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  1. #1
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Default BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Can anyone tell me what they think about BNI business networking good or bad.

    I went to a BNI meeting today. I have mixed feelings about it and wondered what experience did you guys have with this sort of thing?

    Thank you
    mk

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Hi Mike,

    There are several archived threads on this subject.

    I use the search Block at the upper left for a search ( takes a little digging to find from )the results.
    .
    Someone may more current info.
    .

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 03-25-2010 at 06:54 AM.
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
    Andy Jarchow Guest

    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Hi Mike,

    There are several archived threads on this subject.

    I use the search Block at the upper left fora search ( takes a little digging to find from )the results.
    .
    Someone may more current info.
    .
    I found it.
    Thank you Billy Stephens!
    mk


  4. #4
    james hise's Avatar
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    BNI likes to suck you in, get your money commitment on a credit card, and kick you out if you miss more than 2 or 3 meetings. The referrals you may get in your particular group will depend on what the others do for a living.

    Weekly meetings are a lot like groundhog day with everyone pushing their own product at you. Same old routine week after week after week. I tried a couple different groups...both were the same.There's pressure to come up with referrals for other members.

    Somewhat sticky atmosphere


  5. #5
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    I know that networking groups like BNI or LeTip can work if you have a group made up of like-minded individuals. It's not for me but I'm sure it works as others on here have stated base don their experiences. But what I just don't get is why you have to pay so much to be a member. And who gets that money anyway? I was "invited" to a LeTip meeting when I first started inspecting. At the end of the meeting, I was presented with an application form that required a $300.00 application fee. Huh? And yearly dues were $600.00. HUH??? So let me get this straight........It's going to cost me $900.00 for my 1st year of membership and $600.00 per year every year there after. If I don't bring in at least one lead per week for some other member of the group, I have to put $1 in the LeTip jar. If I don't get at least one new person to sign up for the group every year, I'm kicked out.

    Sorry fellas. The last thing I want is to feel like I'm back in school and that I have homework to complete before every meeting. There's no reason a group of people from different professions can't get together on their own and do this type of thing for free. Meet every other week, once a month, or not at all. Just commit to keeping the list of people handy and if you know somebody has a need for the services of an insurance salesperson, a banker, a cell phone person, a roofer, an electrician, or whoever. I don't see why these groups have to cost so much, or cost anything at all for that matter.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    I tried BNI for over a year. Not a real positive experience. The dues were expensive and I was acually only marketing to the realtor in the group who used someone else. The time commitment was tough, if you can't make a meeting you have to have a substitute. If you miss 3 meetings they are supposed to kick you out. $330 a year and the time commitment with no referrals. It just turned out to be a social hour and a half. I get more referrals from going to open houses on weekends and talking to realtors than I ever did with BNI.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I know that networking groups like BNI or LeTip can work if you have a group made up of like-minded individuals. It's not for me but I'm sure it works as others on here have stated base don their experiences. But what I just don't get is why you have to pay so much to be a member. And who gets that money anyway? I was "invited" to a LeTip meeting when I first started inspecting. At the end of the meeting, I was presented with an application form that required a $300.00 application fee. Huh? And yearly dues were $600.00. HUH??? So let me get this straight........It's going to cost me $900.00 for my 1st year of membership and $600.00 per year every year there after. If I don't bring in at least one lead per week for some other member of the group, I have to put $1 in the LeTip jar. If I don't get at least one new person to sign up for the group every year, I'm kicked out.

    Sorry fellas. The last thing I want is to feel like I'm back in school and that I have homework to complete before every meeting. There's no reason a group of people from different professions can't get together on their own and do this type of thing for free. Meet every other week, once a month, or not at all. Just commit to keeping the list of people handy and if you know somebody has a need for the services of an insurance salesperson, a banker, a cell phone person, a roofer, an electrician, or whoever. I don't see why these groups have to cost so much, or cost anything at all for that matter.
    I was about to list my thought and than realized this pretty much sums them up.....

    The whole "homework" thing is so true. Also, these things all seem to meet at 7 AM once a week.... maybe I'm just odd but there's not a lot I'm willing to do at 7 AM. I have kids to get to school, phones to answer and a million other things I'd do before sitting in a room begging for work.

    There is one leads group I belong to.... it's called the general population


  8. #8
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    I found BNI to be a good fit for me. Yes there is a commitment. My meetings are at 7:30 on Wednesdays, so I do have to get out of the house earlier, and set my first appointment at 9:30 am instead of 9:00 am.

    While it seemed like a hassle at first, I actually look forward to the meetings, and networking with my friends each week. It is not that hard to get subs if you cant make a meeting. I found that by offering to be a sub, I get exposed to different groups, and get my name out there to a bunch of other people I wouldn't normally have contact with.

    While the Realtor in the group is the obvious referral point, I get many more referrals from others in the group as well, from the title company, the loan officer, the handyman, the painter, the insurance guy, etc.

    If you volunteer to be an officer in the group, you get a years dues paid, so it pays to get involved. Not hard at all being Treasurer, a few hours a month.

    In the two plus years I have been in this group, I have made somewhere around $8000 in jobs. Not a bad investment for $330.

    More importantly, I have met a bunch of really great business people, and have been able to refer my clients and save them money too.

    Like anything else, you only get out of it what you are willing to put into it. It also depends on the group you get involved with. Some are not a good fit. I have subbed at a group where the Realtor just hates me, yet I have gotten a lot of business from others in the group, because I have generated trust.

    While it appears to be a social meeting, it is really all about business. After all, thats the reason we join those groups, to get business. I found it very easy to GIVE referrals to some of the members, and very difficult for others. However, I work very hard at trying to generate business for my fellow members. I almost always have a referral to pass, sometimes as many as 5 or 6 per week.

    As a member, I want the other members to be as serious about the business of passing referrals as I am. If someone wants to show up when they feel like it, and just sit back and wait for jobs to land in their lap, I would prefer they just stay home and not bother with the group.

    Like I said, its not for everyone, but it has been very good for me.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    I am involved with a new group. ABN (American Business Networks) We meet bi-weekly and the dues are $250.00 yearly. This just started the first of this year. I didn't like BNI because of the weekly meetings and the dues. If any of you would be instrested in starting a chapter of ABN in your area their web site id AmericanBusinessNetworks.com.


  10. #10
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Thank you all!
    mk


  11. #11
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    My experience was the same as most. Limited number of referrals, mandatory attendance and some cost. If you are new and need ideas, it is good to network and share with these folks. If your strictly looking for referral business, it may not be there. As a yardstick look at the success of the realtor in that group. If they are a newbie, pass. If they are someone who is doing multiple transactions every month it may be worthwhile.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
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    360-588-6956

  12. #12
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    My experience was the same as most. Limited number of referrals, mandatory attendance and some cost. If you are new and need ideas, it is good to network and share with these folks. If your strictly looking for referral business, it may not be there. As a yardstick look at the success of the realtor in that group. If they are a newbie, pass. If they are someone who is doing multiple transactions every month it may be worthwhile.

    //Rick
    Rick

    The realtor is a newbie. I am going to pass for now. It did seem like a lot of money to get into the group and a lot of time. I'm thinking if I spend that same amount of $$ and time marketing my business to realtors I will probably receive a better return.

    Thank you all for the advice!
    mk


  13. #13
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    I've a member of a new start up local group for five months. The guy that started the group and some of the origional members were BNI members.
    I haven't experienced any pressure to get new members. To remain a member they do require attending regularly. I figure the $125.00 dues, and the 1.5 hours weekly exposure is a valuable marketing tool.
    Afer meeting some of the guys that do different trades I don't hesitate to pass their business cards to a customer.

    My experience has been about the same as Jacks. 7:30 weekly meetings, schedule my first Wed inspection at 9:30 instead of 9.
    To date I've gotten four inspections from the group, and have seen a few come and go, every current and new member is a potential lead.
    The origional realtor referred me to two customers, he left a two weeks ago, hopefully he will contiunue referring me, and after a few weeks the new realtor member will consider referring my service as well.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  14. #14
    Lucy A. Puniwai's Avatar
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    I went to 2 meetings. Filled out the app and provided my cc info. Just received an email that I was not a "fit" for the Keller All Star Chapter. Thought about starting a chapter in Haslet,Texas. Then I came upon this thread and realize that was a A LOT of money to invest but I was willing to take the risk. As a REALTOR networking is everything! I am not certain what "fit" they were looking for. I am passionate about my career and networking with professionals in the various industries associated with Real Estate is essential. So - now I read about other networking opportunities. Maybe the good Lord saved me from spending a total of $485.00 for my first year and there is something greater and better for me?!? I am anxious to get more feedback!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy A. Puniwai View Post
    I went to 2 meetings. Filled out the app and provided my cc info. Just received an email that I was not a "fit" for the Keller All Star Chapter. Thought about starting a chapter in Haslet,Texas. Then I came upon this thread and realize that was a A LOT of money to invest but I was willing to take the risk. As a REALTOR networking is everything! I am not certain what "fit" they were looking for. I am passionate about my career and networking with professionals in the various industries associated with Real Estate is essential. So - now I read about other networking opportunities. Maybe the good Lord saved me from spending a total of $485.00 for my first year and there is something greater and better for me?!? I am anxious to get more feedback!
    Most likely they already had a Realtor in the group. They only allow one per profession in the group.

    Save your money! In my area we have a couple of groups that are free and they work just as well as a BNI group. Try Linked-In and Facebook this is how I found the groups in my area.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy A. Puniwai View Post
    I went to 2 meetings. Filled out the app and provided my cc info. Just received an email that I was not a "fit" for the Keller All Star Chapter. Thought about starting a chapter in Haslet,Texas. Then I came upon this thread and realize that was a A LOT of money to invest but I was willing to take the risk. As a REALTOR networking is everything! I am not certain what "fit" they were looking for. I am passionate about my career and networking with professionals in the various industries associated with Real Estate is essential. So - now I read about other networking opportunities. Maybe the good Lord saved me from spending a total of $485.00 for my first year and there is something greater and better for me?!? I am anxious to get more feedback!
    I am right around the corner from you. I did join a BNI group some years back and really did not find it beneficial to have the meetings smack dab in the middle of the day and it would either hinder a morning inspection or the afternoon inspection.

    For some reason or other I thought about it again a short while back but remembered just what the commitment was. Early morning or late afternoon would have been far better and the 500 plus lunch cost plus scheduling problems, I just could not do it.

    As far as the better fit, well, discrimination at its best. They just picked another Realtor for the group. You did not fit because they liked the other Realtor better and it was most likely the actual amount of work she brought to the meeting but then again, if someone has a killer work load and high sales/listings then they would more than likely not be in the group. The last group I almost considered had a Realtor that just on the buyers agent side she had referred 35 buyers and the inspector did 35 inspections thru her in the past year. That's about 3 per month just as a buyers agent not to mention listings she sold. I could have went in that direction but there were to many questions about the situation and it was more than likely my experience with the last BNI group.

    Besides, I want Realtors to refer me knowing that I do not pull any punches and tell it like it is. Not because I can pass possible referrals to them or anyone else.

    The womans council of Realtors was a thought I was considering but then I would have to play it up to countless Realtors. If you need a good inspector for your clients let me know. Expect nothing but a thorough inspection and report. I am not into the hype and fluff. No free give aways or warranties or guaranties. Read my website.

    All Star Chapter? That might tell you what they think of themselves.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 06-01-2011 at 03:29 PM.

  17. #17
    Lucy A. Puniwai's Avatar
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Most likely they already had a Realtor in the group. They only allow one per profession in the group.

    Save your money! In my area we have a couple of groups that are free and they work just as well as a BNI group. Try Linked-In and Facebook this is how I found the groups in my area.

    Thanks Scott. I also use those resources. Face to face relationships and endorsements can also be extremely valuable.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: BNI business networking-what has your experience been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy A. Puniwai View Post
    Thanks Scott. I also use those resources. Face to face relationships and endorsements can also be extremely valuable.
    These are Face to Face groups, they are just organized through the social media networks.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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