The Value of Face to Face

There’s no denying the necessity of being online for your business. Email marketing strategies and a strong presence on social media are basic requirements for any business that wants to thrive, but what about the role of meeting face to face? We’re emerging from a long period where meeting in person was basically impossible, and a lot of people fell into a groove where communicating with colleagues and customers online felt easier. Now, however, it’s time to take a look at how you’re interacting with the world.

          Frequently, I’m asked by newer real estate investors how they can get their foot in the door. I know that what they usually want is some simple piece of wisdom that will enable them to skip a lot of the hard work. Or, alternately, they want me to recommend a book or course that will lay everything out for them, but the most frequent piece of advice I give to newer investors is this: get out there and talk to people.

          If you’re just getting into real estate, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to join a real estate club. These clubs can be found in just about any market, and if you don’t have one in your community, I’d encourage you to start your own. These are an excellent opportunity to network, learn, and be exposed to ideas that will help you throughout your career. What I also like about real estate clubs is that everyone is welcome. They’re a place where you can meet other newcomers to the industry as well as seasoned pros who’ve built up a real estate empire.

          Some of you may be thinking that you’re too shy and that you could never do this. This would be a career limiting way to look at your abilities. According to researchers, if your goal is to facilitate trust-building or strengthen connections, talking to people face to face is infinitely more effective than an email. You may get your message across in an email, but it’s much harder to forge an actual human connection that way. And the fact is, people are more inclined to do business with someone when they feel that there’s a connection.

I know that the idea of networking brings up a lot of resistance for people. It’s become all too common for adults in our society to decide that they’re shy and that’s never going to change. That attitude that the die is cast couldn’t be farther from the truth. We all have the potential to develop new skills and talents– even making small talk with strangers.

          Telling yourself “I could never go to a real estate club” is a form of black-or-white thinking that will keep you stuck. What you could say to yourself is that “I know this is uncomfortable for me, but I can go for half an hour.” Giving yourself small, achievable goals will help you gradually gain comfort at networking events.

          Give yourself permission to do this imperfectly. Going for a little bit consistently will help you engage more with your peers, which will ultimately transform your professional trajectory. So get out there and give people some face time.

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