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The Top 10 Mistakes Real Estate Investors Make at Networking Events

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Landlording & Rental Properties, Business Management, Personal Development, Flipping Houses, Commercial Real Estate
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“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” — African Proverb

Isn’t this the truth? So many times I meet real estate investors who want to make a ton of money in a short timeframe. I meet a lot LESS real estate investors who are in this for the “long haul” and are interested in building relationships and expanding their network.

Hi, BP! Liz is back this week to talk about the most common mistakes real estate investors make when attending real estate networking meetings (and how to overcome them)! These real estate networking meetings can be a simple meet up group or a group that is backed by the national REIA (real estate investors association). I have attended all types of networking meetings over the last decade of being an investor. However, I have the most experience with our local REIA (SJREIA). My husband Matt and I actually just launched SJREIA Central in the Princeton, NJ area, so you can see the topic of networking is fresh in my mind!

pic 1 - networking

Leading a new group in our local market.

Over the last 10 years, we have launched two different real estate investor networking meetings. In addition, I have started and led several networking groups for the consulting work that I have been involved in as well. So I have some experience in this area. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But after running groups like this, you start to see patterns and the same common mistakes made by people. I even make them sometimes!

Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Highly Effective Real Estate Networking

I hope this list of the top ten networking mistakes real estate investors make will help you become a more effective networker!

The Top 10 Mistakes Real Estate Investors Make at Networking Events

1. They don’t attend real estate networking meetings.

This one might seem obvious; however, a lot of real estate investors simply do not attend networking meetings. They have a ton of excuses – they don’t have the time, they are not actively looking for deals, they don’t “need” to network or they don’t see the point of expanding their network. Regardless of the reason, it is an excuse. If you are an active real estate investor, networking is critical to your growth and success. Yes, social media networking is great, but it does not replace face to face networking meetings.

2. They don’t attend these meetings consistently.

Even if you do attend networking meetings, it is really important to attend these meetings regularly. The key word here is “regularly.” Time and time again, I meet people at these meetings who talk a “big game” at one meeting, and I never see them again at any future meetings! The more people see you and get to know you, the more they will trust you. As we all know, trust and respect are critical to building relationships, partnerships and team in business.

3. They don’t prepare specific intentions before the meeting.

Before I go into any networking meeting, I have a habit of setting up a few intentions of what I want to get out of the event. Maybe I want to meet a wholesaler, maybe I want to meet a contractor, maybe I want to meet a realtor, or maybe I want to meet one or two new investors.

The bottom line is to be really clear on your intentions before you walk into the networking meeting. The team you need in this business is endless. And it does not stop once you build up a real estate investing portfolio. We have certainly built up our network over the past 10 years and own over 100 units. However, we are currently expanding our market and focus, and I am in the process of finding more connections to expand our fix/flip business. So don’t forget, the networking never ends!

4. They talk to people they know already the entire night.

This is a huge pet peeve of mine! Why would you talk to someone you know when there is a room of people to meet? I know for some personality types, talking to strangers is harder and takes more work. I get it. However, if you decide to attend a networking meeting for real estate investors, then you need to take actions that are going to help grow your business. Of course, over time, the more you attend these meetings, the more people you will know. And yes, you should say hello and reconnect with your contacts at these meetings. Just be careful not to talk to them ONLY. I tend to set an intention each meeting to meet (and get to know) three new people.

5. They go into the meeting room, sit down, and don’t talk to anyone.

We recently launched a new real estate networking meeting in the Princeton, NJ area. The meeting began at 6 p.m., and by 6:30 p.m., we had about 30 people in attendance for our first meeting. Networking took place from 6- 7 p.m., and the presenters began at 7 p.m. I walked into the room where the presenters would be speaking around 6:30 p.m., and what I saw shocked me!

I saw about 15 people sitting in various seats by themselves and not talking to anyone! I can appreciate that some people go to these meetings just to hear the presenters, but to not talk to anyone while you are waiting for the presentation to begin makes no logical sense to me. Take advantage of the networking time, get to these meetings early, and connect with as many people as you can!

6. They don’t volunteer their time to help with the organization of the group.

If you really want to get involved and take your networking to the next level, a great way to do so is to get involved with the organizing of the meeting. Typically all of these meet up groups and certainly REIA groups are non-profit. Volunteers are always needed!

It has been a terrific experience organizing and leading real estate investor groups. Not only is it a great way to “give back” and help other investors, but it also been helpful to grow our business, network and brand. Remember the old saying: the more you give, the more you get!

7. They talk to various people, promise to follow up — and never do what they say.

I have heard it said, “You are your word.” And I certainly agree with this statement! I am fairly accepting of people. However, I have no patience for people who tell me they are going to follow up with me on something and then never do. Integrity is incredibly important in this business. If you can’t do what you say you are going to do, then you are not your word. And if you are not your “word,” people are not going to want to do business with you.

8. During conversations at these meetings, they talk a lot about themselves and never listen.

If you are trying to build rapport with a person, the easiest way to do this is to ask questions, listen, be responsive, and find out how you can help them achieve their goals. The worst thing you can do when connecting with others is to talk about yourself the whole time and not ask one question.

Again, the key is to make a positive impression on people during these networking meetings and build relationships. The best way to do this is to engage with people and really learn about them and their real estate interests and goals. During these conversations, look for ways to help the person. Maybe you can introduce them to the insurance company you work with. The key is to be looked at as a resource, not an annoyance!

9. They don’t send follow up “thank you” emails.

This is a very simple gesture that could go a long way. If you are looking to build relationships, then follow up is a necessity. I also would not wait two weeks to send a follow up email. You want to send a follow up email while it is fresh in your mind and their mind! I always try to follow up with people I meet within 24 hours. I don’t always do this, but that is my goal. Again, this shows people that you are a serious networker and interested in building a relationship.

Related: Networking Made Easy: How to Host Your Own Real Estate Workshop

10. They don’t create a way to follow up on a consistent basis.

This is probably the biggest mistake that people make. It is easy to meet people, have a nice conversation during a meeting, and even send a follow up “nice to meet you” email after the meeting. However, it is a little harder to create a sustainable and consistent way to stay in contact with them. Social media has helped with this, but you as the networker still need to create a process for consistent follow up. Something that I like to do with people who are new in my network is to invite them to upcoming networking meetings. The more I can help people as a resource, the more people will be a resource to me.

I hope this list of common mistakes served as a helpful reminder as you become more successful in your networking efforts.

Networking pros: What tips and suggestions have I missed?

I would love to hear your comments below. As always, happy investing!

Matt Faircloth, Co-founder & President of the DeRosa Group, is a seasoned real estate investor. The DeRosa Group, based in historic Trenton, New Jersey, is a developer and owner of commercial and residential property with a mission to “transform lives through real estate." Matt, along with his wife Liz, started investing in real estate in 2004 with the purchase of a duplex outside of Philadelphia with a $30,000 private loan. They founded DeRosa Group in 2005 and have since grown the company to owning and managing over 370 units of residential and commercial assets throughout the east coast. DeRosa has completed over $30 million in real estate transactions involving private capital including fix and flips, single family home rentals, mixed use buildings, apartment buildings, office buildings, and tax lien investments. Matt Faircloth is the author of Raising Private Capital, has been featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast, and regularly contributes to BiggerPockets’s Facebook Live sessions and educational webinars.

    David Semer Investor from Lincroft, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article Liz. I like it a top 10. I am probably guilty of 9 out 10 of these but the best part I can always keep trying to get better. I really like your ideas about know what you want to get out of each meeting and do what you say you are going to do. It is about setting up daily mini goals. I am guilty of having stack of business cards just sitting there and you can’t remember who these people are were you met and what can you do for each other.
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Thanks David! Do you like the picture?? 🙂 As I put this post together, I realized that I am also guilty of not doing all of these all the time!! You have been wonderful to work with re: SJREIA Central! Looking forward to growing and expanding this group with our team! Thanks so much for commenting! Have a great weekend!!! Liz
    Justin Fraser Rental Property Investor from Milltown, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    As someone who is fairly new to Real Estate Networking, this article is fantastic. I was at the meeting in Princeton (I’m in the green shirt in the picture), and found it full of incredible information and lots of knowledgeable people. I’ll keep these tips in mind as I attend more meetings in the future. Thanks for writing this article!
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Thanks Justin. Yes, I remember you at the meeting! Glad that you made and hope you can make the next one coming up in June! You are so welcome. We all have to keep these tips in mind!! Thanks for commenting! See you soon!!
    Marcus Maloney Rental Property Investor from Queen Creek, AZ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article!!!! I find this so true with new and seasoned investors. I like to attend networking events. Relationship building is the best way to remain resourceful and relevant. “Enjoying the Journey”
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Thanks so much Marcus. Appreciate you commenting! BTW – I always enjoy your blog posts too!! I love what you said here – “networking is the best way to remain resourceful and relevant.” I hate hearing seasoned investors tell me that they don’t “need to network.” Everyone needs to network – whether they are starting out or seasoned! Everyone always can give something and needs something. I appreciate you saying that! Have a great week!!!
    Pete T. Real estate investor from key west, florida
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article! I am guilty of all of this as I am more of an introvert. I am thinking of creating my own group for people by the oceanfront in virina beach. Any advice?
    Pete T. Real estate investor from key west, florida
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article! I am guilty of all of this as I am more of an introvert. I am thinking of creating my own group for people by the oceanfront in virina beach. Any advice?
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Thanks Pete! Oceanfront in Virina Beach!! Sounds amazing. (Let me know if you ever need a speaker!! 🙂 I just messaged you about some of your questions. I would be happy to help you with advice on starting a group. I do think it is important that you begin with the “end in mind.” Who do you want to attend? What do you want them to get out of it? Then everything else (structured vs unstructured types of meetings) can get answered. Start with the audience and what you want people to walk away with first. Again, I messaged you a few minutes ago! Thanks for reading and commenting!!
    Pete T. Real estate investor from key west, florida
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article! I am guilty of all of this as I am more of an introvert. I am thinking of creating my own group for people by the oceanfront in virina beach. Any advice? Reply Report comment
    Casey Murray Real Estate Agent from San Diego, CA
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article, Elizabeth! Networking is definitely an art and comes with time. A great book that solidifies your points is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Thanks Casey for reading! Dale Carnagie’s books are awesome!!! Thanks for commenting. All the best to you!!
    Angel Rosado from Bronx, New York
    Replied about 4 years ago
    While reading this article I couldn’t stop thinking “well duh” this is just basic networking tips. Then the “well duh” was followed by a “d’oh” because I am guilty of failing at each and every one. Great article that I will be referring to once I complete your first bullet point…ATTEND. I did want to know your thoughts on what REIA one should focus on attending? I currently live in NYC and am just beginning my journey but I know that the NYC market is very difficult to get into as such how would one go about choosing to go upstate or down to your area for a REIA or should I go to both? Thanks!
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hi Angel: Thanks for sharing. I have heard it said “common sense is not always common practice.” There is certainly a lot of truth to this statement! Great question about networking groups. I would say to begin with networking – don’t travel more than 30 minutes to get there. If I was you, I attend as many groups I could in the 30 minute radius of my home. That way as you meet and connect with people, you won’t be too far from them to set up follow up meetings/coffee etc. I am not sure of the north jersey/NYC REIAS, however, I am sure if you googled it you will find some! I would also check out BP – there is a place that people announce networking meetings. Also, you can check out if there are any real estate meet up groups in your area too! Hope this helps! Liz
    Val Dychok Software Developer from Conway, Arkansas
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Very good article Liz, thank you! I am yet to attend the networking event and those are great tips you shared in this post. The proverb at the beginning is fantastic! 🙂
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Thanks Val for your comment! Glad you enjoyed! Good luck as you begin attending these events! 🙂
    Anthony Tulino Investor from North Brunswick, New Jersey
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article Elizabeth. Not only were the tips spot on, but now I know there are SJREIA meetings in Princeton! I live in North Brunswick and had no idea there were meetings that close. I look forward to attending the upcoming meeting on the 18th. Thanks!
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hi Anthony! You are so welcome! Looking forward to having you come out to the meeting on the 18th! I am not 100% sure that I can be there but my husband for sure! Let me know if I can help further! Liz
    Anthony Tulino Investor from North Brunswick, New Jersey
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article Elizabeth. Not only were the tips spot on, but now I know there are SJREIA meetings in Princeton! I live in North Brunswick and had no idea there were meetings that close. I look forward to attending the upcoming meeting on the 18th. Thanks!
    Troy Fisher Specialist from Kirkland, WA
    Replied about 4 years ago
    The wonder of BP is that it helps solve most of those problems! You can connect before and after a meeting and follow-up easily. I enjoy meetings where people introduce themselves and the facilitator follows up with everyone. I hosted my newest meetup last week, and I made sure that as people came in I greeted them and made sure they sat with some people they knew and some people they didn’t know! Everyone was willing to talk and ask questions. During the 30-second introduction, I asked questions of each person, and then everyone got involved, and really started to get to know each other really well! I’m going to make to sure to share this post with my group in an email before the next meetup.
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Troy, You got that right!! Thanks for sharing this post with your meetup group ! Something that we do is ask each person to introduce themselves, and share one thing they need in their business, and one thing that they can help with. What we have found is that everyone is in need of something, and everyone can offer something. Just a thought for your future meetup groups! Good luck and thanks for commenting! Liz
    Martin Sterling Flipper from Staten Island, New York
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great Article. Something to go over periodically to ensure you don’t fall into those traps that can happen.