NAREIA Winter Cruise
The Real Estate Association of Puget Sound (REAPS) is a chapter member of the National Real Estate Investors Association (NAREIA). As such, REAPS members are invited to take advantage of various NAREIA-sponsored benefits, such as discounts at Home Depot and Sherwin Williams. Another benefit open to any REAPS member is to take a cruise with other NAREIA members from around the country on their annual winter cruise. This annual cruise has connected 5000+ investors from more than 70 cities on a fun-filled week at various warm and sunny ports of call, while also enjoying the opportunity to listen to and interact with nationally-known investment speakers. I was fortunate enough to participate on the thirteenth annual NAREIA cruise last month. Best of all, it was an educational experience that qualified as a business write-off! It was also my very first cruise, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Several other members of REAPS also attended, including Angelique Tinney, Sheila Lair, Shan Whiteside, and Chizu Salisbury. Nationally-known speakers who participated on the cruise agenda included Andrew Cordle, Anthony Chara, Carl Fischer, Larry Goins, Tom Hennigan, Jillian Sidoti, Robyn Thompson, Scott Whaley, Pete Youngs, and Tony Youngs, among others. Topics included private money investing, investing with real estate funds, treating your real estate investment as a business, multifamily investing, and finding the hidden market for properties. Our cruise departed from San Juan, Puerto Rico and several of us took a few extra days to explore the bioluminescent bay of Fajardo by kayak, walk the streets of historic old San Juan, or visit the fortifications protecting the walled city. The cruise stopped at ports of call in St Thomas, St Kitts, Aruba and Curacao. I had fun snapping pictures of the many "fixers" available for sale on the islands (that is, when I wasn't hiking through rain forest, swimming and snorkeling in the Caribbean, or sightseeing on shore excursions). Two full days were spent at sea, and on those days we had full-day sessions conducted by the national speakers, anxious to promote their educational products to chapter leaders. For those of us involved in REAPS leadership, it was an opportunity to test-drive potential future speakers for our own association. I blogged about each of the educational sessions that I attended, and more detail on these sessions may be found there: www.wendywonder.blogspot.com Evening dinners were sit-down affairs (two formal nights) where NAREIA guests were able to table-hop to sit with whomever they wanted to meet or greet. There were also a few private NAREIA receptions and cocktail parties. These were great opportunities to network and learn from more savvy investors from all over the country. If you love to cruise, or are looking for an excuse to cruise, or simply want more opportunities to learn from experienced real estate investors in a relaxed environment, then you might want to consider going on next year's cruise. The cruise next year will be February 9-15 and costs $895 per person for a basic inside cabin. The cruise departs from Miami and travels to Grand Turk, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. For more information, contact NAREIA directly at 888-762-7342.