The most important investment you can make is in yourself. Many people who created wealth in real estate did it through their actions during the evenings and on weekends. Below are some tips to maximize your experience.
Know what you want to accomplish during the seminar. Are you there to learn about a particular real estate topic? Are you interested in developing a business relationship with a real estate agent, contractor, property manager, or instructor? Are you looking for a local real estate investment group to join? Are you looking to expand your network of buyers or sellers? Do you need to purchase a real estate software program or some other tool to help you in your business? Before you show up for the seminar, identify the top three things you want.
When you arrive at the event, look at the schedule of the speakers and the floor plan with the vendors. Figure out who among the organizers is a source of information or influence. Consider the following courses of action:
1.) Do this if you want to learn about a particular topic, such as how to create lease-purchase deals. Examine the speaker schedule and ensure that you will be present for the lease-purchase speaker. Arrive early for the presentation and pick a seat as close to the stage as possible. Some speakers hand out freebies during their presentation, and those freebies often go to attendees near the front of the stage. Another reason to sit close to the front is that you are more likely to be able to ask a question of the speaker, whether it be during the presentation or immediately upon the conclusion of it.
2.) Do this if you want to meet a particular type of professional, such as an agent, contractor, or property manager. If you are in need of a property manager, check to see if there are any vendor booths manned by property management firms. Go there first to pick up literature and ask questions. Also, approach an event organizer and state that you need an introduction to a reputable property manager. The organizer probably will be able to personally introduce you to a property manager they already know and use.
3.) Do this if you want to find a local real estate investing group to join. Check the vendor list to see if a local investing club or group is among them. Also, approach an event organizer to ask their recommendation. The organizer may be able to personally introduce you to a leader of the local group. Perhaps the most effective technique is to engage the attendees sitting near you to ask what investing groups they’ve visited or joined. They’ll give you their frank opinion of which group is worthwhile and which one to avoid.
4.) Do this if you are looking to expand your network of buyers or sellers. Remember this: come from contribution first. Do not shove your promotional fliers into the hands of everyone you meet before you even bother to ask their name. Establish rapport with other attendees first. The conversation you have will help you determine if they might be a potential buyer of your properties or a potential seller. There are a lot of real estate investors looking to sell properties so they can buy other ones. Once you establish rapport and determine the other person’s need, then you should mention that you’re looking to expand your buyer or seller network. To establish rapport and determine if they could be a potential resource, ask questions like:
- How did you hear of this event?
- What other events have you been to?
- What type of real estate investing do you do?
- What, in particular, inspired you to come to this event?
- Can you tell me a little more about what you do in real estate so we can see if we can work together?
5.) Do this if you are looking for a particular tool to help your real estate business. Ask for help. People love to help others. If you lack the right software to analyze potential deals, then ask vendors, organizers, and attendees what they use. Tell people you are looking for a good analytical tool, and you will receive many recommendations and testimonials of what works.
Regardless of your goal for the seminar, bring lots of business cards and introduce yourself to others. Wherever you sit, the first order of business is to turn to those sitting near you, smile, and introduce yourself. Even if the conversation is just 10 seconds long, you will have established a connection with the people near you. They will likely be friendly to you for the remainder of the seminar simply because you acknowledged them. Be sure to exchange business cards. You will more easily remember each others’ names, and you will have valuable contact information if you need it.
The last thing to do at a real estate seminar is let loose a little and have fun! You are making an investment in yourself while others are lounging around at home doing nothing. Enjoy your experience!
Tai DeSa has made colossal mistakes in real estate investing (and learned a few things along the way). Tai has been involved in over 200 real estate investment deals, and he has served others as a REALTOR in over 200 transactions. He is passionate about helping other investors make money while avoiding mistakes. Tai and his wife Amira are proud to be REALTORS and investors in both Pennsylvania and Tennessee.