In our special edition of ‘This Week in Property’, we interview world-class networker Richard Swan. We talk about the value and importance of networking, how to effectively network and about the ALG Property Network rolling out in the UK Autumn 2017. When a networking event is done right, it can be of immense value to your business.

  • Value of networking.
  • Who networking events are for?
  • What’s the goal of a networking event?
  • Effective networking vs ‘social club’.
  • Keeping a pulse on the industry.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know.
  • How to approach people?
  • Networking vs connecting.
  • Vision for the ALG property network.

LINKS AND RESOURCES

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

BILLY: Hello ladies and gents, how you doing? Billy Farrell here and welcome to a special edition of ‘This Week In Property’ podcast. Now the title of this week’s podcast, or this special podcast is ‘Your Network Is Your Net Worth’ – a phrase first coined by Paul McFadden, he’ll have you know, many years ago, and we’ll touch on that shortly. Now the point of this podcast today is threefold. First, we wanna talk to you about the value and the importance of networking. Second, we want to talk about how to effectively network so that you don’t become part of the ‘social club’, rather you actually achieve the outcomes that you’re there to achieve, and you progress and move forward. And third, we’re gonna talk to you about the networking events that ALG, our company, are rolling out up and down the UK.

Now many of you will know this and many of you won’t, but late 2009, going on 2010, Paul and I kicked off the Scottish Property Meet, and very very quickly it became the second largest property networking event in the UK and by far the largest in Scotland, with many other networking events folding into it. We created a massive community which ran successfully for about a year, before we got bored of the talking part and went back to what we do best and what we love – doing the deals. But in recent times we brought the networking events back and we’ve decided to roll this out across the UK, because the simple fact is, when a networking event is done right, it can be an absolutely massive asset, it can be of emcee value to you and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. So, I have a guest with me today.

My guest is the man who’s spearheading and running these networking events for us, and with us. This is the guy who I would consider to be a world class networker, even though he will likely play that down, mister Richard Swan. How are you, sir?

RICHARD: Hello, Billy.

BILLY: How are you?

RICHARD: Can I play that down straight away?

BILLY: Can you play that down straight away? No.

RICHARD: Fair enough.

BILLY: Good. Okay, so Richard, in this podcast I want to talk about the value of networking, I wanna get into hoe to effectively network and i want to talk ab out your vision for what you’re gonna achieve with these networking events, what the plan is, why people should attend when there’s so many other options out there? So before we get into all that, let’s start with the value of networking. Why network? What is the point? Why would anybody go out their way to turn up to one of these events? What’s the point?

RICHARD: Perfect question, perfect start. Network, net work, networking has got a bad connotation, you know, even sounds a bit stuffy sometimes. ‘I’m off to network’, you know, ‘I’m going to a networking event’, sounds a bit, you know, kinda stodgy almost, so I can understand that. But, let’s change the word from networking to social or network to social cause you mentioned the word social there. Obviously you were talking about something different, a ‘social club’, and I knew exactly what you mean there. But we’re social animals.

That’s how we got to where we got to. Funnily enough, on the way in I was listening to the audio book, “Sapiens”, if you’ve read it yet, fantastic. Brief history of mankind, that’s how it’s classed and that’s where we are, and that’s how we got where we are. We became these, a species, who managed to network together, socialise together if you like, to get what we wanted, to progress, to evolve, to develop. And that is in an essence what networking is. It’s that social part of our makeup, because our specific events are for property, as you know, and we’ll dig into that, no doubt, but it can be anything. You know, property isn’t really about property. That’s one of the things that we talk about at the academy events that company runs. It’s about people. People helping people. You guys when you talk about negotiating, and you’ve got these fantastic training mechanisms and strategies and tactics, quote and quote, but you’re not really doing that. You’re helping these people help other people.

You know, this person wants to sell their house, okay well, why? You know, it’s because they’ve had a breeve, it’s because they’re emigrating, you guys really dig in to what’s the source of the problem. It’s not that property and this two bed mid terrace apartment thing – that’s not what it’s about. If you help that person then the profit comes from it. If you can help someone else buy that property, help a builder get a job of helping you renovate the property, help a first time buyer to buy it off you. Oh look at that, Billy made a fortune there. Yeah, he did, what did he do? He was helping people. You know, and that’s why we network. A wee quick side thing, we spoke earlier about you going with a family to central parks. And before you did it, what did you do? You reached out to your network, you know, your social network, who’s been, what can you tell me, what’s the top tips, what should I avoid, what should I look at? Now is that you being a cold business man, is that you being super efficient?

No, it’s you being a social animal, you’re reaching out to your network, in that kinda world, in that field, and saying ‘talk to me, help me, what can you tell me, and I will listen to you’, and it proved fantastic for you, you had a great time, you got all these wee tip bits and insights and stuff. And that’s exactly what we can do. Doesn’t always happen but it’s certainly what we should do when we are ‘networking’, we’re out there and mixing with other people. How can we help them? How can they help us? What connections can we make? And sometimes it’s not even you, you’re a connector. That’s how most of the kinda well known businessmen in the world get on – they’re super-connectors.

‘Oh, you need to talk to so and so, oh you need to go to ALG and learn how to do that, these guys have and academy that specifically train you how to do that. So you’re want away from your job, you want to spend more time with your family, become and investor, they guys over there will teach you, come on, I’ll give you an introduction’. That’s networking, you know, that’s that connection.

BILLY: Brilliant. Okay, so for those who are maybe familiar with it and not familiar whit it, are networking events for new folk, are they for experienced folk or are they for both?

RICHARD: What, networking events? You know, what, okay, you understood, you spoke about networking there, Richard, spoke about being social animals, but what do you mean an event, you know, actually going somewhere, what happens, I’ve never been before, what kinda thing goes on, what can happen, what does happen, what should happen? They’re certainly different questions. Been too loads of great networking events, you know, great organisations, yourself ad well, we’ve been along to them, spoke about the Scottish Property Network, which was fantastic, that’s definitely how to do it, and we’ll be pulling a lot of those elects, oh, great times, absolutely great times. Great people, you know, throughout the whole kinda structure. Sometimes, and this is maybe why the connotations are kinda bad for the word, sometimes people will go along to an event and it’s not the best. I’m not gonna say bad, you know, just not the best.

If you ask them, what happened last week? ‘Well, it’s kinda bit of strange, I got this invite and I went to a wee Costa coffee place and there was, I think there was ten people there, I don’t know because nobody really introduced themselves to me, I kinda spoke to two people, but I don’t even know the guy who was running it, so it’s a bit weird, a felt a bit awkward, you know, I’m not going back, there was no point, I thought it was gonna kinda help me, I don’t have a clue how to get into the property world, I thought I would go to this and it was a bit nah, to be honest, I don’t think networking events are really nice’ . That’s their whole perception coloured, you know.

Other events, again, what’s the kinda, again, not gonna use the word bad, some of the elements that put people off, the kinda sometimes it can be a clickey part to it, there’s certain groups that always stick together. You go in this room, you’re that novice, or maybe you;re not even a novice, maybe you’ve been in a property world a long long time, but you’re a novice at that particular event, this particular city that you’re doing some business in, and it’s you’re looking about and it’s a wee bit hard to network, to connect, and you see a group of four or five people always talking to each other, and every time they come back, that’s the circle they’re in and that ties into the social club you mentioned there, I knew exactly what you were talking about cause I’ve seen that before and it’s certainly;y not the way it should be. Great connecting with people you know, great seeing them again, of course, do that, that’s what we should do, but we should always be engaging with others and connecting with other people and the best events that I’ve seen, and Scottish Property Meet was definitely there, breaks down those barriers, they welcome people, cause it’s people, they welcome them, you know, social animals, they connect people, they engage people, and there’s ways you can do that.

There’s ways you can actually set it up, and how does that work? Well, change networking event to a party. You can go to a party and it’ a nightmare. Nobody talks to each other, nobody welcomes you, you stand at the door with your gift and looking about, who the heck should be coming up to meet me? This is terrible, I feel really awkward. And then what happens at the party, what have they laid on for you, how is it gonna be structured? That’s the kinda, a bad word to talk about a party but it was a bit boring that one, wasn’t it, yeah, nothing much happened, we kinda stuck in the corner with a couple of people, the band never started three hours later, the food was rubbish, you know there’s all those wee elements that a host, and that’s what a host is in a networking event, they should take care of it. Are my people okay? Are my guests okay? You know, it’s not that you’re gonna be the volchier of people, alright, who’s gonna help me here? Who’s coming?

How many people are filling my seats? Who’s gonna bring me business? How much money am I gonna make from this? You know, that’s the kind of mentality that’s a no no, if you’re gonna be a host, whether it’s a party or a networking event, and if the host has his eye on that, and he thinks of the people, or she, as guests, how can I help them, how can I make them feel welcome, how can I be there for them, how can I serve? The party is great. The networking event’s great. People feel engaged, and guess what? They want to know the next time the party’s on. They want know the next time the event’s on and they’re gonna be there.

BILLY: Yeah, absolutely, and.

RICHARD: You know.

BILLY: We’re gonna get into how the networking events up and down the UK that you’re spearheading, the ALG Property Network, we’re gonna get into how that’s gonna benefit folk specifically, but I love the fact that you’re in the driver’s seat right now with this because we share a lot of the same values and ethics when it comes to doing this. For me, for example, being a massive introvert, the idea of networking isn’t one that I particularly enjoy, so networking event has to really head the nail in the head for me to enjoy it.

And for me, some of the thing that have put me off going to other events in the past is for example that social club. And it’s funny because there’s a quote that Paul came up with, actually, he said that most people haven’t been in business for twenty years, if they’ve been around for twenty years, they’ve repeated the one year twenty times.

RICHARD: Yes.

BILLY: And if you look at folk who were attending the Scottish Property Meet and other networking events up and down the country many years ago, what you then find that a lot of same people are still in that scene but their lives haven’t progressed forward.

RICHARD: Yeah.

BILLY: They’re not further forward in their property or business aspirations, which I always find amusing to see and I don’t quite get it because I don’t know about you, well, I do know about you, but we’re here to win, we’re here to grow, we’re here to develop, we’re here to help, support, give value, build value for ourselves, and so on. Now, these things need to be done right, otherwise it’s not a welcoming experience, and equally the ‘pitch fest’ idea, that’s something that certainly turns me off when I go to a networking event and you had it nicely when you talked about guests versus participants.

RICHARD: That’s right.

BILLY: Or the audience, or the delegates, or the numbers.

RICHARD: Attendees.

BILLY: Attendees. That’s a big one, aye. When there’s attendees in the room, the idea of them being pitched to is howe many sales can the host get from the network. There’s many good networking events out there, but that is a sad state of affairs and that is the way it is a lot of the time. So I love the approach and we’re gonna get into that. But right now, now that we’ve discussed the fact that yes, it’s for the new folk, yes, it’s for experienced folk, the goal is growth, it’s getting to build that network, that social community, the goal is value.

Now that we know these things, let’s talk about how to actually effectively network, I mean, let’s say you are going to a networking, let’s take two scenarios here and you can blend them or talk about them separately. Let’s do that new folk and experienced person in to a networking event. If you were going to an event, what would be the best way to go in? Would it be, I’m winging this here, would it be to go in with an outcome, with a specific outcome, would it be to go in with the outcome of getting to know everybody, would it be to go in and ignore everybody except the one person you’re going for? What is the point of networking, Richard? We’ve got the value but what is the point?

RICHARD: And what’s the mindset you have when you walk in through that door. No, perfect. Perfect set of questions. And sometimes it will be different, only in one area, cause you asked the question, should you have an outcome in mind, you know. That will or will not be there, sometimes depending on how things are going in your particular business. So you may be working on a particular deal, that you need a thing, you need a help with. I’ve got this deal lined up but I need a good builder, guys I’ve got the now are mobbed. If I go to that networking event, can I find people to help me? You know. Can people help me about what to do and what not to do in certain parts? Same thing.

I need this outcome, I need this feedback. So you might go along with that in mind, you know, actually yeah, I’m going along to see if anyone can help. Of course, you can help them, you can help a builder. Or maybe you’ve got a deal and you’re looking to pass it on to someone, or you’re selling your portfolio. You’ve got something happening in your life or in your business at that time and it may or may not be ticked off by going to that event. So that’s fine. It’s fine to go with an outcome in mind, and you can, and when you’re chatting and you’ve got a conversation flowing, you can bring that up, you can say, ‘oh, right, listen, do you know any builders kinda builders here at the moment? my guys are flat out’, ‘oh, yeah, definitely, come’. You know, that person becomes a connector, before you know it, you’re specifically talking to a specific person for a specific purpose. So that was your other question, you know, should you channel in your focus in someone.

So that will happen sometimes, won’t happen other times. Should you go with a mindset of wanting to see people? Always. Always. Cause you never know where that’s gonna lead to or change in the future. It might be nothing on that particular night, that person you might be chatting with for a wee half hour or something beforehand or after that particular event is finished, and they’re a lawyer. You’ve already got your lawyer, you’ve got your power team set up, but it’s fascinating, you’ve got a great conversation with this guy, he’s chatting away about his business, where his kinda business is located, how things are going, you’ve got nothing, quote and quote, ‘to sell to each other’, you know, just nice chat, finding out about his family and stuff and it finishes, and someone who’s the hard nose outside and goes, well that was a failure, that was a waste of time, why did you go there, just chatted to a guy, that’s what, that’s totally pointless, I’d have been better in the house, looking for my next property deal, you know.

No, because a week later, a personal thing might pop up where all of a sudden somebody tells you about the new bike that he was looking for for his daughter for Christmas, and he knows how to get it, you get back in touch with that guy, how grateful is he gonna be? You are gonna be in the top list for whenever something else happens. Is it a business things? You’ve came across another pal or another connection, and they are desperate for a lawyer in Edinburgh. You’ve got great guys but you just happen to have your team in Glasgow for example. The guy you met, he’s got a new office opened up in Edinburgh. Who are you gonna talk to? Who are you gonna introduce? I spoke to a guy at this networking event, you should really talk to him, sounds like a great lawyer, I’ve not done business with him but had a great chat with him, he was really going on about how he likes to serve his clients and stuff, sounds perfect for you.

Brilliant. Set them up. That can happen as well, just by wanting to meet people. And I think one of the books you gave me in the past, I think this is a Dale Carnegie, phrase or motto or whatever, he says, when you walk through that door, whether it’s a networking event or a party or some kinda board meeting or whatever, do you walk through the door and you go ‘I’m here’, or do you walk through the door and go ‘Oh, you’re here’, you know, I think that’s Dale Carnegie that comes up with that, and there’s the mindset thing. Cause if you go in there thinking, ‘I’m here’, or ‘I’m here to sell this property for 25 percent below market value. That… no. That’s the amateur.

BILLY: Do you know what’s funny that you said there? The person who walks through that door and says ‘I’m here’, you know, we all know how that works, right?

RICHARD: We’ve seen it.

BILLY: But when a person walks through the door and says, ‘Oh, you’re here’.

RICHARD: Yeah.

BILLY: Then guess what happens? The people in the room turn and go, look who’s here.

RICHARD: Yes, correct.

BILLY: So by having the right values or good values, in terms of this, you actually have the effect that they other guys are looking for inadvertently.

RICHARD: Exactly.

BILLY: So what about the guy who or the girl who is already fairly successful in property? What benefit do they have in going to networking event?

RICHARD: Couple of things. We’ve touched on a part where you need an outcome, so they might be going along there, aye, they’re long in the tooth, they’re doing great, but we all need stuff, you know, we all need the next penthouse flat that happens to be in Carlyle, but you don’t know.

BILLY: Keep a pulse on the industry as well.

RICHARD: Exactly, totally. You’re getting that information, that feedback, you’ve always got to have that going as well. There’s connections that you could make, you also, I’m gonna flip back to something you mentioned earlier, the person who’s just repeating year 1constantly. Oh yeah, I do buy-to-lets, I do buy-to-lets, I do buy-to-lets, I do buy-to-lets, in Dundee, in Dundee, in Dundee. Okay, well, that’s brilliant, and you’ve done not for 25 years, and you’re doing great, but all of a sudden in a wee conversation with someone else, you happen to hear of some fantastic deals over in Edinburgh. Oh yeah, what was that, serviced accommodation, what’s that? I’ve been doing this buy-to-let thing for 25 years, I’ve never heard of that, what’s that? Buy-to-flips? What’s buy-to-flips?

That person can be so blinkered in their track, which they’re doing great in, brilliant stuff. All of a sudden they hear of another part of the industry, or all of a sudden they might even when you come back to the solicitor point of view, what’s a referral fee? What do you mean? How are you making money? You’re joking. Just by introducing people? I do that all the time. This guy here is looking for business, this guy here is a IFA, who’s trying to grow his business, he’s not here to sell property, he’s here to help people in property. Alright, so if I connect him with these thousands of people I already know because I’m a log in the tooth person, that’s another income stream? Seriously?

It opens your eyes up, you know, it opens your eyes up. Just like meeting new people opens your eyes up. If you went back to that event and only spoke to the same four people every time, you’re not really gonna hear new stuff, you’re not gonna hear about new things going on, or new angles even. It might be the same stuff, everybody wants to, you know, talk about the Brexit thing, or the Clause 24 thing, but if I talk to the same four people about it, it’s just the same four opinions, the same four ideas. If I spread that, all of a sudden somebody’s got a different angle on it, a different opportunity that they thought about, oh wait a minute, I never thought of that. It opens your eyes… It opens your ears, it opens your eyes, it opens your world.

BILLY: I’m further clarifying what you were saying there, you know, so people don’t get the wrong idea about something. We need to focus.

RICHARD: Yeah.

BILLY: Despite the fact that there are other strategies, and I know you are on this the same train of thought, we need to focus, we need to pick one lane, pick the lane we’re gonna stay in and stay in it. But those people who’ve been repeating the same year for 20 years, the problem is, many of them are doing nothing with it. I’m a buy to let investor in Dundee. Okay, when was the last time you actually bought a property? When was the last time you done anything meaningful?

RICHARD: Yeah, cause they might be, for example, that strategy, that’s their strategy but the tactic is just churning over their money, again, and again, and again. So what did you do last year? Oh, I got one. Just a one? Aye, that’s what I do each time, so I build it up and I make my money, and I get the next one. Oh. Why don’t you do what John does in Dundee? He uses other people’s money and then factors in such and such, and gets its capitol and he does 5 a year. 5 a year? What do you mean? Come, have a chat.

BILLY: You don’t know what you don’t know.

RICHARD: You don’t know what you don’t know. Correct.

BILLY: That’s why it’s always good to meet other people, we’re on a phase right now of emerging technologies. You know the Eric Schmitt who was the CEO of Google until 2003, in 2003 he said that all of the information ever created through history is now created every single day.

RICHARD: Scary.

BILLY: That was in 2003. We’re in 2017. So I’m terrified to think what level of information is being created today. And if you look at the things that are coming up online now, bots and AI and artificial intelligence, all these different things are coming out, it’s important to keep up with what’s happening, to keep that pulse. Yes, you’ve got your focus, yes you’ve got your strategy, and at the same time, if you don’t keep up with what’s happening, then tired and outdated methods and techniques or things that may not even be approved or legal anymore.

RICHARD: Totally.

BILLY: You’re missing it. You’re not getting that point. So to stay on the pulse and to find out what’s happening is great. Just as for a new person walking in, they’re learning this stuff actively and on the go. So that’s great.

RICHARD: And that’s how they can find they lane. You spoke about staying in your lane, well what if you don’t know what the lanes are? You don’t know what you don’t know.

BILLY: Of course.

RICHARD: So that new novice can go, so, serviced accommodation, buy-to-lets, what does that mean? Buy-to-flip, oh God, right, okay. Oh, that thing. That thing sounds like something me and my brother want to do. I’m going down that lane. I’m gonna find more information. You know, it’s almost like a kinda, you can have a surface level of thing when it’s a novice or a person that’s in business all the time, and if they just keep clued in, keep the finger on the pulse, to use your phrase, they can hear what’s the Brexit thing, what’s the Clause 24 thing, just a high level, just talk to me, give me the kinda feel, what’s the headline, alright okay, that’s good to know.

But they’re not getting overwhelmed, they’re not getting distracted, and that’s good, that’s good, but this here, this is my lane, this is where I go into detail, I go deep on this, and I know all of this information. Now, as you said, regulations and stuff, my goodness, in property world is ridiculous how it changes, getting throttled all the time from all different angles. If your lane is suddenly about to collapse, it’s great to know that you’ve got all these different lanes, that you could go and learn your next level of detail in, if you have to change lane, or adapt your lane. Yeah, I can still stay here but I need to change what I’m doing. You know, obviously the thing that a lot of ALG have been talking recently about the big changes last month with HMRC and laws and money laundering and all this kinda stuff.

You’ve got to know that. You’ve got to stay tuned in. Otherwise you’re getting a chap in the door. You know, and if you’ve not went to those events, if you’ve not spoke to those people and got that finger on the pulse information, all of a sudden you’re caught out of it. But I’ve always done that. Too bad. Things have changed. The bots have moved on, mister Schmitt was right.

BILLY: Okay, so before we start talking about the expansion of the ALG Property Network, the events up and down the UK, how people can tap in, benefit and be a part of this, and why they should obviously be there as well. Before we move in to that, do you have any ground level specific advise for somebody walking into a networking event.

Now for the most part, most people walking into a networking event, walk in Joe or Jane Bloggs, they’re just walking in, seeing what’s happening, maybe getting a bit of chat going, but if somebody wanted to be a professional networker, so to speak, where’s the middle ground? What advice would you give to somebody walking in? Now, I’ll reframe this. In my mind, an amateur walks in and says here’s my business card. So with that starting point, what advice would you give to somebody on how best to approach people, the situation and so on.

RICHARD: Yeah, good one. Well we mentioned earlier the mindset. Just keep your head right. Are you gonna walk in through the door saying ‘I’m here’ or you’re gonna walk through the door saying, ‘ Oh you’re here’. Get that right in your head. If you do have an outcome, quote and quote, cool, that’s fine. Get yourself prepared, what is it you need, what are the questions you ask, are you the log in the tooth professional who happens to specifically need this certain trade to cover your project that’s happening in Inverness, okay, have that in mind. What do you need to have ready, information you need to have set up? Or you’re a novice, you walk in cold, you have no clue about this property stuff, is there even a basic level of research you could do just to get your questions right? Just to ask a question.

Cause people will help you, but they can’t give you an answer if you don’t know what your question is. So that’s fine. That’s your mindset part of the puzzle. Once you’re in there, yeah, there’s a couple of things, i think the good people do it automatically, do its naturally, so it’s sometimes hard to think on it. What do I do? What do I do when I go in there? Cause I just do it, you know. But people, when they kinda give you feedback or talk to you, there’s things that come up on a level of practicality and looking about and stuff. If you’re in yourself, or maybe you come in with one other person, and you’re, this is you’re new, either new to that particular networking event or just new altogether, look out for somebody else who’s on their own and go and introduce yourself to them. Cause guess what? If you’re feeling a wee bit awkward, a wee bit apprehensive, a wee bit introvert, guess how they’re feeling? You know, they’re standing over that corner there, maybe with their wee drink or something, looking about. Go and talk to them. Straight away you’re a saviour.

Oh thank God, you know that person at the party standing at the side, that’s what you should do, just get the ball. How you doing, I’m Joe, nice to meet you. Have you been here before? This is my first time. Oh, no, this is my first time. You’re off. You’re off and running. That’s a practicality thing. The other and the most important thing in any networking, socialising, conversation whatever, is listen. Listen. Don’t go and hand out the business card, and the leaflet and shove your thing in their face. How you doing, I’m John, yeah, I need a builder for Dundee. Oh, do you? So awkward. So, you know, you’re take take take, and one of the books we always talk about is the Go-Giver, you know, you give, what do they need? How can you help them, what’s their name, why are they here? Listen to them. The more you can listen to them, the more you can help other people. And the more it’s gonna come back to you as well.

BILLY: Absolutely. Now, I’ll throw a bit of history to you here. When we first got to know each other, I remember one night you invited us to your home. You know where this is going. Paul and I come up to your house, we all had dinner, it was good fun, and on the way back in the car, Paul and I were trying to figure out what is it that makes Richard so likeable? Not to blow smoke here, right? But what is it that makes Richard likeable, you know, cause we don’t work with many people that easily, right? What can I say? What is it that makes him so likeable? Why is it that he is such a strong influence on us? What is it about Richard? And we were thinking this over in the car on the way back, and then we both realised at the same time what it was. You just addressed it.

You very rarely spoke about you. You didn’t tell us, oh this is what I do, this is what I offer, this is who I am, this is my history, this is my family, you asked us, not only did you ask us about us, you took a genuine interest.

RICHARD: Oh, it’s got to one genuine.

BILLY: A genuine interest. You wanted to know about us, you were keen, you were curious about, it may be things that you have no interest in, but you were curious about, you know, what makes people tick. Why is this person into that? How does that, well that’s fascinating, that’s great. Just taking in knowledge and getting to know folk and because you were so connected with us, you didn’t say much but we left thinking, that was a great conversation. And it’s just like the guy who walks in and says ‘I’m here’, versus ‘you’re here’. The person who comes in and listens, and takes cards rather than gives them, and makes a genuine impact on people, that’s the person that people remember. Is that a fair statement?

RICHARD: Oh, totally. You also nailed the most important word, ‘curiosity’. That’s where the authentic part comes from. Okay, Richard says, go in the doors, think you’re here, and he also said look out for someone on their own, and he said listen. Right, I’ gonna do that, I’m gonna do that. ‘Hello, John, so talk to me’. No, that’s not genuine, that’s not authentic. Curiosity. I wonder what this is gonna be like. I wonder how busy it’s gonna be, I wonder where, I wonder what the hotel is like, I wonder what the room is gonna be like, I wonder what kinda people are gonna be like, I wonder what that guy does, I wonder what that woman does.

You know, and you’re chatting away with them, you’re chatting away with them. I wonder what their family is. Well, ask. But it’s from curiosity. I was just gonna say and if a wee word comes up, and you know, I don’t know why the serviced accommodation is in my head, I think I read an article about it yesterday, maybe that’s why I keep coming back to it. But someone drops a wee line in, you’re that novice, or you’re that professional, …dadada serviced accommodation… then your curiosity should kick in. What’s that? Now, the person who’s too stuck up in themselves and doesn’t want to look dumb, you know, doesn’t wanna look like a looser, they won’t ask, they won’t be curious. They will just go away and just go, I don’t have a clue what he was talking about there.

But the curious person, that person they’re just a clean slate and they’re out, what did you say there? What’s that about? I don’t know that. What can you tell me? Oh wait till I tell you this cause I’ve been doing this for the last 5 years. They’re off and running. They’re so excited to tell you about what they’re doing. You’re getting all this information, it’s really genuine, it’s really authentic, and as you said, that person goes away and what they actually say is, oh Richard over there, oh great guy, absolutely great guy. Aye, what does he do? I’m not sure. What did you talk about? I’m not sure, actually. It’s because they’ve spoke, you know, it’s their thing. But it’s got to be authentic and it’s got to be curiosity. And when you are curious, you will listen. In fact, I’ve just been struck with something there, that I’ve kept picking out wee phrases that you’ve been saying during the conversation. Well that’s why, cause I want to learn from Billy.

I want to hear what Billy’s want to say, I wanna hear his viewpoint, I wanna hear his questions, I’m not sitting waiting, right, shut up, Billy, shut up, I’m gonna make a point, I’m gonna make a point. No, because you’ve threw in a wee phrase and I get, oh, I like that, and I could reflect it back on you. You know, that’s where that comes from. It’s not a tactic, it’s not being a robot or calculating. It’s curiosity. And that’s why you learn about stuff, that’s why you learn about someone’s opinion on stuff and that’s why you lean new trick in business, a new service, a new person that can help you, or more importantly, a new person that you can help. And where you going earlier cause you let me flow.

BILLY: I think this is why it’s quite a good chat we’re having here because before we came in here, what’s the agenda? There is none. Here are the three outcomes we want to achieve, let’s go in and chat and see what happens. Now I think that’s when you get the most value out of situation into a networking environment.

They’re reserved, they’re curious, they’re wondering what people are there to do, they’re trying to size up who’s who in the room. I don’t know if you agree but I think you’ve just got to go in and be open. Now here’s the thing. When people go in, and they’re constantly talking about themselves, I would say from a power point of view, they weaken their power, because they give everything away, right? Think about it. If you’re having a conversation with somebody and they’re left wondering what they’re thinking, who’s got the power?

RICHARD: True, yeah.

BILLY: When people go in and they just mouth of about who they are and what they do and how they can help everybody, they’ve got no power. There’s nothing left to be curious about. Which adds further credibility to the idea of being the curious one, asking the questions. Now, I am a grey day introvert. As you know, right? It’s being called antisocial, etcetera, but the simple fact is, I’m more comfortable, you know, sitting in the house, or doing deals, than going out and meeting people. It’s way out my comfort zone. And yet, we’ve run networking events, and yet, we run the property protege mentorship, the events, the workshops and everything else.

And people are always surprised that how much information I will get from them. One of our Platinum guys, Stevie, was telling me, he says, how did you get me to say that? Because I never tell anybody anything. And within 5 minutes I knew how much cash he had, what his biggest straights were, what’s his weaknesses were, where he was investing, what his strategy was. I knew everything. I even knew about his family. And I’m very good at getting information from people. And let me spin what I just said there because it’s never from a point of view of I’m gonna gather what I cam from you to use against you, it’s a genuine curiosity. How did I get that information from Stevie?

I asked. But I didn’t ask from a place of negativity or mis-intent, I asked from a place of I’m genuinely interested what brings you here, why are you investing, what are you focused on the now, why are you doing this? Oh, it’s family, brilliant. Oh, how many kids you got? What ages are they? Good. What kinda numbers are you playing? I wanna know because I’m curious, because I’m thinking, how can I help this person and equally, as a business man, how can they help me.

RICHARD: Totally.

BILLY: And by being curious, I get that out of them. Have you got anything else you want to kinda throw in before we move into talk about the ALG Property Network.

RICHARD: No, that was perfect. And that was a great scenario as well how you done it. And the funny thing is, all of it, most of it, I should maybe correct myself, is unsaid. It’s a feeling, it’s an energy and you’re right, that person’s up and if I just sit here and talking, so what you doing tomorrow Billy? And what you’re doing next? It’s horrible, it’s an interrogation. You don’t wanna talk. You don’t wanna reveal, you don’t wanna be open. I’ve got a portfolio and you don’t dig into it. But if someone’s genuinely curious and they want to help, they want to listen to your story and you can feel that from them, on completely subconscious level, you’re chatting away.

Aye, portfolio, well we’ve got 13 in Glasgow, we’ve got 14 through in Paisley. And you’re not even bragging, you’re just taking to this person that you feel really connected with, you’re connecting, you’re not networking, you’re connecting. I do kinda sometimes hate that but I know why we choose the word networking. It is there for a reason, it’s got a purpose, and if you can put the baggage away and think of it as a social thing, think of it as a connection thing, think of it’s serving people, then it’s completely different and changes everything,

BILLY: Energy is a big part of things.

RICHARD: Yes.

BILLY: Do you know people who you’r sin the room, the door opens, and without saying a word somebody walks in and the mood in that room just sucks right out the door.

RICHARD: Yeah.

BILLY: Have you ever been in a room when somebody walks in they haven’t said a word, and the room just lights up?

RICHARD: Exactly.

BILLY: You’re bringing your stuff with you, you’re bringing energy with you. Go in, positive, blank slate, here to learn, here to meet people, here to see what I can glean from this, who can I help, who can help me and just to go and see what happens. Brilliant. Okay, so the ALG Property Network.

RICHARD: Yes.

BILLY: We did this very successfully a number of years ago and I believe that the reason why it was so successful is because our intent was never to box people in so we can make them buy stuff. Our intent is how can we create a positive environment where people get together, have a laugh, have a good time, progress their businesses and learn a thing or two. Now some folk would then choose to come and get to know us and work with us on the Protege mentorship, for example, but that was never the driving intent, which is why I believe it worked so well. The whole flow of the event. So we’ve done this well, and now you’re taking the reigns with this and you’ve opted to come in and build this network.

So Richard, what is your vision for the ALG Property Network, talk us through what’s coming, in the immediate future, by the end of the year, I know we’re looking for fifty events by the end of the year. What’s the vision, what’s the goal? And why would people want to come to the ALG Property Network when they’ve got so many other choices out there? The floor is yours. Fill us in. What’s happening?

RICHARD: Stack of questions. Love it. Try and unpack them all. Make sure I’m listening. Prove the point. Let’s do some practical stuff first. You mentioned up and down the UK, that’s correct. Lots of locations already cemented, we’ve got the hosts in place, building all their systems for them, there’s a lot of them probably just timeline wise to give the kinda viewers a rough timeline stuff. A lot of them are lined up to start late September, we’re gonna get the news out about that. But we’re actually hoping over in Edinburgh, we might be able to do that one quicker, maybe do it at the end of August, which is great.

We’re in a few things just getting clarified. We want it to be right, we want to pull the elements that we’ve had before with the Scottish Property Meet, make sure everything is ready to go and we can deliver the best value, we can serve the best way, that then goes to other cities and stuff, I’ll throw a few, we’ve got Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, down south we’ve got some fantastic guys lined up for, let’s see, East Kent, possibly launching Canterbury later on, in the North East area, we’ve got our eyes on Huddersfield, and potentially try to do that in the near future, we’re in a few things getting lined up there, so that’s great, that’s exciting. And we’re trying to move it and make it as successful as possible for people so they’re not having to travel hundreds of miles, you know. So that’s the practical part, that’s the where are we and stuff and what we’re going for.

The hosts themselves are just phenomenal. These are the guys that have came though the ALG Academy, they’ve been through the Protege mentorship first of all, and done all the training there, they’re also hosts who are just on fire in their own business world. The stuff they’re doing is ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous. And that’s great from 2 elements, I’ll maybe come back to them, I’m off all sorts of tangents here, cause of all your questions. And then we’re pulling in the elements that were successful, the elements from Scottish Property Meet that we tested, and some we let go and some are like oh, that helps people, let’s keep that. Or that was good for the energy, let’s keep that. That made that party rock, we’re gonna keep that, you know, all these things, that made our guests happy, that made ours guests welcome, that made our introverts break the ice, we help, we took them by the hand, these introverts that feel a bit awkward. We’ll keep that. That part of the puzzle that helped the energy around what’s going on in property, what are we gonna talk about tonight? What do I need to know? What’s happening? What’s the buzz?

We’re gonna keep that. So they’re all deliberately designed that they’re gonna come in, so we might work through some of those wee stepping stones. The hosts themselves, let me jump back to that part of the puzzle with the kinda professionalism they’ve got, with the experience they’ve got. These guys are very switched on and they are not salesmen. And we, you’ve touched upon it, there’s lots of events. Get them in the door, fill the seats, talk a wee bit and then sell sell sell. Let’s go, let’s go, cause these are just, these are fish that we’re gonna be feeding off of, you know. No, these guys are very very established property investors and professionals. Lots of different fields that they touch upon, some of them highly specialised in land deals, some of them in portfolio building, some of them just absolute experts when it comes to refurbs, buy-to-flips and the stuff they can tell you is just mind-boggling. Loads of different expertise and angles, now that’s great from the point of view of I’m going somewhere that people know stuff. Aye, I’m not going to a sales event, I’m actually going to a proper property networking event, I’m in safe hands here.

Brilliant. But the other part of that puzzle is because they’ve came through the specific ALG Academy, they’ve got the same mindset that we’ve just been talking about. They wanna help, they wanna serve, they want to give, and when you start talking to some of them, they are so excited and fired up about helping. One of the guys in particular, Neil over in Edinburgh, he’s recently been talking about one of the deals that he’s just done, and it’s all excitement of knowing that the reason it’s actually happened is because he’s become the gold mine expert, as ALG love to cover it, in his location. And just understanding how to do that and what kinda things you can learn, as a novice or as an experienced person, it will transform your business, your development, your evolution will just explode listening to someone like that.

BILLY: Someone who’s doing deals.

RICHARD: Someone who’s doing deals.

BILLY: Cause all the guys are active, and if they’re not active, they’re not hosting. As simple as that.

RICHARD: Yeah, exactly. And I love that. And I personally love that. Because yes, I’ve been involved in property for a number of years as well, but I always consider myself a novice. I always wind back to being a beginner. And if I talk to someone like a Lee Hounsom, over, he’s doing loads of his work in Edinburgh, he’s the land deal expert, I’m gonna listen to him. I’m not going in there all stuffy, oh yes, I’ve got the portfolio and I’ve been in property for.. No, I’m gonna ask him questions.

How do you do that? How does that work? What are you working on just now? What problems have you got? How can we help you? So there’s that element from the part that they’re experts, they’re not salesmen. They want to give, they want to serve, they want to connect, and use all of their expertese and then guess what, they’re also super connected, they’ve got a team around them that’s just ridiculous. You know, their one personal power team, that they’re happy to help and connect. But then outside of that, you know, it’s the bigger and bigger circle. They don’t specifically work in that area of property but guess what? They know a guy who does.

And guess what? See the speaker that they’re gonna bring next month, that guy is the expert on what you need to know. This is the surveyor, this is the plumber, this is the tax yield expert, this is the IFA with the connections on how you can bring your pension in, and flip it and use it for capital to use in a specific deal. That’s why you should go. So the energy is right, the party is gonna be great. I love using that party thing, I think we’ll keep that up. Can we change it to party network, no? That’s too.. kinda takes the shine off.

BILLY: Bring your own bottle.

RICHARD: Bring your own bottle, oh my goodness. That could be a disaster. The party is gonna be right, the energy is gonna be right, you’re gonna a be welcomed, you’re gonna feel safe and secure, you’re gonna feel connected, you’re gonna feel served, you’re gonna be given information but you’re also gonna be engaged, you’re gonna be involved, and that’s the other part of the puzzle. We make sure that happens. We always did with the Scottish Property Meet as well. Always did. You are at a party. There is no superior attitudes of the person at the front will stand and present. Listen. Hush down, children. You know, you’re in class now. No no… Are people gonna be talking?

Yes. Are they gonna be serving you with information? Yes. Are they gonna be giving you ideas and stuff? Yes. But you’re involved, you’re a guest, and we’re gonna be make sure that we hear from you, we hear your opinion, you’re involved in discussions, and you feel a part of it, you actually feel a part of it. And even if you’re a novice, don’t be scared by that. Well what you gonna do? Stand me up on stage and give me to…? No no. Nice and safe. Nice and secure and welcoming, but you’re gonna be involved, you’re gonna be talking, you’re gonna be asking your own questions.

There’s some kinda techniques that we’ve got of using people in groups and stuff, we’ve tried and tested it over time, and it’s perfect, it’s perfect for making everyone feel welcome, feel involved, feel engaged, and guess what, they cannot wait to come to the next one, you know, I don’t know if you want to dive in to any of those specifics or not, whatever. We can take it wherever you want, that’s a rough idea from all the questions you asked there.

BILLY: Yeah, stack of questions.

RICHARD: Stack of answers.

BILLY: Richard, I think it’s fantastic and I’m really looking forward to this rolling out and for the most part I think we’ve covered a lot of ground here. So is there anything else you want to throw in before we wrap up?

RICHARD: No, I would say keep an eye on the ALG feeds, obviously you guys are very very active across social media, we’ll make sure as soon as we get that place, each place cemented, we know we’ve got our systems, we know our host is happy, we know venues, ticketing, everything else is lined up, we’ll say go and we will tell ALG that place is now aughing next month, for example.

So wherever you are, make sure you’re following ALG, make sure you’re o their feeds, mailing lists, facebooked, twitter, whatever it is, lInked in, et cetera, and we will use the company to say, here it is, come to us. Are you near this one? Come to us, this is what’s gonna be happening, this is the agenda, this is the thing to get prepared for, and we’ll bring you along to the journey, we’ll make you welcome, and we’ll get you into the party.

BILLY: Richard, how can people connect with you?

RICHARD: Myself? Through ALG. Again, they have a lot of my connections online, social media stuff is the best, a lot of your guys obviously are kinda plugged in internal if you like, that kinda been through the academy, they’re involved as protege members, or even the kinda, I was gonna say superior, that’s not a nice word to say, very highly trained and highly skilled Platinum people and that’s who the hosts are coming from, by the way, these are the real cream of people, so that’s the internal plugs that we’ll always keep connected with, and outside of that, they can get the connections with myself through the company and through the social media.

BILLY: Fantastic. Okay, Richard, thank you for your time today, really looking forward to see what you do with this. You’ve got the right ethics, the right values, and I just think this is gonna be of massive value to the people, which is the overall intent. So thank you for your time. And thank you for you guys for listening, or watching the podcast. If you’d like to know meow about the ALG Property Network, go to algpropertynetwork.com, have a little dig around the site, find out what’s going on, and keep in touch there.

Also, go to ALG Property Academy on Facebook to keep up with the company and what’s happening, and if you want more of the podcasts, more of the same, go to thisweekinproperty.tv, so, on that note, thanks Again, Richard, and it’s been a pleasure, we’ll see you again next time.

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