Networking is essential in the real estate industry. Having an extensive, strong, and continuously expanding network is the key to lead generation, and obtaining referrals. Your network keeps you in business. So, constantly working to improve your networking skills comes highly recommended.
Where to Network
Any event that brings potential clients, or other real estate professionals together is an opportunity to network, and you should treat it as such. Some great local networking opportunities to be aware of include:
- Industry conferences or events
- Charity events
- Online professional or community groups
- Your kid’s school
If participants paid to be a part of the networking event you will often receive a higher quantity, and quality of contacts from it. When people pay to participate in a professional event they are generally more serious about building their network, and engaging with others. Building a diverse network that includes a large variety of industry professionals will guarantee you access to new strategies and approaches to business. As well as produce you with profitable referrals.
Utilize the Web
If you are not utilizing the internet for networking, and maintaining business you are seriously missing out. Diving into the waters of online business operations is a good way to quickly improve your networking skills, and positively affect your business. Nowadays people will investigate you on the internet to make their first judgments about you. To ensure those judgments are good, you need to have a positive presence everywhere someone could look.
Business Website and Blog
Having a strong presence on the internet is one of the first steps to successfully procuring a client, that starts with your business website and blog. Create as much content as you possibly can and publish it on a regular basis. If you are getting stuck when trying to generate content, here are a few ideas:
- Your predictions about the market
- Home buyer/seller tips
- Reviews of local hotspots and restaurants
- Photography portfolio of the community
- A day in the life of a real estate agent
- Personal or “Get to Know Me” posts
This keeps your audience well informed, provides you with credibility, and initiates trust with any potential clients. Buyers and sellers want to trust that their agent is well put together, and on top of everything. Make sure the appearance, and content of your website and blog proves that to them.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to networking. You are able to promote yourself, engage with others, and share the properties that you are representing. With all of these essential tasks able to be accomplished using one tool, there is no reason not to utilize it to the fullest extent.
Just like on your website or blog, you want to have a consistent positive presence on all of your social media accounts. Be constantly engaging with others in your network, and people you wish to network with. Make sure you are liking their posts, and sharing their content if you want the same in return. Overall, make yourself easy to connect with by being active and responsive on all social media channels.
Never Forget the Follow Up
An easy way to improve your networking skills that you can instantly implement is adding follow up communication into your routine. After you get back from an event immediately put as much information as you can into your CRM. For every individual you met and obtained contact information for, make a note of where you met them, when, their line of work, and any details you can remember from your conversation. Having a document of this information will allow you to develop a strategy for when, and how to reach out to them in the future.
Most importantly though, send a follow up email to every person you met at the event, and don’t forget to follow them on social media. Following up, and staying in touch with people will make your network exponentially more effective. Make sure you are contacting people by phone, email, and text. Mix it up here and there though, and don’t reach a spammy level of outreach. You want to present yourself as a great contact and friend in the industry, not overbearing and annoying.
Engage with Your Community
Being extremely active in your community, or primary service area, is a must for any real estate agent. Extensive community involvement will not only put you in the position to network more often, but it will also get your face out there and make you a known member of the community. As well as strengthen your knowledge and understanding of your primary service area which is always a plus. There are no negative effects of being involved, so make it happen! If you are struggling to think of ways you would enjoy getting involved, we have compiled a few ideas:
- Sponsor local events, teams, or school events and make appearances at them
- Volunteer for community service programs/projects like Habitat for Humanity
- Appear on a local radio station
- Give a presentation at school career days, or during a community college class
- Start an internship program with a college
- Be on non-profit community boards, or any other board that suits your interests
- Partner with businesses
As you can see there is a wide variety of ways to get involved, and start benefiting from what your community has to offer, you just have to take the initiative.
If you ever start to feel overwhelmed by trying to keep up with maintaining your network and important relationships there are resources to help you. A virtual assistant can help monitor email communication and social media postings. If you would rather take care of these tasks yourself, a transaction coordinator can help you be more efficient during transactions, and give you up to 16 hours of your time back to commit to tasks that would help grow your business.