Part One of our series to help build your real estate investment business involves joining your Chamber of Commerce. Being an active member of your Chamber is one of the best ways to connect. Does meeting people face-to-face make you nervous? It’ll get easier with time. Networking within your Chamber is a powerful, marketing strategy.
What’s a Chamber of Commerce?
Unless you live in an extremely rural community, there is probably a Chamber of Commerce. Even then, there are small pods and extensions of larger groups. The Chamber is an organization whose purpose it is to encourage and support commerce. They do this in several ways:
- Offer Workshops and Other Educational Support
- Present Collaborative Opportunities and Advertising
- Promote Economic Growth
- Act as a Resource for Tourism and New Businesses
- Connect Members and Offer Networking Opportunities
Depending on where you live, your Chamber will provide a variety of services. Some have mentoring programs and/or special committees to help specific market segments. Many also hold annual recognition events and award members who are deemed to have provided value in service.
How Can You Benefit?
Joining the Chamber is a must for any business. In fact, join Chambers in multiple cities—especially those you intend to do business in. Two things to know:
- It’s NOT FREE. Most, if not all Chambers have an annual membership fee. This extends anywhere from $50 to several hundred. Other expenses will include monthly breakfast fees, mixer fees, sponsorship, and donations. Calculate the cost and incorporate this into your marketing budget.
- Successful membership is ACTIVE membership. This means attending networking events and utilizing Chamber services to grow your business. Participate in EXPOs and trade shows—raise your profile.
The more visible you are, the more easily you’ll form relationships. Those relationships will ultimately help build your real estate investment business.
One way to get more visibility is to donate door prizes when appropriate. The MC will mention your name or the name of your business. People will perceive you as generous and your name will become familiar.
A second way to be familiar is to volunteer at Chamber events. Sign up as a greeter or bartender at mixers or volunteer at the Chamber office. Allow people to get to know you and think of you when opportunities to refer you arise.
Your Chamber of Commerce is there for support. You’ll pay the annual fees whether you utilize services or not. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn, grow and connect and your business will succeed.