Your Network is Your Net Worth

Ask any really successful real estate entrepreneur what resource has made them the most money, and if they’re answering truthfully, they’re going to say, “The people I’ve met.”

In fact, if you’re not making it a priority to spend time creating, growing, and nurturing your network of colleagues and financial friends, you’re making a big mistake.

I’m not a natural networker—I would, on any given evening, rather be curled up in front of a fire with a good book than at the hottest party in town.

In fact, if you’re ever AT a party with me, and you’re looking for me, I’m probably the one behind the potted plant playing with the host’s cat.

But, at the same time, I am very aware of how many millions of dollars my network has earned me in the past 2+ decades, and I’ve seen the nearly tragic consequences that NOT having a network when you need one can have.

Early on in my career, it was more experienced real estate association members who served as my backstop, confirming (or, in some cases, totally trashing) my evaluation of deals I was considering buying . Without them, I’d have made a lot of mistakes that I didn’t make and passed up a lot of opportunities I didn’t pass up.

Later in my business, when I started wholesaling, I rarely had to advertise my deals at all. And  I don’t just sell 90% of the deals I wholesale to members of my local REIA; I sell them to members of my local REIA BECAUSE I NETWORKED WITH THEM AND KNOW WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR. I can send out emails about great deals all day long, but the person I sell it to will be the one that I call personally and say, “You know how you were telling me that you were looking for a small multi-family, but that you wanted at least 4 units and wanted one with some upside potential? Well, guess what, I have the perfect deal for you”.

Here’s more: most of the money I’ve raised to buy houses in the past 5 years has NOT been by standing in the front of the room and telling people I need money; it’s been by networking, and finding out from people that they have money that’s not performing the way they want it to, and finding out what they’re comfortable with in the way of investment amount and terms, and then connecting with them later and arranging a deal for them to be in.

Ad I’m not the only one: I was approached by a young man a couple of weeks ago in Indianapolis who told me that at last year’s OREIA National Summit, he randomly met another attendee from Indy who happened to have a property he wanted to get rid of, and he made a deal in the bar, and made $27,000 on the house.

So what am I telling you? Make it a priority to put yourself in the way of networking opportunities at your local association, conferences and summits, and wherever else real estate investors hang out.  Join your local real estate association and get to the meetings regularly. Spend time at events like the OREIA National Real Estate Strategies Summit (one of the best networking opportunities in the US, in my opinion) and expand your network across the country.

Talk to people. Ask questions. Be curious. Yes, even if you’re an introvert like me. Even though you’re not sure they want to talk to you. I’m telling you, you’ll do more real estate, and better real estate, when you do.

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