Some people say that real estate is all about “location, location, location.”
Today, I’m going to tell you that’s absolutely wrong.
So, what is the key to real estate then?
Here’s the simple answer – relationships.
You cannot be successful without a great team – from an attorney or insurance agent to brokers or lenders. That’s why the key to real estate, and virtually all other businesses, is to build relationships.
You can meet people anywhere obviously, but finding a professional focused on real estate would be pretty difficult to find randomly. Though there are a ton of ways to meet people, the fastest and easiest way is to go to networking events or meetups. Everyone is there for exactly the same reason and they are all eager to meet other professionals such as yourself.
I know a ton of people reading this and are thinking….”But I’m introverted!” I understand that because I’m introverted too. To overcome this, think about networking as your JOB. You go to work and accomplish the tasks your boss assigns to you. Networking is no different – go there with the task to meet people, accumulate business cards, and reach out and contact them.
Without further ado, here are the…
So, you’ve gone to the networking event and you’ve collected all the business cards. Now what?
The next step can actually cause people to freeze with fear or indecision. Remember, this is your JOB so you need to develop a system to help you overcome that.
Regardless of what you do to overcome your indecision, remember, the goal is to sit down and meet with every single person you found valuable from the meetup or networking event from the prior day. So, take out the business cards and determine who you want to meet with and prioritize them.
Your goal is to have a coffee or lunch date with them.
This may seem a bit excessive, but trust me, it works. That one hour sit down can initiate a long-term relationship. If it doesn’t, you spent an hour and had a coffee, so not much was lost.
Alright, just to help you out a tiny bit more, here is a simple yet effective email that can help you get started.
It was great meeting you last night at the meetup downtown. It was really interesting how you can find deals that unique way you mentioned (you should actually put in something real from the conversation). I’d love to sit down with you some time and chat about it, maybe for coffee next week?
Anyhow, have a great day.
This obviously doesn’t apply to someone who you want to hire for something such as a broker or insurance agent. Instead, you’d ask about their service and ask to sit down to learn more.
If the person is well established or an influencer, your standard email will definitely not work. Instead, offer to buy them lunch and make sure to add something of value to entice them to come.
Here’s an example
It was great meeting you last night at the meetup downtown. It was really interesting how you can find deals that unique way you mentioned (you should actually put in something real from the conversation).
Also, I remember you asked me about (or mentioned) X. I actually have a lot of experience with that and I already thought of a couple ways you could streamline your process. Maybe I could buy you lunch and chat about my ideas?
Anyhow, have a great day.
It happens a bit that someone doesn’t respond. There are a lot of reasons why this could be, but don’t think too much of it. If it’s a professional that offers a service, you might try reaching out a second time, but I wouldn’t go more than that. Remember, if they are providing a service, they should be good at following up.
For the rest of the people you email, don’t worry about a lack of a response. Instead, remember or write down who you contact and wait until you see them at the next meetup. It gives you a great conversation starter and a way to continue to build your relationship and rapport with them.
Maintaining the relationship is definitely the hardest part, especially in our modern society.
I’ll just throw it out there – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, other social media, automated emails, and texts are NOT how relationships are built. These platforms have a useful purpose, primarily to keep a lot of people informed on what you’re doing. But, it does not improve your relationship.
Phone calls and personal sit-downs are far more time consuming but the results are dramatically better. Not only will you have better business connections, but you will build strong personal relationships which are undoubtedly stronger than Facebook likes.
Here’s a quick example that came to me as I wrote this. Several months back I was scrolling through Facebook and saw that the daughter of an investor I knew had to go to the ER. There were 10 or 15 comments saying “Aww, I hope she gets better soon” or similar. Though I didn’t comment on the post, I did call up the father and asked how his daughter was. I had no other business to talk about that day and did not use it as a pretext to talk about something else.
I guarantee I was the only person who did this (except close family perhaps). I’m sure everyone who commented genuinely wanted the daughter to be fine, but most people take 2 seconds to write one line and move on with their life. By taking 5 minutes and making that call, you will leave a lasting impression.
Now that we’ve established you must call and meet with them, it’s time to put it on a schedule. Depending on the person and what they do, you might want to find a reason to talk to them every month or two.
Also, it’s good to use a spreadsheet or some sort of CRM (customer relationship management) software to track what you’re doing, take notes about the conversation, and learn about them and their families. The necessity of this really depends on exactly what your niche is and how many contacts you need to maintain.
Comment below and let me know what your ideas are to grow and build new relationships!
Eric is an investor that achieved financial independence at the age of 30. He started in 2009 with the purchase of his first triplex and now owns over 470 units. He spends his time with his family, growing his businesses, diversifying his income, and teaching others how to achieve financial independence through real estate. Eric has been seen on Forbes, Trulia, WiseBread, TheStreet, and other financial publications.
I started out as a full-time student, over $60,000 in debt, and didn't even have a full-time job (two part-time jobs). Learn the system I used to create a 6-figure passive income.
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