As a budding investor, who would you prefer receiving all your real estate advice from: someone who has made a lot of money by investing in real estate or someone who can quote every textbook there is but hasn’t got anything to show for it? You’ll most probably say you’ll want the first one. Exactly! And why shouldn’t you? After all, money is rarely lost in the real estate business because you don’t know the theory behind it all. It’s usually lost because you don’t have the experience — experience to see a great deal when it presents itself or when there’s an issue with your next potential purchase. And that happens when you’re not surrounded with the right kind of people. To succeed as a real estate investor, you must be in the company of smarter investors. Get tips, knowledge, guidance, and wise words from these people and learn all you can about investing in real estate.
A real estate business flourishes on a sound and a smart network of people who know a great deal about this sector. It’s often said about real estate business that “Your Network = Your Net Worth.” And we’re not just talking about the team you’re working with, although they need to be good as well. Networking with your peers and with veterans not only gives you an opportunity to discuss the latest listings, but also gives you an opportunity to understand a market beyond its statistics and numbers.
The Benefits of Learning From Successful Investors
Indeed, having a mentor in the real estate business helps a newbie learn a lot about the market, get valuable advice and see a different perspective on the business. Finding the right kind of mentors will help you shape your investment career for success.
A survey conducted by the Business Networking International group of 12,000 business professionals found that professionals who said that “networking played a role” in their success spent an average of 6.3 hours networking per week. These professionals also said that they received around 50 percent of their business from referrals, which in turn were derived from their network. So, the more you network, the more opportunities you have to achieve success in your business. The biggest indicator to my success thus far has been consistently networking with much smarter and more successful individuals than myself.
So aside from getting those additional leads, there are many benefits of having a mentor or a guide in the sector. Here they are.
The biggest benefit of having a mentor is having someone you can ask a lot of questions and get their advice. As a new investor, you are bound to get truckloads of uncalled-for pieces of advice from your next door neighbor or your family and friends. While a few of these may be pure gold, it’s not likely, and the large majority of them won’t help you even a little bit. Not so with mentors. They know the game. A mentor will help you enter the real estate market and tell you what the crucial aspects of the business are that you need to take care of.
Minimizing Costly Mistakes
The real estate market can be unstable. If you’re not watching out, you might end up losing a huge sum of money. A mentor will guide you in your investment decisions saving you from making mistakes you’ll regret later. A great quote to live by is: “A wise man learns from his mistakes, but a wiser man learns from someone else’s.”
Often, young professionals have a tendency to try to apply their theoretical knowledge gained during their education into the real world. As a new investor, you’ll probably take your investing on the exact same way. Mentors help you look at problems from perspectives that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own or learned through formal education.
Access to a Large Network
Mentors are successful investors, and they’ve been where you are. They’re likely to have a rich network of industry professionals, such as investors, agents, attorneys and contractors, among others. It can take a newcomer several years to establish a large network of professionals, and even then, the quality can lack. Your mentor can put you in touch with their network, giving you quite a head start. The more networking you do, the more successful a foundation you build for your business.
A key individual who has helped my growth as an entrepreneur and the growth of my company has been conducting around 1,000 renovations and 250 retail flips per year. Imagine the wealth of knowledge and experience that has been gained over the years by doing those types of numbers.
Increased Investment Opportunities
It’s quite likely that that rich network you’ve been building with the help of your mentor will turn into plenty of serious investment opportunities.
Good Referrals for Building a Team
So, you’re looking to build your team. As a real estate investor, you will be required to have a team of professionals, which might include contractors, attorneys, accountants, and agents. You need good referrals to select and hire trustworthy and disciplined people in your team. An industry network helps you get good referrals for building up your team.
A Source of Inspiration
As I said earlier, the real estate business can be unpredictable. A hyped property area today may become a total cold zone a few months down the line. Because of this volatile nature of the market, investors who are just starting out are likely to lose their motivation easily. But having someone whose career is in great shape helps them to find that motivation. New investors can really tap into that and get a constant feed of inspiration from the successful careers of people who have made it big in the real investment business. Having role models like that in your network or as a mentor will make sure you don’t just give up. They’ve been through this; they’ll let you know it’s normal and it’s time to buckle up.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar
How to Network & Find Your Mentor
A network provides that much needed support and creates opportunities for investors. A network of real estate investors can include a mentor, colleagues, other industry professionals, business partners and even clients. It allows investors to excel in their careers through their shared knowledge, experience and opportunities. You can also build a network of like-minded peers and industry professionals by following these tips.
Attend Networking Events
Networking events like local meet up groups, real estate club meetings, and Rotary club meetings are great places to collect cards and contacts of people you want to connect with. This is where people get busy exchanging their views and discussing all kinds of things related to your business. It can be quite difficult to just barge in and ask people to connect with you; everyone’s busy anyway. You should just try to collect their contact information. Research the contacts you got and see if there’s someone you’d really like to sit down with and pick their brains.
Later, when you are more at ease, take your time to call these people and invite them for coffee or lunch. This way you get a better chance to connect with the other person on a one-to-one basis. This is how I ended up establishing numerous lasting relationships over the years, along with dropping thousands of dollars on coffees and lunches. In my opinion the money has been well spent in this way rather than paying for “guru” mastermind sessions or seminars.
Focus on Developing Relationships
When you meet someone you want to connect with, don’t be in a hurry to talk business. Instead, focus on developing trust and building a relationship. Once they trust you, they’ll respond to your questions more favorably. Focus more on getting to know the person and understanding them.
When you’re networking, listen to filter out the more valuable contacts. It’s a good way to let the other person know that you’re interested and attentive, but it allows you to size them up. Listening is a great way to develop trust with a new person. When you meet someone at a networking event or over a private meeting, use your body language to show that you’re engaged and listening to them. Make them talk. If they’re interesting enough, make plans to meet up later on. Make sure that when you do, you take notes and show genuine interest.
Take Advantage of Social Networks & Online Communities
Meet up groups and networking events aren’t the only ways to extend your network. The internet is a great tool to locate successful real estate professionals from your location and connect with them. With more than one billion people in the world on Facebook and over 400 million people on Twitter, you’ll without a doubt find a community of like-minded professionals that suits you. Engage people on these platforms by asking questions and by sharing your knowledge with them.
On LinkedIn, for example, you can research about a person and their real estate experience; you can send a connection request, you can join others in their network, and you can even get notifications about what they’re doing professionally.
You can also extend your network online by creating and developing a blog and getting noticed. Focus on delivering high value content. Invite people in your network to like and comment on your blogs. This way, as your blog posts reach more and more users, your network will also grow by leaps and bounds.
Real estate is a business where success depends a lot on experiential learning rather than on theoretical knowledge. If you’re a new investor or a one-time investor, it’s very difficult to gain that experience on your own. But by networking with people who have already been in the business of real estate for ages and have made fortunes, you’ll learn a great deal about investing. Your success depends on how dense your network is. So, work on expanding that network of experienced people and clients. They’ll add up to your “net worth” in the long run.
How do YOU build your valuable network?
Leave all of your best tips in the comments section below!