You are Just Starting Out, Need Somewhere to Network…

Here’s where I started on my networking journey, it wasn’t the best! But the tips and tools I’ve learnt along the way and what you can do to network efficiently.

 

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Transcript

Hello and welcome to the NC podcast. My name is Natasha Collins and I am the founder of NC real estate which includes its members clubs for landlords and talk people property investors to come and build a profitable property portfolio that completely aligns with. That financial goals. Trust me is the best community.

[00:00:37] I love jumping in there s in so many property purchases commercial and residential smug. So excited now doors are currently closed. But if you want to get in on a little bit of the action, you’ve not downloaded my property investment expansion success formula. You need to head to https://ncrealestate.co.uk/flowchart , put in your name your email address and I will send it straight through to you as I always say you need to download it print it off. Put it in a frame pop it on your wall. Then every time you get stuck you can think Hmm which way down this chart do I need to go next? So it will always keep you going and moving forward.

[00:01:29] If you haven’t got that yet https://ncrealestate.co.uk/flowchart, you will get it straight away something so simple for you to use and keep growing your property portfolio with. So this week I want to have a conversation with you about networking now in my property my my Facebook group kind of lost track of where I was going with that and. I get a lot of questions about where people are stuck. They say to me, ‘Hey Natasha, I can’t find Finance. I’m struggling with my tax. I’m struggling with finding the right property’ and I cover a lot of those subjects in this podcast.

One thing that I haven’t touched on for a long time is networking.

[00:02:29] And what are the things that somebody has recently said to me is that they’ve just started out and they need the best place to network. And so I wanted to discuss networking with you today and how you can do it really efficiently. So that you’ll find in good cat contacts. You’re not struggling because we all know what it’s like to go into a room.

[00:02:54] I didn’t suddenly be kind of like I want to run way. I want to just disappear. I don’t want to do this anymore. Ah, I get it. Right. I will tell you a couple of stories right here on the off of the times when I’ve been networking and absolutely hated it. Number one. My first property networking event was at the Knightsbridge Hotel way back in 2015.

[00:03:20] You’re going to send it as you were in the property industry for much longer than that. Yeah, I’d always go to surveyor events and that would be through my company. So it always be a colleague with me to go with and inevitably the people at the networking events for people that I worked with all the time.

[00:03:35] So building surveyors solicitors contractors other estate managers property managers rent review surveyors other surveyors that I knew in the area really really well, so it wouldn’t be daunting at all. I began to networking events with people that I knew and I worked with on a daily basis. So I never ever found that particularly scary because I would turn up and know people instantly who I could go and have a conversation with this other event in.

[00:04:05] Night, the Knightsbridge Hotel was a regular property investment event, and I decided that if I wanted to get into the property investment industry, I needed to jump over into the property investment networking events. So that’s what I did. I remember showing up in my navy blue suit, but it was super cold.

[00:04:29] So I had to put my heeled boots on and I had these really really thick woolly socks on inside and I can remember the first four when I walked into the room and I sat down and. You know what happens when you sit down and trousers there right up so slightly and I had my really thick Oklahoma City Thunder Hawks on that kind of like billowing out around my boot.

[00:04:53] I was so embarrassed. I was thinking I’m not dressed for this at a thick scarf on and I just remember just feeling very uncomfortable in the situation. And what was worse is around that time. I kind of felt like I looked like I was about. 15 years old. I always felt like I looked very very young.

[00:05:15] And so I wanted people to desperately take me seriously, but I felt completely out of place. It wasn’t like when I’m in my own surveying environment where people knew that I was a force to be reckoned with someone to talk to hear. I was completely new I had to start building rapport. And the first people that I talked to were some glazing contractors who seem to just kind of fob me off at some point and go and try and talk to whoever the keynote speaker was.

[00:05:45] And then I spoke to somebody else who was a landscaper and again every single time. They were just it almost felt like I was being put to the side or like I wasn’t important I was so angry. So angry because I felt like they were dismissing me because I didn’t look like I was in place or the right person to be there or whatever insecurities I had now.

[00:06:10] I don’t know what the other people thought of me because I was too much in my head. So it really didn’t turn out to be the most successful networking event. I’d been to. More recently. I went to a conference up in Toronto and I flew up there on my own and. The first night I got there I had to go to registration.

[00:06:36] I went to registration for the conference on my own. There’s 900 other people that I was scared again. I felt completely out of place. This wasn’t a property networking event, which over the years I’ve kind of got a little bit more comfortable with no. This was a business owners event and I had to stand up and be counted for because I am a business owner.

[00:06:59] The evening event was that we were going to do a scavenger hunt as an icebreaker so that we all got to know each other and I didn’t have anybody to go in a team with because I’d come on my own and I at one point felt like running back to my hotel room and not. Participate not participate I did for a second start walking back towards the hotel lobby and trying to get into the elevator to go upstairs and just completely I don’t know shut myself away from it, but then something caught me at the water fountain mainly because I did need a glass of water, but I was stood there and then.

[00:07:41] Two other ladies were stood there too, and they started talking to me and saying it’s hot in here, isn’t it? And I said, yeah, I definitely need a glass of water here. And so we got to talking and they said to me. Do you have a team for the scavenger hunt I said no. I don’t. I don’t know if I want to do it and they said no you’ll come in and our team that’s it.

[00:08:00] And that evening. I met some of the most incredible ladies who are also business owners, and we’ve been in contact since so that’s the story of great networking and learning from one another and we actually now have accountability meetings every couple of weeks where we get on the phone and we catch up with each other about what we’ve implemented.

[00:08:22] Now I get it that’s not necessarily relevant for a property investment networking event. But hey, it’s very similar principles apply. Now, if you are just starting out you want to know how to network what I think that networking really has changed in the industry recently. You need to be very focused about the events that you’re going to I’ve been to a lot of events where it’s just sales sales sales people want to get a cell from you and if they don’t get a cell from you they move on and that’s not cool networking events.

[00:08:55] Really. I just meet and greets. Now the first thing you do need to have a business card or something to hand out with your name and contact details on and your business and it really should be in your on your business card. It should say I help. Well, I am looking for or I do so whatever you do, whatever you’re looking for if you’re looking for property, if you’re looking for investment, if you’re looking for a know someone to go to cat coffee with or an accountability partner or whatever you’re looking for specifically at that networking muting.

[00:09:27] You just put it on the card with your name your email address and your telephone number and that is it. So when then when you get to the meeting and I get it the walking in on your own is just absolutely terrifying, but my number one piece of advice with any networking event go to the bar grab a drink alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

[00:09:51] Chances are they’ll be someone there who you can talk to because there will be order a new say all that looks good. I might get one of those or what are you ordering or just you know the intro to the conversation or maybe you’re still at the registration table with somebody and you’re looking for your name card.

[00:10:09] Well, that’s another good good idea to say. Oh have you ever have you seen my name is you’re going through I’m Natasha. Hey, what a good introduction or if it’s a season event where you’re watching what’s going on on stage go and find a good seat. And then when someone comes and sits down next to you introduce yourself put your hand out shake their hand introduce yourself that is as simple as you need to make it.

[00:10:34] And the other thing I want to tell you is there it’s no shame or embarrassment about standing on your own. Sometimes I even do it when I’m just trying to get my thoughts together. You know, there’s nothing worse in rushing from one meeting to a networking event and being like Oh my God, I’m all over the place man blah blah blah and then all of a sudden having to now stress out about the fact that there’s new pupil around that you need to be talking to give yourself five minutes give yourself 10 minutes or think.

[00:11:01] You know what I’m going to go and sit on my seat and I’ll watch the presentation first and then I’ll start networking. There is no shame in that at all. In fact, usually it’s a better way of collecting your thoughts and. Unwinding and decompressing from what’s just happened to moving on to the next thing that’s going to happen.

[00:11:20] But then once you started meeting people. You can exchange business cards. Now the best thing about these business cards that you have written what you do what you’re looking for or what you’re looking to find on your business card is that you don’t have to necessarily say that specifically in conversation because the conversation should be about building Rapport and finding out what someone else does what their speciality is and how they operate within the industry.

[00:11:52] Same as they’re going to be asking you the same about you and then as the conversation moves on or maybe you move to a different part, you can say oh just before I go. Give me your business card and then when they go through business cards as most people do I know there’s this massive thing about people don’t go through business cards, but trust me most people the morning after the networking event go through their wallet or their notebook their debacle that handbag or where they’ve been storing the business cards and they just read them and flip through them and if there is something in those business cards that is of used to them or they think they could get involved with they keep it and then they email you.

[00:12:31] So having that specific what you’re looking for on your business card means that if it’s relevant to that person they are going to get in contact with you because they already had a good conversation with you. So that’s the first thing that I would suggest about networking events, but also make sure that you’re only going to networking events that interest you you do not have to go to every single networking event.

[00:12:52] Otherwise, you will have no time for you. There are so many but go to the go to networking events with speakers that you love. Speakers that you want to find out more about or topics that really interests you. And once you’ve done that you’re going to be meeting people who are similar to you in that they have the same interests.

[00:13:14] And that is the far better way of building a network then just turn it up to every event and hoping for the best because you do have to be selective over what you like what you enjoy about the property industry and go and focus on that and you could always change at any time it doesn’t matter, but if something really Sparks your interest.

[00:13:34] Then go and hone in on that meet other people heard that Sparks their interest to it’s a great way of learning new things as well. Now moving to online networking, which I do now far more than anything else is that I believe that when you’re online, you’ve just got to put out you what you like doing what your story is and what you’ve done.

[00:13:58] And then you can ask questions which is why Facebook groups have grown in so much popularity over the last couple of years because it’s incredibly easy to jump into a Facebook group have a look through threads and discussions and see what other people are talking about and then thinking oh I could add my point here, or maybe I can ask a question about this or maybe I can jump on something that somebody else has done and find out more about why they’ve done it like that.

[00:14:26] It’s a very easy way in here because there’s no room for being shy you will sat in your own room or in your own space, and there’s not another person in front of you. And quite frankly, there’s no silly questions. And if you jump into a group where they make fun of you for not knowing something leave the group go find another group.

[00:14:47] There is no point being in a space that doesn’t make you feel good online because it will just break you down and break you down and break you down. You want to be in a space that builds you up because that’s going to be your motivation that is going to give you the power the support the enthusiasm.

[00:15:06] I’m to keep moving forward the property industry isn’t easy. It’s not easy to keep building properties as building a property portfolio. There are barriers to entry so choosing a space where you can be you you can bring to the table what you like what you enjoy the questions that you have and discuss topics with people who are like-minded to you put you in a really good space good energy to learn and grow.

[00:15:35] No, I would always recommend that when you jump into the online space and you have questions you think about what questions you want to ask and there are good questions. And then there are bad questions. Now good questions are super targeted. They will allow someone to give you a definitive answer.

[00:16:00] So rather than saying what’s the best area to invest in? Which loads of people ask it’s about saying I have been looking at this area to invest in. I have found this number of postcodes that have these yields here are the pros and cons. Which would you choose now? That’s a lengthier question by all means but you are going to get a far more specific answer than if you were to Simply ask.

[00:16:31] What’s the best area to invest in because in the UK in the world? There are so many different areas to invest in. Someone asked me this the other day and I stood were the moment highest yields in the end of the world are coming from retirement housing specifically retirement housing in certain corners of the u.s.

[00:16:51] Similarly sheds and Industrial are really having their moment over in Singapore and Asia. So I could give you this information and you’re like Natasha. You’ve completely gone off topic. I’d I don’t mean that I want to be investing globally. I mean, I want to be investing in Bristol well, Say you want to be investing in Bristol and you’ve been looking at certain areas and certain types of housing that will give you a more definitive answer now side note with that is that if you’re not asking industry experts you’ll simply asking the general public you are going to get a load of.

[00:17:29] Opinion so you have to sift through what you’ve been told and what you are actually looking to figure out and what the actual truth is. And unless you have paid an expert to come on board to help you with that. You kind of have to do your own gut feel about what you feel is right and what you feels wrong.

[00:17:51] The best way of learning online is looking at other people’s. I’m using their experience and seeing okay. Well, they’ve done this and this looks good. So I’m I could copy that. I mean if it’s already been done by someone it’s showing you that it’s absolutely possible and that you could do it too.

[00:18:10] So that’s my tip for networking online building a network comes with time. It does come with time. I’ve never. Going to a networking event and thought wow. I have new 80 contacts. I’m going to keep talking to them all it’s not work like that the same as not everybody you meet becomes your best friend networking is very similar to building a friendship group.

[00:18:37] You have to build your network based upon trust based upon people who share same similar interests to you based upon people who share similar values to you based upon people who invest in your investment style. For example. Everybody knows that. I’m doing a development in New Jersey at the moment with two joint venture Partners actually, but I’ve introduced you to Isaac a couple of times on my podcast.

[00:19:04] So if you have a look back through you’ll see that I’ve had Isaac on this podcast a couple of times. I actually met Isaak through Instagram. And we were dming each other because he’d moved to New York from the UK and I was moving to New York from the UK. We’re both in real estate and. Somehow we’ve been following each other’s profiles.

[00:19:26] But because on Instagram, I just follow other property investors to kind of get ideas. And then he said well, do you want me to to catch up with do you want to catch up with me? I’ll show you some my Investment Portfolio and you can see if you liked my investments and what you think I’d be interested to have a British point of view on this and.

[00:19:44] From there. We kind of caught up. We saw I saw his property portfolio and we got to talking and he has the same investment style that I do now, he focuses more on developments. Whereas I am very much the strategy and leasing side of things. That’s kind of where we kind of commit because we have very different skills.

[00:20:07] But that is a relationship. That’s built over time. That’s not just something where oh my gosh, we exchanged a couple of dams and all of a sudden I’m sending him thousands of pounds worth of money. No. No, we you build these relationships and you see what people have already done and you see how they work for you and it’s fine not to get one with everybody you network with or it’s fine not to have to work with them.

[00:20:32] It’s about you choosing the right people to surround yourself with. And the other thing is this changes over time. A different stages in your property investment Journey you will need to be in contact with different people, but you will also need you’ll also want to work with different people because you’ll be focusing on different product projects and that’s okay networking is about constantly building your your contacts getting to know people.

[00:21:00] Having conversations with them. I have found my podcast to be one of the best ways and networking often. I just email people who I find really interesting. I’m like, hey guys, I do a podcast you want to come and have a conversation with me and then they come to have a conversation with me and ultimately we end up we end up just continuing the conversation off the podcast and that’s how I’ve been growing my network.

[00:21:26] But of course I meet people face-to-face. On Facebook, in my Facebook group, people get in contact with me. I’m always always talking to my members about who they know what they’re doing and what what they’ve got going on and that’s a great way to network. It’s just about constantly being in contact with other people who are doing very similar things and putting yourself in a position where you are.

[00:21:54] Are you able to speak to other property investors and other property and professionals but also when you’ve got a question to ask about reaching out or if someone’s inspired you reach out so hey, can I ask you about this or could you show me around this property or whatever it is you want them to do and that is how you start building your network and overtime.

[00:22:19] These relationships just grow and grow and if I could give you one tip of advice on how to make sure you can handle it properly is you really should make sure that if you say you’re going to do something for these people that you’re networking with these people you’re building relationships with you show up and you do it because if they’ve got the trust in you that you do what you say.

[00:22:44] Oh my gosh, that relationship is going to blossom into something beautiful. So do make sure that you’re nurturing these relationships that you build and you have and that if you’re interested in someone who inspired by someone you tell them because how flattering is it to hear that? Oh my gosh.

[00:23:08] This person loves what I’m doing. Yes, I’ll definitely speak to. Since that’s how you need to be building your network and show up as you regardless of where you’re starting from or what you’re doing or you may be a new investor. That’s cool. That’s fine. Everybody starts somewhere. You bring to the table who you are what you like doing how excited you are to be in the industry.

[00:23:32] I’m from there. You will start to naturally really naturally attract people who are also in the same spear who believe in the same things that you do and I really excited to get to know you and your network will. And just remember, you know, what starting at somebody else’s 10 years. I’ve been in the industry 10 years, which is how I’ve built such a network of people and decided who I like working with and still grow that that you know, it’s not stopped that that’s just the people I know no, no, it’s still about growing and growing and growing.

[00:24:04] My network, but if you’re just starting out that school to meeting one person fabulous meeting to people fabulous. You just keep building from there. It’s about being brave showing up as you and just having those starting conversations. So I hope that’s helped you with how to start and grow your network.

[00:24:25] Now if you’ve loved this podcast, please make sure you subscribe to it and leave me a review the reviews matter so much to me. I read I read every single one of them and please give it a racing. I would love five star rating. If you enjoy this, it helps me and it supports my brand. So I would love you to do that.

[00:24:47] Thank you so much for listening to me today. I cannot wait to catch up with you again soon.