Real estate has created more millionaires than any other investment on the planet. Real estate investment clubs provide an excellent way to build your network. Clubs vary in type; try to find a club that emphasizes education rather than one that sells products all the time. The price to attend club meetings varies; some are even free the first time you attend. You may want to join more than one club to increase your networking opportunities.

At a local club in our area you can meet wholesalers, real estate agents or brokers, investors, hard-moneylenders, general contractors who specialize in rehabbing, real estate attorneys, accountants, and many other people who are interested in real estate. Their expertise varies, as does the length of time that they have been investing.

At a typical club, you’ll find people like you who have made real estate investing work for them and are eager to share their success. At almost every meeting there are individuals who stand and announce that association members helped “do a deal” and make tens of thousands of dollars.

Finding a real estate club in your area is easy using the Internet. Do a Google search or use to find a club in your state. You may also want to contact clubs when you get ready to travel to a new area. Contact the club, tell them of your travel plans, and have them suggest real estate agents in the area. These agents, who have knowledge of the local areas, will be able to help you find a neighborhood that is experiencing growth. They will help you find properties that meet your criteria. They may know contractors, sub-contractors, rehabbers, or handymen who can provide the necessary repairs. Utilize the contacts you have to build your network in a variety of areas.

Soon you will know people, who know people, who are “key players” in real estate in the area you are interested in visiting. Real estate investment clubs can show their members how to profit in changing times. The associations you make through a club can help you leverage the success of others. Why reinvent the wheel if you can simply emulate the strategies of people in your network? Special breakout sessions for the beginning investor, information on short sales, and lease options, land lording and other topics are often available. These are often available to members at reduced prices. Attendance and participation at one or more of the real estate investment clubs in your area will allow you to network with other investors in the area, will help you build your dream team faster, will broaden your knowledge of real estate investing, and is fun. When time permits volunteer to work for your club-hand out name badges, “meet and greet” first time attendees at the door, help set up booths, make phone calls or type up rosters. All of these activities could help you on the fast track to financial freedom.

Gail Long and her husband John have approached real estate as a vehicle for building financial security for their family and for their retirement. They include their children in the business, taking them to real estate seminars and having them help with rehab properties and rentals. Gail has studied real estate for more than 30 years and has attended seminars throughout the United States. Her focus is residential property. Amber Sea