Redefining How you Network: The Greater Than Approach
Having a good approach to networking can set you off on the right foot when gaining connections. Lets talk about some tips.
In a space where every person is out to sell something, how can you stick out? How can you grow a list of connections that you can depend on? Let’s discuss the things that are great when it comes to networking.
Networking is one of the most important tools for any Agent or Broker. It’s essential to have strong networking skills in order to grow your business and maintain it. However, many people approach networking in a way that lacks a human, genuine touch that is fundamental in growing a useful network. There are ways to approach this skill that will give you more powerful connections that forge bonds for a solid, interwoven web.
Paid Vs Free
A paid conference such as Inman Connect or Buffini and Company is a great way to meet other like-minded Agents and/or Brokers. It’s a space to connect with other professionals in a face-to-face way. Attend paid events because those attending care about their professional experience enough to pay to be there, too. According to Devin Someck, co-founder and Principal of Living New York, a Real Estate firm based out of New York City, “pay to play is always better.” He says that at those types of conferences, “people are not there for the free lunch, but” because they are there to “really learn, network, and meet people. They are taking it more seriously.” Free conferences, although tentatively informative, are not the best place to build a network that can truly serve you.
This also ties into lead generation companies since some of which may have networking services. There are pros and cons to 'pay to play' and if you want to learn more make sure to check that blog out here.
Elicit Vs Solicit
One of the best practices with regard to networking is to truly get to know the people. You need to elicit information before you solicit anything from anyone. Ask questions and see where people’s needs are not being met. Gather information about what their business is, what their interests are, what hobbies they pursue, and so on. Agent Laura Marie of Tampa Bay’s “Your Home Sold Team” weighs in: “You need to ditch the pitch. Stop trying to get before you give and stop talking about the weather.”
Laura knows that genuine conversation can build a relationship. You have to “listen to information and know where you add vaule” says Devin Someck. In a lot of cases, “the best sales strategy is to listen more than talk.” Through being an engaged listener, you can gather information that may be valuable to you later on. Additionally, show how you can be of service given the information you gathered. Showing how you can help without having anything to overtly gain will strengthen the relationship.
Quality Vs Quantity
Collecting cards and adding connections on social media is a way of “networking” with a lot of different people. However, having a true conversation and making a connection will serve you better long-term.
When Devin Someck’s agents come back from networking events with tons of collected business cards, he asks them to consider which, if any are “actually business perspectives.” If you have a thousand contacts, but do not maintain a strong relationship with any of them, you have no true network or contacts. If you have fifty contacts that you work on bi-monthly, then you have the start of something. This is just to say, quality is greater than quantity. “Focus on the quality of the connection. Enjoy having coffee with people, have email correspondence, get to know people to pair with others” says Laura Marie. You should try to cultivate “real connections and know who people are and what their values are.” So, your network can be wide, but you must invest time into it. Otherwise, it is essentially worthless to the growth of your business.
Social Media and Real Estate Networks
While social media may sound odd to pair with networking it has been shown to have a strong effect. Also termed 'social networking' this is when businesses or entrepreneurs uses sites like LinkedIn and Instagram to well, network.
When you make connections via social media or on networks like NuOp, add quality content and have sincere engagement. Be strategic about your selections and connections as to make it worthwhile to all parties. Post content from areas of expertise. Engage meaningfully with responses that you gather from putting yourself out there. Be sure to spread the love. Do not just expect engagement from others. Add comments and ask questions to elicit and engage others within the virtual communities.
As technology and our dependence on it only increases over time, finding ways to meld networking virtually and in person will be critical to your own business growth. No matter which way you begin with networking, know that this investment of time, if done well, will yield connections that will be long-lasting and beneficial.
Real Estate Networks
Ok with social media covered, what's up with real estate networks or commonly called referral networks and professional networks. Well for one they can be great catalysts of growth if you have the money for it. They are notoriously expensive and do not give you a guarantee of any ROI.
They also have a fine print as many networks work for parent organizations and try to capture every aspect of the home buying journey. As mentioned you can pay an arm and a leg to get in, then get little to nothing out of it, if you don't meet their requirements.
Though they are not all bad as networks like NuOp, which is free, can do the same thing as the more costly options. And with access to new tools that are meant to place more power in your hands, there is no need to go with the overly expensive options any longer. Who said referring was ment to be hard and time consuming?
Hopefully these tips help you grow your approach to networking and aid you in making some powerful connections.
Like mentioned if you want even more help in building a powerful network. Or want a place to bring your exciting network to exchange referrals with speed and ease, make sure to sign up for NuOp.