Creating a strong real estate network is incredibly valuable for real estate agents or real estate investors. After all, your real estate network is the backbone of your business and provides connections that will help you run your business efficiently and effectively.
If you're new to the real estate industry, learn why having a network is important, how to properly grow your network, and how to use real estate networking to grow your business.
What is a real estate network?
A real estate network is a group of real estate professionals that you develop a relationship with through various interactions. In most cases, these connections can improve your business in some form or fashion, whether it's by utilizing their services or the opportunities their services can give to your clients. The quality of your network often defines the quality of your business, but this is especially true for real estate investors or agents.
Why a real estate network is important
If you're engaged in real estate investing, you'll need to develop relationships with certain professionals in order to operate your investing business, which could include the following:
As a Realtor or real estate broker you will also need to develop connections with certain professionals and small businesses, especially in your local market. This helps you grow your pipeline for potential clients while improving your chances of receiving referrals from past clients.
For example, having connections with a local plumber, electrician, handyman, or contractor can be super helpful if you need repairs done on the property in order to close or to be able to refer clients to theses professionals once the property is closed. Other professionals and entities to include in your network include:
- Title company.
- Credit repair company.
- Mortgage broker or lender.
- Cash buyers (such as investors).
Having established relationships with companies and individuals in your market or industry can help improve your customers' experience and allows you to work with qualified businesses to improve how your business operates.
How to build a real estate network as an agent or investor
Growing your real estate network as an investor or agent is actually easier than you may think. The key component to successful networking is going to events where there are relevant and worthwhile networking opportunities. You can attend these types of events:
- Local real estate associations or real estate investment group meetings.
- Real estate industry conferences or events.
- Business networking meetings.
- Chamber of commerce meetings.
Networking isn't limited to making connections face to face. Developing a strong online presence via a professional website and blogging, as well as by posting educational content or networking on social media like LinkedIn, BiggerPockets, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), or Meetup.com, can be a great way to connect with other professionals. Talking about what you do in your business, past deals, or sales you've closed while sharing relevant news and information that's helpful for your clients or other investors will increase your exposure and make you a trusted professional in that market or space.
Asking for referrals can also be helpful for expanding your real estate network. Ask fellow investors, past clients, or agents for referrals they may have for the specific business or trade you're seeking to include in your network. They may have a contact for a good contractor, hard money lender, or other professional you'd like to connect with.
Best practices for real estate networking
The type of events, meetings, or groups you join will largely depend on what you're trying to accomplish. If your goal is to find other real estate investors or real estate investing opportunities, it may be best to network at your real estate investment group.
However, if you're an agent or broker looking to find potential sellers or buyers, it may be better to focus on local events in your immediate market where likely homebuyers or sellers would be. Attend social functions at your church, children's school, or neighborhood, for example.
When you start real estate networking, make sure you're professional in your interactions. Have a nicely designed business card with the pertinent information about who you are, what you do, and how to contact you.
Small talk may be the easiest way to get the conversation started, but you should have a well-rehearsed pitch about who you are and what you do ready to go so you can focus on spending your time wisely, connecting with the right people, and sharing what you do in a concise and eloquent way. Also, remember not to be pushy. Make sure you're networking with others in a way that's in line with social standards and expectations for the event, function, or platform.
Growing your real estate network doesn't have to be intimidating. Do your homework on the best events to attend and look for the ideal places where your clients may be, and eventually you'll have a strong network for your business.