Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Real estate investment clubs for fun and profit, with luck

Kimberly and Edward Rushing’s fledgling real estate investment venture got off to a rocky start.

Seven years ago, at the height of the housing market, the young couple bought a home they intended to fix up and flip in San Bernardino County.

“As soon as we bought it,” Kimberly Rushing said, “the market crashed.”

They realized, however, that there was an upside to a down market. They began attending events at real estate investment clubs. Listening to speakers and meeting mentors and potential partners, they learned the nuts and bolts of property investing and formed long-lasting connections.

“It was everything,” said Kimberly Rushing, 29, who runs the couple’s real estate investments while her husband is deployed as a Marine captain in Afghanistan. “Neither of us could have done it without the clubs.”

With the housing market improving and the prevalence of social media, real estate investment clubs are proliferating. Events, typically held once a month, attract a variety of professionals, including accountants, tax lawyers, real estate agents and a mix of old-time and newbie property investors, flippers and landlords alike.

For a small fee at the door that costs less than a couple of cocktails, the evening includes a social hour, an economics and housing market update, a quick plug from a sponsor or two, the featured speakers, then more networking later.

Many clubs, like those the Rushings have attended, focus on education and networking, rather than pooling members’ money for the club to invest.

Other clubs, however, are set up to promote a particular investment program or product. There, prices can run into thousands of dollars, and attendees might be pressured to sign up for other, more expensive courses.

“Is the interest of the club to educate, or is the interest of the club to sell you?” said Joshua Dorkin, who founded the popular investment site BiggerPockets.com and is an outspoken critic of expensive seminars.

“My advice to somebody who’s looking to go to a club: Be aware that any event you go to, there’s very likely going to be somebody there who might be pitching you,” he said. “No. 1 is always leave your wallet at home. There’s no easy way to make money in real estate. There’s no ‘get rich quick.’ ”

Investors attending recent meetings of such clubs said the events have offered them a chance to learn from experienced speakers, meet lenders or eventual partners and pick up everything from tax tips to referrals for roofers.

“Old-time landlords and newbies need to talk to each other,” said Steve Dexter of Laguna Beach as he waited for an Orange County investors association meeting in Costa Mesa to begin one evening in March.

Although experienced investors have money to spend, Dexter said, “Old-timers don’t want to go out there and tear up the landscape looking for deals.”

Dexter, who buys and rents properties, says the so-called get-rich real estate gurus don’t adequately explain how difficult being a landlord can be. He’s written books instructing property owners on how to do it better.

Dorkin encourages new investors to seek out local mentors.

“Do what you can to connect with them and befriend them. Volunteer your time and energy to work with them,” he said. “I liken it to the old blacksmithing days. You want to be an apprentice to a guy in your neighborhood who you know knows his business.”

Some clubs have colorful names or gimmicks. One new club, Lady Landlords of Orange County, also welcomes men. But founder Jasmine Willois said that after a former stint as a stockbroker for a Wall Street “boys club,” she wanted to create an organization that would be particularly appealing to women.

Her club is an outgrowth of her Real Lady Landlords of San Diego, a concept she’s hoping to take across the country.

“We don’t push programs; we push education and networking,” Willois said. “We’ll show you how to get involved without spending $30,000.”

Willois, who said she couldn’t afford to start out buying homes in San Diego, invests in properties in Indianapolis, and teaches others how to find investment markets outside their backyards.

“You don’t have to fight over deals with these big millionaires to get into this game,” she said.

———

HOW TO VET REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT CLUBS

Before you attend a real estate investment club or seminar, and especially if there’s a chance that you could wind up spending a significant amount of money, know what to expect. Some questions to ask:

—Does the meeting draw speakers with a variety of backgrounds, or is it devoted to pitching a particular program?

—What are the credentials of the recent/upcoming speakers?

—How much time is allotted for networking?

—Are there opportunities to ask questions?

—What does it all cost? If there’s a tiered system, what do I get at each level?

—Be wary of promotions that claim you can make big money fast; there’s no risk; the deal is a sure thing; you can earn a lot by working part time at home; you’ll be coached to success every step of the way; or if you don’t buy right now, you’ll lose out.

SOURCES: BiggerPockets.com; Federal Trade Commission

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

    By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    Celebrate the magic of Christmas

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

     
    Santas have busy week at schools

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

     
    Safe streets task force work nets 3

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

     
     
    Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

    Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

     
     
    Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

    Police arrest 2nd suspect in Fairfield credit union robbery

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    US / World

    Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

     
    Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
     
    Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    California’s top utility regulator defends record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

    Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

     
    ‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Russian sailors leaving France without warship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

     
    Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    European court rules obesity can be a disability

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

    .

    Opinion

    Another look at school bonds

    By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

    News of the day strikes a chord

    By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

     
     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

     
    Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

     
    Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

    .

    Entertainment

    Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Review: ‘The Hobbit’ wraps with a Middle Earth melee

    By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

    .

    Sports

    A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    Raiders defense depleted by injuries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

    By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

    Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    ‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

     
    39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

     
    This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Business

    Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

     
    Dow industrials have their best day in three years

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Obituaries

    Lisa Dee McHughes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Dominic C. Scolaro

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Travis Curt Price

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Jennie Ponce Reyes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics