Real Estate Marketing

Better Than Business Cards: The Best Way to Form Real Estate Connections

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Mobile Homes, Real Estate News & Commentary, Landlording & Rental Properties, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Marketing
224 Articles Written

Over the years investing, I’ve easily changed my business cards over half a dozen times. Sometimes I like to put my face on the cards, sometimes I like to make the headline really bold, sometimes I like to put a little teaser message on the back, and sometimes I don’t even like to use business cards at all.

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In the past decade, I've been very conscious of realizing what actions lead to me be remembered by fellow investors, as well as real estate agents, buyers, sellers, park owners, brokers, repo men, friends, acquaintances, etc. Sometimes business cards are the best technology we have for this, and other times they can be a disservice to your real estate investing business.

If you are not attending local real estate investment clubs or Meetup groups, you absolutely should be. There are many niches in real estate, and it is important other investors know who you are, know what you do, and what deals to pass along your way if needed. For these reasons, it is important to go a step beyond exchanging business cards while meeting with other active local real estate investors.

Many times we use our business cards as a crutch when socializing with other real estate investors. We throw our cards into a fishbowl hoping to win a prize, we collect as many business cards at the end of the night as we can, and we aim to give away X number of our own business cards per night to feel accomplished.

REI Clubs

Whenever interacting with other real estate investors or real estate agents, it should be your goal to find out how you can help every person you talk to. Please keep in mind that everyone on this planet is thinking about themselves most of the time.

If you can relate to every person you talk to and figure out how you can help them, you have gotten the conversation off to a good start. The conversation will quickly and naturally turn to you, with your conversation partner asking you, “By the way, what types of properties are you investing in?” This is the perfect time to explain your niche and passion in real estate.

Related: Real Estate Investing: Specialize or Die

Exchanging Numbers

At this point of the conversation, everyone has identified who can help who. Keep in mind that if you are looking exclusively for mobile home deals, then you will be able to pass along most other non-mobile home leads to other investors, perhaps splitting the profit or collecting a fee. Ask to exchange numbers and create a new contact in your phone for this person.

Make sure to label this person as the go-to investor in his/her niche. Example: Susan The Multi Family Investor 555-555-5555. Likewise, make sure you are listed as the investor for your niche. Example: John The Mobile Home Guy 333-333-3333. The reason for this is simple: Many times an investor will remember meeting you and will remember your specialty; however, they will not typically remember your name right away.

Related: The Top 10 Mistakes Real Estate Investors Make at Networking Events

Following Up

Passing your number out is only half the job. Twenty-four to 48 hours after you have first met this other investor or real estate agent, make sure to text message them or call them to thank them for talking with you and befriending you the night you met. Explain in your text message or phone call that if they ever have any homes that fit your niche, they should always send them over to you. You will be happy to partner up or send them over a bird-dog fee accordingly.


Next time you attend your local real estate investment club, forget about bringing your cards. Instead, aim to network with other investors and pass along your information via text as outlined above.

Business cards still have their use, of course. While in business situations interacting with sellers, lenders, buyers, mobile home park managers, etc., it is best to exchange cards as a means of introduction. With that said, it is almost always wise to follow up and contact everyone you meet 24 to 48 hours after you meet them. It is important to jog their memory and to stay in the front of their minds as a local expert in your niche specialty.

This business is so great! Over the years I have been astounded at the amount of positive feedback and lead referrals I get from other investors, brokers, dealers, and other civilians concerning mobile homes for sale.

In addition to getting help from others, it is important that you start to help other investors and the people that call from your advertising. Other real estate investors need your help, and we need theirs. We are all spending money on advertising and marketing, and if your phone rings, you should aim to make money. Just because you don’t specialize in a specific area of real estate does not mean that you cannot refer the lead to a friend and make a profit for doing little to no extra work.

How do you form relationships within the real estate industry? 

Leave a comment and let me know!

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a four-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to...
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    Angel Rosado from Bronx, New York
    Replied over 5 years ago
    John, it’s almost like you were in my head :-). Yesterday I was able to attend the NY BP Meet up organized by Darren Sager and I was able to get two business cards. Unfortunately I do not have any cards yet but that didn’t stop me with attempting to network I was able to meet Darren, another investor, a contractor, a wholesaler, and a fellow noob. I have to say I didn’t get their numbers because I almost felt weird asking for this but I made sure to tell them that I was going to connect with them here on BP. So now I have to make sure that I follow through which was not mentioned in this article. It doesn’t matter how many cards you get if you don’t make the time to actually contact the people even if you have no business a simple “Hey how’s business going” periodic email or text can go a LONG way.
    Tanner M. Investor from Jacksonville, Florida
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great idea. I did join a REI about a month ago and it is great place to meet like minded people.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Agreed, business cards get lost very quickly. And follow up is critical when it comes to networking.
    Daniel D. Professional from Saskatchewan
    Replied over 5 years ago
    “Many times we use our business cards as a crutch when socializing with other real estate investors. We throw our cards into a fishbowl hoping to win a prize, we collect as many business cards at the end of the night as we can, and we aim to give away X number of our own business cards per night to feel accomplished.” Indeed. I agree that business cards get lost pretty quick. That is, if you use the traditional way of creating your business cards. There are ways to make your business cards stick. I’ll give you some examples… I’m currently researching great ideas for making my next business card design more memorable. So to help me out with that, I compiled a comprehensive resource of the most creative business cards I could find here: Some of the ideas that make business cards unforgettable, and “a keeper”, that I’ve found include making your business card double as a useful tool (some tire companies have been making business cards that you can use to gauge your tires, while some opticians have business cards that make it easy to test your eyes and make sure your eyesight’s not declining.), making your business card double as a fun mini-game, and more. Overall, I agree with you that just relying on business cards isn’t enough. Follow up is important. But I’d like to have any advantage I can get. So, I’d use everything.
    Terrence Arth Investor from Scottsdale, Arizona
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thanx John, strange how sometimes a small thing, a few words from a whole article really hit home. You mentioned (and I paraphrase) that one should find a way to help everyone at a meeting because at the moment 6 billion people worldwide are thinking about themselves. That line hit me like the the proverbial “picture” that is worth a thousand words. Help someone else, how cool is that? In this business what goes around comes around. Thanx John, those few words opened my eyes.
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I believe that the business card is dead and couldn’t agree with you more. I have found that a cell for text or email address convert well because you control the conversation. It is much easier to stay in contact and make sure they remember you the next time they need your services.