For Austin real estate investors, networking is one of the foundational pillars for success. As the popular saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” You can have all of the head knowledge, but if you don’t have rich relationships with the right people, you’re going to come up short.
Take the next 12 months to invest in your networking and you’ll see your success rate skyrocket.
6 Tips for Austin Real Estate Networking
If you’re in the real estate business, you’re in the people business. Here are a few tactful suggestions you can use to improve your networking in the Austin market:
1. Join Austin Groups
The great thing about real estate investing in Austin is that you have plenty of formal and informal networking groups to choose from. All you have to do is run a quick search on Meetup.com and you’ll find more than a dozen groups with several hundred members.
Find one that fits your specific niche/goals and consider a visit. REIA Austin is probably the biggest, but it’s far from the only option.
2. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
In today’s world, the bulk of networking happens online. Or, at the very least, your first impression is often established online. And if you want to control your online image and develop more powerful networking relationships, you should take the time to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
A good LinkedIn profile is simple, clear, and specific. Here are a few tips you can use to “up your game” and accelerate your networking:
- Get a professional headshot. Stop using that cropped photo from your best friend’s wedding night and get a professional headshot. Crop it nice and tight and make sure you’re looking directly at the camera (or slightly off to the side).
- Customize your banner. Your banner is like your own personal billboard. Stop using the default LinkedIn banner and leverage this real estate to your advantage. Use a tool like Canva to design a custom banner that communicates authority and positions you as someone others need to know. You could include a slogan, past accomplishments, or even testimonials.
- Improve your headline. Nobody looks at a headline like “Austin Real Estate Investor” and feels compelled to connect with you. Spice things up and use active language. Niche down a particular focus and use this as the fuel for your headline. A good example would be, “I help tired Austin homeowners cash out of their homes in 60 days or less without the hassle.”
While most people spend the bulk of their time on their “about” section and job history, the reality is that 90 percent of people will never scroll past the top of your page. By getting your headshot, banner, and headline right, you’ve set the right impression from the start.
3. Establish Credibility
Credibility is everything. People aren’t interested in partnering with investors who have no experience, skill, or clout. You might be able to ride your personality pretty far, but there’s a cap on what you can do without credibility.
One of the best ways to establish credibility is to write a book. And, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a professional author. You can throw together some basic thoughts and hire a ghostwriter to develop it into a readable manuscript. Once written, self-publish with Amazon and do on-demand printing. Suddenly, this becomes your business card. (It also lets you use the words “published author” on your LinkedIn profile.)
Podcasting is another good option. Even if very few people listen to the podcast, you’re able to include it on your LinkedIn profile and make references to it. This automatically positions you as a subject matter authority.
4. Fake It Until You Make It
One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming they have to be an established investor before they can network. However, nothing could be further from the truth. You actually need a network in order to become an established investor. The question is, how do you build a network when you’re just getting started?
The solution is simpler than you realize. Instead of walking into a networking event and saying you’re “thinking about” investing in real estate, you need to be bolder in your word choice. Say something like, “I’m actively looking for fix-and-flip investments in the Austin area.” Not only is this true, but it makes you seem more serious.
5. Talk About What You Do
You don’t have to be in a formal networking environment to network. Some of your best opportunities are the ones that come when you least expect it. Whether you’re shopping at the mall, chatting with someone at church, or watching your daughter’s soccer game, every interaction has the possibility of becoming a networking opportunity.
The key to making the most out of these opportunities without coming across as a selfish self-promoter is to casually talk about what you do. Whenever you get the chance, drop phrases like “my real estate investment,” “my tenant,” “my real estate business,” etc. Anyone who is in the business or has interest in investing will pick up on those words and ask questions.
6. Master the Follow-Up
The success is in the follow-up. Almost anyone can make a quick connection, but the only way for a connection to turn into a valuable member of your network is to follow up. Don’t let more than 24-48 hours pass before you initially follow up. Whether it’s a phone call, email, or LinkedIn connect request, it’s important to stay top-of-mind.
After that initial follow-up, put reminders in your calendar to reach out at specific times over the next several weeks and months. It usually takes two or three touchpoints before a real relationship is formed.
Contact Green Residential
Your network is only as good as the resources you have available at your disposal. At Green Residential, we partner with both new and experienced Austin-area real estate investors to provide first-class property management services that make it possible to scale with effort and ease.
Want a free property management analysis? Contact us today and we’ll help you to get started.