by Linda Pliagas, owner, Realty411 Expo: http://Realty411guide.com/events
Napoleon Hill wrote about the importance of being involved in a mastermind group in his famous and life-changing book “Think and Grow Rich.” Hill, a journalist, was challenged by the wealthiest man at the time, Andrew Carnegie, to interview the richest men in the world and discover their commonalities. What he documented during his life-long research was outstanding and continues to impact millions of people around the world.
The mastermind, a group of individuals united to exchange ideas, elevate their thinking and improve their prospects, was found to be of high importance among the successful and influential. Meeting with like-minded individuals, shaking hands and exchanging business cards, is proven to be one of the best investments a person can make in their life and career.
It is commonly acknowledged that real estate is a relationship-based business. Networking can make a measurable impact for real estate investors, real estate agents, brokers and realty service professionals.
Just imagine an investor with the ability to close quickly who happens to meet a prolific wholesaler who just happened to land a deal in the investor’s target area. Or the newbie real estate agent who attends an evening business mixer and ends up connecting with a retired Top Producer who spills a lifetime of listing secrets right on the spot!
One never knows just who they will meet at professional events. Remember: One connection can potentially change your business (and life) forever!
Your Net Worth = Your Network
Birds of a feather flock together. This is a popular adage and reveals the true nature of human beings: We are social creatures. We all need people. Human beings crave personal connections. It is for this reason that the über rich regularly hold lavish social affairs.
Is there really a better way to enjoy entertainment, reaffirm relationships, boost business and social standing?
The reality is a person’s net worth will be comparable to those of their five closest friends. It’s quite obvious that a person’s socioeconomic status is directly related to their ability to schmooze. With this in mind, following are some suggestions to help solitary caterpillars morph into social butterflies.
FIVE TIPS TO MAXIMIZE NETWORKING
1. Prepare for a Great First Impression
Remember: We only get one shot to make a great first impression. Prepare to make an impact by having a plan ahead of time. What is your goal at this event? Do you want to network with others who have more experience to learn from them? Are you ready to buy a property and want to find a “hidden gem” of a deal, one that may not be listed on the MLS? Is your goal to build a team and attract more financial partners into your network? Having a well-defined plan before you attend an event will help execute the desired outcome.
2. Dress for Success: Details Make a Difference
Attract successful people into your inner circle by being impeccably stylish. In other words, leave the ripped-up jeans, dirty loafers and stained shirt at home. It’s important to invest in oneself by having professional attire; clothing that lets the world know it’s time for some serious business.
Gentleman: shoes must be shined, display a nice watch on one’s wrist, wear a classic suit, or if the occasion permits pressed slacks and a sport coat. Ladies: Hair groomed, nails manicured and stylish dress or pantsuit. Bring out the bling, but keep private parts under wraps. It’s not appropriate for a professional lady to dress like she’s on her way to a nightclub: Not too short, not too low.
Small details make a huge difference: Are your clothes wrinkled? Is your mascara smeared? Do you have garlic breath? One wants to stand out at important events, but in a good way!
3. The Tool of the Trade: A Business Card
If a person doesn’t have business cards, then they may as well stay home. How can one make good connections if they can’t leave their contact information behind with the people they meet? Business cards are essential and, luckily, they are easy to purchase. Vistaprint.com is a favorite place for inexpensive cards. But again, business cards are an investment, so if possible upgrade to one that will leave an impression.
Some of the best business cards I’ve seen: A round business card that looked like a coaster; a black business card with striking gold lettering; unique paper that stands out, such as thick paper stock or one with an interesting texture.
4. Shut the Trap, Open the Gate
Be a socialized networker: Don’t dominate the conversation. Networking is intended to build connections that could potentially result in business. Nothing says “I’m really insecure about myself” more than someone who boasts nonstop about their abilities, wealth or intelligence. It’s a nightmare to be followed around by a chatterbox who is only attending an event to make themselves feel better about who they are. Here’s a clue: Truly successful people do not brag, only wanna be’s do that.
Wealthy people don’t have to tell everyone how rich they are – they already know it! Be proper and courteous. Think before speaking: Choose words wisely. Speak with intent. Be positive, and please don’t start bashing others in the industry, which is not only extremely rude, but also reveals a high level of immaturity.
Keep the trap shut to open up the wealth gate. Successful people don’t have time to deal with pettiness nor do they want to surround themselves with those who are shallow or negative.
5. The Fortune is in the Follow Up
So the event was spectacular. The connections were phenomenal, and a mile-high stack of business cards awaits… now what? Simply setting the cards aside and waiting for people to call will get one nowhere. Be sure to follow up as quickly as possible. The fortune is in the follow up. This is the time to ask for the business over the phone. Or, perhaps it best to make an appointment to meet in person again.
Some people like to follow up via email or text, others prefer a phone call. Regardless of the method, following up with a new-found connection is essential. This is perhaps the most important ingredient in the formula for networking success. It’s also the most overlooked piece of the puzzle.
FINAL WORDS FROM YEARS OF NETWORKING
As the producer of national expos and VIP mastermind mixers, I’ve had the privilege of hosting hundreds of functions. Our largest events have attracted 400 people and united some of the most influential speakers in the real estate investing industry.
These tips also stem from my experience in the luxury industry; our family’s business restores and services antique timepieces owned by collectors around the world. Although privacy is paramount, I will reveal that most of our clients are multi-millionaires and some are billionaires, and our business is grown mostly by referrals.
I hope these suggestions help you attract the right connections to propel your business forward. I encourage you to implement these strategies at one of our national expos or intimate VIP mixers. We host them all over the nation from New York to California and many states in-between.
For details about our special expos, visit: