Networking with Purpose

2 simple steps to build rapport & trust with other real estate investors at a networking event.

You’re already there with a shared purpose: to meet other people in the real estate industry. Great. That in and of itself can be a helpful ice breaker. An easy go-to topic for discussion, where each person shares what they currently do for work on the daily. When most people think about networking, however, tingly feelings of nervous excitement and anxiety may arise. It can be scary attending one of these events alone!

Guess what though? Most people there are also alone. Remember why you’re networking in the first place – to meet new people and to explore ways to serve others with your expertise and experience. And likewise, to see how others can help you along in your own journey.

That’s it. What can others do for us to help us get closer to our goals? And, more importantly, how can we best serve others to help them reach theirs? No need to complicate.

Bring lots of business cards. And your smiling (albeit nervous) face and ‘A’ game. In this case, ‘A’ stands for two things: A, as in: your best self (whatever that means to you). If it means putting on a fancy pair of slacks and a collared shirt, do it. If that means wearing makeup and a dress that make you feel like a million bucks, do it. If it means dressing and smelling like you just walked in from a sweaty workout at Crossfit, fine. If that’s what makes you truly feel like your best self, and will give you the confidence to show up, do it. Remember though: First impressions are lasting impressions. Just be smart! 🙂

There’s another A in the ‘A game’ I want to discuss which I believe is often overlooked. It is always better to be YOU than to try to be someone you think others want you to be. So, in this case, A stands for: ‘Authentic’. As in, authentic you. What do I mean? Come as YOU. If you are a pro in real estate, come as a pro. If you’re new to this industry, have no shame. Others are new too. Be you. If you’re not sure where to start, whom to talk to, or even what questions to ask, that’s OK. Don’t think you have anything to offer? I call B.S. You’re here, you are important, you belong, and that’s what matters. It’s just up to you to show up as YOU. And to be alright with who that is for now. Do this and you cannot lose.

This is the first step towards building trust & credibility with others.

Keep in mind: All businesses are built on relationships. And people do business with people they like and trust. How can we build rapport and instill trust with others we literally just met, you ask? Easy. Ask them about themselves. Then listen. And care.

Let me break that down:

  1. Ask someone about themselves – can be a business or personal (with respectful boundaries) question.
  2. Listen. Genuinely, listen. Avoid darting your eyes around to ‘who/what’s next’. Try to limit distractions of other people’s conversations as much as possible. Be present with this one person and their words.
  3. Care. Genuinely, care. When you come from a place of truly caring, people can feel it. (P.S. If you don’t care about others, you may want to examine your career choice.)

Only when you’ve heard them through, you can try to identify with them in some way (if possible) to show empathy, then respond. When you respond, be YOU.

This is another key step towards building trust & credibility with others.

Networking on purpose can be extremely rewarding. Over the years, we’ve met people in various stages of their real estate journey who have turned into friends, colleagues, and even potential business partners. No doubt, we spend hours at events introducing ourselves to (hopefully) a lot of new people, shaking hands (eventually giving hugs), and dishing out our 15 second elevator pitch. Some people have a purely business mindset, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if your only goal in attending a networking event is to swap as many phone numbers and business cards as possible, you’re really missing out!

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