Networking for Profits

Much lip service is given to, but few master the art of networking. It’s a shame because your business will grow so much faster; new opportunities will appear; and you’ll easily uncover all the resources that you need.

You will not be successful operating as a lone ranger working from an island cut off from the rest of the world. You simply must meet people, engage in conversation, and discover what they do and how you can benefit each other.

One of the first things that I tell my mentoring clients they should do is meet other real estate investors in their city. It can be at an organized Real Estate Investors Association (REIA) meeting; or something as informal as meeting on Facebook and deciding to go have coffee together.

If you’re not already someone who networks, then two questions are probably popping up in your head right now: What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)? How will networking really help me? Am I not just meeting my competition?

  1. Great question. In fact, that is the basis of good networking (and good negotiating) – uncovering the WIIFM for the other person. Everyone in every situation is motivated by the answer to WIIFM? No one does anything without a good answer to that question.Why wait an hour for a table for dinner? A great meal. Why volunteer hours of your time? To feel good about giving back. Why work out at the gym? To feel and look healthy. Name any activity we do and there is always a WIIFM.

    So your WIIFM in negotiating is identifying people that will make your business easier to operate; more profitable; require less time; locate better resources; discover better methods and strategies; identify the best areas to invest; uncover new deals; and you may even make some great friends.

  1. How do I network? I’m not very outgoing? How do I find people to network with? I don’t think there are any investors in my area.Finding people is easy. First look for a local REIA. This is a hangout for like-minded individuals. Do a search on Facebook and Linked In for real estate investors in your area. Look for local Meetups. Connect on Connected Investors or Bigger Pockets.

    The point is to reach out. Find out what they do. Let them know what you need and ask them what they need. Remember WIIFM when talking with others. For those with something in common, take the time to meet in person. Go have a coffee or a beer and just talk about your respective businesses.

The more you interact and the more you talk about real estate investing, the more integrated your network will become. Maybe you consider yourself a little more reserved and not very outgoing. Frankly, that’s me. Here’s how you overcome that: ask them questions about themselves. Get them talking about themselves and you’ll see how the conversation naturally evolves.

By talking to people about my business at my gym, I found someone that wanted to loan money for high interest. They became my private lender.

I met another guy on Facebook and he is a wholesaler with properties. Another Facebook connection is a renovator/investor in my area. A REIA connection pointed me to a very reasonable hard money lender in the area. I also connected two Clients of mine who live in the same city and they are renovating a house together. One had the deal and the connections. The other had the time. Together they both make money.

You never know where your connections will take you, but they seem to always help your business in some way – even if it is just a new idea. Don’t underestimate the power of networking.

Expect abundance,

Lou Castillo

 

 

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