As a Katy real estate investor, your success is highly dependent on your ability to source good deals and work with the right people. And in order to accomplish both of these objectives, you need to have a deep and rich professional network. But where do you start?
If you’re a self-proclaimed “people person,” networking is something that comes fairly natural. If you’re on the introverted end of the spectrum, it might sound as enjoyable as running barefoot over hot pavement. But either way, it’s something that you have to do.
“Building a network is one of the most important things you can do as a real estate investor,” investor Kent Clothier writes. “The size and strength of your network will directly determine how many deals you can do, how fast you can make money, how much those deals will cost you to do and what your profits are.”
When you have a large network, the good times are really good. There’s always a partner, investor, buyer, seller, or friend to lend a helping hand. But a large network is just as important (if not moreso) in lean times. During these stretches, a strong network can help you do the sort of organic business that would otherwise require a vast marketing and advertising budget.
Networking is also important from an emotional side of things. Having the right support can help you survive the low times, stay on track, and feel encouraged in the midst of friction.
7 Tips for Networking
Whether you’re looking to have a small network of tight-knit, like-minded professionals, or a vast network with hundreds of people you can tap for help and guidance, there are numerous steps you can take to reach your goals. Here are a few:
1. Say Yes to New Opportunities and Invites
Networking doesn’t always work out precisely how we’d like. We think it’s about going to big networking events and conferences, wining and dining people, or setting up formal meetings. But the truth is that most networking is far more spontaneous and organic.
The best networking happens when you least expect it. And in order to seize these opportunities, you must say yes to things. When someone invites you somewhere, just say yes.
You never know when a golf outing, drinks with a friend, an invitation to hear a speaker, or a dinner party with a colleague will turn into something bigger and better. By putting yourself out there, you have those moments where you just so happen to rub shoulders with someone who becomes a new contact. While it might seem more comfortable to stay at home or hang out with the same friends every weekend, there’s growth in the outer edges of your comfort zone.
2. Join Katy Meetup Groups
Take a chance and join a local Katy meetup group – even if it doesn’t have anything to do with real estate.
Meetup.com is a great place to start. A quick search on the site reveals groups like:
- Katy Deal Finder REI (Real Estate IQ)
- Katy Soccer Meetup
- The Katy Book Club
- Katy Social Club
- Katy Photography Meetup Group
These are easy ways to meet people and get your name out there. Don’t miss out on these opportunities.
3. Be Smart With Conversation
Networking happens naturally, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare ahead of time. It’s always smart to have a game plan in place for how you talk about “what you do.” This is one of the first questions people tend to ask when meeting you, so have a good answer!
Rather than saying something like, “I’m a real estate investor,” find a way to explain the value you provide. This might look like “I help people get out of bad real estate situations so that they can experience financial freedom.” Now that’s how you grab interest!
4. Be Prepared to Share Contact Info
Always assume that you’ll never see the person you’re connecting with again. This means being prepared to pass along contact information. A good old fashioned business card is one option. You can also give out your LinkedIn profile URL. But whatever you do, don’t leave the other person empty handed!
By the way, if you’re looking for a good place to get a business card, try a company like Moo. Their business cards have extremely high quality card stock and interesting designs. (We have no affiliation with them, just a pro tip!)
5. Be Visible Online
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you need to have your online networking infrastructure set up. This includes social media, email, and some sort of content strategy via a website or blog.
For social media, LinkedIn is the best place to start. The platform is designed for professional networking, which means you’ll experience less friction. Having said that, you can also do some good networking on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. (Just make sure you aren’t too pushy on these latter networks.)
6. Follow Up
Most good networking goes to die after the initial meeting or connection. Why? Because people are terrible at follow up.
Never assume that the other individual is going to follow up with you. Always have a follow up strategy in place. At a minimum, you should reach out once within 12-24 hours of meeting, again in a week, and then quarterly thereafter. If things naturally progress beyond this point, that’s fine too. (It’s the goal, in fact.)
7. Give, Give, Give
Networking isn’t about how much you can get. If you’re approaching it from this mentality, you’re going to get minimal results. In order to be successful, you have to give, give, and give some more. Only then can you expect to get anything in return.
Reframe your approach to networking and think about ways you can add value to those around you. If you do it enough, they’ll eventually feel compelled to add value to you.
Let Green Residential Help
At Green Residential, our goal is to help Katy real estate investors and landlords free up time in their schedules to devote to important tasks like networking. We do this by streamlining the mundane and time-consuming responsibilities like rent collection, tenant screening, maintenance and repair requests, and property marketing.