By Brent Roberts
I love the saying, Your network is your net worth. Its one that compels me to constantly grow my network as much as possible.
This article will lay out strategies that Ive used in the past that you too can implement, starting today, to dramatically grow your net worth by growing your network.
Lets start by thinking about your network. Who should be in it? There are many different people that you can add to your network from private lenders to professionals to contractors to other investors. In this article I want to focus specifically on professionals.
In my experience, many investors think of professionals as the investing-savvy real estate agents who send them their deals. They might also group their attorney and accountant who help them navigate the legal and financial complexities of investing into the mix.
In my experience, thats the average investors approach to building the professional side of their network. In my opinion, it falls far short of what it could be.
There are many professionals you could work with:
- Real estate agents can scour their sources to find amazing properties. They can also find sellers who might be ultra-motivated and not willing to wait for the market to deliver a buyer (or are unable to get their house up to a market-ready condition). Agents can also provide a steady stream of buyers if youre a flipper who sells retail deals or even rental or rent-to-own tenants.
- Attorneys can connect you to their clients who have inherited houses, who are going through a divorce and need to sell their house, or are facing financial hardship. They may also have clients who need to sell their house, or have a windfall of money and want to put it into cash flowing investments.
- Accountants can connect you to their clients who have extra money that they need to invest or who need money and may have real estate to sell.
- Financial planners are often overlooked as stock-investing-only professionals but many financial planners might have great win/win connections for their clients who want to diversify outside of the stock market or for your clients who want to diversify outside of real estate.
- Insurance agents can connect you to clients who may want to invest an insurance settlement, and you can reciprocate with clients who are growing their net worth and need to increase their coverage.
There are other professionals, of course, but lets start with these 5 types. Now heres what you should do:
Step 1. Open your phone book to the first entry, which is probably accountants starting with the letter A.
Step 2. Call the first one on the list.
Step 3. Introduce yourself, ask what they do, talk about what you do, and ask how you can help them. When they ask how they can help you, share with them what youre looking for (usually seller leads and buyer leads!)
Step 4. When they inevitably say, I cant just share my client list with you, (or something along those lines), assure them that youre only interested in receiving a referral the next time their clients are looking for something that you can help them with.
Step 5. Follow up with a nice-to-meet-you letter and a bunch of business cards.
Step 6. The next day, go to the next entry in the phone book and do it again.
Step 7. Occasionally, call back the people you already called and see how theyre doing and ask again how you can help them.
Step 8. When they send you a referral, thank the professional profusely and (if appropriate) send them a small gift basket as a token of your appreciation.
I call this the One-a-Day Strategy. Its simple. It takes 5 minutes a day, and if you start today, do you know what youll have a year from now? Youll have 366 professional contacts in your network (thanks to it being a leap year!).
Sure, those 366 professional contacts might not each send you a bunch of deals. But what if one of them sent one referral that turned into a deal? Those 5 minutes a day you put in will likely have paid for itself: Lets say you do one extra deal as a result of this effort. And lets say that you make just $2,500 profit from that extra deal (to keep the numbers ULTRA conservative for my example). Well, 366 calls at 5 minutes a day is just over 30 hours of work but youll barely notice because it was just 5 minutes a day. I dont know anyone who wouldnt love to earn $2,500 for 5 minutes of daily work. Of course the numbers in your situation will be different but even that number is a compelling financial incentive.
Also, chances are that far more than just ONE of them will send you ONE deal. Maybe the payoff wont happen next week or even next month. But keep at it. Day after day, dial that phone. Spend 5 minutes talking to a professional and asking how you can help them. Do it diligently and it will pay off.
For those of you wondering how many of these professional relationships you need, my answer is: Build relationships with ALL the professionals in your area because you never know which ones will end up benefiting you. In my experience, if you focus on the relationships that you think will benefit you the most, youll miss out on several other potential win/win relationships that you didnt invest the time into.
One more note: As a real estate investor and a real estate agent, I see both sides of the relationship and I know that there are sometimes real estate agents who dont get investors. Thats where youll need to do a little legwork to show them how you can have a win/win relationship.
If you want to create a growing business, with a big bump in your net worth, start by diligently adding one professional to your network today. Now go grab that phonebook!
Brent Roberts started to invest in real estate and bought his first door at the age of 18. Brent owned 18 houses prior to becoming a realtor. He decided to take the real estate course in the late 1980s to become a more educated buyer. He was then convinced to become an agent and has never looked back. Contact Brent at firstname.lastname@example.org.