Networking is key to the growth of any business, and property investment is no exception. Do not put networking in the ‘too hard’, ‘too tedious’ or ‘too time consuming’ basket in favour of other tasks. While it can be daunting to the shy types, and not exciting enough for the outgoing types, networking can really grow your business.
The thing with networking is that you need to make sure you are doing the right things when you meet with people, otherwise you will just be wasting time and a lot of money on coffee! You need to network effectively to make the most of the opportunity.
You don’t know who might be the person to give your business the break through it deserves. It might be the person sitting across the table from you, or it could be their friend, their colleague, or their neighbour’s aunty who they happened to run into in the driveway. Never waste an opportunity because you don’t know where it could lead.
Here are some tips to making your networking effective:
Get In Front Of People
Property investing is a field where personal interaction is appreciated and needed. It is a field where gut instinct and first impressions really count. It is hard to get a feel for who someone really is via email, or on social media.
It does make sense to use online methods to your advantage though. Compile a shortlist of people based on your online interactions, then arrange to get in front of them and meet face to face. Your true personality will shine through in person far better than in email.
Be a Man (Or Gal) With a Plan
People attend meetings or networking events to get results. They are not interested in lukewarm, wishy washy interactions. So you need to have a plan for what you want to say and what you want to achieve from the conversations you have.
You don’t need to script out entire speeches, but definitely jot down the points you want to discuss and have them fresh in your mind when you attend. That way you can steer a conversation in the correct direction to make each interaction worthwhile.
Have All The Right Intentions
Don’t go into networking with a selling mindset, or you will come off as the sleazy used car salesperson (even if you aren’t wearing a loud shirt and strutting about). Have the right intention of cultivating relationships that can work for you both. If a business deal arises from the relationship then that’s great, if it doesn’t the connection will be useful in other ways.
Be genuine. People can smell fakeness a mile off, it oozes out of you and turns them away. Think about how you like to be treated when networking and then treat others in the same way. Build genuine long term connections of support and inspiration.
Be Eager And Drag Your Heels
A trick for new players is to arrive early and to leave late. You can have some of the most meaningful conversations outside of the set networking timeframes.
But aside from that, arriving early gives you the chance to get a feel for the place (work out where the bathroom is!) and to get comfortable before the room is packed. You can also watch people arrive and how they interact with each other. The confident, serial networkers will stand out. They are the ones who have established networks you might be able to tap into.
Listen and Listen Well
Don’t stand there waiting for the other person to shut up so that you can say your piece. Take a genuine interest in who people are and what they have to say. They might have some gems for you to learn. It also allows for a more meaningful connection, as they will give you the respect that you offered them.
Network With Everyone
Just because they are not in your industry, field or location does not mean they can’t be a worthwhile connection. The future is unpredictable and you can never know how crossing paths with someone will turn out.
Don’t just collect a pile of business cards, put them in your desk drawer and forget about them forever more. Follow up with the connections you made afterwards by email or phone. Be polite and genuine. If you do have a request, be specific about it. In busy business life, no one has time for vague comments.
There you have it, 7 great tips for effective networking as a property investor. Go forth and make great connections that can support and grow your business.