It has been a pleasure and an honor to join the AZREIA team. Since October, I have been like a “kid in a candy store” working alongside Alan, Maureen and the entire staff, putting into place the future of AZREIA and our industry. A little about me, I have been in this industry indirectly all of my life, growing up with a father who was a general contractor and a mother who was a property manager. Twelve years ago, I came to the real estate investing industry and started working for National REIA continuing my career in meetings and conferences.  My primary task began with helping REIA leaders around the country rethink the way they offered information and content to participants with varied learning styles in their respective classrooms. Fast forward to my immediate past role as Executive Director of Colorado’s REIA. My advisory board was made up of three Eagle Scouts, who impressed upon me the unique way the Boy Scouts honed in and demonstrated their education model. The Boy Scouts took a page from one of the countries principle thought-leaders, philosophers, and inventors, Benjamin Franklin, who said, “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” The Boy Scouts believed that you must “LEARN-DO-TEACH” to earn your badges and move up in the ranks through a set pathway to learn the skill, practice to master the skill, and in return teach those around or below you for skillset mastery.

So, I began asking myself, what is the Real Estate Industry’s “Boy Scout Manual”? What are our badges, and more importantly what does our “LEARN-DO-TEACH” model look like? How can we change the classroom so that the focus isn’t on the transfer of information but the practice and application of information…“THE HOW.” So flipping the script from learning the theory behind the skillset to now PRACTICING THE SKILLSET, and ultimately adding the ability to DO THIS ON YOUR OWN or what has been coined as “experiential learning!” As I began to look at all of the elements, the first piece was the old “Sage-from-the-stage” model:  Where subject matter experts gets on stage and dish out information that has worked for them. I don’t know about you, but my attention span these days keeps getting shorter and shorter. Add on to that, how social media has affected the way we interact in the form of a conversation. Meaning that we are moving to an environment where those who do the talking, do the learning.

So, I thought what if we incorporate several subject matter experts who can discuss multiple points and include the participants in the day to day application through case studies to see real-life practice? Did I mention that these subject matter experts are professionals who are actively practicing this skill by being, both, in the market day-in and day-out and product or service provider? Having this type of educator is an important component.  They are working with clients just like you, allowing them to use real-time market data. They use their existing clients as case studies to give you practical information tailor-made for you. So, now you’ve learned the theory, practiced the theory on your own, and you have built up an arsenal of not only subject matter experts but also active resources to help you when you are in the trenches. Next, we have converted the classroom into a working lab, but then it becomes a marketplace with service providers who will eventually become resources for you at any point down the road when their assistance becomes applicable.

So, what does this mean to you, as an AZREIA member? Well, it’s time to bring this “Experiential Learning” model to Arizona and we have two outstanding opportunities focusing on key pain points for investors like yourself in the current Arizona Real Estate Market. Our first event, The Out of State Investing Summit | February 23-24, is focused on the inventory crunch that we see across the state, the opportunity that exists in other markets, and how to do your due diligence to remove the risk. The hardest part of this strategy is time, how can you collect the data and resources to make an educated decision and comfortably execute in an unknown market. That is why we’re “bringing the mountain to Mohammad!” At this event, we are identifying four key markets where good-better-best opportunities exist for investing. We will provide you with a market expert who will, just like at our AZREIA meetings, present a detailed market study keying in on market indicators including major planning and development and a discussion on what is driving that market and its sustainability. Each market expert will provide recent case studies for you to learn and practice running numbers, estimating repairs, understand the market nuances. We’ll deep dive into each market including code, laws, and regulations, provide you with resources like attorneys, contractors, and property management. Plus, to sweeten the deal, we’re asking them to bring inventory that should a marketplace make sense to your criteria or investment portfolio, you’ll be able to walk away with your next deal.

In April, look forward to the Creative Deal Making Academy | April 13-14th! This event answers the opposite to a hot market, and that is making offers that stick. Being able to look at a deal and proposing multiple offers for the same deal including offering over asking price by offering terms that make sense to the buyer and seller.  In addition to making offers, Creative Deal Making’s foundation is understanding partnerships and joint ventures that ultimately allow you to use one or more strategies to alleviate tying up your working capital. We are assembling a stable of some of the most creative real estate minds across the country to help you build your creative deal-making financing-toolbox to include Seller Financing, Raising Private Money, Leveraging Retirement Accounts, Options, Wrap Mortgages, and Subject To’s. Th e best part of this event is day 2, a full day hands-on lab. You will work in a group setting to analyze deals to practice strategies you’ve learned, understand and incorporate multiple strategies into one deal, and you will network with participants through these exercises to find your future deal partners. It will be the best speed networking and learning event you’ve ever seen!

We couldn’t be more excited, and based upon preliminary response it sounds like you are as well. Without a doubt these events will be at capacity, so save the dates and register early. We’ll see you there!

By Troy Miller,  Associate Executive Direction AZREIA