As a building professional or contractor offering a unique service like flooring installation, making and keeping connections is essential part of doing business. Referrals are paramount to success, but those referrals can only take you so far. This is especially true if you’ve got a relatively new business without an exceptionally long client list on your side.
Finding the connections you need for new jobs can be difficult. Direct marketing may work to some degree, but marketing costs can put you deep in the red. Marketing may not be particularly effective in a saturated market full of other providers.
The good news is that there are some ways to connect with property investors ranging from small builders to big developers. You don’t always have to spend a fortune to make connections and establish fruitful relationships either.
Use this guide to learn more about building valuable connections with property investors in your area.
Stay Active on Internet Forums
If you’re not familiar with internet forums, they are somewhat like interactive message boards. Often populated by other professionals and homeowners, internet forums are a popular place for pros and consumers alike to ask questions about building projects. While this may not seem initially helpful for your brand, forums may provide a few benefits for savvy business owners.
How can forums help you? Being an active member of an internet forum related to your business can make you a trusted resource in your field. Better yet, using specific forums like Somersoft can connect you with property owners and investors in your area, and show them that you have the knowledge and expertise they need to finish their projects successfully.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of internet forums:
• Provide answers to questions when you have them. Do this even if you don’t think providing assistance will result in work. Remember, a big part of using forums properly is about positioning yourself as a trusted resource in the community.
• Talk with other professionals in your area. Making connections with business owners who work in the same field and region, but do different work, can help you build a community that could result in more opportunities for everyone.
• Make sure your contact information is available when you post. Sign each post with your website address, phone number and any other contact information you’d like potential clients to have.
• Offer professional help when it makes sense, but don’t always look to make a sale. You want to establish your brand via forums, not spam each thread with discounts or offers for paid work.
Use Networking Apps and Sites
Internet forums are a great start for expanding your business’ reach. Along with using internet forums, you’ll want to take advantage of networking apps and sites designed specifically for property investors. One such app is Roi’s List, which specializes in connecting investors with individuals, contractors and related businesses.
Other apps and networking sites designed for property investors work to connect them with contractors and more specific providers. If you offer a specific service, like installing flooring, these can be particularly beneficial.
Many of these apps work like the popular Angie’s List, allowing you to create a profile and showcase your services in your geographical region. This can make it much easier for developers in your area to find your brand and reach out about potential projects. Some sites let potential clients post about their projects to get feedback from companies like yours as well.
When signing up for a new networking app or site, take your time to browse existing profiles of similar companies. In many cases, a company profile or history, work photos and contact information are all that’s needed to begin making connections in this manner.
Explore LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn has been around for a while, but that doesn’t mean that they’re old news. While LinkedIn is often more like a social media site than an app that will connect you directly with people seeking a particular type of contractor, it can be an effective tool.
When using LinkedIn groups, make sure that you focus on your general area. After all, it’s not likely you’re going to outbid a competitor in another state. Focusing on nearby areas will give you the best chance at success.
In general, the more LinkedIn groups you can join the better. Just make sure they’re related to your business, property investment, renovation or new construction. Otherwise you may end up spending a lot of time creating connections that don’t do much for your bottom line.
Seek In-Person Events in Your Area
The internet is an amazing resource for building your business. Nothing can take the place of connections made in-person and face-to-face though. Seeking appropriate events and meet-ups in your area can help you get more of that valuable face time with property investors.
Trade shows, seminars and mixers can make it much easier to find these people in your area. When attending these events, it’s ideal to take a few things with you. Here are a few helpful tips for maximizing in-person meetings:
• Carry business cards with you. You may even want to offer up small promotional items like notepads when you meet somebody and want to give them your contact information.
• Be prepared to show a little bit of your work. You don’t need to have a PowerPoint presentation ready, but a few photos on your phone or a tablet of a current project can take your friendly pitch to the next level.
• Talk to everyone! While you might be seeking large property investors, referrals from these sorts of meetings can help you in ways you may not be able to imagine. You can also make connections with other business owners in your area that could lead to joint projects down the road.
Connecting with property investors that have deep pockets can be a challenging task. After all, every contractor and service provider in your area is looking to get into those pockets. Being smart about how you connect with potential clients can give you the leg up.
By taking advantage of internet forums, potentially beneficial apps and attending in-person events, you can maximize your reach without spending a lot of money on marketing in the process. Your brand may not skyrocket overnight, but every connection you make could mean one more client on your list.