How to Start a Real Estate Group
How to Start Your Own Real Estate Meetup Group
Have you exhausted your time and energy trying to find a local real estate meetup group only to discover that the nearest one is hundreds of miles away? Or maybe the group convenes only when you are supposed to be coaching your kids’ soccer team or on the day of your monthly trip to visit grandparents out of town?
Whatever the reason, this is a great opportunity for you to start your very own local real estate investment group. You’ll get to share real estate knowledge and tips and network with like-minded investors in your community.
How does one go about starting a real estate investment meetup group, though? We’re here to tell you.
Find 10 Loyal Followers
There’s a saying in the marketing and public relations community that all a public figure needs to be successful is 1,000 true fans. Anyone looking to build a reputable brand and become a thought leader in their field can use this advice.
When it comes to starting your real estate investment meetup group, the same idea is applicable. You only need 10 members who are truly committed to the group to get it off the ground. These members will sustain it regardless of the highs and lows it will inevitably encounter over time.
How can you find 10 loyal members to assist you in starting an investment meetup group? Talk to neighbors, friends, parents at your child’s school, people you go to church or temple with, coworkers, and local real estate agents and lenders. You’ll be surprised by how many of your peers and acquaintances are equally interested in real estate investing. Many will be more than happy to join your monthly meetup and recruit their friends to come as well.
These initial members of the monthly meetup will be the most loyal and will likely stick with it the longest, bringing in new speakers and ideas. They are the ones who will show up to meetings every month and keep the momentum moving forward.
Provide Massive Value
To retain membership and attract new members to your group, you need to provide a massive amount of value to everyone who takes the time out of their day to spend an hour or two with you.
Doing the same thing every month will get old fast. If every meeting consists of you standing in front of them for an hour and reciting an incoherent monologue about real estate basics that you hastily put together on your cell phone the night before, members will slowly begin to fade.
What are some ways that you can provide massive value to members to guarantee they will keep coming back month after month, invite their friends, and be motivated to take the steps necessary to invest in real estate themselves?
Bring in Speakers
And that means experts who are not there to sell products to your group but teach about a certain investment niche or strategy.
Arrange for a Q&A session at the end to allow your members plenty of time to get their most pressing questions answered. Have a handful of questions lined up to ask the speaker in case the group needs to be warmed up or if they are not asking questions right away.
Hold Scheduled Networking Events
Once every three to six months, be sure to have pre-planned networking events. These allow group members to dedicate the entire meeting time to exchanging contact information, learning about what deals everyone is working on, and getting to know one another on a more personal level.
Speak to some local vendors (banks, Realtors, title companies) and you are likely to find at least one that would be happy to sponsor the networking event and provide food and drinks in exchange for allowing them to have their branding on the refreshment table.
Offer a Platform for Investors to Find Joint Venture Partners
One great way to do this is have members with deals submit (in advance of the meeting) an outline of the deal they are working on as well as what (or who) they need to make it happen. Hand out a monthly meeting flyer that includes a hot sheet of potential deals along with contact info for the rainmaker bringing the deal so that more members can invest together.
These are just a few ways that highly successful real estate investment meetup group leaders have provided immense levels of value to their members. If you are going to start a group like this, it is important to do so correctly and be consistent with the level of value that you provide. Since it is not a daily or weekly meeting, members expect a high level of refinement in the content put before them.
Market and Advertise to the Community
Once you have built up a strong monthly group of members who have gone in on several deals together and maybe even became financially free using the knowledge they learned, it’s time to move past word-of-mouth marketing. Marketing campaigns to the general public and your local community encourage continued and sustainable growth.
Lean on the Power of Social Media
Starting with social media, you’ll note the largest impact when using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube given their reach. Making sure you are on the leading edge of the curve and putting out high-quality content is key to a successful awareness campaign for your group. Try diving into video rather than just text content.
The best places to post about your meetings are Facebook groups local to your area. Simply search for groups with the name of your county or a large county close by. For example, if you are in Pinellas County, search for “Pinellas Real Estate” on Facebook’s group search.
If you don’t find many results, search for nearby counties using the same terms. Many investors interact with the groups for two to three of their nearest counties. Always ask group admins for permission to post about your real estate groups.
There are also many national real estate investor groups on Facebook with 10,000 or more members, and a simple “Any investors in so and so county?” post is a great way to connect with local investors.
The investment forum at BiggerPockets.com has investors from just about every nook and cranny around the country, so posting a shout out message and adding your event to their events calendar should grow your attendee list.
Putting out consistent content on a daily basis across all platforms will go a lot further than any paid advertising campaign. By organically engaging with content posted by members of your community who interact with your page or may be interested in what you provide, your return on time invested skyrockets. You build a social media following that will further spread information about the group and lead to significantly higher monthly attendance.
Take Advantage of Established Groups
Another great place to find local investors for your group is…wait for it…other local investment groups. Some areas have huge real estate meetup groups, and there are plenty of people who are looking for additional meetups as well as more specialized or niche groups.
If, for example, you are really into buying tax deeds, while networking at your local REIA group, let others interested in tax deeds know you have a small group that meets to discuss this.
The Sky’s the Limit for Your Real Estate Meetup Group
Once you have gotten to this point in your group, the forward momentum built up will allow it to continue growing. You will attract bigger and better speakers, require larger meeting venues, and have countless examples of members who have successfully invested in deals together or have gone from knowing little about real estate to living off of their investment income.
It all starts with finding a small group of individuals who are highly motivated to learn and share what they know about real estate investing. From there, find ways to provide as much value as possible to those who are willing to sacrifice their time each month and give them a reason to keep coming back.
Finally, move your presence to the internet via social media to leverage your time and energy for continued growth. Your group may become more successful than you ever anticipated!