Building a network is one of the most important things you can do as a real estate investor. The size and strength of your network will directly determine how many deals you can do, how fast you can make money, how much those deals will cost you to do and what your profits are. Your network can be your target pool you market to. When times are lean, a strong network means you can do a lot more organic business, without having a big marketing budget too. If you want access to deals, funding and buyers, you’ve got to establish and scale your network. Here are just some of the ways to get started or expand on what you have already.
At some point you’ll want to go on vacation or research new real estate markets in person. These are the perfect opportunities to expand your network to include new contacts you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to make. In fact, a little networking while traveling can more than pay for your trip. Business communications like these can also make your trip costs tax deductible. (Just make sure you consult your own accountant about how to get those tax breaks.) This can be to a new town close by, at the other end of your state, out of state or even out of the country.
Note that this is much more effective when not just left to chance meetings, even though you may be surprised at how many accidental connections you can make along the way. Look up local real estate investors, financiers, attorneys, title agents, real estate agents and other industry players before you go. Set up coffee meetings, or drop in at their office and introduce yourself.
2. Professional Networking And Events
No matter where you are, there are bound to be numerous organized networking opportunities every month. These can include industry happy hours and luncheons, trade shows and office open houses. The organizers have already done all of the hard work to promote and get people there specifically for you to meet. Take advantage of that and show up.
Some meetup events can be done online through webinars, though the focus is really on meeting up in person. You can search and find meetups for just about everything you can imagine. Don’t just limit yourself to real estate investing events either. Think about the types of activities and interests your target contacts like to engage in. They may be car fanatics, yoga practitioners, tech geeks or something else. Get into those groups, or set up your own groups and spread the word.
If you are looking to build your network in the industry and want to connect with other real estate investors and supporting vendors and successful entrepreneurs in this space, then get out to real estate seminars and live conference events. You can meet hundreds of new contacts in the same place in just a few hours. It’s a great way to super-size your network in a very short space of time.
5. Social Media
Online social networks can make connecting fast and easy. Just know the difference between making real, viable contacts and just adding followers to your profile.
6. Host Classes
Once you’ve gained some experience and knowledge, why not host your own educational real estate and finance events? Teach people about investing, buying their first home and remodeling properties — or wherever your expertise lies.
7. Open Up Your Home
Building your network doesn’t have to only mean suit-and-tie professional events at someone else’s location. You can open up your home to neighbors, friends and other contacts too. Grow and build relationships in your comfort zone. Have a holiday party, watch a sports event together, host a backyard BBQ or something else that would appeal to your crowd.
8. Open Houses
If you aren’t a big fan of filling your own home with semi-strangers, then use your real estate inventory. Do it at one of your open houses.
9. Host Charity Events
Now, you shouldn’t be using charity as a marketing ploy. Yet, if you want to meet people who care about the same things as you do, then hosting a charity, volunteer outing or fundraising event can be a great way to do that, and make a difference at the same time.
10. Be More Social
Never leave home without a stack of business cards. Try being friendlier and more conversational wherever you go. You might be surprised at the contacts you can make just doing your regular errands around town and taking your family out. If you aren’t very outgoing, wear something that grabs attention and get people to start the conversation with you.
11. Sponsor Others
If you don’t like public speaking or aren’t confident in your own event organizing yet, then try sponsoring other people’s events. Make sure you get a copy of the lead list.
Now, pick a few types of networking events which suit you the most. Chances are you’ll find something right up your alley, and your business will thank you.