Is your professional network one of your greatest assets, or a work-in-progress that needs some serious attention?
In order to survive and thrive in real estate, you must master the art of networking. On a scale of 1-10, how would you currently rate your networking skills?
Never Stop Improving
In an industry that’s constantly growing and evolving, no real estate agent should ever be satisfied with their current skill set. The leaders in real estate are those who are constantly seeking out tips, ideas, and insights that allow them to become more valuable to their clients and their team members
As agents from across the US and Canada convene in San Francisco for the “Inman Connect” event, we’ve decided to share with you our top 7 networking tips to grow your network and your total sphere of influence.
Let’s get started with a simple principle.
#1) Give More Than You Get
What kind of person do you prefer? Someone who always offers support and value without any expectations, or someone who is always asking for a favor?
We all know a friend who is constantly asking for a hookup. No one is excited to receive an email or text from this person. In the world of real estate networking, you never want to be this individual. You want to be known as a professional that helps others and adds massive value.
Remember this line the next time you are at an event or social gathering. “Always deposit before you withdrawn and never fully empty your account.” Give as much as you can to others in your network and it will always be returned.
#2) Less Talking and More Listening
If you are talking more than you are listening when you meet a new person, you’re missing out on an opportunity to learn. People naturally love to talk about themselves. When prompted in the correct way, a person will tell you anything and everything you need to hear.
Instead of making statements and talking about yourself, try asking questions such as:
- “What is the one thing you need and/or are looking for right now?”
- “Which areas of real estate are you most excited about?”
- “Could you describe your ideal referral?”
These questions will get the other person talking while also providing valuable information on how you can help your new acquaintance. If you can solve their problems and push opportunities their way, the favor will eventually be reciprocated. While the other person is talking, take note of potential opportunities or connections you see for yourself.
Remember, a good listener is a great learner.
#3) Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Networking doesn’t have to be a solo sport. You’re only as good as the team you surround yourself with. You’ve heard that you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with…who are you spending the most time with in real estate?
Your team could include other agents, assistants, family, friends, and other business connections. Most real estate professionals forget about the support that is available to them from outside the walls of their organization.
Find allies and companies that share your values. Network with local business owners in your farm who work regularly with homeowners. If you offer them value, they can help give your message a microphone in your local market. You could, for example, offer to write a guest post for their blog or website. Even better, offer to interview professionals you meet and promote them on your blog!
#4) Step Up and Step Out
One of our favorite sayings here at becomealocalleader.com comes from the one and only, Tim Ferriss. “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations/experiences he or she is willing to have.”
Does the thought of meeting hundreds or thousands of new people leave you feeling a little overwhelmed? Now is the time to step out of your comfort-zone and your office, and start shaking hands.
If you want to expand your network but are constantly complaining about the cost of networking events- it’s time to step up. Stop thinking of events, courses, and masterminds as expenses and start thinking of them as investments in your career. Open up your wallet and get yourself to events like Inman Connect because there is no better place to expand your influence in the industry.
#5) Website and Professional Blog (do we really have to mention this one!?)
Hopefully, we don’t have to stress this point too much because you already have both a website and a personal blog…right? We tend to be a little a little passionate about this subject as our core offering involves building hyper-localized, neighborhood websites. We can definitely point you in the right direction if you need assistance in this area.
If you are not active on your website and blog daily, it’s time for you to fully submerge yourself in technology and make your online presence heard. If you have one take away from this entire article let it be: create more content.
#6) Get Social
So now that you have your website and blog up-to-date, you need to ensure your social media game is up to par.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool for networking; possibly the most powerful tool at the moment. Just like your website and your blog, you need to be posting relevant content onto your social media accounts. A lot of content. Video, pictures, articles.
Find different ways to give your audience value and keep your foot on the gas pedal pumping out a steady stream of posts. Simply by creating content, your network will expand. Every new follow, connection, and “like” is an opportunity.
If you want to connect with a particular subset of individuals, start sending them direct messages! This is the easiest time in the history of human beings to connect with others from around the world.
#7) Take Care of Your Community
For most real estate professionals, your community is your career. A hyper-localized network can help skyrocket your sales and success levels. Look for any opportunity to serve your community and start acting like the local leader that you strive to be. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Volunteer with local not-for-profits
- Join local networking and social groups
- Attend fundraisers
- Go to concerts, art galleries, and sporting events (every event is a networking event!)
There you have it. 7 tips that will instantly elevate your networking skills. Well, what are you waiting on? Get networking and grow your business like a Local Leader!
Will our team be seeing you at Inman Connect or another future conference? Reach out to us at any time to expand your network even further!