REIAs, or Real Estate Investors Associations, are networking events found throughout most major cities in the US and are built to help local investors and vendors network together.
Real estate investing can be a lonely business but who you know plays a big part in your success as an investor. Without connections, you’re putting more work on yourself because you’re having to vet potential vendors you plan to use.
Without connections, you’re putting more work on yourself because you’re having to vet potential vendors you plan to use.
At REIA club meetings, this is the perfect time to branch out and get to know other investors and to connect with vendors. This being said, there are some mistakes many investors make that are hindering them from reaping the benefits of attending a networking event.
1. Not Attending or Not Attending Consistently
Most REIA meetings are monthly and if you go consistently, you’ll begin seeing familiar faces that you can reach out to and connect with.
If you keep putting off going or make up excuses for why you can’t attend, the only person you’re hurting is yourself.
These meetings are perfect for networking and learning more about the real estate investing industry. Many meetings will include expert speakers that are brought in to tell their story and answer your questions.
People pay thousands of dollars sometimes to hear these experts talk!
Commit to going to the majority of your local REIA meetings, at least until your business is bringing in deals on a regular basis. Even then, it doesn’t give you an excuse not to go. Sure, you might have a legitimate conflict that you can’t get out of, but if you don’t go, it’s a missed opportunity.
2. Not Having a Plan
What’s your goal for attending a networking event?
Do you want to talk with local investors to see how they’re doing in today’s market? Do you need to find a reliable general contractor who can manage your rehab projects? What about sharing to other investors that you’re a wholesaler looking to build a cash buyer’s list?
Have a plan in mind so that when you start talking to people, you know what you want to talk to them about and you’re optimizing your time at the event.
If you don’t have a plan, it’s easy to go off on a tangent about a crazy deal and can easily leave without any new strategies or connections.
Stay focused and get the most out of your time there. Ask questions and be a good listener. You never know when you’ll hear that small nugget of information that will be a game changer for your business.
3. Not Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
Especially in the beginning, you’re going to be in a room where you don’t know very many people but they all seem to know each other. It’s easy to become a wallflower and not participate or talk to anyone.
Don’t do this.
It might not be the most natural at first, but go up to people and introduce yourself. You already have a commonality since you’re both at the same event so break the ice by asking something simple, such as if they’re an investor or not. Most will easily share a bit about their business and just like that, a conversation is started.
Make sure to listen to everything they’re saying.
Don’t do all the talking!
Set a goal with how many people you want to talk to during a meeting. Refrain from picking a group to talk to and ignoring the rest of the crowd.
It might be unnatural at first, but this way you’re getting to know more people and building more relationships. The more meetings you attend, the easier this becomes and a long-lasting business relationship can easily be created.
Also, don’t be afraid to hand them your business card. Most of the time, they’ll reciprocate and if either of you needs something in the future, you both have a contact to reach out to.
4. Not Following Up
Once you get business cards from a meeting, don’t toss them aside and forget about them!
Follow up with them. It can start off with a simple email letting them know it was nice meeting them or talking with them. If there’s a way to help each other out, now might be a good time to bring it up.
There’s a lot of people who attend networking meetings who will never follow up with the business cards they received. They toss them to the side and forget about them.
By following up with them, it instantly makes you stand out.
Holly McKhann shares some tips on “Utilizing Networking Groups” on a previous REI Classroom if you want to check it out!
Don’t Miss Out On Easy Opportunities
REIA’s and other networking events are an easy way to build connections that might help you land more deals. It’s worth it to see if there’s a club in your area that you can join and check out.
They’re all different but they were all created so that professionals in the real estate investing industry would connect with one another and help each other succeed in our businesses.
A few hours a month has the potential to bring you multiple deals a year… is it worth it to you?