Tales of a Non-Real Estate Networking Event
I went to a general meetup of professionals. I don't really know what I was looking for since I was not really looking to sell anything but I was curious because it seemed like a nice downtown venue and with over 100 participants. Unfortunately, the crowd was a bit tough to break into (I'm not the natural extrovert) because I was talking about real estate investing. The group median age was in its early 30s with a vast array of professions and industries. The majority of the people there were very career focused (trading time for money) or technical in trade. I also found that the level of participants were mostly entry level in terms of career stage and thus the reason they are hustling for leads, networking, and even jobs. Needless to say, these people did not have much money to collaborate in a real estate deals and even if they did they were not drinking the Real Estate Kool-Aide and were into their JOBs (just over broke) and "401k 4-Life". Suffice to say I am going to be more selective in my networking events as I try to find other like-minded investors but here are some fun observations.
I realize that one can call BS and say that I had a negative mindset and that I was not networking for quality or building a long-term relationships. However, I got the feeling that a lot of the people in the room were just interested in passing out cards and with the "what can I get mindset" which is typical for the scarcity mindset population. Here are a couple fun examples
1. One broker for a large bank was hopping around the room (rudely/awkwardly) interrupting conversations, asking to collect cards, saying that they have 1% money market accounts but you have to have over $100,000 in your account. I don't know what was worse, her tactics or those interest terms. Just to give her the benefit of the doubt I attempted to find some way she could sell her services to me and since I have gotten portfolio from small banks, I inquired about similar options with Balls Fargo. Her response was that she "was just collecting cards tonight"... ok I get it... BTW I ran out of cards at that point.
2. I had one Realtor give me a card after we exchanged our backgrounds and he did not even look me in the eye as he checked out the woman's backside who walked by. (wtf) The other funny thing was that I told him I don't purchase in Washington State (due to cashflow) especially MLS retail, so why would he try to jam a card down my throat. The dude was in his mid-50s which I saw as really sad that this guy still did not get it - the whole holistic networking philosophy. I believe there is always a way two people can help each other to gain synergy - other than one person selling the other person with their product or services.
3. There were a few guys there just hitting on women. I felt like I was in a meat market especially in the second half of the evening.
4. And no night could be without a few bearded 22-year-olds who are referring to the "secret" and sell knives and other yummy supplements (MLM).
The saying "you pay for what you get" applies here. The cost for this event was $15 and it included a free drink... which I needed. In hindsight, the low price tag barrier to entry was the red flag. Not saying that the entrance fee is everything but the people who pay 10 dollars to attend a Meetup are a lot different than attendees that attend a free one. Take that a step forward and think of the abundance of opportunities with these heavy hitters at events that are charging $500-$15,000. The paradigm shift should be instead of attending all these events, take your money and go to the most expensive one you can and concentrate there.
The second red flag was that this was a 'Networking' event. Typically networking evening are just plain bad because everyone is out for something. If someone had truly made it and able to move mountains they ain't going to no 'Networking' event.
Good lord this introvert needs go home and recharge his batteries.
SPC GIT 'ER DONE PLAN:
1) Always help people first... there is no social contract for Quid Pro Quo in networking but be sure to be able to define what you are looking for
2) Be selective and go to events where attendees are curated - I believe that it's better to go to the higher end networking events because of the caliber of participants are so much higher and these people have the abundance mindset and ability to put make things happen.