Are You Networking the Right Way: Making Connections in a Modern World
Networking plays a vital role in the world of investing. It not only helps you expand your professional circle but also opens doors to potential investment partners, valuable insights, and exciting opportunities. However, it's essential to approach networking strategically to maximize the benefits of networking! With events in full swing and webinars on the rise after COVID, face-to-face interaction is slowly becoming an art in itself. Making sure you know all the key tips and guidelines to ensure you're networking the right way with other investors is crucial, enabling you to forge meaningful connections and meet potential investment partners.
Whether you are a new investor that is trying to build a fresh network, or you have been investing for years with a large circle of financial friends, there are always ways to improve how you connect with others in the investment world. In the past few years, there has been an influx of online events where investors don’t have the opportunity they once had to shake hands and talk in-person. Instead, there are new opportunities online events present, like the chance to connect with others that are not joining locally, and much more. But the most important thing to remember before you start networking is that you must define your goals before diving into networking activities. What do you hope to achieve through networking? Is your goal to find potential partners, gain market insights, or establish yourself as a thought leader? Always clarify your objectives as this will help you focus your efforts and make the most of your networking opportunities.
6 Tips to Network the Right Way
Once you have a clear goal, make sure you come prepared to network! Although it’s where most deals start, it’s not always just about the conversation. We’ve created a helpful checklist to ensure you’re networking the right way.
- Look the Part. When networking with other investors, it's important to present yourself professionally. Dress appropriately for the occasion, whether it's a formal event or a casual meetup. Your attire should reflect your industry and convey confidence. Remember, first impressions matter, so pay attention to grooming, body language, and overall demeanor!
- Know Who You're Talking To. Before attending networking events or engaging in conversations, research the individuals or companies you are likely to meet. Familiarize yourself with their background, investment interests, and recent activities. This knowledge will enable you to tailor your conversations, ask relevant questions, and demonstrate your genuine interest in their work. Prepare a few thoughtful and open-ended questions to initiate discussions. These questions can revolve around the other person's investment philosophy, recent challenges, or their perspective on industry trends. Actively listen and show genuine interest in their responses.
Here are some example questions you can use to get a conversation started!
- "What kind of real estate investing strategies or niches are you currently focused on?"
- "How long have you been an investor?"
- "Have you attended any real estate investment seminars or conferences recently?”
- "Are you actively seeking new investment opportunities?"
- Have a Track Record of Examples, if possible, or a “Look Book”. Having a portfolio or a look book showcasing your successful investments or previous projects can be a powerful tool during networking. Be prepared to present your portfolio or look book in a concise and compelling manner, highlighting key results and demonstrating your expertise.
- Conduct Due Diligence. Networking is not just about making connections; it's also about ensuring that you align with trustworthy and reliable partners. Familiarize yourself with the due diligence process, including conducting background checks, analyzing financials, assessing market potential, and verifying references. Demonstrating your due diligence skills will give others confidence in your decision-making abilities.
- Come Prepare with Contact Information. Bring business cards with your contact information and any relevant professional marketing material. These materials will help you leave a lasting impression and provide a convenient way for others to recall your discussion afterward.
- Leverage Online Platforms. Utilize professional social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with investors, join relevant groups, and engage in industry-related discussions. Create a compelling profile highlighting your investment expertise and actively share valuable content to showcase your knowledge. Online forums and communities focused on investing can also be great platforms for networking and knowledge sharing.
Finding Networking Events
Once you have defined your alternative investment goals and have the proper understanding of what is needed to network to the best of your ability, now you can begin finding places to put your knowledge into action. And where can you do that? Industry events and conferences are excellent opportunities to connect with fellow investors.
Research and identify relevant events related to your investment interests or industry by either searching on the internet or asking your financial friends about potential events. Sites like Meetup, Eventbrite, BiggerPockets, and even individual company websites can provide a multitude of events that are often tailored to specific investor needs. Additionally, custodians like Quest Trust Company often offer free events, online and in-person, to encourage networking, too. These gatherings can feature panel discussions, keynote speeches, and networking sessions, offering you a chance to engage with like-minded professionals and meet potential investing partners. As mentioned in our top 5 tips though, be proactive, approachable, and prepared with business cards or contact information to exchange if you attend them!
Lastly, joining investor associations and organizations can provide access to a vast network of individuals with similar investment interests and events, private and open to others not in the network. Look for local or national groups that cater to your investment niche or goals. These associations often host meetups, seminars, and online forums where you can interact with fellow investors, share experiences, and build relationships. Active participation and contributions within these communities will help you establish credibility and expand your network.
Remember that successful networking requires a genuine interest in others and consistent effort. By networking the right way, you can enhance your investing journey and open doors to exciting opportunities in the future. If you ever have a conversation about Self-Directed IRAs and don’t know how to answer all the questions, not a problem! Send them our way. When networking at events and investors association, it's helpful to have the contact information for a Quest Trust IRA Specialist easily accessible in case you are talking to those who may want more information than you can provide. If you ever have questions, you can always contact an IRA Specialist by You never know which conversation might lead to something life changing for you, your business venture, or your next deal, so get out there and network!