Networking is essential if you want to be successful in real estate. The more connections you make through networking, the more opportunities you’ll get. The more opportunities you get, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to build wealth through real estate. But networking isn’t only about what you can get. It’s also about what you can offer to others. That’s the first secret to learn. The intrinsic nature of networking is sharing, which is what makes it such a beautiful part of doing business. If you can truly understand that the nature of networking is actually an alliance of sharing, you’re well on your way to becoming a good networker. Following are more secrets to effective real estate networking.
Treat Networking Like an Ongoing Project
The relationships you begin through real estate networking need to be nurtured in order to be effective. Of course, you could just go to one or two networking events, collect a handful of business cards and never go back. But then your pipeline dries out. You need to go to real estate networking events again and again so you have a constant supply of fresh contacts. Every time you attend a real estate networking event, your fellow attendees will be a mix of people you saw last time, along with some new faces in the crowd. You want to both meet the new attendees and make new connections each time.
What many networkers don’t realize is that attending repeatedly also allows you the opportunity to nurture the relationships you’ve already started. Along with connecting with new attendees, reconnect with prior contacts at every event. Share what progress you’ve made on your projects and get updates on others’ projects. Cultivate the relationships through conversation. When you treat it as an ongoing project, your real estate network will not only grow in number, but also in strength.
Realize That There’s Always More to Learn
The most successful people in real estate know another secret. They know that there’s always something to learn. No one knows everything. There are so many possible scenarios and situations that there’s always more to glean from others’ experiences; both good and bad. Try to avoid adopting the attitude that you’ve got so many years under your belt that you don’t have to listen anymore to what other people have to say. That’s when you’ll miss out on the good stuff. It’s often worth it to listen to a long speech about something you already know in order to hear a tiny nugget of gold that you never knew before. Stay humble and realize that there’s always more to learn.
Know That Many Roads Lead to Real Estate
There isn’t just one path to becoming a successful real estate investor. Many possible niches exist in the world of real estate that you may not have considered before. Another secret to effective real estate networking is to widen the field of interest of the networking events you attend. For example, if you’re into something like turnkey rentals in Memphis, don’t limit yourself to attending events that focus only on that niche. If you hear of an event where the field of interest is foreclosures and short sales, go ahead and attend. You’ll meet new people at the very least. You may also gain valuable insight that gives you fresh ideas and strategies that pertain to your own interests. One of the best aspects of real estate is how you can use your own creativity to develop innovative opportunities. When you take the time to explore different real estate niches you just may be inspired.
Realize That You Aren’t There to Sell
Many people can’t wait to attend real estate networking events so they can run in there and advertise what they’re selling. They see a networking event as a room full of a captive audience. Another secret to keep in mind is, you aren’t there to sell. You’re there to help the real estate community. The community is helped by attendees who share their experiences, knowledge, and resources. Those attendees with a self-serving attitude, or who refuse to share information or resources aren’t really serving the community; they’re serving themselves.
In practical terms, avoid sales pitches at real estate networking events. It’s good to talk about what you do – in fact, that’s helpful to others. Everyone at the event is interested to learn what other attendees are doing to make money in real estate. But it’s counter-productive to dominate the conversation in a way that prevents others from talking about what they do or to force your sales pitch on people.
Keep Your Promises
At any real estate networking event you attend, you may collect dozens of business cards from people. Make it a practice to write yourself a little note on each card as to what action steps you need to take; whether you told them you’d call in a week, send them some documents or give them the name of your property manager. When you keep your promises to people, you become a reliable source for them. You also gain more validity in their eyes as a valuable contact. And, it’s just the right thing to do.
Try to be discreet when making notes for yourself. Develop a shorthand. Follow up on July 31st can become “F/U 7/31.” Send property management company contact info can become an arrow symbol next to “PM info.” Although no one will fault you for making notes, you don’t want to get too wrapped up in note taking, which can isolate you from the conversation. Another trick is to tuck business cards that need follow up action into one pocket and general business cards into another. However you choose to organize yourself though, call when you say you’re going to call and email when you said you were going to email. Keep your promises.
Learning the secrets of effective real estate networking will enable you to get more out of every event you attend. These tips will also make you a more valuable participant, which will ultimately reward you and your fellow investors.
This article has been contributed by Antoine Martel from MartelTurnkey.