Networking is an important skill in any business if the goal is a profitable business. The same holds true for real estate investing, at least on behalf of those who are serious about pursuing real estate investing as a business rather than a part time hobby. Either way, in all honesty, the ability to network for potential business partners, investors, and join ventures along the way can be critical to providing the type of diversity your real estate portfolio needs in order to be solid in a market that is nothing short of volatile.
With the recent collapse of the sub prime lending market, networking has become more essential than ever before for real estate investors. Networking can not only lead you to potential properties that might prove profitable but also to people who need your specific specialty or may be looking for a property you have access to. Even if you share your profits, as long as you are also sharing the workload, you can find a very favorable working environment when you join someone else in a venture such as wholesaling properties, offering lease options, or even working together on a quick flip situation (though caution and clearly defined parameters are best in any of these situations it is critical when flipping a property).
Whenever you have the opportunity to network with other real estate investors it is in your best interest to do so. Dont limit yourself to only networking with those who engage in the same sort of investing you are most comfortable with as diversity is important to all real estate portfolios and you never know when an ideal flip will come across your desk that you can pass along, while making a bit of a profit from the transaction of course (to a flipper) or a perfect buy and hold unit will catch the eye of someone who generally purchases properties with the intent of flipping. Contacts work both ways and you can all stand to profit from the eyes and ears of others, whether as a joint venture, equity sharing project, or simply acting as business partners on specific projects for quicker results and an extra set of hands and eyes on the job.
If you arent a part of a real estate investors networking group in your area, take the time to find them and join. The contacts you will make are invaluable if you intend to make real estate investing your primary business now or hope to make it your primary source of income in the future. Join as many groups as possible today (locally and within a reasonable driving distance) and see what a difference they make in the volume and scope of your real estate investing business.