Yes! I know you may have wanted a different answer, but this is the honest truth. Networking is such an important part of your business. You must introduce yourself and let others know what you are doing. Everyone can be a referral resource for you… and you for them.
The best book I’ve read to help me to become more comfortable with the idea of networking is called ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie. It’s a great book that helps you to understand why you need to network with others as well as teaching you exactly how and what to say when you meet with new contacts.
Throughout my own 30 years of owning several businesses, (W0W – Am I that old?!), I can honestly say personal networking has been the most effective … and the most fun way to market myself!
How to Network Your Way to REI Success
As a real estate investor, where can you reach out to network your business?
1) Search Real Estate Investor Clubs in Your Area.
2) Check meetings and trainings for local Real Estate Associations.
3) Check meetings and trainings at local Title Companies.
4) Check on handyman, builders and contractor associations in your area.
5) Ask everyone you talk to for referrals for networking events that have worked for them.
6) Of course chamber events and networking clubs that meet at breakfast and lunch are a general source to get to know the general public.
What do I say? Just remember the acronym F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
I know the biggest fear and reason many people don’t attend networking events is they don’t know how to approach or what to say to others when first meeting them. I am going to give you a script that will be easy for you to memorize…
For every person you come in contact with at any type of networking meeting, your conversation might go something like this: Just remember the acronym FRIENDS:
F is for Forthright. Be forthright in reaching out and saying hi. Don’t wait for others to come to you.
“Hi there, my name’s __________. What’s your name?”
R is for Remember. You need to first always remember to ask them their name.
Ask for their card – and them hand them yours.
I is for Income. Ask them what they do for a living? How do they make their income?
“Say their name, and ask “What is it that you do?”
E is for Everyone. Everyone likes to talk about themselves.
Ask questions like, “How long have you been doing this?” or “What do you like most about what you do?”
N is for New Business. No matter if the person you are talking to has an occupation that is real estate related or not, you will want to find ways you both can support each other .
Ask : “What sort of clientele could I refer to bring you additional new business?
D is for Determine. After listening for possible ways to support each other, Determine where to take this relationship from this point.
S is for SUMMARIZE: When the time comes to share what you do, be prepared! Have a 30 second summary of what it is you could say to leave an impression on your new friend.
1) Hand everyone you network with your business card.
2) Summarize your business in 30 seconds or less. This is where spending time writing down how you want to market you and your business is important. You want to be concise and clear in describing what you do and what types of referrals would be most helpful. Try to incorporate something that differentiates you from the rest?
SAMPLE: REI 30 Second Commercials
6 Important Things to ALWAYS REMEMBER When Networking;
- The important thing is that you are interested in what they do for a living.
- Don’t talk about yourself until asked or the timing is right.
- Ask them questions about their occupation and how you can be of support to them in their line of work.
- If this person is a potential power team member for you, ask if you could contact them in the future. (You would be able to follow your list of questions for power team members and take notes when you called them back)
- Make sure to collect a card from everyone you meet
- Make sure you have their email address, fax, cell, and correct spelling of first and last name. (Write on the back of the card if any of this information is missing – it shows your interested!)
Questions To Ask When You Meet Real Estate Investors
- “Do you buy, fix and sell or do you buy and hold?”
- “How many properties do you own and/or have you sold?”
- “What part of town do you invest in?”
- “Really, why that area?”
- “What do properties cost in that area?
- “Do you pay cash for them or what banks do you use that are investor friendly?”
- “What title company do you enjoy using the most?”
- “Do you know any of the other people here?”
- “Who are the big investors in this area?”
- “If you ever come across some good deals and you don’t want them let me know.”
- “By the way, do you have any property you want to sell?”
- “We sometimes have properties for sale as well, if you’re looking to increase your inventory.”
- “Well, Mr. /Ms. Investor based on what you told me and where you prefer to buy; if anything comes along I’ll make sure to call you first”.
Final Important Points To Maximize Your Networking
Always write notes on the back of business cards you collect, helping you remember the next steps you will want to take with this contact in the future. Often times, just a “nice meeting you” card in the mail or email can be seen as a memorable gesture encouraging future communication to support each other’s business needs.
Networking should be a part of everyone’s marketing plan.
ATTEND, JOIN, PARTICPATE, etc…
Whatever you want to call it…
…the important thing is to have fun
… as you get in front of people and
NETWORK YOUR WAY TO REI SUCCESS!