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Disruptive Networking

More than a decade ago I use to attend property networking groups all over the UK.  I spoke at several of them and from a speaker’s perspective they did help me to promote my training courses.  However, I realised that, from an attendee’s perspective they weren’t networking meetings, but more net-sitting meetings.

Typically, midweek property networking events run from 7-9 pm, but with two speakers, one speaking for about an hour and the other for around 30 minutes, by the time introductions, notices and Q&As are included it’s time to go home.  No networking time or at least no more than a few minutes in between the two speakers, certainly not enough time to have a meaningful conversation.

All property events are not networking opportunities

I don’t decry that speakers bring lots of added value with opportunities for property investors to discover new approaches, upgrade their skills and knowledge and keep learning.  Usually the speakers are presenting without a fee, sometimes because they have something to sell, so they’re also selling from the platform or, at the very least, at the back of the room – reducing networking time even more. If the speakers aren’t selling then its not uncommon that the hosts are.

However, when I suggested to organisers that maybe speaker time could be reduced to allow more networking time, they argued that people who wanted to network could come early and stay late.

That’s not a practical solution.  Firstly, not everyone can get there early.  Some people have a day job and may have a distance to commute that makes arriving earlier than 7 pm simply not possible.  After a long day at work, possibly no dinner and a family to get home to, staying late may not be an attractive option.

Besides, even those who can arrive earlier or stay later, may not be the contacts you most need. 

Regular property meetings have their place – but it’s a misnomer to describe them as ‘networking events’.

Most property meetings charge an entry fee – because they have to cover venue costs.  Entry fees vary, but the standard is £20 per meeting.  While this won’t break the bank, it has an impact.  Bear in mind that there are dozens of property meetings across the UK every week.  A keen investor will want to meet as many property people as possible, so that £20 can multiply rapidly.

A new approach to property networking

I love meeting property investors, I learn from them as much as they learn from me.  Sharing knowledge and connections is a great way to improve your skills.  However, I wanted a different, less-structured way of doing this.  The flaws in the current property ‘networking’ model drove me to create a new approach.

This kicked off when I invited all the property investors I knew to come to an all day, weekend, networking event.  I promised lots of time for networking and some high value speakers as extras – but NO PITCHES!

This was so popular with long coffee breaks and a two-hour lunch break that one event rapidly became three events a year.  There was clearly a capacity and need for a different type of networking meeting.

Of course, this is not unique, but it’s not available on a countrywide basis, with a high value brand behind it - until now!

After so many attendees at the full day events raved about the opportunities they’d had and connections with useful people as well as shared experience, I was being asked if I planned to do something more regularly.

People loved the networking and didn’t want to wait four months for the next event.  When a lot of your customers ask for something you’d be crazy to ignore it!  So enter Recycle Your Cash Property Chats.

I set about creating a different kind of midweek evening networking meeting.  The criteria were:

  •  No entry fees – the events use local hotels, bars or clubs that are open anyway and are happy to serve drinks and food if people want it on an individual basis.
  •  No speakers – speakers are available elsewhere, with more than 100 property meetings and events (including some of my seminars and workshops) every month across the UK.
  •  100% of the meeting time is spent networking, no speakers, nobody standing up and doing notices.  Just like-minded people talking property in pairs or groups - everyone makes their own decisions about who they end up chatting with.
  •  Same week of the month and weekday evening for all groups (1st Thursday), so if you happen to be travelling, you’ll know when the local group will be meeting.
  •  No bells and whistles – and no BS either!  Just networking.

All the hosts have completed my advance level Ninja Investor Programme training, and have a degree of knowledge behind them. Most importantly, they are enthusiastically committed to provide a different networking experience for all who attend.

I’ve been planning this for many months, and we’ll be launching in April – with up to 20 groups launching simultaneously.  More groups will be added as more of my Ninja Investors volunteer to host their local area meeting.

Why do I think this will work?

Because when I host the longer version at 100% pitch-free networking days, positive responses are through the roof.  These are a few of the comments I’ve had:

“Thank you for this opportunity to connect with amazing, liked minded people and superb networking.” ~ Suraj Shepherd

“Good people and loads of networking. A massive dose of positivity for our property journey.” ~ Sheri Edu

“Thanks to those we spoke to who shared their experiences and some very helpful advice. Such a positive like-minded group!” ~ Mike & Kat Tonks

“Felt so good to be around people using the same jargon.  Nice connecting with new people and hope to keep in touch.” ~ Dorece Hunter

If people love a whole day every few months, I think you’ll love a condensed version in one evening – every month.  Motivation, inspiration, support, partnership, shared experiences and knowledge – that’s my vision for the monthly meets.

What about the full-day events?  They’re not going anywhere, I see them evolving into a conference, where all the Property Chats people come together.  This is the future of property networking.

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