If the mere thought of “speed dating” gives you the creepy-crawlies, then you’ve probably never considered “speed networking.” While the former might land you in front of two dozen potential (or not-so-potential) mates, however, the latter has much higher rates of success. Tammy Phelps, founder of Capital City REIA and speed-networker extraordinaire, believes that this networking tactic is one of the most effective in real estate – if you can muster up the guts to do it.

“I believe in forced networking,” Phelps told Think Realty during a recent interview discussing one of the topics she plans to cover during her breakout session at Think Realty’s National Conference & Expo in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 24, 2017. (You can reserve your spot in Phelp’s session and for lots of other great education here.)

“All you need to be effective is a good understanding of your skills, your talents, and your strengths. You don’t have to be good at it, but you do have to do it,” she emphasized. “To succeed in real estate, you’ve got to build your business, and real estate is all about the relationship, period.”

Phelps plans to give attendees a live-action speed networking lesson at the event, but she provided a few tips for beginners who want to meet a huge volume of potential clients, partners, and customers at the expo fast.

1 | Become Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

“It doesn’t matter if you’re an extrovert or an introvert, you can be good at networking,” Phelps insisted. She added that in speed networking, being okay with a certain degree of discomfort in what she used to refer to as “forced networking” is important. “I eventually decided that the word ‘forced’ was a little too strong, so we changed it to ‘speed networking’ since it feels like speed dating,” she laughed. Phelps said that the important thing is to accept that you may not be comfortable with the process, but that you are still conveying information about yourself and your business and creating contacts that could be highly beneficial in the future.

2 | Watch Your Body Language

Phelps recounted how participants in one of her speed networking sessions started out: “They were all looking at me funny. Arms cross, legs crossed – everything you could do to shut yourself down and not participate. I gave them two minutes to open up and by the time we’d done three ‘rounds’ I had to blow a whistle to get their attention.” Phelps said that most people loosen up fast during speed networking, but that if you are having trouble doing so, consciously unfold and uncross. It will make your conversation partner more comfortable and, by extension, you as well.

3 | Identify Your Gifts and Challenges

With any type of networking, but with speed networking in particular, it is imperative to be able to communicate quickly first, what you offer, and second, what you need. In her REIA meetings, Phelps works to help members identify their strengths and their weaknesses using a strategy she calls “hot seat” that puts a single person and a business dilemma “center stage” while the rest of the group tries to come up with solutions. Although it can be a tough spot to sit in, the hot seat is “so powerful,” she said. “The person in the hot seat ends up taking feverish notes!” For speed networking, you won’t be in a hot seat, but you do need to be prepared to tell your partners (in a short summary) what makes your investing unique, powerful, or profitable. Then, take a breath, and allow them to do the same before asking them what they presently are looking for in their business. You’ll find that soon you’re speaking comfortably and figuring out how to work together to your mutual benefit.

You can reserve your spot at the Think Realty National Conference & Expo and your opportunity to meet Tammy Phelps and dozens of other experts in real estate by clicking HERE.


  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at SelfDirected.org or reach Carole directly by emailing Carole@selfdirected.org.

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1 Comment

  1. Tammy Phelps-Keglovich

    This is Tammy w/ ccREIA and our team is so pumped & excited for Speed Networking!
    Totally pumped up to see everybody there

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