I've been "networking" online for a couple years now, posting blogs on ActiveRain, inviting people to connect on LinkedIn, commenting on BiggerPockets discussions, etc. Online networking is great; it allows you to connect with people in your industry from all over the world. But there is nothing like meeting someone in person, with a real face to look at; an actual hand to shake.
That's right, good old fashion face-to-face interaction. I was able to do this last Saturday by attending my first ever Meetup.com group. The Real Estate Investors of Tomorrow. I met a great group of people, who are very knowledgeable about many aspects of real estate investing and are eager to help others learn and grow. In a short afternoon, I expanded my network and now have that many more resources available to me.
Plus, these people are LOCAL. Another plus of face-to-face networking. You meet people who are familiar with your area, who may know something you don't about your own market. Take advantage of this. And take advantage of face-to-face networking!