Are you hiding behind your computer or are you out there? Lately there have been a number of articles touting the benefits of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and, yes, BiggerPockets. While those sites can be a great benefit to your business, they are no substitute for being ‘out there.’
I’ve written articles before touting the benefits of networking (article) but thought that it was time to revisit the subject. The holiday season is fast approaching and that will give you many opportunities to network. However, many people view networking as a chore, but it doesn’t have to be.
Follow Your Interests
When people think about networking they assume that means going to real estate clubs or Chamber of Commerce meetings and business groups. While those are obvious places to network, it can be done anywhere. Whether you are an investor buying real estate, an agent selling houses, or a lender facilitating loans, there is one common denominator – people.
So where do you find these ‘people’? Everywhere you go. I have successfully built several businesses around networking. While I’ve used business groups, real estate clubs and the like, some of my best opportunities have come by just following my interests. If you like to cook then join a cooking group where you can meet other people. Like photography, bird watching or basket weaving? You can find groups for that as well. The key is to make it known to the group what you are looking for. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Keeping It Fun
I’m always out doing something and it shows in the results. Friday evening I was at a social mixer (otherwise known as happy hour) for a business group. One person that I know in that group brought someone I didn’t know over to me and said to the woman “This is the guy you have to talk to, he wrote a book on rehabbing real estate.” I chatted with her for a while and made a great connection.
I’m an active member of a writer’s group with over 300 members. While the group has absolutely nothing to do with real estate, everyone there knows what I do. In the past week I received calls from two other members of the group who have an interest in real estate.
Does this all lead to business for me? No, but it does give me something extremely valuable. Two of the contacts that I made in the past week turned in to referrals for members of my team. That is the essence of networking and it can pay huge dividends down the road.
So follow your interests and keep it fun. Take the ‘work’ out of networking.
You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you. – Dale Carnegie