If you’re an established investor armed with a wealth of experience and looking to advance to the next level, it’s probably time to start attracting joint-venture partners. It’s one of the most lucrative ways to scale your business and the method many savvy real estate investors have used to grow their portfolios by millions of dollars. You can adopt the same strategy if you’re looking to gain a larger share of your local market. With JV partnerships (and savvy decisions; JVs don’t excuse you from behaving intelligently), you can be enjoying unimaginably lucrative rewards in no time.

I’m a full-time real estate investor, and as a market specialist in a rather small community with a population of less than 20,000, I often come across startup entrepreneurs looking for industry secrets on how they can attract JV partners in smaller markets. I have shared a few tips on how to attract joint-venture partners with a number of them and have been thrilled to watch their portfolios grow and investments skyrocket in just a few years. This can happen for anyone, even those who live outside the major markets.

Here are three of my favorite tips for efficiently and effectively attracting JV partners in smaller markets. Remember, no matter the trends affecting your local real estate market, you can always use JVs to your advantage.

1. Build expertise and networks

Possessing the expertise required to succeed as an investor is the fastest way to attract joint-venture partners in your local community. You must be ready to pay the initial costs – time, money, efforts – but once you do, the other pieces of the puzzle will start falling in place.

Take the time to acquire knowledge about everything related to your local housing market, including top employers, current and projected infrastructure projects, and government-initiated housing plans. You will soon find yourself in the midst of people who can make things happen for you – your new, invaluable network. Your horizon will expand and your confidence will grow.

Investors like to invest with people who exhibit confidence in what they do. With your expertise established and a robust network in place, your confidence will continue to grow, generating forward momentum and allowing you to perform optimally.

As you build networks, create a local tour for potential JVs to go around your local market so you can share market drivers with them. Once you’ve demonstrated your expertise to the right people, it’s been my experience that you will soon become a money magnet, and everyone who matters will want to associate with you. Investors will climb over themselves for a chance to invest with you. In fact, you will attract more JV partners than you will ever need.

2. Know the numbers

If you want to establish JVs in a smaller market, then make yourself the go-to real estate person in your local community. Know all the numbers, including the sales and comparable prices for each and every property sold in your small community. Be able to share accurate comparable sales figures with appraisers to aid them in their evaluation of your projects. Ensure you’re as close to the accurate values as possible, inclusive of the refinance values. You can also leverage your local connections to negotiate some great private sales below market value.

3. Believe in your community

I live with my family in my small community. My kids attend school here. I support the local food banks, minor hockey association and the Girl Guides. I believe in this community. I feel the loss of jobs when a plant closes and the joy when a new high school is being built. I support new stores on their grand openings and congratulate business owners who start new ventures based on their prior successes. I attend charity events for local families who are dealing with cancer.

How do all these activities lead to attracting JV partners? Because they demonstrate that I care about the people here, the people who will be living in my rental units after I’ve acquired the properties. Investors sometimes think only about the assets upon purchase, but for long-term profitability, each asset must be rented out. Having a strong connection to the people of the community will lead to easier tenant selection and long-term rental relationships.

There is no doubt that having joint-venture partners can help you take your real estate investments to a new level. The strategy gives individuals the confidence necessary to take new leaps in their investment plans. This is the way to go if you’re looking to reap the abundant rewards in your local real estate market. Remain focused on improving in these three areas, and your real estate story may have an even happier ending.