By Evan Tarver, Kapre
People in the real estate industry know how important networking is to the success of their business. However, many real estate agents fail to implement this tactic strategically, which makes them feel inadequate at sales. While salesmanship is another skill altogether, a precursory skill that any real estate agent should master first is the ability to effectively network. After all, there won’t be anyone to pitch to if you don’t have the leads. If you are struggling in this area right now, read on to find out the dos and don’ts of real estate networking.
The 5 Dos You Need to Follow to Get More Leads
1. Do: Have a professional website
Even casual conversations can lead to an exchange of contact information. In order to come across as a credible agent, you should have a professional website in place that’s listed on your business cards. People these days will take you more seriously if you have your own website and a strong online presence.
2. Do: Dress appropriately
You should always have advance knowledge about the attire requirement for every event, meeting, or occasion you are going to attend. If you are attending events for your local chamber of commerce or networking group, you should show up in business casual attire to look professional. If you are volunteering for charity work, you can dress more casually.
3. Do: Master the art of listening
Being a successful agent doesn’t always mean you’re doing all the talking. In fact, those who have mastered the art of listening are winning more sales. If you listen more than you talk, you have more opportunity to gain insight about the things that matter to the people with whom you’re communicating. You can understand their frustrations, their wants, their pain points, and more. This will give you valuable knowledge on what to offer them, which can put you in a position where you are helping them instead of selling to them.
4. Do: Give more than you get
Many people think that when they attend events to network, they should go on a frenzy in asking for referrals, or asking to be introduced to as many people as possible. That can be annoying to most, and it can make you look desperate. When you go to events, always make helping your primary goal. Instead of asking for referrals, give referrals. People will naturally be more proactive in recommending you or introducing you to their network because of your good nature.
5. Do: Save your new contacts to your CRM immediately
It can be easy to forget about the new contacts you made, lose their information, or forget about the important details you made a mental note of while talking to them. Right after your networking event, save your new contacts and pertinent details about them to your CRM. This will also help you create a strategy and schedule for how and when you should connect with them to eventually turn them into clients.
The 3 Don’ts that Will Keep You from Networking Success
1. Don’t: Be constantly on your phone
Don’t be on the phone while you’re at an event unless you absolutely have to be. You might be losing out on opportunities to network if you are constantly busy with your phone. Trust your voicemail or secretary to do the phone work for you, and you’ll most likely walk away with a larger network.
2. Don’t: Be too salesy
A lot of people are allergic to sales people. So if you don’t want them to avoid you, don’t be pushy with your sales talk. People are more willing to buy from people they know and trust, so when you’re networking, earn people’s trust. Be sincere and try to help them out. You will eventually reap the rewards of your labor—people will approach you to do business with you because you earned their trust first.
3. Don’t: Be just a card giver, be a card taker
What are the odds that people who receive your card will call you immediately after the event? It’s probably slim, unless you really made an impact during the event. You can be more successful in networking if you ask for your new acquaintances for their business card, instead of you giving them yours. This allows you to be the first to contact them and continue the connection you had with them during the event. On the other hand, if your strategy is to give out as many of your cards as possible, you might end up waiting for calls, which may never come.
Networking is not rocket science, so there’s no reason for you to feel intimidated by it. It is an art that can be fun and rewarding, as long as you implement the tips detailed above every time you’re out networking. Within no time, you’ll have quality leads that can turn into sales.