As a real estate expert, you must continually build and maintain your network. Without an effective network, you may have a harder time finding leads that turn into paying business. Establishing a great network can be one of the best ways to ensure that you keep generating new leads every year. With these tips, you can start building a real estate referral network that will help you find new clients and stay on top of the latest industry trends.
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR REAL ESTATE NETWORK
1. Create and Refine Your Online Presence
These days, most people find a real estate agent through an online search. They may ask friends and family members for a recommendation, but then they’ll often read reviews and ratings online. If you don’t have much of an online presence, you may make it harder for prospective clients to find you. Invest time into building up your online presence, including:
- Personal website
- Bio pages on partner sites
- Social media
Keep your information current and interact with people who engage with you on social media.
2. Develop Your Listening and Conversation Skills
Real estate networking involves a lot of discussion, and you need to be an expert. Few people want to work with professionals who only seem to talk about themselves, or those who listen only to reply. Consider taking a class or asking a knowledgeable friend or colleague about improving your conversation skills. The ability to listen carefully and participate in a balanced conversation can help you to win friendships with key players in the industry, as well as new clients.
3. Join Professional Organizations
The road to effective commercial real estate networking starts with professional organizations. You can find a variety of organizations in your area, including local National Association of REALTORS® chapters. These organizations usually charge a fee for membership, but they may offer benefits like the use of nationally recognized logos, entry into local real estate broker search engines, insurance plans, and more. Working on your local realtor networking could help you stay current on issues important to the industry and provide better service to your clients.
4. Participate in Regional Industry Events
To find the key players in your region, you need to know who they are. Attending industry events and conferences can give you plenty of benefits, including:
- Meeting experienced real estate professionals in your area
- Learning about the most important issues in the industry
- Form connections with real estate brokers and agents near you
Be sure to attend the mealtime events, as you may have more free time to socialize and add more people to your real estate networking list.
5. Get Involved in the Community
You can find new clients almost anywhere in your community, so you should get involved in your community. Making a name for yourself, for your time spent helping in community projects or sponsoring community events, can help drive interested clients and professionals to you. Pick a problem that your community needs to solve or a topic that you’re passionate about. Your engagement and focus will show people your qualities in ways that a sales pitch might not.
6. Nurture Relationships With New Contacts
You understand the importance of following up on leads, and commercial real estate networking operates in a similar way. If you collect a lot of business cards or contacts at a local conference, you need to start nurturing those relationships as soon as possible. Reach out and mention something relevant to your last conversation, so that the person can easily remember you and put your information in their contact list. You can start building a strong relationship from there.
7. Avoid Excessively Pushing Sales
Real estate networking can feel difficult at times, but your affect should make it seem easy. When you have limited opportunities to talk to other real estate professionals, you might feel pressure to push your advantages to anyone who will listen. A hard sales approach, however, can backfire. Instead, work on fostering relationships based on common interests and goals. With the right attitude, you won’t have to push your real estate referral network to send leads your way.
8. Balance Give and Take Within Your Network
Maintaining a great real estate network involves a balance of give and take. If you only reach out to other people for favors, they may eventually stop wanting to interact with you as much. On the other hand, if you extend yourself too far trying to give everyone else favors, you may end up with too few resources to share. Try to balance what you ask and what you offer to the others in your network. Everyone has something to give and needs that could use your help.
9. Evaluate Your Success and Update Your Goals
Finding the right spot in real estate networking can take your entire career. You’ll need to look at your goals, measure your success in achieving them, and set new goals for the future. At first, you should set goals that you can easily reach. Over time, you should look plainly at your success and determine if you need to make changes to keep improving.
START BUILDING YOUR REAL ESTATE CAREER TODAY
Real estate networking can be one of the most effective tools you use as a real estate broker or agent. At Chicago Real Estate Institute, we provide expert courses to help experienced real estate professionals and people who are just taking the first steps on this rewarding career path. We can help you learn how to network in real estate, as well as providing the education you’ll need to get your license. Browse our courses and contact us for more information about getting started.