All investors want to network with other, bigger, better investors than they are, right? This is how we grow, we learn from people who are where we want to be!
I know I do!
I didn’t truly learn the best way to network with higher level investors until I was the person people were seeking out. I got to a point where I was pretty active on BiggerPockets.com. I started getting consistent requests for coffee, beers, lunch or whatever with newbie investors. It was with these requests that I mostly learned what NOT to do when reaching out to someone you want to meet! I also learned what you SHOULD do during the meeting, given they accept (kidnapping after they decline doesn’t count).
I want to be clear, when I say “high level investors” I’m not talking about the founder of Memphis Invest or Grant Cardone. I am talking about ANYONE who has more experience and has done more deals than you.
5 Rules to networking with higher level investors
1. Don’t ask to “pick their brain”
This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I have worked very hard to get to where I am and spent years and years doing things right, wrong, learning, making mistakes, etc. “Picking my brain” is so broad that it makes my head spin to think about it. I picture sitting in a coffee shop for hours and letting a newbie ask me things like “What’s a yellow letter?”, “What did your first deal look like?” and “Can I get the names and numbers of your private lenders?”
High level investors know more than you do, so pick a niche and target that in your message and meeting.
2. Do your research and show that you have already started your journey
I am most likely to meet a less experienced investor if they do the following:
- Read my profile ahead of time so they know where I invest, what my niche is and what I am looking for.
- Make sure that my experience and knowledge fits what they are looking to do. (For instance: Don’t ask to meet for advice on buying a trailer park, because I have no interest or experience in that field.)
- Tell me in your message what you have done to get started, what you are currently working on and where you want to be.
For instance, a good first message would be “Hi John, I have been reading your posts for the last few months and wanted to reach out. I got started investing about 6 months ago, I bought a 4plex in Columbus with 20% down and have increased rents in that time. I see that you have purchased 20 houses in the last 6 months and I really want to go this direction myself. I have some cash saved up for marketing and a down payment and I would love to buy you lunch to ask you about how you leveraged your cash and grew so fast”.
3. Ask great questions and let them help you!
This is probably the most frustrating, especially after I agree to meet someone for coffee, beer, lunch, etc. I only meet with maybe 10% of the people who reach out to me, so when I do I really want it to be mutually beneficial.
I like helping people and want to see others succeed, but I can’t do that if they talk the whole time. A lot of people are focused on what they want to do, or maybe they just want to prove to me that they know what they are talking about, but they TALK THE WHOLE TIME. My thoughts after a meeting like this are as follows “Wow, they didn’t ask any of the right questions and neither of us learned anything from this.”
Don’t meet with a higher level investor to tell them about your story or experience. Ask them questions, higher level questions, about what they do, how they do it, what their habits are, etc.
DO NOT ask them how much of a security deposit they take from tenants, or if they allow dogs.
Really any question you can answer on your own, do.
4. Bring something to the table.
At this point in my business there is not much I “need” from other people. owever, try to find something that you are good at, or a contact that you have that may help your contact. I have had people offer to introduce me to their private lenders, or send an email introduction to a lender that I was not familiar with. Even bring contacts for insurance agents, real estate attorneys, contractors, etc is always helpful. I am always trying to grow my network and getting put in touch with more people never hurts!
Got any other tips on how NOT to network with higher level investors? Share your experience with us here or in our Facebook group at Facebook.com/groups/TakeActionTeam.