I’m a firm believer in the power of networking. No matter your business, no one can be as successful alone as they can with the efforts and guidance of others. That holds true for the real estate business as there are many moving parts to the machine. If you’re an investor, you have your online marketing, offline marketing, sales force, finances, private lenders, market research, etc. If you’re a homeowner or homebuyer, you have your own research, your agent and your mortgage lender on your team. Throw in a handyman or general contract, a title/escrow agent and maybe even a real estate attorney, and there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen. Trying to take it on yourself can be maddening.
This is where networking is useful because it provides a key ingredient to success: LEVERAGE. You can leverage the efforts, the knowledge and the services of others you come in contact with. Likewise, you can provide leverage to others. It’s cliche but true: networking should be a win-win situation.
So with that said, I thought it would be helpful here to list some of the more popular Hawaii real estate groups that I’ve had the pleasure of joining or getting to know. By no means is this exhaustive, so please feel free to leave a comment below with any that I’ve missed. Here we go:
The Action Takers — This is a group for professionals of any sort but mostly focuses on real estate and finance. A small but growing group, The Action Takers focuses on just that — taking action. This is not for tire kickers! It doesn’t matter if you’re new or a veteran, just be ready to get your hands dirty. Currently the group meets at a local establishment for an investor happy hour 🙂 the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. Check the website for locations. My friend Jon Kutsmeda founded in early 2010, and Jon and I now serve as co-organizers for this group. We’re a friendly bunch, so come on down and say hello.
HIREI (Hawaii Real Estate Investors) — HIREI has a large following here on Oahu. Monthly meetings are held the first Thursday evening of the month at the Japanese Cultural Center on Beretania St. A hundred people at a meeting is not unusual, so bring business cards. There is a little bit of time for networking before and after, but most of the evening is dedicated to the evening’s guest speaker. HIREI also puts on a yearly real estate convention and sponsors buying tours on the mainland.
Wealth Clubs of America — Wealth Clubs is a more recent organization but is founded by some long-standing, well-known members of the Hawaii real estate investment community. Location varies but they meet the first Tuesday evening of the month. There is usually a networking game or two in the beginning followed by one or two guest speakers.
FAMES Hawaii — FAMES Hawaii is a local leadership, development, education and mentoring organization. It is not a real estate group per se but often draws from the real estate crowd. FAMES is about breaking through personal barriers in the professional world. It’s a fantastic organization that I’ve been a part of since the summer of 2010 and I highly encourage any professionals to check it out. FAMES meets the first Wednesday of every month in the banquet room of Dave & Buster’s next to Ward Theaters. There’s time for networking in the beginning of the program, over dinner (included in cost) and after the night’s guest speaker. FAMES also gives out plenty of door prizes each and every month and sponsors a day-long education seminar in the summer among other events.
Real Deals Hawaii — Real Deals is another relatively new group on the scene but one that’s gathering a loyal following. Spearheaded by a local investment company and real estate brokerage, this group sets itself apart by presenting deals each month as joint venture opportunities. No speakers, just deals. Meet fellow investors and then sit back as the deals of the month are presented on the projector screen. It’s unique and I suggest checking them out. They meet the second Thursday of the month in town. Check the site for locations.