Sometime last year around November, I got a random message from someone I'd never met before through an online real estate forum, BiggerPockets - John Van Uytven. The only thing I knew about him: Like me, he was living in Korea, and like me, he was a member of BiggerPockets.
What started out as messages back and forth eventually ended up with us grabbing coffee to talk about real estate investing. I brought along my real estate partner, Benjamin Hauser, who also lives and works in Korea.
One thing led to another and after a couple more meetings, John said the next time we meet up, he'd post something on meetup.com to see if anyone else would be interested in joining us. We were surprised when we took up almost an entire floor of a coffee shop with over 12 people showing up including fellow BiggerPockets members Josh McNicoll and Jacob Michaels.
Thus, the Seoul Real Estate Investing Meetup was born.
At last meeting we had Brandon Turner Skype in. Here's a clip from the meeting in which he tells about his worst real estate experience ever! (Warning: You may not want to watch if you're about to eat!)
And at this meetup, the head cheese himself, Joshua Dorkin was kind enough to take time out of his busy Friday night to join us. Here's a short clip from the interview. (Watch til the end and see how Josh McNicoll convinces Josh to visit Korea - and it has nothing to do with real estate!)
The meetup has now grown to more than 110 people and more than 30 people in attendance. It was literally a standing room by the end.
In addition to Joshua Dorkin, we also had Sandy Rodriguez discuss her real estate investments in Arizona as well as local real estate agent, Jeff Yu, who explained different ways of investing including gweonligeum - a system where the former tenant of a building receives money from a new tenant for any added value that was created during the former tenant's tenancy.
A year ago I started on this journey into real estate. I had no idea what I was doing - I just knew that this was something I wanted to do for the future. I started like most people - by reading and reading and reading. I learned a lot, but it wasn't until I joined BiggerPockets and actually started to meet and connect with others that I made real progress.
And by progress I mean forming a joint venture with Ben and fellow BiggerPockets members Kelly L. and Maxwell Lee last year and closing on my first buy and hold rental property in Jacksonville, Florida at the end of 2014.
If I could somehow buy a house in a state I've never visited with partners I knew only through the internet; help organize a meetup of real estate investors in Korea; and have Josh Dorkin and Brandon Turner attend our meetups, all while living and working in Korea, running a business and raising two children, then I think anyone can do it!
If you're involved in a meetup in another country, send me a message or post to this thread! I think we share a special kinship as "international meetups," and I'd love to discuss how things are going.
Lastly, for the members of our meetup, post an introduction to yourself on this thread here. Let the BP community know who you are and what you're doing out in Korea!
And now for some photos: