Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Which real estate investment club is right for you?

Real estate investment clubs are popping up all over the place; but how do you go about choosing the best one for your needs? Start by checking out the National Real Estate Investors Association, which is a non-profit trade association and may be able to advise you. The Internet is an ideal place to search for real estate investment clubs that meet in your neighborhood, or online.

First of all, think about what you want and need from a club, and consider the following issues. What are the club's dues? Anything between $50 and $200 per year is standard, depending on the quality of services you receive from the club. Check out the club's other sources of revenue, as well. If the club's lecturers give your club a commission on products or services they sell, the lectures may be somewhat biased. Higher membership dues may mean that you receive more objective information. Ask members about the number of sales pitches they're exposed to through the club.

What kind of real estate investment education is provided by the club? Is it the kind of real estate that you're interested in, for example, commercial properties? You may just be getting your feet wet and need the fundamentals on real estate investment, or else you might be a seasoned investor looking to share tips with other experienced members. On the whole, it's worthwhile checking whether at least some of the club members are experienced investors because they are most likely to provide you with good advice and tips.

Who are the club's founders and why did they set up the club? Is the goal to share information and invest together or to sell their products? Is the club for-profit or non-for-profit? It's a good idea to ask if you can attend a few of the club's meetings before committing to a year's membership and paying the required dues.