As you know, success in the real estate industry requires strong networking skills. Real estate networking is aimed toward generating leads and growing your business. The more people you know, the more houses you sell, of course. But in this saturated field, how can you manage to have an edge over the competition, who is also networking? It’s important to consider that you already have a built-in network – likely larger than you realize. Just think of how many people you interact with on a regular basis… from family and friends, to neighbors, community groups, social media followers and more. Once you’ve counted that existing group, you’re ready to implement some new networking strategies so you can expand your reach. Here are 5 ideas for better real estate networking!
If you’re looking for professional support and networking opportunities, especially as a new agent, try attending local networking events in your area. You can find professional networking opportunities on sites like LinkedIn – treasure troves for opportunities to meet new people, connect with potential clients and mentors and learn more about your target market. These events are designed for the specific purpose of helping agents build a stronger network. Once you’ve made it to one of these events, be sure to make the most of the opportunity.
- No matter where you are (in line at the restroom, waiting at the bar, etc), smile and say hello to everyone. This one simple word can spark a conversation and a connection.
- Take advantage of breaks between speakers. Rather than scroll on your phone, approach new people and ask questions such as, “How are you liking the conference?” Get the other person talking about themselves and don’t forget to listen!
- Avoid sitting with someone you already know. The idea is to meet as many new people as possible, so get out there while you have the chance.
Keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better for networking. Sometimes the smaller, more close-knit events can yield better results. For example, find out if there are real estate networking groups on Facebook for your local area (if not, you can take the opportunity to start one). Don’t underestimate the value of belonging to non-real estate forums too. You can generate leads on apps like NextDoor or any number of online social groups as well.
Real estate conferences are definitely one of our 5 ideas for better real estate networking. They’re a great place to connect with other professionals and potential clients. Conferences also provide agents with valuable education and training. At these events, you can rub elbows with the most successful realtors in your community and use their knowledge to your advantage. Take notes and find ways to implement their practices in your own business. Perhaps the most important tip for networking at conferences is to follow up with new contacts immediately. You’ll likely have a stack of business cards sitting on your desk, so it’s key to make sure you remember each person you’ve interacted with. How do you go about doing that?
- Make notes as soon as you receive a business card. Jot down some memorable information about the contact (appearance, hobbies, business, etc).
- Call, text, or email with a personal message soon after the initial meeting. It’s also wise to add them on social media off the bat.
- Ask for what you want. Are you looking for referrals? Do you wish to participate in their next networking event? The only way to get what you want is to ask!
One of the best ways to gain recognition as a hyperlocal agent is to engage with your local community. Prospective clients want to hire real estate agents who know the area well, so you’re adding to your credibility when you are actively involved in your community. Plus, each event is a chance for you to interact with local residents and market your business. There are so many ways to get involved – volunteering at schools, donating to local shelters and sponsoring community sports teams just to name a few.
You can also command attention and bond with the community by hosting your own events. These can be related to real estate, but don’t have to be. Ideas include hosting a party, charity dinner or concert. The options are endless, especially with summer just around the corner. Large, small, extravagant or intimate… as long as you’re reaching out to prospects and mingling, you’re doing it right. Hosting open house events is another common way to network and generate leads, so make sure to keep up with those!
Social Media Networking
Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective and successful strategies to boost your business. Did you know that 66% of all new homebuyers are millennials? Of those, nearly all will begin their home search online. If you’re not reaching out to this demographic via social media, you’re missing out on valuable marketing opportunities. If you haven’t already, create a professional website. Make sure to post content regularly: blogs, listings, etc. You can then add links to socials like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn – all platforms on which you should be posting regularly. Use hashtags to ads to connect with other agents, clients and members of the community. Don’t forget to utilize search engine optimization (or SEO) as well.
Beyond posting on your accounts, you must engage with your audience. The more you comment and reply on your local market’s social media hubs, the more visible you’ll be. The more helpful and service-oriented you are, the more leads and followers you’ll attract. Think of your comments and replies as opportunities. Like a conversation at a networking event, each conversation can develop into a lead. Pay close attention on social media when prospects are celebrating a special occasions (birthdays, weddings, career milestones, etc). Sort of like the modern day version of sending handwritten notes (which is also a great technique), online gestures like birthday wishes are important. Reaching out to community members with authentic messages keeps you at the top of their minds, so that when the time comes for them to buy or sell, they think of you.
When listing our top 5 ideas for better real estate networking, we can’t forget about joining forces with other businesses. Make a list of local businesses you would like to align with. These could include doctor’s offices, grocery stores, coffee shops or laundromats, just to name a few. Ask the owners of these establishments if they’d be willing to allow you to display some marketing materials and business cards in their space. In return, you can refer your clients to their business, feature them as sponsors on your website, or in your client “welcome packet” showcasing your top recommendations of local favorites. This type of networking is mutually beneficial – combining audiences and cementing your status as a local figure.
You can also reach out to local companies like brokerages, insurance agents, movers, lawyers and interior designers to form a team of people who can support you and your clients. At each step of the home buying and selling journey are businesses who can work together to help the client and themselves succeed. Add more value for your clients and widen your own network with these types of partnership
Are you already implementing some of our 5 ideas for better real estate networking? Let us know about your strategies, or any questions in the comments below!