It has often been said that real estate investing is a numbers game. While this is certainly true, it is also a game of conversion. How well you perform at converting leads into actual deals will tell the story of your business. In most cases the leads you receive will come from your networking partners. You never know when you will meet someone that will completely change your business. Someone you have a brief conversation with at an investment club meeting may provide you with dozens of potential deals. How you treat them, and their referrals, can make or break the relationship. Your networking partners should be your primary source for new leads, and ultimately new business. Here are five tips to help secure more business from your networking partners.
- Be available. In this day and age of heightened technology there is no excuse not to be available. One of the most common reasons why networking relationships fall apart is a lack of communication. One side gets annoyed that they cannot reach the other party when they need to. If you are trying to make an impression you need to answer your phone every time it buzzes. You cannot pick and choose what calls you take and who you talk to. Whatever the circumstance may be you need to answer the phone or call back asap. Even calling back quickly is not the same as an instant conversation. Regardless of your relationship if there is a question that needs a time sensitive answer there are other people they can call. Simply calling back when it is convenient for you it not good enough. Make it a point to answer your phone every time it rings and return any texts or emails asap.
- Full transparency. The goal in building a relationship is not to get a one-off deal. You want to create trust and have a mutual goal that produces business on both sides for years to come. The best way of doing this is to have full transparency in everything you do. Nobody wants to work with a “yes” person who only tells you what you want to hear. As much as you may want the business you should never commit to a deal that deep down you know you may not be able to do. You are much better off saying that you can’t do something, or a deal is not in your comfort zone than breaking the news a few weeks into a project. Your contacts will respect and appreciate your honesty whereas if you lie to them you may never get a second chance to earn their business. There are too many other contacts out there to work with someone they can’t fully trust. Whatever it is you need to always be upfront and honest with everything you do.
- Be a problem solver. With the influx of new blood in the real estate community you need to be able to stand out from the crowd. In almost every market there are dozens of investors who can do the things you can do and have similar contacts that you have. What will help you stand out is your ability to solve problems. As much as you may want it to be the case, there is no such thing as an easy real estate deal. Almost every deal you are involved in has something funky with it. Your ability to see the big picture and get out in front of every scenario is essential. Finding a way to get a difficult deal done is what people will remember. If you can close a deal that nobody else can or find a way to maximize profit you can bet you will be their first call in the future.
- Treat referrals like gold. Every referral you receive from a networking contact must fully be worked and treated like gold. Your partner is trusting you enough to work with someone they know personally or professionally. Regardless of the type of deal or what the scenario is you must treat the lead like it is the only one you have on your plate. Be courteous, responsive and always do what is best for them. If there is a better alternative than working with you, always give them that option. If the deal doesn’t look like it is going anyway, be up front with them and explain why. You can bet that the lead is going to talk to your networking source and give them a blow by blow account of how you handled them. If you are short with them and don’t give the time of day you probably blew the best chance you had at any relationship.
- Stay in touch. A nice conversation at a networking meeting doesn’t mean much if you don’t follow up. You should develop a plan to stay connected with everyone you meet. Start with an email within 24 hours of your first connection. The longer you wait the more likely they will forget you. In your email you should include a specific time and day to get together for a follow up meeting. By giving specifics you reduce the chance of any excuses. If they can’t make the meeting you need to map out a schedule for communication. You don’t want to hound them, but you should reach out once every week to ten days just to say hello. Even if you don’t get a response you need to stick with it. You don’t know if they are reading your emails and just waiting for the right time to get back to you.
Your networking partners are the people you don’t have to cold call to get business from. Treat these people right and you will see a sharp uptick in your production.