Hate Networking? Be Honest, Be Brave and Do It!

Posted on 16. Jun, 2011 by in General

We’ve been told time and time again that networking is key to building our real estate business. As the saying goes “it’s not only who you know, it’s who knows you”.  It’s a fact that the process of networking takes time, however it’s worth it as meeting the right people can get you noticed and get you to the next step in your investing career.

By what if you hate networking?

Networking is hard, really hard. I find it scary and stressful. Initially, I was certain I was the only one who detested it so much.  But now I know that most people feel the same way, it makes me feels somewhat better.  What is it all about, really? In the early days, I thought effective networking was meeting as many people as possible and just gathering their business cards. I felt that if I met enough people, somewhere, somehow the right ones would jump out at me and we would “network”.  After most networking events, I ‘d come away with a ton of business cards that would be shoved into a box only to pull them out 3 months later and not have a clue who they belonged to.

Effective networking can really become effective and time worthy when you find like-minded people , in other words, when you find “your flock”. In our case, it was when we started mingling with other investors and related professionals.We found we could leverage connections and share knowledge and resources.  Yes!  This is what networking is all about.  Collaborating with people with the same business philosophy and goals as us made networking much easier and enjoyable (did I really say enjoyable!!).

But for those of you who can’t stand the thought of networking and shy away from it (I know, I’ve been there too) here are a few tips to think about:

  • Aim to meet one new person at each event you attend.    It’s not too difficult to develop one meaningful conversation with one person.  Successful networking is about giving, not getting.  I’m always thinking “how can I help this person”.  That in itself takes the focus off me and my anxieties. I can be real and act real.  Tip: always follow up the meeting with an email or a call.
  • Another tip for those who really detest networking is to think about hosting your own event.  This may sound like an odd strategy but doing this can develop your confidence by being more in control of the event.  We started our own Real Estate Investors Group here in Halifax as it was a great way to find like-minded investors and related professionals.  We identified our target market (our “flock”) and what people wanted to get from the event.  This has done wonders for our confidence, reputation, relationship developments and marketing.
  • Why not start out with a one time event such as a Lunch and Learn session or a free workshop and see how it goes from there?

In real estate investing the size of your investment network is equal to the size of your bank account (or net worth).  Networking is just something we’ve gotta get right. After all, what you put in is what you get out.

Be honest, be brave and help others.You never know when you’ll meet someone important to your business success!

Enjoy your weekend.

Jane

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