Networking is the key to your success!

20 Replies

Do you think the BiggerPockets podcasts are awesome?  Taking another investor out for coffee is like your own little podcast.

Going to your local REIA meeting is a start. But it is not enough. You need to meet one on one with other investors.

Make a point to meet for coffee with one new investor per week. If your local REIA meets once per month, schedule four coffee dates before the next meeting. If you do not have a REIA, call up landlords and flippers and introduce yourself.

Put together a few questions just like you hear on the BP podcasts: How did you get started in real estate investing?  What is your niche?  What is a deal for you?  How do you  find your deals?  What is your favorite real estate investing book?  And talk about yourself too.

You will be amazed at how productive these meetings are.

Here are just some of the things that I have gotten out of these coffee meetings that have both motivated me, and saved or made me money:

  • Other people are doing this and succeeding.
  • Different strategies that are succeeding in my area (many different ones).
  • What are the best areas in my city to invest in.
  • A great, reliable, reasonably priced contractor.
  • A local credit union that does portfolio lending at good rates.
  • My accountant.
  • My realtor (though I don't find all my deals through them).
  • A buyer to wholesale a property to.
  • Huge motivation!

Keep in mind that I did not have a specific agenda at these coffee dates.  I just networked.  And I cannot tell you how many times I have come away thinking, "Wow, that was great!"  I just met someone today who is one of the really big successes in the area.  We have a coffee date for next week!

Wow! This is just what needed to hear. I was thinking about doing this but you gave a great idea. And I love the podcasts!!! Thank you so much. I like how you will find great information that is local to your market. I appreciate your post.

@Mark S.  Good luck!  Let me know how it turns out.

@Larry T.  

Excellent points that you made there. The more information you can gather from others the better, especially the ones who are succeeding. This make it possible for others to do it and inspires them to take that leap of faith and do it for themselves.  

@Larry Turowski Great advice! My wife and I just had a meeting with two people who have been attending the REIA meetings in our area, and I proposed that we start meeting weekly to develop our "real estate investing team". We are first going to identify the define the different roles involved in real estate deals: what is their purpose, what talents do they need to have and how do they make money from the deal. Next we are going to each decide what role(s) we are going to play on our team and what roles are left unfilled. We'll then develop a strategy to fill those holes. Then each week we'll meet to review and discuss potential deals, deals in process and completed deals. Each deal is independent of each other and the owner of the deal has the option to partner with members of the group to do their deal.

I'll tell you how it works out.

@Larry T.  

That's a great idea!  I'm a newbie and was trying to think of a good way to do this, but I like that idea.  Although, I do have one question for you, do you typically meet with them during the week or on the weekend?  I ask because I have a typical 9-5 and I would have to meet them outside of "normal" business hours.

This is my plan.  I have the time and down payment for a rental but no steady income yet from my job. For now, I am just saving and networking so when the deal comes , I will hopefully be ready for it.

Good luck

Daniella Ortiz

@Timothy Trewin  The first deal is always the hardest and seems to take forever in coming.  The next one too, but not quiet as hard.  And so on.  I still feel like the deals don't come consistently enough, but I see others who have gotten further along than I have, and so I keep pressing.

@Michael Evans  Great job taking concrete action!

@Devan M.  I have a 9-5, too, probably for another year or two before I launch full time.  I generally schedule them early morning, but evenings would work, too.

@Daniella Ortiz  Good for you for not just waiting.  Keep on learning on your own and from others.  Everybody needs to know what the next thing they need to do is, and saving money and learning sounds like it is yours.

@Larry T.  , you might feel like the deals are not coming consistently enough but that might be a good thing. Everything happens for a reason int he time it is supposed to happen so these deals you might feel like you are missing out on might not be as good as they sound. You are farther along than probably 85% of the country so you are still doing well for yourself.

@Timothy Trewin  Thanks.  I'm not complaining--or shouldn't be.  I'm just trying to get to the 90th percentile, haha!

@Larry T.  Networking is absolutely a must for success in this business, and any business.  The more people you know, the more people are in your support system.

It's great to network in the business, but it's also essential to network outside the real estate field as well.  If you want to find people to invest in your deals, most likely they are going to be people who are not in the real estate business themselves.  It's therefore very important to get your name out there and make sure you are building relationships with people who will talk about you favorably with the potential investor community out there.

My three rules of networking are:  (1) never have an agenda; (2) always look for ways to help the other person first, with zero expectation of getting anything back; and (3) follow up, follow up, follow up.  Oh yes, and rules 4 and 5 are "follow up" and "follow up again".  One networking meeting is useless, unless you build a relationship with someone. That can be as simple as calling them up every few months and saying, "Hey I was thinking of you.  What are you up to lately? How is your business?"  But you'd be surprised how many people don't do it.  They collect a business card and think they're done.  Or they have one coffee and think they are done.  Networking is all about building relationships, and that takes time.  The work never ends.  But the good thing is that getting to know people with no expectation of them ever doing anything for you is a lot of fun.  And you'll be amazed at the results of 2-3 years of proper networking with no expectations, just trying to help people.  You will amass so much good will with people that opportunities will begin to come your way without you asking for them.  But this will only happen if you follow up, consistently, over time.

Great post Larry, thank you for sharing! One of the things I do during my weekly Sunday review is think about who I am going to come in contact with during the up come week. I look for a growth opportunity. I ask myself these question which helps me prepare questions to ask that person so the opportunity is not squandered. 

What are there strengths? (before we meet or I might ask them if it fits in the conversation)
What are they learning now? 
Who have they meet, what have they read, what have they done that had helped them?What haven't I asked that I should? (This is what I like to think of when we are talking)
What do I need right now to implement what I've learned? (after the meeting, reflect)

@Jonathan Twombly  Great point about follow up.  Most of the people I've network with I bump into here and there, but some I don't.  I'll have to make sure I am more deliberate about reconnecting with the others who might fall off the radar.  Thanks!

@James Schroeder   I like your review idea.  I don't do that enough.

@Larry T.  Larry, I actually keep an excel spreadsheet of all my contacts, when I last spoke with them, and what we spoke about.  I try to keep it up to date, though this is sometimes tough.  But that way, I can easily see if I have neglected someone for too long and it's time to drop them a line and say hello.

@Larry Turowski as a matter of fact I liked your post so much that it went into my every note "digital brain" for later use, or for sharing with others.

Jonathan Twombly, that is a great idea as well! I Think I'm going to implement something very similar. 

Side note:I'm not sure how to tag someone in the post but I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. So sorry I didn't tag you.

@James Schroeder  Use the "@" symbol to tag!  The "@"plus the first letter of the name (capitalized) will bring the name up at the bottom of the reply box.  Click on it, and you are set.

Good info. 

I just had an investor in my area contact me for a meeting. I'm so busy he told me to make two dates and he'll make one of them. I meet with people every week weather it be an attorney, broker, agent, contractor, city official, etc. You build from here and keep going. The next thing you know, you've got a network of people from this one contact. Once again, GOOD INFO!

@Larry T.  so its about six months later and i have been follow the wonderful advice and motivation in this thread and from it i have built an relation ship with a long time successful investor that owns 60 properties free and clear. He started to talk to me about managing the units for him(as he is about 78 and still self manages). well i have a full time job and i manage my own stuff so time is limited. so after he asked me i said i'll think about it. i make about as much cash-flow on my property as i will managing all his [email protected]% rents. So why even think about taking on the hassle? Well i had this 'epiphany'!! while i can't work for him full time and he is not ready to completely give up control, i offered to work for him for free to help him with his maintenance and doing a 'health check' on all his units. he was excited about this and said thats exactly what he is looking for. (except he won't let me do it for free, of course) but can you imagine the education I'm about to get??

All from meeting with him from time to time and talking about what I'm doing and running all my deals by him. he's a great mentor and knows the business inside and out! 

@Mark S.  That's awesome!  Congrats, and keep at it!

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