The way in which dogs interact when they gather at the park provides key insights for human real estate investors to network more effectively.
While we humans may not engage in the sniff test characteristic of our canine friends, there are other key learnings about effective networking you can take away from observing dogs when they "network."
Building a real estate business network full of profitable partnerships isn’t hard to do because it’s fun once you get there - just like the dog park. It just takes some organizing and planning. When you begin implementing your networking plan, you’ll see yourself working toward your goals. Here are proven lessons inspired by dogs and humans alike, for making the most of events so you can build the right network for you.
1. Show Up and Wag Your Tail
Sometimes it's easy to find excuses to skip events. You may be "over-zoomed" or feel like shutting down for the day, especially after this past year. But growing your list of contacts is essential to creating opportunities, and the best way to do that is to get out there and expand your network with enthusiasm. Constantly seek out opportunities to professionally network regularly, whether through digital or in-person events. Think about building your network wherever you are, whether at an event, the grocery store, or the dog park!
2. Be Open to a Variety of People
Like dogs at a park, don’t just hang out with people who look just like you. You may be surprised how much you connect and learn from people of different ages, cultural and racial backgrounds, abilities, sex, genders and level of experience.
Before attending a networking event, do some research on the event and see who might be attending. If you learn a little about the people you’re meeting before, you’ll know how to better make a connection with them. You can figure out how to present yourself in the best light.
3. Know and Offer Your Unique Value
A dog knows the best way to have a blast at the park is to bring their favorite ball to share. How well do you understand your unique gifts and strengths? Spend some time figuring out the unique value you offer so you can communicate this when you meet people. Look at your past successes and areas of expertise. Think about the ways you’ve gotten results for others. If you don’t have much experience in real estate, think about the skills you bring from other life experiences.
4. Get Organized
You’ll meet a great number of new people and it might be hard to keep them all straight. Take notes at the event and create an Excel file full of information on who you meet and how you can approach them to make offers. OK, maybe dogs don’t do this. But if they could talk, they’d probably advise you to create and implement a system for bringing new people into your orbit.
5. Learn to Tell Stories
Stories help in networking because they’re engaging, relatable, and memorable. If you’re a good storyteller, you can convey who you are and what you do more effectively. Turn every aspect of your business and its history into an engaging story.
6. Overcome Your Nerves
It’s okay to be nervous. Walking through the gates of the dogpark can make a puppy anxious because it takes some getting used to. Just like getting on stage and performing, you’ll be nervous at first as well, but gradually it will become familiar. Create a ritual where you can warm up before the event and get into a social mood, so you’re pumped up to go meet people.
7. Have Fun!
Although you’re there with a specific business goal in mind, your tail will be wagging with networking. When you’re enjoying yourself, others will enjoy interacting with you. Think of it as a fun social outing where you get to indulge in a hobby (your business) with like-minded people. If you can do this, you’ll increase your motivation to get out there and network, and your enthusiasm will be infectious.
8. Leap into Your Goals with a Mastermind Group
To dramatically improve your business, join a Mastermind Group. Having the collective genius of a consistent small group of colleagues provides the community that takes you to the next level. This is the place you can brainstorm ideas about your specific needs, get feedback and insights so you can improve, share resources, collaborate, find support and build trusting friendships. Most importantly you will remain accountable so you stay on track with your specific goals you create through your group work. This crucial step of becoming part of a mastermind will grow your real estate investments and your business exponentially.
I am just finishing up the latest series of the Investors Network Community Mastermind groups and will be starting the next ones in early July. Whether you join an INC Mastermind or another group, take a look at my Free Guide for the key features to look for when you're choosing a group to join: https://bit.ly/Mastermind-Feat...