06 Jun 2014
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.
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!
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.