We all know how important networking is to our success as real estate investors. These days I get many of my deals from referrals because of the constant networking I did when I first started out in this business.
I used to go to every REIA meeting in my area and every real estate event. I quickly built up a network of investors who, to this day, still flood my in-box with potential deals.
But today, I want to talk about another type of networking.
I like to call it “networking with your neighbors.” You see, every time I pick up a new rental property I go knock on all of the doors of the surrounding neighbors. I let them know that our company just picked up the property and that they should give me a call if the tenants cause any problems because our company runs a tight ship. Then I hand them my business card.
When I do this, the neighbors are highly impressed and they become my “allies”. For example, I’ve had a neighbor call and tell me the tenants weren’t cutting the lawn, or they were leaving trash everywhere, etc.
In fact, one time a neighbor saved one of my houses from burning down. I was in my car when I got a call from the neighbor and he said “Jason, your house is on fire and I just called the fire department.” I happened to be in the area of the house so I rushed over, just as the fire department was leaving. My tenant had left a candle on the mantle and it had tipped over, setting the mantle on fire. Luckily, there was very little damage.
I’ve also had neighbors call me when they wanted to sell their own house.
Not too long ago I picked up a good lease option deal in Fredericksburg, VA. Right after I met the neighbor she called me and asked me to buy her house. Unfortunately, the numbers didn’t work, but I’ve gotten other deals thanks to neighbors.
In addition to networking with neighbors after you’ve done a deal, it’s also a good idea to talk to neighbors before you do a deal. When I’m checking out a property I’ll go knock on doors and ask neighbors what they know about the house, or what they think of the neighborhood.
If you do this, you’ll be amazed at how much people love to gossip. I’ve had people invite me into their houses for a drink, and go on forever about how they dislike their neighbor or how the neighbor had an affair and needs to sell because he’s getting a divorce and so on.
So if I were you, I’d definitely get to know the neighbors because they could give you deals, save you from doing a bad deal and even keep your house from burning down.