How to Meet People at Events

Finding Passive Investors

In this interview clip, Travis Watts from Ashcroft Capital explains his strategy for meeting people at events.

Todd Heitner

So let’s say you go to an event. Can you kind of walk us through how you meet people and what you say to them to kind of gauge interest and all that?

Travis Watts

So my thing is kind of twofold. I am a full-time passive investor myself, investing in private placements and syndications primarily. And then there’s Ashcroft Capital and explaining their model. So I try to be as fluid and authentic and flexible as I can, so I’m never coming at it from a sales perspective or “Hi, I work at Ashcroft. Do you want to invest in a deal?” I’ve never taken that approach. It’s always first just learning about the other person. “Hey, I don’t think we’ve met. What’s your story?” You know, “what do you do?” Boom, Right? There’s your icebreaker. And then getting into what excites that person, what their goals are, their ambitions. And you learn a ton in 30 to 60 seconds. If they’re die hard one direction or another you embellish that direction and try to learn what you can from them. And if they say something like, “I’ve been trying to get into multifamily investing, trying to learn it. I don’t know any groups to invest with. I’ve never looked at deals”, then I can be a resource for those types of of people and anyone else it’s just “Great to meet you and let me know if I can help you in any way”. And moving on.

So this happens before a conference, during the lunch breaks, the networking breaks after the conference. But that’s the most fulfilling part. The education, once you have it, you have it, you know? I’m not so much there anymore for the education of a conference. I’m there for the networking. And again, just to reiterate, not to be a sales person, not to try to, you know, “I’m going to grab some investors here”. That’s never my intent. I just love meeting people and sharing and just trying give my time back to others and what I’ve learned and experienced. And I try to learn equally from others what they’re doing. Maybe there’s something I should be doing that I’m not. So I always pick up 3 or 4 things that way too.

Todd Heitner

And so what I take away from that too is then not necessarily going into the conversation with an agenda, but just authentically trying to meet people, listen first before you speak, try to find out something about them and then also I appreciate too what you said seeing if you can help them in some way. So being a value, providing value to other people even if it doesn’t help you necessarily personally. And that makes sense because you never know what, where these connections could lead. Even if somebody is not going to be an investor who knows what other benefit you could receive from that relationship?

Travis Watts

Oh yeah. I’ve been introduced to resources, books, sponsors that I didn’t know existed, that were in a niche I wanted to experiment with. And it’s just been crazy. I’ve been invited to not only speak at various real estate meetups, especially during lockdown here, but yeah, just it’s hard. It’s an abstract… It’s like a compounding thing. You have all these conversations and you think, ‘Boy, that was, maybe a waste of time’, right? But then a year later, like, holy crap, all these people reached out and I got all these invites and now all this stuff’s happening and had it not been for all those conversations put in up front. So yeah, to your point, you never know where something’s going to lead for sure.


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