Referrals are golden in the real estate business. And any top agent will tell you that they best way to increase the number of referrals heading your way is to expand your network, both personally and professionally.
Of course, that whole “expanding your network” thing is an awful lot easier said than done.
You can’t just snap your fingers and have a larger circle of influence. You can’t really buy that type of influence either. You have to work hard to cultivate relationships, which is exactly what separates the novice agents from the true superstars.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to expanding your network, but there are some methods that work a lot better than others. Here are 5 great networking options that will help you kick start your networking efforts.
Local Chamber of Commerce
One great place to start looking for opportunities to network is with your local Chamber of Commerce. These organizations are designed around the idea of giving local business people the opportunity to network with each other.
Most local chambers hold networking events where you can make regular appearances and build relationships with other people who are doing the same thing. This could lead to more than a few mutually beneficial relationships with people in complimentary businesses.
Local Networking Groups
The next step up from your local chamber is finding a local networking group that meets more regularly and may require application fees, regular dues, and insists on consistent attendance. Don’t let these types of requirements intimidate you though. Many groups put them in place to ensure quality membership.
If you can find a good quality networking group, the members of that group will become walking advertisements for you as you build relationships with them over time. Of course, you will also be expected to reciprocate that effort.
Social Media Networking
It’s hard to replicate the power of in-person networking online, but with all of the tools that are available through social media, you are definitely going to want to take advantage of those options.
Search Facebook and LinkedIn for local groups and become an active contributor to those groups. Before you know it you will be interacting regularly with a number of local people who could all be potential clients down the road.
They might not have the structure of a chamber meeting or networking group, but you can get an awful lot of face time with a large number of people at any community events you are able to attend.
Everything from big events such as local community festivals, car shows, or business grand opening celebrations right down to events as small as church bake sales is game here.
The more events you attend, the more familiar your face will become to other people attending those events.
Another great place to get out and meet people is at the popular happy hour spots in your community. You’ll be surprised how often just sitting down next to someone and chatting about sports or the weather can eventually lead to deeper conversations and the exchanging of business cards.
One thing to keep in mind in any networking situation is that people can smell selfish intent a mile away, so don’t bother mentioning real estate.
Just look to meet and get to know people and let the rest follow naturally. If the people you are meeting like you because you are a genuinely good person, they will go the extra mile to refer business to you.