Networking is important for building a thriving real estate business and provides avenues for new opportunities. Networking can be done at large formal events, backyard BBQ’s, or casual conversations at the grocery store and is a cost-effective marketing method.
If you’ve never networked then follow these guidelines and you’ll master the art of networking in no time.
Step 1 – Prepare
- Research the event and understand its purpose. This shows other attendees that you’ve taken an active interest in what’s important to them.
- Select an outfit that’s appropriate for the event and venue. If you’re unsure of the dress code then ask the host ahead of time . Some events may be black-tie while others are jeans and a t-shirt.
- Read news headlines on the day of the event. These make great conversation starters…..but avoid talking politics.
- Know the real estate markets in your area. Everyone loves asking real estate agents about the markets.
Step 2 – Attending the event
- Say hi to the host. The host will most likely introduce you to other attendees.
- Introduce yourself to others. Say “Hi, my name is….” while extending your hand and making eye contact.
- Lead conversations by asking open-ended questions about family, job, dreams, and recreation. Avoid talking about politics and religion unless these are specific to the event.
- Listen for commonalities during conversations and use that to build rapport.
- Never speak with the intention to “Sell”. Instead, speak with the intention to “Help”.
- End the conversation by extending your hand, telling them it’s been great talking and you look forward to talking again then ask for their business card. This is a natural cue to end a conversation and leaves the door open for follow up.
Step 3 – Follow Up after the event
- Send the host a written thank you card within 24 hours. Handwritten thank-you notes stand out more than email.
- Add all your new contacts to your CRM program using the business cards you collected from the event.
- Send your new contacts a quick email stating it was great meeting them at the event and thank them for the great conversation. DON’T PUSH FOR A FOLLOW UP MEETING. Pushing or using hard sale techniques will make you appear insincere. Y
- It takes time and cultivation to build relationships. Don’t rush it. Reach out to your new contacts every once in a while and ask how they are doing. Show genuine interest.
- Host your own event and invite all your new contacts. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to network with others.
A few other tips
- Politics and religion are usually not okay to talk about.
- Maintain eye contact during conversation.
- Wear something bold or unique that’ll attract some attention an makes a great conversation starter.
- Have plenty of business cards with you.