What Is a REIA?
What to Expect at a REIA Meeting
A REIA offers meetings that can take place at a variety of different times and locations. Many meetings take place in restaurants, hotel meeting rooms or other public places where such gatherings are held. Evenings and weekends are the most common time frames for REIA meetings and events. REIA events can last anywhere from 90 minutes up to several hours.
The typical REIA meeting agenda includes the following segments:
- People meet for a few minutes before the meeting to network and/or talk with sponsors and vendors.
- At a designated time, the host(s) will introduce themselves and make announcements.
- A brief advertisement by the meeting sponsors may take place to give them an opportunity to be seen and let investors know who they are. This is when the vendors share the product or service they provide that can benefit investors in their business.
- A presentation or open discussion usually takes place as the focal point of the event. This can be an outside speaker or a member of the group. Frequently, there will be a short question-and-answer segment with the presenter, depending on the time available.
Topics are directed toward the real estate investing industry. Common topics include (but are not limited to):
- Investment Strategies
- Tax Strategies
- Scenarios and Case Studies
- Advertising and Media
After the official meeting ends, most attendees find this a great time to network with others. This time to mingle is conducive to one-on-one conversations as attendees are usually a bit more relaxed and open to learning more. Some refer to this as the “meeting-after-the-meeting.” Important connections are often made and even business transactions can take place during this time.
Sometimes food and beverages are provided and many times they are complementary. Frequently, vendors who pay costs incurred for the event will benefit from being able to host a booth/table and/or speak shortly about their product or even be the primary presenter for the event.
Networking with other investors is a tremendous benefit for many who attend REIA meetings. The real estate investing business thrives on “people who know people.” Many people go to REIA meetings with various needs to help their real estate business grow.
For instance, it’s common at many REIA meetings to find someone who wishes to be a passive investor, with cash to loan out, and another person who has a deal they need cash for and is willing to do the active work to get the deal done. This is part of why REIA meetings can be quite fortuitous for both parties!
Another benefit of networking at an REIA meeting is to learn what other investors are doing to address challenges or accomplish goals.
For example, if you’re having difficulty with contractors, you may meet another investor who has enjoyed a good relationship with a contractor and will happily recommend their work. Just asking anyone at a meeting how they handled a situation with zoning may lead you to a reliable attorney who may be able to guide you through that maze. The value to your business by networking at an REIA meeting alone can be well worth the time it takes to attend the meeting.
Mentorship is very important in the life of an Investor. A mentor can help an investor navigate through the learning curve of your investing focus with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Many well-seasoned and experienced Investors attend REIA meetings and some are willing to assist a less-experienced investor to learn more about the business.
Getting the Most Out of a REIA Meeting
As mentioned previously, one of the principal benefits of an REIA is to network, network, network.
Don’t be afraid to mingle with others! It is extremely important to be professional and practice courtesy to all. You never know when the next hand you shake could be one that belongs to a future long-time successful partnership or an incredible mentor!
It is important to have business cards available for a quick exchange of contact information with others. Have a notebook and pen ready to take notes from the presentation or to get information from others.
Who Operates a REIA?
REIA meetings are typically organized by an individual investor or a company.
If a company is hosting the meeting, the topics presented may be based on that company and how their product or service may help your business.
For example, if a meeting is organized by a Hard Money Lender, many of the meetings/presentations will focus on topics such as how hard money can help finance your next deal.
Likewise, if the sponsor is a self-directed IRA company, you may have the opportunity to learn about how notes can be used in real estate investing.
How to Find a Local REIA
REIA meetings are generally found anywhere group meetings are advertised. Many local REIAs can be found at websites that advertise group meetings. One common website used to organized REIA meetings is Meetup.com. You can also conduct a general web search for REIA in your area or search for REIA groups on Facebook or LinkedIn.
If a REIA is well-organized, it will usually have a website with useful information. A lot can be learned by visiting the website of the REIA. It is usually worthwhile to check out the website for an About page or Mission Statement. The content found on those pages can reveal the purpose or focus for this REIA – which can help you determine if attending one of their meetings would be a good use of your time.
REIA’s will typically advertise their next meeting time and location on their website as well as other pertinent information such as program, cost (if any), parking advice, etc.
What is NREIA?
The National Real Estate Investors Association (NREIA) is a national trade organization that supports REIA groups around the United States. Legislative initiatives to support Real Estate Investors are a primary source of their work. Their membership offers investment and business courses, as well as discounts with selected vendors who cater to the Real Estate Investor market. NationalREIA.org also has a large directory of REIAs around the United States.
REIA is very similar to another acronym – REIC. An REIC stands for Real Estate Investors Club. An REIC differs in the fact that the sponsor of the club is frequently focused on what their products offer. An REIC meeting may include an extended sales pitch from the sponsor, and continued membership is typically connected to fees, dues, product, etc.