August Recap of Real Estate Investor Meetups

Quick highlights for August:

- San Mateo Real Estate Investor Meetup has now surpassed 130 members!

- We've created and shared a spreadsheet of real estate Meetups in the Bay Area to find the most active and thriving. If interested, please shoot an email at for your free copy.

- Kevin attended three other real estate Meetups in the area.

What do other Meetups have to offer?

We began exploring other real estate Meetups around the Bay to:

1. Learn how to improve our Meetup

2. Help others identify quality Meetups to meet their needs

3. Expand our network and identify key resources for our group

There are a lot of stale Meetups that haven't met in years so we began our journey into finding the best. Of the three Meetups we attended last month, here's our quick summary for each and a quick comparison to our Meetup.

San Jose Real Estate Networking Club

For those who love to network in a bigger crowd. Best if you are not completely or relatively new so you have something to bring to the conversation.

- Cost: $15 per meeting

- When: 4th Wed of every month, 7 - 9 pm

- Location: Harry's Hofbrau (390 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose)

- Average group attending: 40-50 people

- Meetup group subscription: 2,000+ members

- Host: Jeffrey Pollack of Trident Equity Group (rehabber)


- An in-person real estate market to network, present deals and listen to a presentation by either a group member about their business or guest speaker on various topics.

- Presentation of monthly metrics update on local market - Santa Clara county.

- A good place to learn if you're relatively new.


- Potentially intimidating for new investors with size of group and sophisticated real estate language/ terms used.

- Fairly large meeting room so a sound system and microphone is required to speak and ask questions, which could be uncomfortable for new investors.

- South bay location makes it challenging for those commuting through rush hour.

This month's presenter: Keith Tomao on Private Lending

Keith discussed his transition into Private Lending and why Wall Street, aka online platforms, don't invest in single fix and flips like private lenders. These online crowdfunding platforms have a Loan Broker business model - they originate to distribute loans to new investors. The Private Lender business model both originates AND manages the loan from end-to-end for their investors, making it a truly passive investment.

Private Lending in real estate is the best investment Keith (a former Goldman Sachs managing director!) has ever seen. If he could lend $10M a day on Bay Area real estate, Wall Street and others would eagerly fund all of his deals for as low as 6% to the borrowers. Due to smaller volume and size, rehabbers instead pay closer to 9+% to private lenders.

Bay Area Buying Houses For Profit Group

Organizers pitch their deals and business. Welcoming and useful information for both new and seasoned investors.

- Cost: $15 per meeting

- When: 4th Thur of every month, 7 - 9 pm

- Location: Hilton Garden Inn San Mateo

- Average group attending: 20-30 people

- Meetup group subscription: 300+ members

- Host: Raul Luna of Properties180, LLC (rehabber)


- Good for both new and seasoned investors.

- Raul presented one of his completed rehab deals in Modesto, CA to show his quality, expertise and described it in terms of how others could do it too.

- Raul's wife is very welcoming and greets everyone with a smile.

- Located in San Mateo, a central location of the Bay Area.


- Potentially intimidating for new investors with size of group and sophisticated real estate language/ terms used.

- Sales pitch focused (invest in Raul's business and/or buy the presenter's training course). To be fair though, there are a lot of useful tips and information if you're looking to become a more sophisticated investor.

This month's presenter: Chris Porto on Land Entitlements

Chris discussed the process it takes to acquire and build on land in 3 steps: 1) Land Entitlement 2) Building Construction 3) Property Operation. His newly developed course is for honing office skills such as online research, phone calls and permitting at local city zoning offices instead of the onsite fix and flips skills needed for rehabbers.

We liked his core values as he looks to make properties more profitable (increase mixed use space for both residential and commercial), more green (leverage solar and wind tax incentives), and more/ better utilized (subdivide lots or increase # of units per property), as well as to reduce traffic by finding properties near mass transit.

Real Estate University - Silicon Valley

Organizer teaches rehab and looks for investors. Focused, small group, if you're looking for just that.

- Cost: FREE

- When: 7 - 8:45 pm Mondays (series right now spanning 10 weeks)

- Location: Mitchell Park Library (Palo Alto) - Midtown Room 1st floor

- Average group attending: 6-12 people

- Meetup group subscription: 600+ members

- Host: Brian Kuzdas (rehabber/ developer)


- Good for both new and seasoned investors.

- Extremely knowledgeable about being a rehabber/ developer with over 20 years of experience from small to multi-million dollar projects.

- Straightforward about wanting to find investors for future deals.


- If you miss one of the sessions, you can watch the recording but need to pay for it.

- If you don't like group participation, it can feel a little uncomfortable.

Brian is currently running a 10 part series in which he highlights his company's internal processes for finding, funding and completing a development or rehab deal. This training course is what he uses to train his new acquisition managers.

How do we compare? Well...

San Mateo Real Estate Investor Meetup

Small group, intimate discussion to learn from others, welcoming to all for building trust and relationship.

- Cost: FREE

- When: Every other Wednesday, 7 - 8pm + networking after

- Location: Bobabia in downtown San Mateo

- Average group attending: 4-8 people

- Meetup group subscription: 100+ members

- Host: Kevin Peterson (private lender)


- Good for both new and seasoned investors.

- Deal making is welcome but less of a market to make deals and more of a mastermind group with years of experience rehabbing, developing, landlording and private lending. If you have questions, we have answers.

- It's a small group so you can get involved and contribute.


- The group is still growing and acquiring more expertise.

- Flexible agenda so it can be difficult to decide to attend or not without knowing more in advance.

Example questions that were brought up and addressed this last month:

Tax Questions:

What is passive vs. active real estate investing?

When is it good to be a real estate "professional" on your taxes?

Private Lenders' Questions:

Why are there so few private lenders?

What makes a good borrower to a private lender?

How do you build teams around the country, outside of your local area?

What is your selection criteria for funding a deal?

Rehabbers' Questions:

How to be a fundable rehabber to a private lender?

How to find a good contractor?

Wholesalers' Questions:

How to be a successful wholesaler?

Happy investing,

Kevin + Kiri

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