The BxB crew discusses the importance of creating your real estate team and best practices for real estate networking.
Ep. 7 - Building Your Real Estate Network - Transcript
Ben Shelley: [00:00:08] Welcome to the Brick by Brick Podcast where we take you from the ground up on all things real estate. I'm your host Ben Shelley. We are fortunate to have Ryan and John back with us today. The focus of this episode is something we do in every business: networking. However, there are many different ways to network in the real estate industry and that's what we'll be discussing today. Gentlemen, let's jump right into it. John, why don't we start with you?
John Errico: [00:00:33] Yeah. So it's perhaps a prerequisite to say that Ryan and I met through real estate networking. And something that we alluded to in a previous episode which is true about real estate investing but is also true just about entrepreneurship in general is that it can be very lonely. So real estate networking offers the opportunity to both meet like minded people and also to build out your team of people that you might use to invest in real estate. So a lot of real estate investors talk about building a team and it's certainly is it is a true thing. Your team might be a great real estate agent or acquisition person like a wholesaler. They could include an attorney it could include a home inspector an appraiser a general contractor or property manager or even like a plethora of things that might be on the table. So networking is an important facet of being I think just being a happy person. If you're a real estate, full time real estate investorm entrepreneur and also in my mind an essential thing to build out a team of people to help you accomplish your, your real estate goals.
Ryan Goldfarb: [00:01:37] One thing I would add is beyond the obvious value of having say a competent real estate attorney on your team. One thing that I think goes way undervalued is networking with other real estate investors and that's valuable for a variety of reasons one of which John alluded to earlier is the loneliness factor that you may experience as a solo entrepreneur, a real estate investor. But beyond that there's also an educational advantage that you have or that you gain by networking with and speaking with other investors in the same field. Oftentimes you'll find that another investor in your market is doing a lot of similar things on the surface but tactically speaking they may be doing things very different when you get below the surface.
John Errico: [00:02:29] Yeah real estate I think has a guru problem. A lot of industries have this but real estate has this to a huge extent. These are the people that you see maybe an ad before a YouTube video or TV late night TV or hear on the radio that are coming with you know a free conference to talk to you about whatever you know how to make all your dreams come true by buying real estate with nobody down, etc. And it's not to say that all of them are scams but I would say the vast majority of them are out there to just take your money for the fees that they're going to charge for their books and their training and their courses and whatever else.
Ryan Goldfarb: [00:03:06] The most frustrating thing about that to me is not that it's a scam or not that they don't have value it's the fact that there is so much free information available out there that I just don't believe it's genuine to try to push that upon somebody who could otherwise learn the same stuff for free or by perhaps bartering something else of value to work hands on with somebody who is doing it in the field every single day.
John Errico: [00:03:36] Yeah. So one major piece of advice that I would have about networking is not to name specific names of gurus but when you see people listening to this podcast will probably just immediately have a couple in mind when I'm talking about it when you see those those are probably not the best networking opportunities because a lot of times the people that attend those conferences or events are gonna be people that maybe are just getting started in the real estate space like you. And although there's some value to networking with those want to be your soon to be investors the much more authentic and engaging connections that are gonna make you there by building your team or by finding fellow real estate investors are through specific real estate networking events that you often don't have to pay money to attend. Or maybe for a very small fee to get in the door.
Ben Shelley: [00:04:22] So maybe something that would be helpful because you know I think a lot of people abide by a maxim we've used on the show before life being a relationship business and nowhere is that more true than the real estate business. So when you're looking and you see online or you see on television come to my seminar come do this. Maybe you get solicited calls from brokers or wholesalers maybe what are some of the strategies from a networking perspective given how experience you guys are to differentiate who's worth connecting with and maybe who's worth staying away from Ryan.
Ryan Goldfarb: [00:04:50] I would be most cautious of opportunities or of events that are proposed that have a very high entry fee or that have maybe an introductory entry fee with the promise of some type of knowledge that is going to fulfill all of your wildest dreams. The fact of the matter is learning takes time and those events appeal to the people who want to take a shortcut to get to what is often a lifelong process of learning. So I would start by rather than falling prey to the people who are trying to advertise to me and trying to reach me I would try to find the people who are the gatekeepers so to speak or find people who are in my backyard and who are doing the things that I would like to be doing and see who they associate yourself with. One of most valuable aspects of networking is the fact that once you find one or two of these linchpins you'll often find that they are connected to a quality team of respective professionals in the same space as well. So a good title company often knows a really good real estate attorney who they can refer you to or another active investor or a wholesaler who whose deals they close frequently and who may be a good resource to you as a new or aspiring real estate investor.
John Errico: [00:06:16] Absolutely. So pretty much every city neighborhood county that you may be in has a local real estate investing group club whatever you want to call it. And oftentimes those groups are advertised on places like Meetup.com. So Meetup is a great place you can literally go open it up type in real estate and you'll find a ton of events. Some of them will be of the guru variety and those are often the ones that charge you know 50 dollars or dollars just to to attend and the others will be of the authentic real estate investor variety which are usually free or maybe charge a nominal fee because they had a reserve the space for the event or there's some drink or food minimum but that is just showing up is you know like 90 percent of the battle because I host a real estate meetup group in northern New Jersey and I think there are about a thousand people in the group and I hold events every month and I don't sell anything I don't charge any money for people to attend I'm not going there with any ulterior motive to get any obvious immediate personal benefit to me. But you know I'll have a thousand people in the group and say maybe 50 people RSVP to any one event and of the people that RSVP maybe 20 people will actually come. So you know I'm not saying that just because you're in the group you have to come to the events but that just gives you a sense of how many people are aspiring real estate investors or interested in networking but then don't actually take the step of Oh I'm actually going to walk out my door and go to a networking event.
Ryan Goldfarb: [00:07:41] And then beyond that I would say that the next step once you do that and once you've established some clout you've done a few deals. The natural progression I think is to find the events that aren't generally solicited to the public and that aren't available to just any aspiring investor. We've taken a little bit different of a path and my brother and I add is to the networking game. We more recently have hosted an event or two with various investors who we know and various people in the real estate space. And it's been a little bit more of the invite only variety not to say it's quote unquote exclusive but our end goal was to get as many active investors together as we possibly could. And what I've realized and I'm sure what John has realized is a lot of publicly advertised events often attract newer investors. And while that's great. And while I've benefited from those and I've certainly met some great people John included from events like that. The downside to it is once you've done a few deals you end up spending the vast majority of your time talking to people who haven't done a single deal yet and you are giving giving giving giving and oftentimes not getting much in return. And oftentimes talking to somebody who may never even take the first step and buy an investment property.
Ben Shelley: [00:09:00] So before we continue down the conversation of do's and don'ts I want to know from each of you given your accumulated experience what are short of your real estate network essentials. You're starting as an investor or you're a couple of properties in to building an investment portfolio. You've got a backpack on your network essentials that you're putting in with you as you continue to elevate or move forward in the business from a relationship standpoint.
John Errico: [00:09:24] So I would say for Ryan's point fellow investors are super important. I don't see investing in real estate as a zero sum game. So my success doesn't mean the detriment of somebody else. So if I get a deal that somebody else wanted. I often try to structure where maybe we can both get the deal but we can both partner in on it or we can both talk about it and even if I end up getting it maybe I'll learn a lot from that other person's perspective. The second thing though is I would say it's very important to get people that can. So when you think about a real estate transaction. Who are the people that you're going to have to need for a real estate transaction. So you may need an agent. Depends on the sort of transaction that you're going into or how you're getting out of it. You may need a property inspector and that's someone who after you go to contract on the property will inspect the property for flaws issues that you might want to negotiate with the seller. You likely need an attorney in some areas of the country that's less common but where we are it's very common to have an attorney represent you as a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction. The title company and that's something that an attorney can connect you with or that you can find on your own and then you'll probably need a contractor which is someone that will help you to repair the property or fix any issues that come up after you buy it.
Ryan Goldfarb: [00:10:41] The last thing I would add to that is you may need a or you will likely need a financing partner or a lender who will facilitate the mortgage or the loan that you're getting to purchase the property. And when it comes to qualifying these people there are a few things that I always like to keep in mind. The first of which is the character of that individual. So I don't think you know it's great to meet another investor. It's great to meet another attorney but if that person conducts himself in a way that is diametrically opposed to how you would like conduct yourself you're better off cutting ties now than getting too far down the line with that person and falling prey to their behavior. In addition to that I would also way I'd also put a little bit of an emphasis on the personal side. So do you like being around this person. There are plenty of people who I've worked with in the past who I worked with for reasons other than that. And oftentimes I came to regret it. I remember one example of that was a subcontractor I used on one of my first projects that individual was one of the least pleasant human beings I've ever been around. And though he was a subcontractor of mine and in this context I was his customer. He for whatever reason had this prevailing notion that it was my privilege to be employing him for this job. And every single interaction I had with him reflected that. And it just left a sour taste in my mouth and it took mental energy and it was just not the kind of person I wanted on my team. So pick up on that and address
John Errico: [00:12:23] it. Yeah. And I think it's important to consider first. I think it's a great point about the caliber of the person. For me it's about what are they willing to give to you without an immediate expectation of return. So something that I I really try to do that we both try to do is I think give give back our knowledge and experience to other people even if it doesn't obviously make financial sense for us. So if you encounter somebody at a networking event that has a lot of knowledge maybe it's a contractor or an attorney or something. It's a really bad sign if they are not really interested in talking to you except if you've engaged their services because as we started out saying in this episode knowledge of the real estate space is really readily available and you don't have to pay money for knowledge. So if you encounter people that don't want to give you free knowledge it's a really bad side.
Ryan Goldfarb: [00:13:15] Additionally while this may run counter to what your instincts may tell you I like to surround myself with people who are a little bit different than I am or who run in different circles than I do. When you ask anyone in your network for a referral they'll often say Oh hey I have a cousin who's an attorney or I have a brother in law who's a lender you should talk to them you know that that may be great. And if you have no other options that person if they're qualified can be a great asset to your team. But I've also found it quite beneficial to cultivate relationships with people who are otherwise outside my social sphere because that opens up other doors to other networks and you never know who that person may ultimately refer you to. And that's a referral that you would otherwise miss out on if you're talking to somebody who is
Ben Shelley: [00:14:01] in your network. Yeah. And I would even draw listeners to even hear I think the tone of Ryan's voice when you talked about your interaction with the first subcontractor and the bad taste that left in your mouth and it's a reminder to people that how you treat people matters obviously but also do you meet your commitments. Do you do what you say you're going to do are you willing to go maybe a little bit as John alluded to up and beyond just generally sharing knowledge and go the extra mile to form the basis of relationship again as John said. And has he appropriately noted this is not a zero sum game. And I think in the first it might have been in the introductory episode where you talked about you both talked about how it would be very easy in the context of this business and what you guys do in the residential market to sort of look at your deals on an individual basis and just see in the larger scope what's best for you. But that how that would not be effective towards achieving both your long term goals and to maintaining the strong relationship you have together there was. Was it the rising tide. What was that phrase you used to love.
Ben Shelley: [00:14:59] The rising tide lifts all ships raises all ships. Right.
Ben Shelley: [00:15:02] And if there's two things to take away from this episode it's how the real estate network and John Errico does not like gross not not one bit don't you. Don't you say good or don't you say you're a guru.
John Errico: [00:15:12] Well I to like pagers I like. I'm just joking around. I want to give a specific shout out to one networking tool in particular which is BiggerPockets and BiggerPockets is a if you're not familiar with it it's BiggerPockets dot com. We're not sponsored by them. So you not yet at least not yet. We're not sponsored by them but if you go to BiggerPockets you'll see a lot of resources that they have including podcasts and online resources. But what the most valuable thing for me are the forums the message boards and they have specific message boards for every real estate strategy you've ever thought of. For geographical regions and whatever and there are many Meetup groups there are many networking events that are either sponsored by them or that appear on their Web site that are really really valuable. And just reading and also contributing to it has been a huge part of my real estate growth. I've given I haven't been active that recently and BiggerPockets which I actually regret. But for a time I was posting very frequently and I met a lot of great people through that through that back and forth and learned a tremendous amount. That was probably my number one resource when I was getting into real estate was was BiggerPockets so using that as a networking tool I highly highly highly recommend. Now
Ben Shelley: [00:16:23] we've already kind of summarized I think the most important themes for each one of us when it comes to real estate networking. But maybe last thoughts from each of you.
Ryan Goldfarb: [00:16:32] Before we close the episode I'd like to expand on a point that John alluded to earlier which is about evaluating those who you may be interacting with and you may be welcoming into your network. I would look at that from the converse or inverse perspective. Flip it on its head if you will and think about how you come across to other people. I always strive to make myself a resource to those in my network and if I'm meeting somebody for the first time I like to think about how I may be able to help them. And while that may pay dividends to me on occasion it is certainly not my end goal and every time I put myself out there offering something of value to someone. The reason being if you put enough goodwill out there in the world generally finds its way back to you. And for me I want to be a giver I want to be somebody who provides value and I want to be somebody who people enjoy having in their lives. And I think there are both tangible and intangible benefits to that some of which are business related some of which are personal.
John Errico: [00:17:33] Can't really find that image because I was going to do the exact same thing. Truly I think it's a really important point this is true for one.
Ryan Goldfarb: [00:17:42] Why don't you try to say the same thing and then we'll both play we'll play both of our responses with a poll and we can ask the listeners who say it well.
John Errico: [00:17:51] I would phrase that exact same point is to give a lot more than you take. And that's the philosophy that I have in almost always everything and particularly in networking. So I think I would have foreclosed so many opportunities if I were another way to say as I've left so much money on the table right. I think we both have done that. There's there's so many ways that I could have made more money in the past doing real estate that I haven't but I would've foreclosed so many future opportunities. So networking is a two way street. And for me it's a lot more about what you give than what you take. So even if you've no experience whatsoever in real estate I am sure I'm certain you have experience in something where you have something to offer or some perspective or some ability to help somebody else. So even somebody who's done nothing in real estate has no experience in real estate. I could talk to and gain something from that experience I could I could get something from it and then I hopefully can
Ben Shelley: [00:18:44] give something to them as well. And one last thought that actually occurred to me from listening to both of you I think it was Ryan who mentioned you want to try to look for people who maybe fill your gaps who maybe have a separate skill sets. But I think the other important thing to look for even if and when they are different from you from a skill set perspective is to find people in business who share values and your principles. Because even though you may have different strengths and different weaknesses that mesh well with each other I think it's important to be unified in terms of not only a forward looking goal but how you want your operation to run how it should be perceived and how you treat people. Guys as always I appreciate your time and your expertise. Thanks so much for coming on.
Ben Shelley: [00:19:34] And thank you for listening to the brick by brick podcast where we take you from the ground up on all things real estate. We will continue to bring you the best and brightest the real estate world has to offer as we leave no stone unturned in helping you the everyday investor. Thanks for listening.