Creating a Plan of Attack for Your Next Networking or Educational Event  by Troy Miller

As real estate business owners, we attend a ton of networking and educational events, and with any luck, we will walk away with a newfound insight or nugget of information that will make us or our business better. We may meet someone who leads us to our next or future deal. Or, we may meet, get a lead on, or get a referral for a service provider that we have desperately been looking for. For most of us, it’s either luck or an afterthought to prepare for these events to focus on what YOU hope to get out of it. With AZREIA’s “Real Estate Investing: “Making it Work for You” Conference & Expo coming up April 25th & 26th, we want you to take a moment and help you plan for this event as an extension of your learning in hopes that you can use it to start getting more from future events you may attend through AZREIA or a part of your education and networking plan!

First, let’s use that word… ”plan.” Starting with the end in mind, what do you hope to get from the Conference & Expo? Are you still working on your horizontal education plan, and want to just focus on the basics of investing? Are you looking to develop your vertical education plan, and diversify your investment portfolio? Are you looking to build your team, like a potential lender, new lead generation, or potential alternative resources to make sure you get to keep more of the things that are important, like time and money?

Once you know what you hope to achieve, take a look at the event agenda. What topics interest you, keynotes who will be speaking, and also, look at the breakouts. For those getting started with investing, this will help you with that horizontal educational plan, and for those of you more seasoned, it’s a great way to see who is interested in or doing the same things as you. You can turn learning into networking which is a great way to find a potential partner or joint venture opportunity. So, taking the time to chart out your course for an event helps you get the most out of your time investment.

Then, check out the sponsors, who’s coming, and who do you want to carve out and spend some time with? What help do you need the most? Need a contractor? Or, maybe you’re looking for deals or property managers. Strangely enough, property managers are a very good resource for both contractors and deals….along with potentially managing your rentals! You have to stop looking at the expo as people who want to sell you things and replace that with people who can help you far beyond the service they offer and make for AMAZING connectors.

Before you go, write your plan down! This keeps you focused on what you need and are looking for. Be sure to do a little research on the topics and sessions you are going to attend. That way you can come prepared with questions. Be sure to arrive early to sessions and breakouts, the speaker may be in the room upfront and available to speak. Of course, be courteous and see if they are available, if not wait until afterward, but go up and introduce yourself to the speaker! Let them know that you appreciate them being there and ask if they plan on covering the areas that you have questions about. It’s a great way to ensure your questions get answered, build rapport, and perhaps get the presentation catered to you or at the very least get your questions answered. Heck, you may even get their contact info so that you may follow up!

Finally, networking, it’s a great way to invite people that you have been wanting to have meetings with, and they might get some value and benefit from it as well, making you look like the hero. The event becomes “one stop shopping” for you and them. But, in all the activities, make sure you carve out time to network. This business is, after all, about people! Remember the power networking exercise from the Phoenix Real Estate Club, how can you help someone else? And remember to be mindful of other people’s time, so quickly and efficiently introduce yourself to your next partner, lender, or deal! And don’t forget to follow up and follow through. Exchange information and look for a time in the following week when you can continue the conversation, turning a colleague into a compatriot!

So, you ready to give this a try? Go ahead and register at www.azreia.org/ expo! Let AZREIA be your accountability partner! Start building your plan, and start making events work for you!