Whether you are new to real estate investing or a seasoned investor, it’s no secret that professional networking should be a fundamental part of your business plan. By following these six simple tips below, you’ll learn how to network effectively and professionally at both small local events and large conferences alike.
- Have a Clear Goal
What is your main goal for attending this networking event? Are you looking to connect with a specific person or company? Do you need a new local contractor to help with your rehab project? Having a clear goal for each networking event will help you optimize your time the event, and connect with the right people for your business.
- Don’t Forget Business Cards
It sounds simple, but there’s nothing worse than arriving at a networking event without business cards, and asking a new connection for their card and not having anything to give in return. How else are they going to follow-up with you?
- Practice Your Pitch
Be prepared to talk about your company, what you do and how you can be a resource for other companies. Make sure it’s a concise statement about why you’re in real estate and what your focus is and then lead your pitch into why they’re working in real estate as well to keep the conversation flowing.
- Be a Good Listener
Ask questions, listen and be responsive. The worst thing you can do is only talk about yourself and your company without gaining any new knowledge about what your new connection does and how you can use each other as a resource. Learn about what their real estate investing goals are, if they are looking for new connections in a certain field, and how you can introduce them to someone in that field.
It’s also important to be present in the conversations. For example don’t look around the room while the person is talking, this makes it look like you are disinterested and just looking for the next person to hand your business card out to without making any real connections. Stay invested in each conversation and you’ll see that your connections you make are even more valuable than just handing business cards out to everyone in the room.
- Have Consistent Attendance
Most local Real Estate Investing Association (REIA) Meetings occur monthly and it’s important to attend them consistently. It will not only help you to meet new people at each meeting but it will also show you as a regular to other members as well. The more people see you at the meetings and network with you, the more they will trust you and overall will be more likely to work with you.
For my company, attending local meetings and national conferences is a huge portion of where new business comes from. Not only are we members of our local REIA chapters, but we also joined associations like the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) Boston Chapter, the American Association of Private Lenders (AAPL) and the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB). Each month we are usually traveling to 1-3 conferences or local meetings with our business cards in hand. This way we can stay connected with current clients as well as meet new clients.
- Actually Follow-up
Once the networking event is over and you have new business cards it’s crucial not to just toss those cards to the side and forget about them! Instead, create personalized follow-ups for each card based on the conversations you had.
I personally find it helpful to write little notes on the card itself with the main points about what we discussed so when I look back at the card later I can remember the conversation and follow-up accordingly. The follow-up can be as simple as an email letting them know it was nice to meet them or discuss meeting another time to dive deeper into the conversation.
Having all the business cards in the world is awesome, but if you don’t follow-up with them the cards are just something that gets lost in your office.
Keep these simple tips in mind when you are planning on attending your next networking event, and to stay updated on where RCN Capital is headed next head over to our Company News Page.
As a direct private lender, RCN Capital is here to help you fund your next fix and flip or fix and lease project. Our experienced loan officers and in-house underwriting help the process run smoothly and quickly, and we look forward to working with you.