Being a successful real estate agent means continually expanding your network. Here are six ways to network like a pro and gain that credibility.
Real estate is a transactional business, but a successful realtor builds a relationship business. Achieving the “appreciation and trust” of your customers is extremely important to developing and maintaining a successful long-term career.
One of the necessary elements to becoming a successful real estate agent is to continually expand your network. Here are six ways to network like a pro and gain the credibility you need to grow your business.
1. Demonstrate integrity
The best way to earn customer trust is to demonstrate integrity and build your credibility as an expert.
As a real estate agent, this can take many forms. The first is to give honest but convincing answers to questions such as:
- How’s the market?
- What is the best neighborhood to buy?
- How much money would I need to buy or rent an apartment in a certain neighborhood rather than another?
- What sets you apart from other agents?
Being frequently quoted in the press on real estate trends and market activity also builds credibility, as does creating and sending a personal newsletter to showcase your expertise and business knowledge.
Speaking on an industry panel or attending a seminar also offers great opportunities to position yourself as an expert in the field.
2. Be authentic
People like to do business with others they like and find genuine. Focus on building a connection with someone first, rather than jumping right into your sales pitch.
Most likely, the person you are talking to is not in the market for your services right now. However, he or she may have a family member, friend or neighbor who is. It is also best to avoid very sensitive topics such as politics or religion.
Although your time may be limited, make sure you actually know something about the person, whether on a personal or professional level, before sharing business cards. You don’t want to be that person who just passes them on.
Showing your personality and that you’re capable of having a light conversation without selling yourself out is a wonderful way to show your authentic side. It will also help the other person open up and feel comfortable.
3. Assume a leadership role
Leading a group or organization is a great way to build relationships and gain exposure as an industry expert in your sphere of influence. These groups can be anything, including a structured business networking group, a neighborhood committee, or a nonprofit board of directors for a cause you care about.
Occupying a leadership position puts you at the forefront of your sphere, and it can greatly expand your network through new relationships and the connections you make through your involvement.
It also shows reliability and accountability, two very important traits that people look for when choosing a real estate agent. Inviting others to an upcoming event you’re attending or hosting for your group is another great way to stay top of mind and foster genuine connection.
4. Make introductions
A great way to build trust and grow your business is through introductions and referrals.
If there’s someone you really want to impress, offer to put them in touch with a friend or colleague who might have a mutually beneficial relationship or help them with a particular business venture.
Going to one-time events and hoping to build a solid business portfolio will be difficult. Seeing the same audience over and over is your best chance of getting to know people and getting their recommendation.
Join professional groups or a non-profit organization that piques your interest and regularly attend member activities.
A pile of business cards means nothing. If you don’t follow up within a day or two, the great conversation you had with a potential client or referral partner will be forgotten.
A quick follow-up shows that you are proactive and committed to growing your relationship. If you promised to introduce someone in your sphere, keep that promise.
Adding a new connection on LinkedIn is also a great way to follow up, and it will keep you top of mind when sharing updates and relevant professional content.
Eric Mendelsohn is a Licensed Associate Realtor with Warburg Realty in Manhattan. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.