When you're a small business owner, networking is everything.
Networking can help you meet potential clients, introduce you to your professional peers, and can be a great passive way to advertise your business.
Small business networking is important for every industry, but it's especially important for people that work in real estate.
Real estate is a very social business by nature, and if you want to be a successful real estate agent you'll need to master the art of networking.
Want to know some of our top networking tips for real estate agents? Read on to learn more.
Small Business Networking Tips For Real Estate Agents
At this point in your career, you already know the basics of networking.
You don't need to be told to maintain eye contact or smile and to bring business cards, but there may be some small things you aren't doing that could have big benefits.
Whether you're planning a meet and greet with local agents and residents or plan on attending a networking event in the future, following these networking trends will help you become a networking master.
Go Beyond Other Agents And Clients
One of the biggest networking mistakes a real estate agent can make is to only try to connect with other real estate agents and clients. Those kinds of people are going to make up the bulk of your networking events, but they shouldn't dominate them.
Think about how many other professionals could help elevate your real estate agency.
Established contractors and landscapers could help sweeten the deal on some fixer-uppers you're trying to sell. Loan originators, financial planners, and mortgage brokers can help your clients afford your properties.
Take a look at some of local business networking groups and see which ones it makes sense to visit. You may not think you have much in common with these professionals, but they'll add value to your business.
Be Presentable On All Fronts
Most people focus on what's happening at the event they're attending, but they give little thought to what will happen when the event is over.
Ideally, you're going to want someone to re-connect with you. But the first meeting you have after the event won't be face to face.
When your name or agency pops up in your networking friend's head, they aren't going to reach for their phone to set up time to talk. They're going to visit your website and social media profiles to learn more about you.
If you know there's a networking event coming up, make sure that your digital assets are up to date and look great.
People aren't going to impressed if they see a website with broken links and three pages of content. They won't want to follow you on social if your last post was 7 months ago.
Take time to look at your website and social profiles before the event and update them with some fresh content.
Even if you're just posting some new listings on social or are sharing a link to a real estate investing blog post you've written, having a little content is better than no content at all.
Connect On Other Levels
You want to talk about real estate opportunities when you're out networking, but if you limit yourself to business talk you could miss out on making some important connections.
Remember, the purpose of networking is to establish a professional rapport with others. Think about your own life. You may be a real estate agent, but you have interests outside of work and lead a full life.
Did someone in the group you're casually talking to mention that they have kids? Don't be afraid to share some of your funny stories about your son or daughter.
Is everyone talking about last night's football game? Give your own rundown on how the offensive strategy could have been better and how you thought last year's team was stronger.
Seize opportunities to connect with people on topics outside of work, and don't be afraid to try to start a new fun conversation topic.
Don't Expect Fireworks At Every Event
There are going to be nights where you go to events, have a lot of great conversations, and then never meet for coffee like you agreed to.
There may also be some nights where you expect to meet dozens of eager home buyers but end up only talking to one person that isn't even that interested in buying.
It may be disappointing when you don't make a big connection, but that doesn't mean that you've done something wrong.
Sometimes it can take a while for strong relationships to form, and in some cases, you may never be more than a passing thought to someone you met.
Always bring your A-game to networking events and be prepared to answer any important questions that come up. Be ready to take a chance, and to not be too disappointed if things don't work out.
Network At Non-Networking Events
Organized small business networking groups and open houses are going to make up the majority of your networking events, but you can make important connections outside of networking groups.
There are so many ways for you to meet potential clients that go beyond traditional networking events and meet and greets.
Consider sponsoring a local event, team, or school play. Your agency will get a little visibility when your name and logo are printed on programs and uniforms, and there's always a lot of local people to meet at events.
Spend some time volunteering a few hours each month with the rest of your staff. You could keep it real estate focused and do a Habitat for Humanity project, or just help support a local cause.
Either way, sponsorships are a great way to give back to the community and expand your network.
Now that you know how to handle small business networking for real estate agents, it's time to think about other ways to help your career.
If there's one thing we know it at this blog, it's how to take your career to the next level. Check out our post on how to quickly advance your career so you can make the moves you need to achieve success.
And remember, we don't just have blog posts here. We also have an active job listings board that could help you find your next employee or dream job. Check out our job board and see what it has to offer.