Welcome back to MOR Financial’s REI Blog, A Shot of Baile, where we are talking about creating a real estate business that will provide you with the lifestyle that you want to be accustomed to. It has been a long time since I talked about networking and how to work a crowd. I want to give most of the credit to my friend and coach Casey Eberhart. He’s a genius when it comes to networking. Check out his web page.
I was talking to a partner yesterday and he told me that he really doesn’t like going to Real Estate networking events, mostly because he doesn’t know how to network and he feels awkward when he’s put in the position to do so. He’s a great guy with his head firmly planted on his shoulders. He just was never taught how to network at events, so he finds himself well out of his comfort zone. .
Networking at Real Estate specific events is essential and it requires a skill set that needs to be cultivated in order to find success. I’ll go over a couple of them and get you started. Let me say, though, if you go in and try them for the first time at an REI club meeting, then it will be just like getting on a freeway for the first time driving. You might eventually get to where you want to go, but there will be a few accidents along the way. You need to practice before you ever do it in the “real world.”
First, when do you arrive at an event? The answer is “when it starts.” Here is the tricky part, though. Let’s say that the event is slated to begin at 7:00. Does the event really start at 7:00 or does it start before. A lot of networking begins well before the actual event begins. The trick is to get there before everyone, except maybe the organizer. Get there very early and offer to help set up. It makes you a “doer” in the eyes of the organizer and someone that they can rely on. When other people start showing up, you will be among the first people that they meet, so you will get to know everyone when they first walk in the room. This gives you an advantage since you will get a good idea about who you want to network with later.
After people arrive at the event and you get the chance to figure out who the alpha’s in the room are, now you get to really do the networking. If there are people that you think would benefit by connecting with them, make sure you either introduce them to each other, or point them out to someone and say that they should go and meet them and tell the person how the alpha can help them. Be the connector in the room. THAT is the most powerful person you can be, unless you are the alpha.
At some point, you get to give your elevator speech. There are a couple of ways that you can do this. You can give the same speech that everyone gives: “This is who I am and this is how you can help me.” Sound familiar? Who listens to that speech and thinks, “I want to help him make money”? I know that I usually don’t. The second way is to show how you provide a solution for others. That allows them to see that you are not just in it for yourself but you have the “abundance attitude” and think of others in your business. There is a third, much more advanced speech which almost ALWAYS gets you connected to the person that you want to get connected to. If anyone wants to know this method, drop me a line and I will personally walk you through it. It is a bit more complicated than I have room for here. Just remember that your elevator speech needs to present you as someone who is looking out for everyone.
After the meeting, you will be networking again. This is where it is critical to go back to being the connector. Make sure that you connect people and then people will want to meet you. It helps you become the most important person in the room.
At the end of one FIBI meeting, an agent actually came up to me and said that he was able to connect with lots of people that he will be doing business with because of all of the people that I sent over to him. To this day, I still get emails and leads for homes from him, just from that one evening. It pays dividends to be the connector and network the right way.
Most people think of REI and FIBI meetings as social events or places to go to learn. I don’t. I think of them as places to go to expand my network and meet people that I can put together to raise my gravitas with the alphas in the business.
Two last small little points that are vitally important… First, don’t drink alcohol. Period. This is a business event, not a social party. Drink with your friends or at home, not at work. Relationships can be destroyed by things people inadvertently say after a few drinks. Second, dress the part. There is an old adage that says you should dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have. Keep that in mind and look professional.
Lastly, practice. Practice with a partner, a friend or family member. Go to an REI meeting that you really don’t plan on hanging around in and practice there. Practice until it isn’t rehearsed, but natural. After that, just do it! That’s all there is to it.
If anyone has more questions or wants more one-on-one coaching, don’t hesitate to contact me. This is a passion for me and I truly enjoy sharing what I know with others. Thanks for coming by and getting a bit of the education. Until then, remember that you, too, have that inner warrior that it takes to achieve greatness and success. Feel free to drop me a line at Coaching [at] BaileProperties.com.
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