4/20/17

I'm a very introverted guy who goes to a lot of networking events that are facilitated by my school, ULI, or local (North Texas) CRE industry groups. I work hard to become a better networker, but I'm not making much progress. I'm at a higher-end non-target that has an incredible CRE alumni network, so I'm wasting a lot of time and money if I can't take advantage of it.

For other monkeys who are/were introverts and learned to become successful networkers, I'd really like to hear your stories and some things that helped you go from the guy who stood to the side to the guy who worked the room.

Comments (26)

4/12/17

Hit the gym/get in shape is important--it drastically improves self confidence. Eat right too. You'll have more energy. Play the student card--it is an incredible time for you do to so as you won't be looked as an employed guy trying to change jobs. Ask questions and be genuinely interested. Prepare before meetings so you're not asking things you could look up online in 2 mins time. Make it a point to remember people's names. Take interest in what they do at work, but also outside of work. Lastly, a teacher of mine told me that it's 'who knows you' rather than 'who you know.' I completely agree with this--it's one thing to get 100 business cards at a networking event, but what are the odds any of those people will remember you a month later if you email them? Spend time perfecting your 30 second elevator pitch--I'm sure threads on here about interviewing can help you out if you've never heard of this. Lastly, set small goals each day and work towards them. Tell yourself that you are going to start a conversation with 'X' strangers tomorrow, and then add 1 the next day, and so on. Soon, you'll build a habit of talking to strangers and find that it comes even easier when you're talking about a fun subject (real estate).

Financial Modeling

4/13/17

I agree with cpgame, first things first, being physically prepared will keep you mentally prepared. If you don't like hitting the gym 24hr Fitness style, sign up for some boxing 3-4 days a week. I train boxing and Muay Thai 4 to 5x a week and I'm not the same person without it. I still lift a day or two a week. It calms me and helps me make better decisions with the rest of my life.

One of the most successful guys I knew early on in my real estate days was a very average sales person. But his follow up and diligence was the best. Yes, being an extrovert can help, but there is no skill greater than fantastic follow up.

You'll meet a lot of people over time. The key is for you to have their number, not for them to have yours.

4/14/17

I've been lifting for years, and I met with a local developer who struck up a conversation with me one day because I wore my old college shirt and he was an alumni as well. He even took me to lunch one day to talk about my career and see if he could help me find a job.

The gym is a great place to network period, I met a friend who now takes me to salsa nights at clubs to wingman girls (to no avail yet though)

4/20/17

There's a Head of Fixed Income and asset allocation that is always in the news in my gym. I need to build up the coverage to chat with him. Don't know how to break the ice though...

4/20/17

Ask him what was the ROIC on his diet/routine/lifestyle.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

4/12/17

you don't need to know every person on earth. a good network does not have to be 500 people. some of the most successful guys I know in the industry are NOT gregarious loudmouths and are in fact the opposite.

Best Response
4/13/17

I'll echo quality over quantity. LinkedIn accounts with 1600 connections are great and all, but they are worthless if nobody will actually make the introduction for you/be your reference when you need it.

My advice is to find a friend to go to events with and use him/her as a wing person. Don't be anti social and walk around the entire event the whole time together, but say the event is an hour long, break it up into 4 smaller networking sessions. Spend the first 10 minutes together surveying the room (see who you know and who you don't). Then split off on your own and go talk to people. Come back half way through and compare notes for 10 min. Then split off again - go find the people that each other talked to that sounded interesting. You can use each other as a reference, "my friend John met you earlier and mentioned...something you found interesting that somewhat applies to me so I came over to talk to you." That way you have a warm intro and reinforce your friend's network. Win-win.

Or if you don't want to split off again at the end, you can decide who you want to reintroduce each other to and go do that. Like you met an Associate from XYZ and he met a VP from QXY. You both are interested in those other shops so you cross introduce.

You will be surprised how many times this will make for an after event drink invite, which is where you really get to know people.

Note: if you steal my technique and I see you using it on me, while I approve, I reserve the right to not fall for it ;)

4/17/17
mrcheese321:

I'll echo quality over quantity. LinkedIn accounts with 1600 connections are great and all, but they are worthless if nobody will actually make the introduction for you/be your reference when you need it.

+1 sb

26 Broadway
where's your sense of humor?

Financial Modeling

4/13/17

My advice: skip those events. From my experience, they are filled with a bunch of junior brokers trying to get listings, or a bunch of "business development associates" from civil engineering/real estate related consultant firms looking for leads.

Decide what you want to do in CRE, then simply reach out to people in the industry for coffee or a quick chat over the phone. Ask them how they got into the industry, what they do now, advice they could give to someone young and in your shoes. This cultivates a more personal relationship with someone, rather than exchanging business cards at an event. Always ask if they reccomend anyone for you to reach out to. This approach also allows you to follow up with them in the future: "hey Bill, we chatted a few weeks ago about X. I noticed that a similar firm is hiring, do you have any insight on that firm you can share, or reccomend anyone I should talk to from there?".

Example of how this worked for me: I was 23 years old at the time, and wanted to shift into a new market (that I had no connections/network in). HFF was hiring in my target market, and I did a LinkedIn search nationwide to find anyone at HFF who either went to my school or was in my fraternity. Found a senior broker from LA who was in my fraternity back in the 80s. I emailed him out of the blue playing on that card, and asked him if he could spare 15 minutes for some career related advice. He was happy to talk to me, shot a personal email to the HFF MD in my target market for an informal intro, and I got an interview. I didn't get the job, due to lack of debt/equity experience, but I do not believe I would have been offered an interview without the referral.

4/13/17

What do you mean lack of debt/equity experience?

4/13/17

At the time I was coming from a position that supported leasing and investment sales brokers. The HFF position was focused on their debt/equtiy placement business line. I think my lack of experience on the debt/equity placement side, paired with my unfamialarity with the market did not make me a top choice candidate. The important takeaway is, however, that I was able to claw in an interview, rather than submit my application and cross my fingers.

4/13/17

Networking has goten me calls with MDs from at least 30% of the REPE top 50 funds.

My biggest advice would be to try and get them to relate to your position. People love talking about themselves, ask about their time in college and journey to where they are now, what they do for fun, beer, girls ect hahah.

4/13/17

This is going to sound crass and off-base, but how is your sex life?

4/13/17

Networking isn't about being Mr. Popular at the party. You're really just talking shop with people who are in the same industry as you. In the beginning, you are just trying to know the players. As your relationships develop you can start benefiting each other (sharing information, referring deals, etc).

I'd start out going to industry events. Make sure you always have business cards. If you meet someone you think might be a good connection, hand them your card and connect on linkedin.

IMO, good networking is about helping people and seeing how things interconnect. I literally have LinkedIn up all day at work, send out thank you notes to everyone I meet and put them in outlook for later. You are building a network that will be invaluable as you get older so don't rush it.

Master in Finance Website

"We've always been at war with Eastasia"

4/13/17

You should follow my empirical guideline strategy to impressing your interviewers and other superiors. It received smashing reviews...
https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/do-you-ever...

4/13/17
LReed:

You should follow my empirical guideline strategy to impressing your interviewers and other superiors. It received smashing reviews...https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/do-you-ever...

HAHA. Cutting people off during dumb questions or boring stories, that is actually hilarious. Real estate is an industry that's dominated by alpha dogs like yourself so I think this is a good play.

4/13/17

I'm part of the North Texas ULI group and would recommend trying to get involved with one of the committees are volunteering wherever you can. This really gives you good face time and relationships just happen without you thinking about it. Also, are you going to the Young Leaders Group events? These I feel are much easier for networking than their speaker events.

+1 on the post event drinks

4/13/17

Thanks for the advice guys.

Blake, I actually heard about the Young Leaders program at a ULI author event a couple of weeks ago. It's something that I am actively looking to get involved with.

TNA, networking being about helping people is part of the difficulty. I'm a UG student and have a hard time thinking of ways that I can be helpful to successful people in the industry. For the guys who are already successful, how have students been able to help you (beyond being employed by you)?

I stay #REF!d to impress, spark these bitches' interest

4/14/17
BBA18:

TNA, networking being about helping people is part of the difficulty. I'm a UG student and have a hard time thinking of ways that I can be helpful to successful people in the industry. For the guys who are already successful, how have students been able to help you (beyond being employed by you)?

i've always thought this was bullshit. There are people who will tell you that there are ways you can add value if you are creative but let's be honest, who needs or has any interest in help from a college kid who's never worked in the industry? Maybe somebody's hiring and you don't want that job and you know another young guy who might want that job, I suppose. Stuff like that might come up occasionally. But I don't think there's any shame in accepting that 9x out of 10 as a student trying to break in you are just asking 100 people for help/charity and hoping for progress. And there's nothing wrong with that.

4/14/17

jiu jitsu helps even the most self doubting, shy, introverted people gain a lot of confidence

4/17/17

I went from super shy to quite extroverted. I also went from 155 to 230 pounds at 6'5 in the meantime. My new confidence allowed me to network my way into interviews with Google/FB/Uber/LinkedIn/MBB/various BBs.

What worked for me:
1) Read Dale Carnegie's how to make friends and influence people (I read it four times now I think)
2) Speak to two strangers a day. Whatever happens. If you make comfortably make conversations with strangers is awkward settings (train stations at 3am are tough), networking chats are a cakewalk
3) Make a consistent effort to improve your social skills (if you can present/speech/hit on that hot girl, don't dither and seize it)
4) Put in consistent effort in your appearance. Not just lifting and nutrition (altho invaluable in my case, few people take skin and bones seriously), but also dressing/skincare/hair.

It won't be an overnight change, but I guarantee you that if you commit to these things people you haven't seen in a few years won't recognise you.

4/17/17

let The Liquor do the thinking

I AM THE LIQUOR

4/20/17

I just told myself not to be a pussy, and get the other person talking/interested. Nobody gives a shit about your struggle to find a job/what you want to be in 10 years. Talk about things that the other person is interested in (how they got to where they are now, for example). Let them talk/reveal more information to you, which will help you guide the conversation. Get their name/contact info, and follow up with email.

4/20/17

This is a great thread.

4/20/17
4/21/17
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