Real Estate Investing Incubator
Real Estate Investing Incubator:
Umm, why don’t we have these already?…
Over the past couple years I’ve been attending events at 1776, a startup incubator in downtown Washington, DC. Around the time they launched, I saw their info coming into my inbox and through my timeline and I thought it looked really cool– a tech incubator here in our town.
A good friend of mine had recently joined a DC-based startup around then and she invited me to the meet up groups and company launch parties that were being held at 1776. It was my first intro to that niche in the business world and I was really excited to check it out, especially since we were already web marketing junkies and were working on launching our own online business, REI 360.
So let’s back up a second, in case you are unfamiliar with the concept of an “incubator”:
An incubator in the startup world charges a monthly membership fee to entrepreneurs in exchange for the following:
Shared office space. Typically awesome space at that. In the case of 1776, it’s the entire top floor of an office building next to the White House spanning about 15,000 sq feet and the decor is so cool that you immediately pull out your phone to make a quick video.
Access to funding. Several VCs and angels are associated with the incubator and you, as a member, will be able to pitch your business idea to them.
The Community. You’re surrounded everyday by other entrepreneurs trying to make something out of nothing, just like you are. That in itself is really powerful. Also, the Community includes the necessary third party service providers such as lawyers, accountants, etc that the founders will need if their company does take shape.
Many great tech companies got their start at incubators like this one and having one close to home with a few friends working there seemed really cool to me, not because I was going to benefit directly in any way, it’s just a world I enjoy being connected to.
(Fast forward a year or so to 2014 and Jason and I looking for new office space)
We run a few real estate companies from our office and our growing operation needed more space badly. We’ve really been expanding our own Community recently (partners, staff, clients, etc) and began holding in-office lunches, training, meetup groups, etc, when something occurred to me:
Why aren’t there incubators in the real estate investing industry??
Tech clearly has them and in real estate you could even see a Realtor office as a type of incubator.
Real estate investing would be a great niche for the incubator concept.
First, there is relatively little barrier to entry. Basically, you just need to save a few bucks and do a lot of homework.
But there is no manual on how to do it right, no college course about it and no big companies to get your start with.
So… to really get a fast start and avoid a ton of mistakes along the way, you will need the same things an incubator would provide…most of which we already had in place:
Funding. Our main business, Hard Money Bankers, provides debt and equity for real estate investment deals.
Community. Our staff and clients have grown into an awesome real estate resource and a great group to spend time with.
Shared space. Ok, we were missing this one and our partners and staff were crammed into 1400 sq feet with barely enough room for a lunch meeting. But the thought of being on the hook financially for a huge, expensive office made me a little ill so we decided to start smaller…
With 3300 sq ft of space for us, our staff, a few clients and plenty of room for lunches, parties, meetups and to practice putting. It’s a work in progress so please bear with me.
Welcome to Hard Money Bankers and REI 360 Headquarters AND the first real estate investing incubator that I know of.
Our own little world of business, collaboration, personal growth and fun 🙂