1:53 Minute Read.
Building a life-long career in real estate requires networking, but it doesn’t need to be forceful, mechanical or predatory. We’ve all been exposed to Multi Level Marketing (MLM) networking techniques. The bad taste that left in your mouth has probably caused you to avoid all forms of networking for your real estate business.
All Multi-Level Marketing systems teach their sales-force networking techniques to sell product and gain converts. I’ve been roped into a few of those presentations and I’ll bet you have too. The problem with these methods is that you’re faced with one of two outcomes: buy-in or run for the hills each time you see those folks again.
“Work at building relationships.
Business will naturally follow.”
Knowing these simple tips can start you on the path to becoming a networking expert.
Be purposeful with your calendar. Keep in touch with friends and family. The beauty of our business is the freedom to control our schedule. Each week set time aside to connect with friends over coffee, meals or activities.
Use the U.S. Mail*. No one sends personal notes anymore. Set yourself apart by being someone who does. Gently remind friends, family and former clients that you’re in the business by sending a notecard once or twice a year to everyone on your list. You’d be surprised how often they might forget you’re in the business. And never ask for their business. They are your friends – assume you already have it. Instead, ask for referrals. Use the notecard to give a brief market/business update and enclose two business cards with the phrase, “if you know anyone needing to buy or sell a home, I’d appreciate you passing my card along to them. I promise to take great care of them.” They’ll get the hint.
Engage your community. Do what you love. Get involved in activities that you and your family enjoy. Take time to talk with others who enjoy the same things. Whether its hobbies, sports, social events, religion, politics or action groups, open up your world by getting involved in those communities.
Use social media wisely. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc. all have specific audiences. Use social media for engaging the communities you are interested in, not for promoting your business. It’s about creating conversations with like-minded people, not blasting out advertising for your recent listing for sale. It's okay to create a business page, but keep your personal profile separate.
Broaden your sphere of influence. Stretch beyond your current group of friends. Look for new friendships. As you meet people, move them into a deeper relationship listening to their stories and caring about their lives and family.
You might be wondering when should you bring the conversation around to your business? My advice: NEVER. Let them bring it up. That’s the funny thing about people. If you ask about their life, family, job, etc., they most likely will turn the conversation around and ask about yours.
Now, doesn’t that sound easier?
And when the conversation comes around to real estate, be ready to offer services equal to their needs. Loan pre-qualification, MLS searches, CMAs or a simple smile and promise offering professional services when the time comes will establish a deepening loyalty to you.
Sooner or later, everyone buys and sells real estate. Make sure you are their go-to person by building a great relationship today.
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* Ready for a personal story? – I challenged an agent in our brokerage to send out notecards. This agent had been in the business for several years and regularly does a lot of business. He thought there was no way anyone forgot he was a real estate agent. After mailing notecards out, he was shocked by the response. The phone started ringing. Friends, former co-workers and even his cousin were “reminded” to call him. And call they did.