Got Problems? Network!Posted on February 27, 2015 by
Is your business exactly where you want it? Are you making all the money you need? If not…Network more! Opportunities lie within the people you have yet to meet. So go meet them!
Networking is one of the most important aspects of your real estate business. Always be networking. You never know when you will meet the person who has the next opportunity for you. That is why I say if you need to be doing more deals you need to be networking more.
When most people talk about networking, raising private money for deals is usually what comes to mind. Although that may be a large part of networking there are lots of things you can get from meeting new people. Good deals can be hard to find. Have you done a mail campaign? Have you called broker or agents? Have you had lunch with an apartment owner this week who may want to sell you your next deal “off market”?
Networking to meet owners of properties is a great way to boost your business and deal flow. With the apartment/real estate market rapidly on the rise and competition heating up, going directly to owners may be the fastest way to get more units. Sending letters is a great idea but owners may or may not respond. If you can get to have a meeting with them it is much more beneficial. If they are not selling today they may sell in the near future. If you know the owner it is much more likely they will sell to you.
When trying to get directly to owners your best bet is through an introduction. Start by going to business oriented networking groups. Notice I didn’t say go to a real estate related group. Go to business groups. One of the easiest ways to find business related meet up groups in your area is to go to www.Meetup.com. Search for business groups in your area. Unless you live in a very rural area there will be lots of business groups to choose from. Almost all of them will be free. Show up at the event. Most groups will give you a minute or so to give your elevator pitch.
When it is my chance to speak, I tell everyone that I am an apartment investor and that I am at this group to meet owners of apartments. Chances are that there will not be any owners in the meeting but more than likely there will be someone who knows an owner. I end my elevator pitch with “if anyone here is an owner or knows an owner, I would like to get your card before we leave”. This is how I have been meeting owners on a regular basis. The best part is that you can now contact this person with the referral from their friend you just met at the meeting.
Commercial insurance agents are another great way to get to owners. Take a few commercial insurance agents to lunch and get more info on their insurance products (that you will need when you close a deal) and at the end of the meeting/lunch, ask them about clients that they have written insurance policies for. If they don’t want to give you any info on these people then just ask them to make the introduction for you or pass your contact info to the owner.
The reason I say go to business meetings and not real estate meetings, is for two reasons. There are more business meetings than RE meetings and people who service the real estate industry (insurance, appraiser, plumber etc.) are more likely to be at this type of meeting.
Once you find several meetings that work for you, go regularly. The best networking is done in an arena where the same people come together repeatedly. If you can network with the same people over and over then you create real relationships. People do business with people they know.
One of the biggest mistakes I see in new investors is that they go to a meeting, pass out business cards, go home and wonder why they aren’t getting tons of calls. If you come out of a meeting and you met one person worth talking to it was a success. I try and meet 1-3 people at any event and not much more. The next big step in networking is to FOLLOW UP! If you got a card from someone you thought might be a good contact then call them up and ask them to lunch. You can discuss details of what you do when you get to know them a little better. Networking takes time and energy. It is a slow but rewarding process. I leave you with the 4 “ups” to networking.