The commercial real estate market offers the potential for excellent returns, and it’s increasingly becoming a game in which investors of any size can participate. Certainly major REITs and other investment groups have some advantages over the “little guy,” but with a few smart moves and tools, it can be easy to create the network you need to get in on up-and–coming deals that might be right for you.
Making the right contacts can increase access to property listings, make assessment more accurate, and expand options for financing and partnerships. Digital tools and online connections bring the contacts you need to your desktop. Take a look at this extensive list of CRE technology tools to get an idea of what’s available, and read on for our CRE networking tips.
Watch industry news and trends
Keeping up with CRE news, at least the latest in your local market, is a good foundation for your investment network. Choose and follow a few select sources that will help you grasp the big picture in CRE. Make note of influential firms and individuals, and take advantage of opportunities to connect. We recommend National Real Estate Investor online, and business publications, like Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, which include excellent CRE coverage.
Read select blogs
Finding a CRE blog or two that syncs well with your interests is a smart way to not only stay current, but also make important personal connections. Participate in the comments and discussion on those pages to get acquainted with others in the marketplace. Be sure to follow good online etiquette in your posts, to build some positive relationships.
One blog you might like to check out is Bigger Pockets, which is really a social network of more than half a million members. Their blog addresses topics related to real estate investing, including industry trends, property management and much more. Or, try Bill McBride’s Calculated Risk, for useful real estate statistics and insights.
Participate in social media
We’re not talking about cat videos here. Social media are a legitimate tool, custom-made to help you build a network. More that 65% of adults use social media to share information, and it has a big impact on things like purchasing decisions.
Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn include specialized groups that you can join on just about any topic or field. A search for commercial real estate investment on LinkedIn yields over 200 groups. These discussions can be a great way to connect with industry leaders, market experts, and potential partners.
Explore crowdfunding platforms
There’s probably no single factor that’s had a bigger impact on CRE investment in recent years than the development of these sites. They connect buyers and sellers from across the U.S. and beyond, so users can learn about opportunities beyond their own back yard. Real estate crowdfunding is a rapidly growing area in online transactions, with sites like FundRise and RealtyMogul managing thousands of listings, so more buyers have access to more deals than was possible before.
Going a step beyond what those sites can offer, Brevitas includes listings for off-market properties that aren’t generally available to small investors. We verify both the buyers and sellers on the site, so our users can be confident in exploring these opportunities.