Many real estate investors, when asked the question, “What is your biggest real estate investing asset?” often get the answer wrong. They assume that it is money or knowledge. The truth is that it is relationships. That’s because real estate investing is not about property as much as it is about the people involved in the process. It is truly a relationship-based business.
When you invest, especially if you are investing in a particular area, you will come to find that it is, indeed, a very small world. People know one another, value one another, and work together on deal after deal. If you don’t have these connections, you will not be as successful with your investments as you would have hoped.
Networking is the key to finding and keeping great relationships. Here are some simple tips for making your networking count.
Tip #1: Who Should You Network With?
There are many people who should be on your networking list. Although lenders and realtors should be on the list, you need to think beyond to people such as:
• Other investors
• Contractors and subcontractors
• Property managers
• And more
The more you can connect with people who are already involved in real estate, the more you will be able to learn and create the bonds you need. Then, when it is time to make a real estate purchase, you will have a working relationship with people who will be able to help you.
Tip #2: Networking Takes Time
Some people assume that they can go to one networking meeting, shake a few hands, hand out business cards, and be set. The truth is that networking is a process that takes time. First, you need to get in front of the right people and be able to tell them about yourself. You also need to listen as much as you speak. But don’t stop there.
Once you have some names, you should begin building a relationship with those that appear to have objectives similar to your own or have a business that meets one of your needs. Building relationships will not happen while networking. This is done one lunch and one coffee at a time.While building the relationship, you shouldn’t focus on transactions but getting to know them. Also, be willing to match them with others that could be helpful and provide them with information. As you do so, you will be trust and loyalty.
Then and only then, will people begin coming to you. When this happens, your networking has been successful.
Tip #3: Get Involved in Real Estate Investing Clubs
Real estate investing clubs are designed for the purpose of networking. They bring people together, either in person or online, that have an interest in some facet of real estate investing.
There are many real estate investing clubs you could choose from, but you won’t have the time or the need to join them all. Instead, you’ll want to find a club that meets your needs. A good way to do this is to contact the founder or president and ask some questions about the members and the focus of the club. Although joining an online club is an option, having at least one local investing club would be preferable as you try to hook up with needed providers.
Tip #4: Don’t Stop with Real Estate Investing Clubs
Some real estate investors join an REI club but never look any further. Don’t make this mistake! There are many other groups in your local area where you can meet the right kinds of people and learn about great deals, such as:
· BNI -Business Networking International
· Chamber of Commerce
· Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
· Lions Club
· Local Merchant Associations
· MasterMind Groups
· Rotary Club
· Women in Business Networking
Networking is one of the most important things you can do in order to get involved with real estate investing. When you network, you establish yourself as an investor, connect with people who could help you, learn more about investing, and so much more.