Is it normal for REI clubs to charge a fee just to get in??? This took me by complete suprise! I went, out of the blue, and I did not have any cash on me!How embarrassing!! I know the info was worth it but shouldn’t we all share this info for free!!!
I was posting like crazy on the TCI web site trying to add whatever I could to help new investors as well as this site and then Hitler stepped in and cut me off at the knees and shut down access and said I had to pay $69 to join. I had a few bad words for them that I will not share here.
If you are talking about local clubs. the 90 to 100 per year may be reasonable as the meeting rooms costs some bucks per month. I am trying to set up a free one here in Austin but so far the library is the only free meeting room I can find and they have too short of hours etc.
Tim started a great site here when it was Austinreiclub and it has gotten better and better as it has expanded. We are trying to do a good job to moderate the site where ad after ad from members do not keep popping up. All the moderators including myself work hard for free to pitch in and help when we can. Some other sites may have to pay for stuff like this and I know Tim has a small staff to support the site and gets some revenue from the banners. I hope he continues to provide a free site here but I would pay if I needed to. It helps me in other ways too vast to mention. I hope many folks benefit as much as I do.
Is it normal for REI clubs to charge just to get in?
Yes, this is normal. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, though. If someone invited you, then you should have either gotten a free pass or at least been told about the door fee. The majority of REIAs/clubs also give you a free one time visit and only charge the door fee on your second + visit, though apparently, this one does not.
Shouldn’t we all share this info for free?
Well, no I don’t really believe so. First, you said so yourself, the information that you received was worth it. This alone is enough to warrant paying for the information. Why? because information gained freely is rarely ever “worth it,” at least to who gained the info.
Second, REI clubs have expenses that must be paid. The money that they receive for memberships/door fees/etc is what they use to meet those expenses. Those meeting rooms, tables, snacks, drinks, etc and most importantly, the speaker do not come free. So if the club gave the information freely, they would not be in business long enough to give ANYONE much information.
Third, REI clubs have members that have paid an annual fee in order to gain the most use out of the club. Would it be fair to charge them an annual fee, but let anyone else in off the street to come to the meetings for free? I don’t think so.
Fourth, the majority of REI clubs main purpose is to educate both active and new investors. Education rarely, if ever, is free. This free notion comes up alot in the REI community. However, I’d like to see how you fair at it if you were to go to the local college and ask them “why do I have to pay to take these classes? Shouldn’t you just share all your knowledge with me for free?” And that is what you are getting at a REI club, knowledge. The knowledge and experience of that month’s speaker AND all of the experienced investors within the club.
I’ve spent a ton of time, money and effort in learning the business of real estate investing and I’m good at what I do. I’ve taught others how to be successful in the business too. However, they too spent alot of time money and effort in learning it. My time has value and I charge for it, but every successful person that I trained thought it was “worth it.”
Fifth and final, if you want free information, then you’ve found a good place, as the reiclub.com forums offer some excellent free advice. But you also get what you pay for. While most of the advice is good, you never know if you are getting an answer from a knowledgeable experienced investor or just someone who is repeating answers from the latest book or course that they have read. You can also go to the library and rent out books on the subject there. However, if you have questions, there is no one to answer them. At a club, there will be experienced investors there who will answer your questions and they know the market that you will be investing in.
Sorry if this sounded a little harsh, but I have strong views on “free advice.”
Good luck in your investing
Thanks Ted, I just did not know much about these clubs and when I got there I was not prepared to spend money so soon. Although, the info they had was the excellent. Again, thanks for replying!
Thanks for the input Roger. I am very new to the game and almost anything will suprise at this point. I do agree that information that is free usually is worth nada! But I did not get a free pass and I had no hint of a fee until I got there. But you live and you learn. i will go back and I would suggest for any new investor to get into one of these clubs for the main fact that they are a good source of contacts. This one had everything from attorneys to hard money lenders. You have made a very good point and I appreciate that! Please feel free to give me your true oppinion anytime!
yes i know of clubs that charge between 130 - 230 a year to join. However you have to remember they pay for the room where they meet and other events also.