Networking is about more than gaining new sales and promoting your business, it’s about learning from others’ journeys and gaining insight from their experiences. And in an increasingly connected world, growing your network has never been this easy.
Here are 5 ways to grow your network.
Create an online presence
Creating an online presence requires just one thing to be successful: a bit of dedication. First impressions are no longer created when the viewer walks into the home the first time, but rather when they see the property on their screen for the first time. And that’s where you need to connect to potential clients as well.
Through your online presence, you can share your expertise and knowledge with a far wider audience than your existing network. Create a website, launch a newsletter, get active on social media – these are only a few of the easy steps you can take to help you create an online presence.
Attend networking events
Attending conferences and local networking events will help you connect with professionals who have already walked the path you are on and with professionals who are also looking to find their footing. The quality of your network is often far more important than the quantity of your connections. Having one single quality connection that can help you approach the market with increased insight is often more valuable than a whole phonebook full of general connections.
Become part of the community
General connections within your community are a vital part of network growth, though. Connecting with people simply because they are awesome will put you in touch with their connections as well. While connecting to the experience and insight of professionals who can influence your career trajectory directly is always a networking objective, it should not be the only one. The second-tier community networking approach is just as vital. Through six degrees of separation, your name will still reach the ears it needs to, it just might take a little longer.
Being an active member of your local community is one of the most reliable ways to network. The simple fact of it is that networking relies on you connecting with people, not simply selling yourself. Becoming a part of the community helps you build relationships with people, increasing the chances of your name being top of mind when your services are needed.
Use your newsletter to promote local businesses, NGOs and events, tell their stories as well as your own, and in so doing gain access to their network as well. So go out and talk to your community, help them grow, and become part of the bigger picture.
Start listening intently
Listening skills are a vital part of truly connecting to people and building relationships with them. The trick is to listen objectively, paying attention to everything people say and not only listening for keywords like “on the market” or “selling my house”. By truly listening you will soon be able to identify the pain points people struggle with without their even knowing it, helping them to find solutions to problems they didn’t even know they had.
Being able to tap into the pain points of your clients will help you give them more than what they asked for. And who doesn’t like going back to the place where you got more than you expected?
Staying in touch with clients
Follow up with prospective clients – give them a call, send them an email, or invite them for a coffee. Life gets busy and clients often miss magical opportunities simply because one agent’s name was not as stuck in their mind as another’s. So, get in touch and remind them why you are the person for the job … subtly of course.
Also, stay in touch with prospective clients that fell through. Send them an email or give them a call simply to find out how their property hunt went. This will help keep your name top of mind for their own real estate journey and when they refer others. Don’t spam them, but make sure your name pops up even when you’re not doing business anymore. Showing that you care about the person’s real estate journey, not simply the successful business deal, makes a big difference in how people see you.
So what are you waiting for? Stop reading and get networking!
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)