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Article > Networking for Property Investors

Article kindly provided by Mike Clarke

There are currently over 60 property networking events of various sizes organised around the UK every month and there are new groups and events to attend every week.

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Attending property networking events gives new and experienced investors, landlords and property professionals the opportunity to meet and interact with like minded people in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Property networking events enable better communication, promote the sharing of ideas and the exchange of information and effectively strengthen business relationships.

There are a multitude of reasons property investors and landlords should attend property networking events, meetings, gatherings or groups, as well as meeting new people, the events are packed with people who are very knowledgeable about their industry and they can be great for business.

Property networking events can be a good place to meet up with other property friends or re-establish communication with previous contacts. If you know someone who is going to be at an event you are planning to attend, arrange to catch up with them at the event for a chat to catch up.

Sharing information, making recommendations, establishing trust and finding the people for your own personal power team are key factors for effective networking. Networking is not a direct route to an easy sale but about helping others who may be able to help you.

The main benefits of property networking are:

• Building strong relationships and rapport with like minded people within the industry and having them in your personal power team
• Increasing efficiency and productivity through developing relationships
• Raising awareness of you, your company and the services you offer
• Sharing ideas and solving business problems
• Developing potential new business partnerships
• Accessing venture capital and finance
• Generating business leads and referrals

Research shows that referrals generate 80% more results than cold calls as people trust the information source.

Networking is about building genuine relationships, based on trust. Always pay attention to the person you are speaking to – ask questions and be interested in what they are saying, regardless of whether or not you think they could be useful to you.

Before attending a networking event, decide who you want to meet and your reasons for wanting to meet them. It will motivate you to leave your personal comfort zone and force you to introduce yourself to new people. You must also decide on what services or information you are able to offer other people in return

In order to make a good first impression it is important to dress for success, you will never get a second chance to make a good first impression. It is also really important to be confident about your own abilities and experience and above all else, be honest!

If you are able to describe you and your business in under 30 seconds and give an accurate description of what you do and what makes you different, it will grab your listener’s attention and naturally stimulate questions.

Whether you are comfortable in a room full of strangers or dread the thought of working a room, to be a successful networker you need good communication skills. Most people will be just as nervous as you and will respond favourably to someone who is genuine, interested and non-aggressive.

When in conversation at a networking event, you will want to turn small talk into a more focused discussion about business at some point, but don’t rush it.

You can bring business into a conversation by asking a few simple questions

• What do you do?
• How did you get into that?
• Does it work well for you?
• What are you looking for?

Above all do not make the classic newbie mistake of asking “How many properties have you got?” This avoids any awkwardness and embarrassment. If the person wants you to know about the size of their portfolio they will volunteer the information without being asked.

Avoid getting too personal too quickly. Allow relationships to grow slowly and naturally. There may be a few people who you instantly click with, but most relationships will take time to develop.

Networking is about building genuine relationships, based on trust. Pay serious attention to the person you are speaking to and ask questions, be interested in what they say, regardless of whether or not you think they could be a useful contact for you.

Always have business cards to hand, but avoid giving them out to just about everyone on first meeting them. Don’t appear desperate; establish a reason for giving them your business card first.

You are likely to meet a number of contacts at a particular property network meeting or event, so it can be a good idea to write a short comment or note actions on the backs of the business cards you receive. This way you are certain to remember what you agreed to do for each person.

Don’t expect conversations at such events to last for the entire evening, everyone in the room will be working along the same lines as you and they also want to meet as many people as they can in the limited time allowed.

Don’t just slip away when the conversation trails to an end, it is important to bow out gracefully. It is better to effectively bring the conversation to an end by saying “Good to meet you” – or even better by reinforcing any action that you had agreed while talking – e.g. “I’ll email you that article in the morning”. If you do wish to move on, try not to make it too obvious. One way of ending a conversation is to introduce the person you are talking to, to somebody else in the room. This means you can make a courteous exit. Another way to politely end a conversation is to say something like: “It’s been great talking to you, good luck with that project you’re working on.”

In order to build on your initial first contact and subsequent discussions with someone and get the most out of your property networking experience you need to dedicate time to reinforce the trust you put the hard work into establishing. The only way to build meaningful business relationships is by following up any promises made and keeping in touch. This shows that you are dependable, responsive, organised and courteous.

If you say you are going to do something for someone, then it is essential that you follow through and keep your promise.

• Take immediate action following the initial meeting or contact. The recipient will be pleasantly surprised at your promptness, and confident that you are a person of action.

• Set up a reminder to yourself. Write a note on the back of a business card, leave a voicemail message for yourself, or send a text to complete the request.

• Use email if you are passing on some simple piece of information, such as a telephone number or a website link or even just to say how much you enjoyed meeting the person and are looking forward to meeting up again soon

• Follow-up your initial meeting with a telephone call if you wish to discuss something in more detail

There is no point building your power team through networking if you are not going to use it. You need to be proactive in supporting the people you network with, and in turn, accepting the support they offer. Become a trusted source of information for your network. Provide others with links, articles or tools that you’ve found useful.

Attending a property networking event can have a very positive impact on you and your business and I would recommend attending an event near you soon.

Don'f forget to check out for an event near you this month

Mike Clarke


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