through the first time I had to stage a home or spent too much cash on a contractor not worth their salt. But, with the HomeVestors® team behind me, I’m what I am today: a professional Cincinnati real estate investor success story.
Get your own great network right from the beginning by joining the HomeVestors® team. Connect with HomeVestors® today for more information.
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