From everything I’ve read and listened to throughout these initial weeks of my real estate investment journey, most of the successful people have become successful in part because of their network. The old adage “sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know” applies to real estate investing as well. Here is a recap of my past week as I looked to get out into the community and network with others in the real estate investing game.
With that in mind, I set out to find local events in my area for new and experienced real estate investors. One website that is useful for finding local events on just about any subject for any crowd is Meetup.com. I did a search on there for real estate investing events and found a plethora. The hard part now was to sift through the abundance of different groups in the Northern New Jersey/ Greater New York Area to see which ones would be worthwhile for me.
Monday, December 4th
The first event I decided to attend was the meetup by NJ Entrepreneur Investors Haven in Real Estate. This is a weekly meeting that has been held every Monday evening since March 2017 at La Rouge Restaurant & Lounge in Newark, NJ. The meetup is hosted by the restaurant’s owner and local venture capitalist and developer Benedict Guerrier.
The event began with Guerrier making a few opening remarks and discussing some of his latest remodeling projects. He then told a story of a young woman in attendance who had just recently closed on her first home! Amazing news! The woman was given a few moments to talk about her experience during the process. She expressed that one of her major headaches was the amount of time and number of back and forth exchanges with the bank in order to get approved for an FHA loan, mainly due to the fact that part of the down payment she used was gifted to her by her half-brother — the hassle was in proving that they were indeed related to each other.
After that initial discussion, the next part of the meetup featured a number of people personally invited to the event by Guerrier to discuss their area of expertise for those in attendance. Each person had a service in some field very integral to real estate development. In order, there was a woman experienced in credit repair, a mortgage loan officer, a property insurer, and an “easy” money private lender. I thought these people all did a good job in not only explaining what they do but giving good examples of how there services could be applied in different situations. Following their presentations, we were given a treat of hearing from special guests in the building, Essex County Freeholder Rufus Johnson and Newark City Council At-Large hopeful and former rapper Dupre Kelly. They discussed some of the upcoming initiatives being put in place by the city that would be favorable to investors as well as independent contractors looking to do business with the city of Newark and Essex County.
During the final section of the event, members of the audience were given the opportunity to come to the front and introduce themselves and tell everyone what they hoping to learn about from attending this meeting. Yours truly seized the opportunity to speak, and told everyone that I am interested particularly in multi-family units, mixed-use properties, and investing in discounted mortgage notes. Everyone else from the audience got to share their story and the event ended with a brief networking sessions where I was able to make a lot of great contacts not only for real estate but for my marketing consulting firm 🙂
I definitely plan to make this meeting one of the regular events that I attend. Everyone was very friendly and approachable and the information presented was invaluable. Another really great thing about this meetup is that it is always free!