Real estate networking is the ignition switch to an investment vehicle. By regularly attending events and social functions, networking puts investors in the driver seat to obtain more customers, increase revenue and improve their reputation. While real estate networking can open the doors to opportunities, it can also unlock Pandora’s Box. To become a networking powerhouse, it’s important that investors, especially beginner investors, understand what not to do.
Real Estate Networking No-No’s: 4 Major Mistakes To Avoid
In the game of real estate networking, it’s critical to learn from mistake, regardless if they are self inflicted or observed by others. The goal as a novice investor is to mitigate those mistakes until they cease to exist. In order to build a real estate network of people who know you, like you, trust you, and most importantly, want to help you out, investors should stay clear of the following networking no-no’s:
Limiting When You Network
The hardest aspect of building a real estate business is constructing a network of relationships. Building a professional network doesn’t come easy; it requires long periods of time to cultivate genuine and beneficial relationships. The work never stops.
For real estate investors, it’s important to not wait until in crisis mode to put networking into action. In order to succeed in real estate networking, investors need to put aside time every month, which should be spent not only meeting new people, but staying in touch with past colleagues and relationships they’ve started. At the end of the day, building a real estate network takes a considerable amount of effort and faith, along with a commitment to taking action.
Another aspect to remember when networking is to remain consistent. Real estate networking events and social functions can get dull at times, but you must stick it out because you never know when someone will finally approach you about a deal.
Not Following Up
In essence, the purpose of real estate networking is to meet like-minded individuals in the industry who can potentially serve a purpose down the road. The issue for many investors is that they forget to continue nurturing those relationships after the introduction. Don’t drop the ball!
In order to build and maintain long-term relationships, investors should treat each new person like a best friend; sharing information, offering assistance or inviting them to the next networking event. It’s up to investors to stay in touch with new contacts. The frequency and depth of interactions, however, will depend on the strength of the relationship.
I recommend following up with new contacts within 24 hours of meeting. Instead of sending an email, try picking up the phone and giving your new contact a call. When scheduling meet-ups, remember that not every encounter needs to be at dinner or at an office. Grabbing coffee or even a drink after work can offer the right setting to get your latest relationship off the ground.
Avoiding Social Media
In today’s digital age, social media has become an unavoidable phenomenon, as sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have skyrocketed in popularity, engaging tens of millions of users per day. Although the days of in-person networking aren’t over, they’re quickly being overthrown by ingenious Internet platforms.
In essence, social media provides another way to further connections between clients and groups. The click of a button enables investors to keep tabs on contacts, develop new relationships, and build their reputation in the process. It enables investors to deepen their network pool while simultaneously overseeing and maintaining it. For beginner investors, I recommend using the following social media sites:
- Facebook: As the largest social media network currently available, Facebook offers real estate investors limitless opportunities to network. Facebook Chats allow users to find groups of like-minded investors and message them, helping to stay in contact with local and distant investors.
- Twitter: Along with tweeting and retweeting, Twitter offers investors unique abilities for networking. Twitter Lists, for example, allow users to curate and subscribe to Twitter accounts they want to follow. Viewing the list timeline will show investors a stream of tweets from only the accounts on that list.
- LinkedIn: For beginner investors, I cannot stress enough how beneficial LinkedIn is. Along with meeting professionals in your industry, LinkedIn has a group setting where users can join groups and chat with other individuals interested in the same topics as them. It’s a great tool to network and meet people with similar interests.
Taking & Not Giving
As simple as it sounds, the key to successful real estate networking is giving before receiving. Too many professionals who network focus solely on themselves and how people can benefit them, instead of realizing networking is a mutual exchange. For beginner investors, the goal is to first focus on others and how to be of service to someone else.
“I can’t emphasize this enough–if you want to form a relationship with another person, you first need to show them how they’ll benefit, says Keith Ferrazzi, a professional relationship development expert and author. “You usually bring a small gift to a dinner party, so why wouldn’t you offer a potential ally a token of generosity when you meet?”
Another aspect to consider is the art of giving and receiving a compliment. While many people simply brush off compliments from others, it’s important to acknowledge them and then dig deeper. Learning how to give and receive compliments will only widen the door of opportunities down the line.
To be successful in real estate networking, investors should focus on three aspects: be considerate of what matters to others; strengthen relationships by focusing attention on conversations; and use a “give to receive” mentality to earn the right to do business with your contacts. The power of networking is a critical element in the long-term success for real estate investors, and one that shouldn’t be discounted.