Investing Clubs


Investing Clubs – Silicon Valley Real Estate Investment Group
06 Jun 2014

Investing Clubs – Silicon Valley Real Estate Investment Group

Founded by Dani Beit-Or, the Silicon Valley Real Estate Investing Group brings together anyone interested in creating cash flow and wealth through real estate. After attending other groups that only focused on promoting their own businesses, Dani decided to create his own club where members could come to gain quality information about investing in real estate.

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Real estate club: Silicon Valley Real Estate Investment Group
Club location: Mountain View, Silicon Valley CA
Years club has existed: 3
Number of members: 3,000+

Why did you decide to start a real estate investing group?

I started the group purely from a personal need.

Although there were other groups around, I felt like none were serving my needs. When we started, there were a lot of little groups, but most of them were only active for the purpose of promoting their own businesses. I wanted to build a community of real estate investors that could meet, talk, network and cross pollinate each other with investing ideas.

What goals did you put in place when you started the group?
Actually, I didn’t set any specific goals besides wanting to build a following based on providing quality content. Being able to network in real estate is good, but should be part of a gathering and not the main attraction. Content is king!

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How did you attract your first members?
I used a local Meetup to announce the first meeting. Originally, I thought that if we had 25-30 people in the room, that would be a good turn out. To my surprise, RSVPs for the first meeting grew rapidly and we had to change venues. All in all, we ended up having 90 people (some standing) at our first gathering.

From the beginning, our focus was to bring quality speakers and content. I thought that if we were good at that, people would spread the word and tell their friends about us.

What do you think people like the most about your investing group?
To start, people like that our meetings are free.

That being said, free is helpful, but not always enough.

We also choose interesting topics and speakers that are not already regularly speaking to local groups. Many times, we work with the speakers to help them improve their content so it brings a higher value to attendees.

Furthermore, we don’t allow any sales pitches at the meetings and check up on speakers before they present. We really want our members to get a lot out of one evening.

Have you ever had to deal with competition from a similar real estate group in your area?
When we started, there were 3 large, well established clubs in the metro area that had been running for well over a decade as well as a lot of little groups that had never really taken off. If we would have analyzed what and how we should have done our club in comparison to our competition, we probably never would have gotten started. Instead, we just said let’s do what we think will benefit the community of investors and have followed that guideline ever since.

I have been in the real estate industry and the REIAs scene for over a decade. It amazes me to see some of the other groups bringing the same speakers again and again, not to mention the fact that they also jump around between clubs. Yes, we have had some of those speakers too (some of them are simply great and bring great value), but we also make an effort to find new ones or ones that are not already known in the local community.

How do you keep members engaged?
We hold monthly meetings and webinars, host big events once a year and have different types of supplementary meetings to keep our members involved and engaged in the community. We also have members speak and share their success/failure stories with the rest of the group.

How do you fund events that you host?
For our monthly meetings, we ask the speaker to pay a minimal supporting fee. Most agree as they understand the value of it and just use it as a marketing expense. We found that speakers are very responsive to pay as they understand the benefits of supporting a local group they could come to once a year and know that if they can provide valuable information, attendees will want to engage with them.

What advice would you give to those looking to start their own real estate group?
We always thought that our members, whether they are paying a door fee or not, are paying with their time. If you try to “push” something on them, it’s disrespectful and insults their intelligence.

Focus on the true value of your group and you will be successful.

Lastly, be very careful of sales-pitch speakers. I have seen speakers at other groups that come in to sell a product and give members one or two great tips and that’s it! For me, that’s insulting and as an attendee, you have just wasted my time. If you teach me useful information I’d be more interested to learn about you, your services and even buy your product and that’s the type of speakers we want to have at our meetings.


Investing Clubs – Freedom First REIA
18 Apr 2014

Investing Clubs – Freedom First REIA

Freedom First REIA (FFREIA) is Upstate New York’s sole non-for-profit real estate investment association. Run by Leon Griggs, Jr., Joseph McGuire and Susan Holman,  FFREIA supports local investors with free exchange of information.

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Real Estate Club: Freedom First REIA
Club Location: Rochester, NY
Years club has existed: 6
Number of Members: 100+

Why did you decide to start a real estate group?
FFREIA started in response to area groups only hosting events with national speakers that sold their packages, or took advantage of those new to the industry. The local investors, and especially the newbies, were spending their money on a growing library of unused books and CDs.

There was a need for an organization that would support local real estate investors through networking and exchanging information. FFREIA was set up as a not-for-profit association to prove to its potential members that it was different from the other groups.

What goals did you put in place when you started the group?

Our main goal has always been to grow our member community.

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We know that the true value of the group is its networking opportunities and sharing experience.

How did you attract your first members?
Word-of-mouth was the original technique for launching our group and still remains one of the best ways to grow our membership.

Another successful technique has been our Meetup group. Because we hold 5 meetings a month, potential members have multiple opportunities to decide whether joining our group holds enough value for them.

What do you think people like most about your investing group?
People like the networking opportunities and the chance to learn from one another’s experiences. I think they are also relieved to not have to buy another technique, methodology, or package every other month, and instead receive discounts and rebates from our national vendors.

Have you ever had to deal with competition from a similar real estate group in your area?
Not really.

We are the competition.

Nothing beats a not-for-profit organization, and members from other cities have even said we were more helpful than their local groups.

How do you keep members engaged?
Our monthly meetings offer members a chance to make deals happen by letting others know their haves-and-wants.

We also hold a Landlord Support Group where current and aspiring landlords can ask for help and share their successes. Veteran landlords also answer questions and offer advice about the many issues of the real estate business from tenants to toilets.

How do you fund events that you host?
The events are funded by membership fees, vendor member fees, and donations.

How do you become a member and have you ever turned down potential members?
Members pay an annual membership fee or a per-meeting fee. The only person we have ever turned away was an owner of another real estate investor organization, who we felt was dishonest with the way he ran his organization.

What advice would you give to those looking to start their own real estate group?
Be honest about what your organization is, what it provides, and what it expects in return. Many people run very successful for-profit organizations because they provide value to their members in the forms of education, networking, and deal-making possibilities.

Photo by: Harvey Nash.


Investing Clubs – San Diego Investment Club
11 Apr 2014

Investing Clubs – San Diego Investment Club

After attending numerous investing groups along the West Coast, Reggie Lal knew he could provide better information for real estate investors. He now runs the San Diego Investment Club and is committed to educating others in the industry.

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Real estate club: San Diego Investment Club
Club location: San Diego, CA
Years club has existed: 3
Number of members: We have 2,000 members on our online community and about 100-250 normally attend each meeting

Why did you decide to start a real estate investing group?
After I moved to San Diego, I started attending other clubs in my area because I thought it would be a good way to network with like-minded investors.

However, as I started going to these other meetings, I thought I could do a better job.

I love to teach, which was my primary motivation for starting this group, and felt a lot of the meetings I was attending lacked some of the key elements for educating others. I have been teaching and doing seminars for 10 years, but had never done it on a monthly basis. Having previously run a successful club in Sacramento, I decided to take the techniques I used to run that club and use it to structure my monthly meetings.

How did you attract your first members?
We do a lot of internet and social media marketing and focus on a presence on Meetup. We also cross-market at other clubs where we will go hand out flyers and announce the time and topic of our next meeting and return the favor by allowing them come to our club to promote their meetings as long as it’s for good educational purposes.

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We also leverage other people’s lists who have a good reputation in the real estate industry by inviting them to come and speak at our meetings to attract some of their followers.

What goals did you put in place when you started the group?
We wanted to keep the meetings pure and only provide information for educational purposes. We knew we had awesome content and to prove that, we only charged $14 which was unheard of in comparison to other clubs in the area.

The purpose of the club wasn’t to make money, it was to teach people and help.

How do you fund events that you host?
Having been a real estate investor for over 15 years, I initially funded the events 100% out of my own pocket. I believed in education so much and the team I put together that I knew it would be successful.

After the second year as we grew and became more well-known, we started to allow sponsorships on an annual basis.

What advice would you give to those looking to start their own real estate group?
1. You need to realize that it takes a lot of commitment and a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Don’t underestimate how much time, energy and effort you’re going to put into getting started.

2. Put a good team together.

You can’t do it by yourself.

There’s too many aspects to putting together a good program to do it on your own.

3. Think long-term. It breaks my heart when I go to other events and I ask, “Who is your speaker next month?,” and they don’t know or don’t have one booked yet. Think ahead. We normally are booked about 5-6 months in advance. Plan and treat it like a business, it takes more time than you think.

4. Have great content and leadership. Have a product so good with such a value that people talk about it and can’t afford to not go.

Photo by: SupportBiz.


Investing Clubs – New York Investing Meetup
12 Mar 2014

Investing Clubs – New York Investing Meetup

Any successful real estate investor will tell you that to in order to succeed in investing, you will need a team of experts you can trust. Investing groups are a great way to meet like-minded people to share your investing challenges and build your network. Here’s a few we profiled that we think you should get yourself along to or perhaps inspiration on how you can start your own real estate investing group.

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The New York Investing Meetup is the largest investing Meetup in the world. Run by Daryl Montgomery, the group provides educational information on a wide range of investing topics, including real estate.

Real estate club: New York Investing Meetup
Club location: New York City
Years club has existed:  11 — I’ve run it for 7
Number of members: 5800+

Why did you decide to take over this investing group?
The group was originally founded by someone else, but never had more than a handful of members in its first 3 years. In October of 2006, I decided to take it over and turn it into an educational investing group.

What goals did you have when you took over the group and did you expect it to grow as large as it did?
In the beginning, running the New York Investing Meetup was just a hobby and since it had already existed for several years and hadn’t gotten many members, there was no reason to think it would become the world leader in its category.

Today, we are still adding over 100 new members a month and continue to grow without outside financial support unlike some of our competing groups.

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How did you attract your new members?
Being on Meetup exposes you to a decent number of people. We made a big effort to host informative speakers, always providing something new in addition to regular updates on the state of the market.

The combination of the two is key to our success.

We also don’t sell any investment products or services so people know we are offering unbiased information.

Were there other investing groups in your area when you started?
At the time when I took over, there were a large number of other investing groups in New York, but this bubble has yet to burst. Nevertheless, a large number of the investing groups from the mid-2000’s have folded and many never grew or attracted a lot of members.

Have you ever had to deal with competition from a similar group in your area? If so, how did you deal with this?

The way to deal with competition is to provide a better product.

Many people have tried to compete with us, but those attempts usually fizzle pretty quickly or their group only gets a certain number of members and memberships plateau. It’s a lot of work to run a successful group, and few people are willing to do what is necessary to create success.

What do you think people like the most about your investing group?
Our claim to fame is our integrity. We are known for providing unbiased information from independent sources which is a rare commodity in the investing world.

How do you keep members engaged?
We hold monthly general meetings and classes on single subjects. We also have a history of being highly innovative. In 2007, we were the first Meetup in the world to provide content on YouTube and are the first to have a blog associated with the group.

How do you fund events that you host?
We fund our meetings by charging admission. As of last month, we now also provide inexpensive opportunities for businesses that want to advertise to our group members – a large number of upscale New Yorkers.

That being said, we make it clear that someone is advertising (which actually helps the advertisers because it brings attention to their message). We also don’t allow any speakers to include sales pitches in their presentations.

How do you become a member and have you ever turned down potential members?

Anyone interested in investing education can join and we have never refused anyone’s membership.

However, we have on occasion had to remove a member for spamming the group or engaging in disruptive behavior.

What advice would you give to those looking to start their own investing group? Any tips on what not to do?
If you want to start any group or business (and the two overlap), you need to offer your potential audience/customers something they can’t get anywhere else. You then have to communicate the availability of your service and convince people you can deliver it. Word of mouth is ultimately how you will grow.

Photo by: PICNIC Network.