I’m glad my kid says he wants to be like me. But often enough, I wish I were more like him. For instance, he makes friends without even seeming to try. I bring him to the playground, set him free, and in fifteen minutes he’s already rounded up a whole ship’s worth of pirates to play with.

Maybe I used to be like that, but as I get older it seems that making new friends takes longer and longer to do. I think it’s proportional in a way—if my kid’s known you for a year, that’s a quarter of his life. For me, that’s only somewhere between 2-3%. And I’ve got friends I’ve known for 95% of my life already.

All that to say—I’ve always had a tough time with professional networking events—I forced myself to meeting after meeting when I was first getting started. But even though me and all of the other real estate professionals were literally there to meet each other, all we ever really did was greet each other. When I got tired of saying hello, I said goodbye.

I found my way into a better group not long after—we’ve helped each other a lot over the years. I’ll tell you about them, but first here’s what I know about networking with real estate investors in Columbus, Ohio, in case you’re the kind the give a few meetings a try.

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Will an Investment Club Put You in Front of Real Estate Investors in Columbus?

What I was looking for was a mentor, the kind I could test. When I started out, I didn’t have any mentors who could teach me how the local market moved or introduce me to others in the industry. That’s why I decided to try local real estate investing clubs.

They’re designed to provide you with the opportunity to network, learn new skills, and, maybe, just maybe, land yourself a mentor. That’s always been the end goal. I wanted someone who could show me the ropes. Someone I could bounce ideas off of.

Membership in an investment club or association seemed the easiest way to obtain that. I found out the hard way that’s not the case. Not all of these clubs are suitable for real estate investors. To prevent you from going down the same path, here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of real estate investment clubs in Columbus, Ohio.

Central Ohio Real Estate Entrepreneurs

Billing itself as a community rather than a real estate investors association, Central Ohio Real Estate Entrepreneur is open to new and experienced real estate investors in Columbus, Ohio and the surrounding areas. It hosts several meetings and webinars during the year as well as training, which is a combination of online and offline workshops. You also get discounts on everything from paint to office supplies.

This all sounds wonderful, but there’s a catch. Only the first meeting is free. After that, you have to pay either $35 per meeting or $247 a year. Training costs even more. The fee to attend meetings and the likelihood that this association will try to sell you more training or “special access” to leads might be a deal-breaker for you, depending on how deep your pockets are.

Mid-Ohio Real Estate Investors Association (M-OREIA)

Mid-Ohio Real Estate Investors Association has many different types of members: investors, landlords, wholesalers, retailers, and service professionals. They meet monthly to pool resources, network and develop new skills. Members also receive discounts on rehab materials, office supplies, and even health insurance. You are invited to attend your first meeting for free but after that it costs money. The association says the annual fee is under $200. And, with more than 500 members there’s potential to network and find a mentor.

The problem is the group only meets once a month. That isn’t enough time to network, let alone build relationships. If you have an off night, you’ll have to wait an entire month before trying again.

Columbus Deal Maker

Columbus Deal Maker is a 772-member strong real estate investment group comprised of a community of real estate investors located in and around Columbus. The group meets monthly to share wholesale deals. It claims to have the inside scoop on exclusive real estate properties and has networking events that lure everyone from lenders to landlords.

This group makes a lot of sense for real estate investors looking to wholesale a property but if you want to rehab and sell a home or rent it out, this group may not be for you. For one, you need volume for wholesale, which is difficult to achieve right away–it takes deep pockets and steady leads. Also, from a project management perspective, it’s a good idea to learn the ropes on a few projects at a time to start. That way, you’ll have the time and attention to find small problems early. Then, when you scale up, little mistakes won’t become big ones.

Real estate investment clubs afford you the opportunity to network, but you may have to join several to achieve any meaningful results. That could be costly and ineffective. I tried out several clubs and associations but realized I needed an established network of real estate investors I could tap. Once-a-month networking events weren’t doing the trick.

There’s a Better Way to Meet Real Estate Investors in Columbus, Ohio

My kid would do alright at these networking events, so long as there’s plenty of punch. But I’ve found that with people my age it’s not easy. It takes repeated, personal contact, over months or years. So when I say I’m friends with my real estate mentor, you know I mean it. What happened is this:

When I signed up as an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I was introduced to my mentor right away. We met up to get to know each other, then started working together on deals. As we helped each other on project after project, we got closer and closer.

Now, I talk to them almost as much as I talk to my family. We celebrate each other’s victories and support each other in hard times. I don’t know what my real estate career would have looked like without them—if it had continued at all. That’s the difference a mentor makes.

Are you looking for advice, training, and help to get your real estate career off the ground? Contact HomeVestors® to meet your mentor today!

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