Though Texas is well-known for its barbecue, rodeo, and cowboy culture, it’s also one of the best states for investing in real estate. Land is plentiful, living costs are low, and opportunity is as wide open as those cloudless prairie skies above the range. But real estate investors, especially novice ones, cannot do it alone. That’s why Austin-area real estate investors should join the Austin Real Estate Investment Association, or Austin REIA.

4 Steps for Joining the Austin REIA

  • Check out the Austin REIA Website.
  • Pick a Membership.
  • Pay for your Membership.
  • Enjoy the Benefits.

As mentioned, Texas is a great place for investing in real estate. It’s one of the fastest-growing states in the US in terms of population. Some areas of Texas provide even better opportunities for aspiring real estate investors than others. Austin is one such area, and one of the biggest reasons why is because of its fast tech growth. A quick visit to Austin will show you it’s investment opportunity potential.

Some might prefer working on individual houses that can be flipped, while others might prefer to get involved in an office building complex that can generate monthly cash flow. Making the right investment decisions can be difficult and is rarely free from issues. Even investors with lots of experience need tools for managing their real estate experience successfully. This is where a strong network can come in.

For investors just starting out, the Austin REIA is a legal, licensed, and safe place to learn more about the industry. You will meet plenty of like-minded people, everyone from full-time investors to full-time career individuals who want to generate cash flow from a second home or vacation property.

4 Steps for Joining the Austin REIA

Check out the website.

Visit the Austin REIA website to read about the club and its activities, along with a schedule of events. There are a few articles about the Austin housing market and commercial real estate investments. The site also lists the benefits of membership and presents upcoming residential and commercial workshops.

Pick a Membership.

The type of membership you select will depend on your situation.

All memberships come with local real estate market updates, opportunities to pitch deals on the members-only message board, and access to the insight of expert panels, special focus groups, and approved real estate training events. There are also in-person monthly meetings. Drop-ins for monthly meetings are $40 for non-members, but if you like what you see and join that evening, that fee will be applied to your annual membership price.

A personal membership can be purchased for an annual fee of $100. If you and your spouse or business partner want to join and attend meetings together, a partner membership is $150. If you and two other members of a business or investing group would like to join, a group membership is $200. If there are more than three members in your group, you can contact the Austin REIA directly to discuss corporate membership options.

Pay for your membership.

There is no lengthy application to become a member, you just need to be interested in learning more about real estate. Select the membership level that makes sense for you and the sign up page will take you to a payment portal. Fill in your details and make a payment with a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover credit card. If you would like to make an alternate payment arrangement (such as cash), you will need to speak to the Austin REIA directly, perhaps at a meeting (remember that your $40 drop-in fee can be applied to your membership).

Enjoy the benefits.

In addition to the benefits outlined above, Austin REIA membership has a few other perks, including access to wholesale real estate opportunities and special real estate financing opportunities for investors without cash or credit. You’ll get access to the largest network of buyers, sellers, real estate agents, property managers, and other investors in the Austin area and the greater state of Texas.

There’s a group discussion board for getting helpful information from experts, along with access to a regular Q&A expert panel—both of which can help address your unique Texas real estate investing goals.

Remember, the greatest benefit of all is the combined networking and educational opportunities afforded by participating in the monthly meetings. To that end, you should make sure to attend the monthly presentations as often as possible. If you’d like to know the topics of past presentations, you can take a look at the website.

What is the Austin REIA?

The Austin Real Estate Investors Association is a club meant to provide valuable real estate education and real estate networking opportunities for Texas real estate investors in and around the city of Austin. At the time of this article, the club is owned and led by Shenoah and Phil Grove, who are active local real estate investors and nationally acclaimed speakers on investing in real estate. Nancy Gonzalez is responsible to lining up the roster of local speakers to present valuable information to the local community of real estate investors.

While some local real estate investor associations make money on high fees, the Austin REIA prides itself on being run with a members-first mentality. Each speaker is carefully screened to make sure their content will prove valuable to local investors, and the club eschews inviting celebrity gurus who mainly make their money promoting products like books and DVD courses (and not actual real estate). The owners and coordinators of the Austin REIA view their work as a collaborative opportunity for everyone involved to network and make more money with real estate.

Benefits of Joining the Austin Real Estate Investors Association

Unlike other local REIA clubs, the Austin REIA does not list direct discounts with associated vendors. However, they do have a number of sponsoring vendors, and members of the REIA may be able to leverage their membership in the network to their advantage when working with its cultivated list of industry providers. Many of these investors are eager to find clients among Austin REIA members.

ISB Capital and Investor Loan Source (both sponsoring vendors) can be a great resource for financing new construction or providing real estate loans. The Austin REIA events are also sponsored by the American subsidiary of BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria), which could prove to be another source of financial help for commercial real estate investing and housing developments, hotels, and retail locations. Before purchasing properties, REIA members can leverage the services of FAST CMA, a software that analyzes properties on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to do a comparative analysis of nearby properties, which can help an investor determine the true worth and potential of a project.

However, the primary benefit of joining a real estate investors association, no matter where you are, is the combined networking and educational opportunities afforded by attending the monthly meetings and annual or semiannual special events and focus groups.

Austin Real Estate Investors Association Annual Events

One of the greatest benefits of joining the Austin REIA is the monthly meetings. They tend to center around a presentation topic such as Tax Appraisal and Appeal or How to Wholesale Real Estate, though there will occasionally be seasonal, social-centered events such as summer ice cream gatherings, winter holiday parties, and even a Halloween night of horror story real estate deals. Occasionally there will be a panel of experts discussing the general market instead of one expert presenting on a specific topic.

However, there are occasional workshops that can help investors get more training on a specific topic. The Residential Edition of the Texas Real Estate Workshop is a three-day, live training event that offers participants a practical, actionable, step-by-step guide for dozens of different strategies on how to find and profit from real estate deals in your locale, even without money. In 2019, this three-day event could be attended by two aspiring investors for less than $500.

The Commercial Edition of the Texas Real Estate Workshop is also a three-day, live training event for Texas investors, offering more information on Texas commercial real estate investments. The event is not just a seminar with experts onstage. It is a hands-on approach that involves a field trip to commercial multi-family properties and opportunities to meet deal sponsors in the Texas multi-family property vertical. Participants will also learn how to actively invest in bigger commercial deals or passively invest in local projects. Similar to the Residential Edition, the Commercial Edition can be attended by two for less than $500 in 2019.

When you consider that most real estate gurus charge thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars to attend their seminars, these events are real bargains. In addition to the real estate networking opportunity they provide, the value-to-price ratio speaks volumes about how dedicated the Austin REIA is to delivering valuable help to Texas investors.

The Austin REIA is Valuable for All Texas Investors

It’s important to note that the Austin REIA is not just a place for seasoned investors to mix, mingle, and close million-dollar deals. In fact, it’s primarily designed to educate aspiring investors who want to learn more about real estate investing for beginners, or even experienced investors in one area who want to branch out to others (such as going from residential to commercial). The Austin REIA is not a private club, but open to anyone interested in learning how to buy and sell properties or build up a portfolio of investment real estate.

Though it’s not entirely free, the membership fees in the Austin REIA are fairly low in comparison to other similar organizations around the country, as are the annual focus groups and workshops. If there is anything that could sway a potential investor to come off the fence, it should be that pricing point. For just $100 (in some cases, less for partner and group memberships) you can gain access to 12 informative presentations from hand-picked Texas experts on Texas Real Estate, along with networking opportunities and support. Real estate is one business where you can’t be a lone star—even in Texas—but if you have the network you need, you can find incredible opportunities to build real, lasting wealth.

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