When real estate investors think about attending conferences, expos, and in-person education and training, they often cite the following reasons for not getting out and meeting people face to face:
- No one wants to meet me.
- I can get everything I need online.
- I’m too busy.
Then they elaborate that they just recently watched a webinar where they learned “everything they need to know” in order to do a real estate deal before confessing they still haven’t taken the first step past watching the webinar to get a deal done.
What’s going on Here?
It’s entirely true you probably can get all the cold, hard facts you need about real estate investing online without ever encountering another person, well, in person. It’s also entirely true that some people invest in real estate from behind their computers without ever seeing the properties in person or doing the networking most investors rely heavily on to find deals, get them under contract, and transact them. The hard truth of the matter, however, is most people need a little “secret sauce” to make real estate work, and in-person, real-life interaction is the key.
That is where the real estate meeting or event comes into your success equation.
The fact of the matter is that most investors need other investors in order to succeed. As Stephen Covey, author of the bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, observed when explaining Habit 7, “Sharpen the saw,” sharpening your saw “means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you.” He included in the equation for this process “having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.” Part of sharpening your saw in real estate means taking care of the social aspect of your business, “making social and meaningful connections with others” and the mental aspect, “learning.”
There is no better place to sharpen that saw than at a real estate investing event. Here are just seven of the benefits you gain from attending a real estate investing training, conference, or expo with your goals for real estate in mind:
1| A Productive Networking Experience
No matter how great you are on social media, there is nothing quite like shaking someone’s hand in person. Attend every real estate event with determination to meet and greet as many fellow investors as possible and, to make the process as productive as possible, have a 30-second “elevator pitch” already laid out in your mind. Your elevator pitch tells any person you meet who you are, what you do, and what benefits might come with knowing you in terms of real estate.
For example, you might say, “My name is Bob Investor, and I do a lot of bird dogging for wholesalers and flippers. I specialize in finding off-market deals in the north and west areas of town, and I’m going to do my first flip by the end of 2018. Tell me about your real estate business!”
In the space of about 30 seconds, you’ve told your conversation partner who you are, what you do, and what you are hoping to accomplish in real estate. Now, you are free to listen to them talk about their business while knowing that you have made a memorable impression.
2| Learn New Information in an Interactive Educational Environment
Stephen Covey also described part of the “saw-sharpening habit” as constantly “learning, reading, writing, and teaching” in order to sharpen your mental faculties. While you can certainly learn a lot of great things in the digital universe, attending a real estate investing event in person is a great way to first learn from an instructor (who, by the way, is probably extremely interested in helping you because they have, in a lot of cases, paid for the opportunity to teach you!) and then ask that instructor highly specific questions about your own personal real estate investing business and experiences. Attend each session with this plan in mind:
a) Learn as much as you can during the session
b) Introduce yourself to the instructor after the session
c) Thank them for their time
d) Ask any relevant questions about their topic
You’ll find these instructors eager to meet you and happy to explain the finer points of their teaching in nearly every case. Sometimes, you may even walk away with a new mentor or even a potential business partner or service provider for your business!
3| On-site Testing of New Technology
Real estate investors often fail to think of themselves as operating on the cutting edge of technology, but today’s products and services for investors are pretty exciting. For example, did you know that many property management services now offer electronic tracking for a variety of facets of rental ownership and management? Or that you could manage your own Airbnb property in another city hundreds of miles away using an app hooked directly to your smart phone? Or that a simple adjustment to your digital calendar could save you hundreds of dollars per rental property in maintenance costs?
Of course, not every electronic solution is right for every investor, and testing them out in your business can be expensive. Fortunately, a quick walk through the exhibitors’ hall at a real estate conference will provide access (and the ability to ask questions and interact with the technology) to the latest and greatest innovations in the space. All you have to do is show up.
4| Discounts and Deals
Every real estate investor knows the value of buying below market value, and a real estate investing event is a great place to do this. Exhibitors and presenters will often offer free trials of their services or even provide access to products for the simple exchange of an email address. Be sure to walk by every single exhibit and introduce yourself. Most of the educators and presenters have booths as well as teaching sessions, and nearly every exhibitor will, at a minimum, offer some sort of “swag” to attract you to their booth. It’s there for you (as are they), so maximize the opportunity!
5| Build Up Your Own Traffic and Public Presence
Whether you want to generate more leads for your real estate business or create an active, thriving email list, attending an event in person will generate some of the most qualified leads and list members you could possibly have. Some experts value leads generated in person (vs. via online advertising) as nearly ten times as valuable as a lead generated from an ad placed using search words as criteria on a search engine’s results page. In fact, that value may be exponentially higher. Be prepared to hand out business cards or even brochures about your real estate business, and shake every hand you can.
6| Build Partnerships and Solidify Relationships
It might sound a little crazy, but you could meet your next partner at a real estate event! We hear dozens of success stories after every conference we host, where people have met mentors, funded deals, and even gone into business together. Real estate events that are live and “in person” tend to bring out the best in people, so even if you already know them “online,” you could discover that your perfect business partner, contractor, or dealmaker is sitting next to you in one of the sessions.
7| Renew Your Energy, Dedication, and Focus
Getting back to Stephen Covey’s analogy of sharpening the saw: Attending a real estate conference in person does not just expose you to new opportunities; it is an opportunity for renewal. Have you been feeling discouraged about your real estate business? Are you considering returning to your “day job” and giving up? Before you make a life-changing decision that could close a lot of doors for you and your family permanently, attend one of these events. Even if this is the “make or break” decision time for you and real estate, you owe it to yourself to sharpen that saw one more time and see if the renewed energy, focus, motivation, guidance, and education you receive at a real estate investing conference is just the boost you need to find that “secret sauce” for real estate success.