I’ve been getting a lot of questions about real estate networking events lately. New investors tell me that they don’t see the point in going, or that they went to an event but didn’t really talk to anyone or make any connections. The fact is, if you want to really get something out of a real estate networking event, you have to do more than just show up.
Yes, Woody Allen once famously said, “Showing up is 80% of life.” If you show up to real estate networking events and other industry events, you’ll open up a lot of opportunities that you wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. But the other 20% actually matters a lot if you want to be successful. So here are a few of my favorite tips for getting the most out of every real estate event you attend.
Have Conversations, Not Pitches
When you set up a meeting with a potential investing partner, you’re going to have to have a pretty great pitch. But save that pitch for your meeting. Networking events are all about getting to know other real estate pros and learning how you might be able to help each other out. If you start every new conversation with a canned pitch, you won’t make a good impression. In fact, if you do it enough, people are going to start avoiding you.
So, instead, say hello, introduce yourself, ask questions, and start real, meaningful conversations. The more sincere you are and the less you sound like a prerecorded speech, the more people will want to get to know you.
Don’t Whip Out Your Business Card First Thing
I’ve been to real estate networking events that felt like Olympic events for swapping business cards. At these events, it can seem like everyone is pulling out their business cards as fast as they can to distribute them to as many people in the room as possible.
If you do this, you’ll get your business card in a lot of people’s hands, but they aren’t likely to remember you or what you do in the real estate investing world. You want to make a big enough impression that the people you’re talking to will remember your face and your name. Then, when they pull out the cards they got from the event later, your card will act as a reminder.
Value the Quality of Your Connections over Their Quantity
If you’re going to make an impression, you’re going to actually have to spend some time talking to the people you meet at these events. This might seem counterproductive, as you only have a limited time to meet and network with as many people as possible. But real estate connections aren’t Pokémon. You don’t have to “catch ’em all.”
In fact, if you run from one conversation to the next, you’ll never have an opportunity to meet and get to know people who could be important to your career as a real estate investor. Don’t try to force a conversation that’s fizzling out, but don’t cut off a conversation that’s starting to pick up steam, either, just so you can get to the next one.
If you follow these three tips, you’re almost guaranteed to see a significant improvement in how many people you meet and connect with at your next real estate networking event. Try them out and see what a difference they can make for you.