How to Get the Most Out of Virtual Property Networking


I've been investing in property for 25 years myself. I believe that some of the people I've met through networking, the things I've learned through networking have been the most valuable experiences I've gained all my 25-year property investing journey. That's why I started the Property Investor Network back in 2003, as there were no property networking meetings in the UK at all.

I did it because I had been investing by that time for eight years, I'd replaced my income, I was able to leave my job and I had enough property to give me a reasonable lifestyle, but I felt really lonely. None of my family has ever invested apart from their own homes, all my friends were still at work, I didn't know any other investors. I thought wouldn't be smart for me to get together and meet like-minded people, I wanted to learn from them to minimise my mistakes and just kind of feel like I'm not on my own anymore. So that's why I started the Property Investors Network.

Virtual Property Networking

Now obviously with COVID-19 the world changed, we took all of our events very, very quickly online. We've been through a couple of iterations, as we first had Go to Webinar. We now use Zoom. I'm going to talk particularly about Zoom and how you can use it, whether it is at our network meetings or other people's network meetings, or even big property events. Going to these online events is a great way to build your network, to meet people who you can sell deals to, who you can buy deals from, who can lend you money or joint venture with you.

The more people you know, in property, the more successful you're going to be. So I'm going to give you some hints and tips in this video about how you can make the most out of virtual property networking.

So the first thing is this, first of all, you've got to participate, you know, property investing as a participation sport. If you do go to a virtual event, don't just sit there, quiet, not saying anything, get involved. Often, there's a chat box or there's question box. If you've got questions, stick your hand up, ask those questions, don't be scared. There's no such thing as a silly question. If you're thinking something, maybe you're listening to a speaker and they're sharing their journey, They're giving a massive value, but a thought pops into your head, a question, well, why don't reach out and ask that question, because guess what? Maybe some other people have also thought about it. So get the answers to your questions, tap into the extensive knowledge of the people we have speaking at these events. They've been and done the things that you want to do, they've got the results you want to get, why on earth would you not want to learn from those people? So participate, don't be afraid to ask questions.

What we do at our virtual events, whether it's a monthly networking meeting or our big online events that might have 500 people, we will use the Zoom Breakout Rooms. You are put into much smaller groups of typically four to five people, so you can connect with other people sometimes from your investing area, sometimes from all over the country or maybe even international investors.

Connect with those people, get to know them and start to build a relationship. And who knows, maybe you can start working with those people in the future.

“The more people you know, in property, the more successful you’re going to be.”
 

Breakout Rooms

What we do at our virtual events, whether it's a monthly networking meeting or our big online events that might have 500 people, we will use the Zoom Breakout Rooms, which put you into much smaller groups of typically four to five people, so you can connect with other people sometimes from your investing area, sometimes from all over the country or maybe even international investors. And you can connect with those people, get to know them and start to build a relationship. And who knows, maybe you can start working with those people in the future.

Zoom Coffee Dates

Secondly, you might think, hey, I want to raise some money. Well, look, if you meet someone, no one's going to give you 100,000 pounds straight away. You've got to get to know them, you've got to build trust with them. So the way you do that is first of all on Zoom, everyone has their name displayed. When you're in a little small breakout room, write down the names of the people, take some notes and they might have Nicky, Bob, Sarah, and William. It might be that Williams saying, " Yeah, I've got some money, I want to invest, not sure what to do." Write his name down, make some notes and then reach out to him. Often many of these events, they have Facebook groups that are backing up the virtual events.

You can go on to Facebook. You can find a person, you can add them as a friend, send a quick message and say, "hey, look, I saw you on the Property Investor Network meeting or Property Magic Live, whatever it was, hopefully we can connect." Then connect to that person and follow up. This is so important. Even at physical network meetings, people collect business cards and do nothing with them. So what you want to do when you connect with someone, whether it's physically at a meeting or virtually online, write their name down, reach out to them within 24 hours. Otherwise, you're going to get busy, you're going to forget, they're going to forget and unfortunately that time is they're lost.

So it's about speed of implementation, is about taking action quickly, reaching out to them. And what I suggest you do is say, "hey, can we have a Zoom or a Skype coffee? Now, the way that works is basically, most of us like a cup of tea in the morning or a cup of tea in the afternoon, you could arrange to have a virtual online meeting with someone as a followup from a networking or a training even. Meet them virtually, say, "hey, why don't we have a coffee together?" You know, have a chat. So basically you set a time, maybe it's 11 in the morning or three in the afternoon, you both go online onto Zoom or Skype, whatever, and what you do is you sit there with a cup of tea and they have a cup of tea and you've got the video on and you're sitting there drinking your tea, having your biscuits, whatever, talking to them as if you were face to face in a cafe or something.

The whole point is because you can see them and talk to them, you just start to build that relationship and remember to ask them lots of questions, ask them all about them. You know, what do they want to achieve? What they're doing in property? And you might learn something from that anyway, but it's important to be interested in people. Human nature is they'll say, what about you? You could talk about yourself and you could work out if maybe there's some sort of a resonance and maybe you can help each other in the future. Don't think you're going to metaphorically speaking, jump into bed straight away. It takes time to get to know people and trust people. But the more they see you, the more you connect, the more familiarity, the quicker that trust will build. That's why it's really important to go to your local virtual network meeting on a regular basis. Don't expect to just go once and expect people to be showering you with money. Well, that's probably not going to happen.

“The whole point is because you can see them and talk to them, you just start to build that relationship and remember to ask them lots of questions, ask them all about them.”

Arriving Early & Leaving Late

You need to show up regularly, become a known and trusted face. At pin Meetings, from 6:30 in the evening through till seven o'clock, we have breakout rooms. We can connect with people then we have some updates from the mortgage broker, letting agent, main speaker, priced all that kind of stuff, then we have another 10 to 15 minute networking break in the middle. So another great opportunity to connect again. Then we have the main speaker and pretty much by nine o'clock we're done. Now, a lot of people shoot off at nine o'clock, but treat it like a physical network meeting. A lot of people will stay longer connecting the bar, and that's often when some of the best networking is done. So what happens normally the pin meetings after nine, the host and the speakers, and maybe the most people stay and do a bit of a Q and A, you can ask them great questions and things, and then, you know, there's an opportunity after that again to network. So I would encourage you to plan to arrive, say 6:30 online and then finish at 9:30, 10 and the benefit, because you're doing it from home, you got no travelling time, you've got no travelling costs. It's very easy to participate in these online virtual events.

The Value of Paying for Networking Meet-Ups

Now I know that there's a lot of free webinars, and there's a lot of online content and that's great. But normally when there's a free webinar, there's some sort of offer or promotion, which again is fine, they've got to make some money somehow. That's why we charge for our events. We charge 20 pounds for a pin meeting, we charge thousands of pounds for our three-day online training courses because we don't do lots of sales pitches.

We just give great value. We want to attract the right people who understand the value of investing in themselves. When you have lots of free events, nothing wrong with free events, but you got to bear in mind, a lot of people that are attracted people who don't have any money, they're never going to do anything. And because things are free, unfortunately they don't value them. When we have an event that's paid, even if it's just 20 pounds, we attract a slightly higher calibre of person who understands that actually it's in their benefit to invest in themselves and build their network of like-minded people who also understand the value of investing with themselves.

Whenever I go to physical events, I always will pay extra to be in the VIP area, partly because I want to be at the front because I've got such bad eyesight, but also I want to connect with the other VIPs who've also paid to be in that exclusive area. They're the people I want to connect with, I want to work with. Metaphorically speaking, when you're doing virtual events, you know, I want to go to events where people are paid to be there, they're more qualified, they're more serious. They're more like to be the people I want to hang out with and connect with. And I recommend you can do the same.

 

Listen, Participate, Answer Questions

So just to summarise, first of all, when you're doing events participate, don't just sit there in the background. If you've got a camera, put the camera on, imagine you're at the event, live and focus on what's going on. Very often, people are listening to somebody they're doing their emails, and frankly, you're going to miss some of the valuable content. I have heard most of the speakers at the pin meetings many, many times, but I always have my pad. I'm always there taking notes and I'll always pick up something from every speaker, even if I've heard them many times before, because sometimes speakers will change their talk.

They're not always the same that they're going to update it and put new things in. Also if you listen to a talk, a second or even a third time, you're in a different place than when you were the first time you listened. Different things you're going to pick up and resonate with depending where you are on your journey. So actually I think listening to speakers multiple times gives great value.

There's always going to be some golden nuggets if you're looking for them. So listen to the speakers, participate, answer questions. When you have the networking, the breakout groups, make sure you're writing down people's names of their interests. Reach out to them within 24 hours or social media, connect to those people, have a Skype or Zoom coffee, just start to build the relationships. And the other thing just to prepare you at the pin property investor virtual events, everybody has the opportunity to do a 22nd elevator pitch. Now you don't have to do this if you don't want to, but it's a great opportunity to introduce yourself, say where you're from, what you're doing in property. And you know, if you make it interesting, you might attract people who want to connect and network with you. So again, if you're going to this online events, be aware, there's opportunities there and rather than just missing out on the opportunity because you're not ready, you're not prepared or trying to make it up on the spot, plan or write down, what am I going to say? What my 20 seconds I'm going to say? And so when you do that, there might be people in the audience.

The first time they're hearing you, you want to make the best impression you possibly can on those people. So be prepared, take plenty of notes, participate, and you can get as much out of a virtual event. Maybe even more than a physical event without the hassle or cost or time of any travel. So make sure you participate in the various online events we have, whether it's pin ones or other training, you know, upskilling and improving your knowledge in this difficult time is a really important thing to do when the best things you do, especially all those people who are not sure about the future or an employment, rather than sitting there and waiting to see what happens now is the time to get out there, take action. Upskill so it doesn't matter if you lose your job or you're made redundant 'cause you're going to have alternative income streams in place. So as ever, I would encourage you to invest with knowledge, invest with scale.

“The first time they’re hearing you, you want to make the best impression you possibly can on those people. So be prepared, take plenty of notes, participate, and you can get as much out of a virtual event.”


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