Real Estate is About Relationships, Period

Joe Stampone Start a Company 14 Comments

In the past week I’ve gotten multiple emails from aspiring real estate professionals asking me what advice I’d give them as they get started in their careers. The answer is easy – the best thing you can do is network.

I think people often misunderstand the concept of networking; it’s not attending every industry event and collecting as many business cards as possible. It’s about generosity and finding ways to help others.

One of my all-time favorite quotes on networking comes from Peter Linneman. He says that in order to build a great network you must “always do the very best you can to fulfill what you said you would do, help others simply because you can rather than because you believe it would indirectly benefit you, and do this for the next thirty years.” He’s dead on.

Here are some of the things I do on a daily basis to build my network:

  • I respond to 100% of the people who shoot me a cold email. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family friend, Tufts undergrad, Schack student, or someone who found me through the blog, I’ll talk with you.  If you want to set up a call or in person meeting to discuss your career, the business, or anything real estate related, I’ll always find 15 minutes in my day. In addition to providing my advice, if you leave a good impression, I’ll connect you with friends in the business.
  • I’m always trying to be a connector. I’m constantly introducing people that I like, to other people I think highly of, with the hopes that the introduction benefits both of them. Just today, I introduced a prominent real estate developer to the founder of a premier crowdfunding site. I believe they’ll both benefit greatly from the intro.
  • Share information. There’s a lot of interesting articles out there. If you come across something that you know someone would be interested in, pass it along with your insight.
  • Be social. Get up from behind your computer and have 3 meetings a week, organize dinner or drinks with a few colleagues, or start an informal group to chat about specific aspects on the business. Real estate professionals are obsessed with the business and love to talk about it.

Keep doing these things for a long time and you’ll build a network that leads to deals, investors, and various business opportunities.

I was out to dinner last night with an MD at a large real estate private equity firm and he made the comment that at the end of the day, the service his firm provides is a commodity. Generally speaking, he’s right. But operators do business with him because they like, respect, and have a long-standing relationship with him.

At the end of day, people want to work with good people who the like. The larger your network of good friends, the more successful you’ll be.

If you want to dig further into this topic, there’s a great book that I highly recommend called Never Eat Alone.

Interested in doing your own deals? Start here.

  • Steven Stone

    Can’t agree more. Title says it all. I try to do the same and in doing so have become even more passionate about real estate and my relationships with businesses, clients, tenants, and brokers which I see directly translating into better quality work. Great post Joe.

  • Thanks Steve, I appreciate the comment. Keep doing what you’re doing for a long time and good things are sure to happen.

  • I had a comment on Twitter that I wanted to address here. “True but also depressing…shouldn’t #CRE be about good work? | RE is About Relationships, Period ”

    To clarify, doing great work is a prerequisite in any business. It’s your relationships and reputation that will allow you to leverage and scale your great work. For example, you can be the best in the world at underwriting and analyzing deals, but if you can’t access good deals or capital, your skill is valueless.

  • Amol

    yes relationships are most important to stay in the real estate market..esp to sell house online india its difficult to make contacts..

  • dlf mullanpur

    Nice thoughts. I also have an opportunity to take a step towards real estate opportunity in
    DLF
    Mullanpur Plot

  • Michael Anderson

    Joe, you make a great point. Networking is not so much about who you know but much more importantly, how you know them. When you get a ‘who you need to get in touch with is…’ referral, or you can confidently ask a friend for help, knowing they can and will be there for you, you know you’re networking correctly. Those kinds of relationships are forged on a highly personal level of carrying reciprocity. Thank you for your thoughtful posing.

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  • Relationships are the #1 Builder & Killer of a good deal! Just as much due diligence is needed in relationship building than the deal itself!

  • Tom Costello

    Joe, here is an article that covers networking that I’d like to share http://igroupadvisors.com/wordpress/10-tips-to-help-make-networking-work-for-you/

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  • Right on, Michael. Thanks for the comment.

  • Tommy Eliassen

    What can a 21-year-old college student do to be a real estate agent or a trainee in a real estate company?I’d
    really like to learn the real estate business, the selling, the
    knowledge, it’s a very interesting area.

  • Network and speak with as many people as possible so you become educated on the space. Best of luck, real estate makes a great career!

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