Networking is the most important task a realtor you can do; for the health and longevity of your business, this is an absolute must in order to be able to expand upon your client base. Forging meaningful connections with people of similar mindsets should be a priority because around three fourths of your business will come from referrals within your network. It won’t matter how great your services are if your target market doesn’t realize you exist as a real estate professional. While being a realtor can often mean you are busier than ever with little time left to network, you can’t let your hopefully busy schedule undermine your future success. Here are a few tactics to consider if you are strapped for time but still need to get your name out there.
Consider hiring an assistant or hiring a college intern who you can mentor. Both can help you maintain relevancy with your target client base by giving you outsider insight on niche markets that they’re familiar with, what is “buzzing”, and what is not. They can attend industry-specific networking events like conferences, seminars, and workshops and take down essential notes for you, hand out business cards, and network in your place.
You could also find networking “wingpeople.” The idea here is that they can help you attend events in your absence while you return the favor in their busy times. Also, think about forming bonds with people in similar but not competing professionals. For example, if you are a realtor, mortgage providers and real estate attorneys can help refer people to you as long as you reciprocate the favor. They can help with the invaluable service of talking you up, endorsing you, and promoting you even more than you would expect one of your own clients would.
Unsurprisingly, your personal relationships should be one of the most important resources when it comes to networking. In addition to being your most trusted sources of advice, personal relationships have much to offer in business referrals. Being nice to people in your extended personal network like your mother in law or your best friend’s dad can reward you when you least expect it. They might connect you to a potential client since you were polite to them at that baby shower!
In fact, make more of a continued effort to be polite to the people around you. Networking hardly stops when people base their opinions on your professional representation with each interaction they have with you. Treat every sensible interaction as if the other party could be a potential client; you never know if the person in front of you in line at the supermarket will be interested in doing business with you.
Don’t be afraid to ask people in your current network for business referrals. This simply cuts out all the time of searching for a viable candidate when you can easily ask a trusted friend or partner about anyone who they think would be beneficial for you to know.
If you have extra funds, consider promoting yourself. Sponsoring an event, renting advertising space, or donating to a cause can help increase your visibility in your target community without you even needing to be physically present.
Furthermore, don’t underestimate the importance of having a mentor or a group of people who have similar views, goals and more experience and knowledge regarding your business niche. Finding a mentor can help you establish higher confidence and efficiency in your business goals as well as learn about some time saving business tricks.
Whatever you do, do not underestimate the power of the internet; it has exploded with potential in the past decade and provides significant business returns—especially if you want to stay relevant with today’s younger population. Speak their language: the internet. Today, websites are relatively cheap to run, considering the publicity and business opportunities it can offer you. Establishing an online presence will undoubtedly boost your business tremendously. After all, the average person would be more inclined to reach out to you if they knew more about your professional and even personal achievements. Maintain positive reviews on Yelp, Google, and Facebook while updating your connections with promotions or well wishes on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. A healthy digital presence is all you need to generate the “buzz” you strive for as a realtor.
In the end, take the lead and create a plan. Use these tips to further streamline your networking strategy to be the most efficient it can be. Remember to prioritize your work. Some agents get caught up in trying to work on or fix the smallest problems, when networking should be among the top priorities of their day-to-day tasks. If you don’t have too much time to network yourself, consider which tasks you can cover yourself and leave the rest of the networking to the web pages, advertisements, partners, interns, etc. that you have set up in order to help promote your services. In general, don’t forget that anyone can be a potential client! Think of it all as a collection of classic investments. Sure, you would have to spend some time building relationships now, but these relationships can ultimately save you time and boost your business potential in the long run. Networking is everywhere: at the car wash, at the market, at the doctor, not just at specified ‘networking’ events.