The 3Worst Things You Can Do at a Real Estate Conference AVOID COMMITTING THESE NETWORKING NO-NO’S.

by Carole VanSickle Ellis

e’ve talked to countless meeting hosts, presenters, and power-net- workers to come up with a list of the three W

worst things you can do at a real estate conference. Take a hard look at this list and then, yourself. If you’ve made these

mistakes in the past, be sure to avoid them at your next event. You’ll be shocked at the difference in your experience.

NOT TAKING YOUR BUSINESS CARDS This might sound like a no-brainer, but nearly half of all attendees at a real estate conference do not bring business cards, or they only bring a few. Interestingly, most people who opt not to bring cards said they did not think anyone would really keep them and use them, or suggested no



GIVING UP TOO SOON For most people, networking is hard. You may feel awkward as you begin meeting other in- vestors and exchanging business cards. You might even want to give up and spend your time on your phone reading the news or checking social media, so you look busy and people don’t talk to you. Resist! Keep shaking hands, asking for business cards, and looking for ways to “be of service.” People remem- ber people who can help them! At some point, something will click. You will begin to enjoy

one really wanted their cards specifically. Both beliefs are false. Many investors religiously log every card they receive in case they need the information later, and even a single connection from this type of event can yield returns many times more than the cost of your ticket (or your business cards, for that matter).

Lesson Learned: Bring business cards. Lots of them.

FAILING TO IDENTIFY A MISSION Every investor needs a “mission” for every event. Do not confuse questions such as “Why are you here?” or “What do you do?” as general queries. For exam- ple, if you are a dental hygienist attending a real estate conference because you have $150,000 in your retirement account that you want to use to buy rental prop-


yourself; your net-

working will start to take root, and your real es- tate business will grow.

Lesson Learned: Stick to the plan.

erties, your answer to these questions should not be, “I work at a dentist’s office,” or “I want to learn more about rentals.” Tell people quickly what you hope to accomplish in real estate and what the two of you might gain from knowing each other: “I’m a dental hygienist, and I’m hoping to learn enough to purchase a few rentals using my retirement account.” That simple, memorable answer may be used for both questions, both illustrating your goals and indicating how others might work with you.

If you give up, you eliminate your results.

Lesson Learned: Come up with a professional, succinct message before you arrive on the scene.

Carole VanSickle Ellis is the editor of Think Realty Magazine. She can be reached at

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