Real estate agent talks what ‘sparked’ investment group

Chris Pierog and his wife Hannah have sparked something that has taken hold throughout Grays Harbor, and they don’t seem to be slowing down.

The group, Grays Harbor Real Estate Investing Group, already has 327 members. The group has been around since February 2023.

The 28-year-old Pierog, from Montesano, explained how the group got started.

“We’re just local investors, we were born and raised here,” Pierog said. “We got back into (investing) about 2019 or so. My wife Hannah and I both invest in real estate.”

Pierog, who works for Spivey Realty Group, said they’ve been to some groups in Seattle, such as Washington Real Estate Investing, and to Thurston County Talks in Olympia.

“We just didn’t have anything down here very similar to it, so we thought about starting a group where we could get like-minded individuals together to talk about growing and working together,” Pierog said. “I feel there’s kind of a stigma where if you invest you’ve kind of got to keep everything close-minded and not really talk to other people, like there’s not enough deals or projects to really invest in around here. But there are so many. There are so many ways you can help other people learn and to grow together. And so I felt like putting an open group together where you bring in professionals from different avenues to speak on different kinds of investing and different professions.”

Pierog said the group has had attorneys, lenders, residential and commercial lenders, tax accountants and “big professionals” from other groups and from Seattle.

“The idea is to bring people together to kind of spark conversation, to have a more open conversation instead of presentation-based,” Pierog said. “They’ll come in and they’ll talk about a topic, say the people in Olympia talked about short-term rentals and stuff like that. They kind of start off the conversation, but (the meeting) is more open-ended so you get to know and meet that person.”

Pierog said it’s more about “growth and building connections with people.”

“They spark the topic, kind of set the conversation and the mood for that meeting,” Pierog said. “And then maybe everyone’s mindset that month is on short-term rentals, so everyone’s gonna talk about that and ask questions about that. Or it might be more specific to people’s wants and needs. We try to make each month a little bit different.”

Pierog said Brian Smith, from Timberland Bank, has talked with the group. Smith is both senior vice president and a commercial loan officer.

“If someone’s looking to do commercial loans, maybe they’ll go to that one and actually get to meet (Smith) in person, instead of having to call or email,” Pierog said. “They can actually talk to him and say ‘hey Brian, this is my goal. I’m trying to get from point A to point B. Am I going to build a relationship with you?’ So it’s kind of about building relationships with investors and then with professionals. That’s kind of the whole idea about the group.”

The group meets all over Grays Harbor. Like with Grays Harbor Young Professionals, Pierog’s investment group rotates from business to business each month. While there are 327 members, Pierog estimated about 25 to 35 members usually show up to the free events.

“Each time, we like to jump (from business to business) to support multiple places,” Pierog said. “We’ve done it at Mount Olympus (Brewing) a lot and that’s where the next one is. But we also like to jump around. We’ve (met) in Elma, we’ve met in Monte. The goal is just to not only help different local businesses, but also get closer to certain people as well. I live in Monte. Some people come from Ocean Shores and some come from Elma, and so it’s just kind of hitting different areas.”

Pierog said changing the location allows the members to meet new people, and new business owners as well.

“We like to keep it public too, instead of just having it at one of our offices, because we like having the public join in too,” Pierog said. “We’ve had quite a few people actually just step in when we’ve been at Mount Olympus. They see us talking and they hear about it, and sometimes they turn their seat and they listen.”

Pierog laid out the usual format for the after work meetings.

“Usually, from 5:30 to 6 is kind of to get in the door,” Pierog said. “Anywhere from 6 to 7 is usually presentation time. Some people do it in 15 minutes, some do it in an hour if they have a lot to talk about. Like I said before, people ask questions in between that and that’s totally fine to raise your hand and ask a question. And then it usually ends at 7 to 7:30. But we’ve had people stay late until 8 or 8:30. It just really depends. We’re not kicking anybody out. We’re just there to learn and grow together.”

Pierog noted an interesting meeting came from hearing Casey Roloff, chief executive officer and town founder of Seabrook, speak about Seabrook.

“That was really cool,” Pierog said. “He talked about developing the town, how he got into that, and his backstory. So that was really interesting.”

Pierog said people of all investment backgrounds have joined the group.

“It’s definitely set up to meet any type of investor or person,” Pierog said. “So if they’re doing their first deal or if they’re trying to systematize and do their like 50th deal. It’s a mix of newbies to pros. That’s what’s nice because you can come in and meet new people and kind of grow together in that aspect. We’ve had a lot of people come in with no deals and then they end up buying their first deal because of the people they’ve met.”

The real estate investors in the group are from all fields.

“There are contractors coming in, real estate agents obviously, lenders, everything,” Pierog said. “It’s really good. We’ve really been enjoying it.”

To join the group, search on Facebook for Grays Harbor Real Estate Investing Group. The next meeting for the group takes place on June 11 at 5:30 p.m., at Mount Olympus Brewing — 105 W. Heron St., in Aberdeen.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at