There used to be a popular saying that went something like, “No man is an island.” I guess it’s pretty much self-explanatory, but the gist of it is that no person can be self-sustaining their entire life. We humans need each other to thrive. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Thinking about it, this mantra very much applies to the real estate investing world. As much as working with others may pose its own set of challenges and bite into your profit, you won’t make it any easier on yourself by choosing to go it alone—especially as a new investor. If you want to succeed in this field, you need to embrace and master the art of networking. I get it—this is not a forte for some of us. But if making meaningful headway in your real estate pursuits is what you are after (and who isn’t?), networking is one of the very first things you need to build into your repertoire. And regularly attending real estate investing meetings is one of the best ways to do this. Six Degrees of Separation Buying property is a complex process that requires teaming up with various entities to make things happen: a good real estate agent, a lender, an attorney, an inspector, a contractor(s), a title company representative, an insurance agent, a property manager, and fellow investors. Call it a support network. One of the best ways to build this support network is to attend real estate meetings regularly. The benefits of doing this cannot be emphasized enough. The people you meet here are investors who have their finger on the local real estate pulse, so you can always be on the ball with regard to the latest market news, trends, prices, and so on. Related: How to Take the “Work” Out of Networking (Even if You’re Nervous & Inexperienced) These investors also have access to real estate deals and motivated sellers you otherwise won’t find listed. And if you don’t find a buyer here, chances are you will come across someone who knows someone who knows someone who can buy (or sell). 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Networking It all sounds great, right? The thing is, many new investors get it all wrong when trying to strike up relationships at real estate investing meetings. With these five rules, you should be able to avoid common beginner pitfalls and leverage real estate investment clubs to work for you. 1. Put yourself out there and network. The essence of attending a real estate investment meeting is to—yup—network! It might be harder for some people to get acquainted with strangers; that is normal. But ultimately, you need to take steps that will help grow your business. The thing about investment clubs is that they are symbiotic networking opportunities. This is no place for hangers-on, and you receive as much as you give. While you are at it, avoid talking to the same people you already know the entire time. Meet some fresh faces, and aim to set a basis for solid relationships with as many people as you can. You just never know what might come out of who you meet. 2. Create an agenda before the meeting. Networking for the sake of networking is pretty much worthless. Make it a point of setting an objective you want to achieve every time you attend a networking meeting. Is your goal to meet a good real estate agent (or two)? To find some great contractors with reasonable fees? Do you want to chat with a fellow wholesaler and share notes? Strike up a relationship with a closing attorney, perhaps? Or find hard money lender? Having a goal in mind will not only make your efforts more fruitful but also more enjoyable. 3. Make use of the contacts you meet. At some point, most of us have built up a fat contact list. But what use is it if it doesn’t add value to your business? Avoid snapping up business card after business card, only to end up stashing them all in your drawer. It’s better to have four solid contacts you genuinely get in touch with on occasion than 60 connects with whom you don’t really connect. Related: 10 Simple Actions to Substantially Build Your Network — Starting Today! 4. Don’t be the smartest person in the room. It’s OK to share what you know with the other investors, but understand that others have something meaningful to say. Don’t let the conversations you start be all about you, because if you do, not only will you be “that guy,” but you will end up gaining nothing, which defeats the whole purpose of attending the event. 5. Volunteer By and large, real estate meet-up groups and clubs are not-for-profit, meaning they are mostly run by volunteers. Volunteering is not just about going out of your way to organize meetings. The other side of this coin is that it gets you on the “inside track” of the investment club, and over time, your influence grows steadily. Real estate investing meetings are everywhere across the country. It is alright to be finicky about which ones you attend because some can be about as useful as a waterproof towel. What you want is to add value to your real estate business—not waste your valuable time. How do you use networking events to make connections that matter? Leave your comments below!