One of my favorite verses in the bible is Proverbs 27:17; “As iron sharpen iron, so one person sharpens another.” I was reminded of this principle this last weekend when I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with 30 other real estate investors of all different experience levels, backgrounds, etc. It is easy to get stuck in certain ways of thinking or even certain aspects of real estate when we isolate ourselves from other professionals who share our love of real estate investing. Spending time with other investors can be an invaluable resource on the road to your success.
Many real estate groups have the unfortunate stereotype of in-your-face selling; whether it be books, CD’s, systems, training, or even real estate itself. Unfortunately, I think this stigma has scared away numerous investors who could benefit by being networked into the right groups.
I fully admit that I typically approach any assembly of real estate investors with caution as so many of them seem to deviate into this pattern of aggressive sales coupled with minimal content. However, I was reminded this weekend that there are in fact great groups of real estate investors to get plugged into, that can expand your perspective and refine your understanding of this industry. For example, I am somebody who deals almost completely in local residential real estate, but it was great for me to become more educated on the commercial side of investing as well as opportunities out of state and internationally.
Additionally, plugging into a good group of educators and like-minded investors is not only a great way to learn and understand this business better, it’s also a doorway to new opportunities. I was fortunate to meet individuals not only from around the country, but from other countries as well at this event. While I believe my market has unbelievable investing opportunities right now, I was extremely intrigued by some of the international opportunities that many domestic investors have yet to explore. In talking with some of the developers and investors from other countries, it became clear to me that I need to keep an open mind to opportunities that may present themselves in areas outside of my market.
I think it goes without saying that real estate investors should always pursue new education and learning opportunities in this industry. However, learning alone will not necessarily create opportunities. I believe plugging in to a network of other investors can be extremely beneficial to the growth and development of a budding real estate investor. Don’t let an unhealthy level of skepticism keep you from an opportunity to learn from and network with other real estate professionals. I have found that some of the biggest opportunities that have been presented to me, came about by the relationships I built in these types of settings.