The Social Networking Site, Facebook, recently advertised that they reached 300 million people worldwide. Since the total population for the U.S. is estimated at about 307 million people, Facebook membership is very impressive. As a career consultant in real estate, I know that with the growth of the Internet and Social Networking Sites, many real estate professionals believe that they can forego meeting others in person, and instead, focus on building new business relationships via the Internet. Although I am a great believer in having a strong presence on the Internet since many properties we manage, people often rent directly from our web sites. However, I want you to think about how easy it is for people who use the web to change who they do business with a simple click of a mouse!
Given that fact, I strongly urge you to not only build a strong Internet presence, but you should also schedule regular opportunities to meet others face-to-face. Although I realize that attending conferences at FIABCI and other professional organizations may be very time consuming, I know that by attending face-to-to meetings, you will be able to build long lasting relationships with a variety of business people (i.e. clients, bankers, lawyers, other REALTORS, etc.) and, you will have more fun in your professional life.
I just read a column in the Orator written by news correspondent, Cara Breeden; Cara echoed my thoughts exactly about the importance of building relationships via face-to-face conferences. Cara Breeden says, “Here's a wakeup call to you computer-bound professionals: you have to crawl out of your computer cave and meet people, in person, if you want to increase your business leverage. Networking in person is more time-consuming, but each individual relationship is more personal. More personal equates to more valuable. When you cross the line from e-friend to real friend, you become more than just an e-mail and a profile picture. If your personal contacts are like dogs, then your Internet connections are like fish. You may like your fish, but if something goes wrong, there are, as the saying goes, "plenty more fish in the sea."
So I encourage you to learn how to become a “great networker” at face-to-face meetings, because it will enable you to develop meaningful connections and be able to leverage those connections to relationships that will benefit all parties. If you want to be a great “networker”, you must be able to focus on building relationships with people who can and want to help you and you in turn, are committed to always looking for ways to help them. The Key is mutually beneficial relationships. So here are some great networking tips:
Step One: you should identify where you can build your networks by making a list people you know and want to connect with because they will support and believe in you:
Other business relationships including builders, bankers, other REALTORS
Step Two: you should ask yourself:
How many networks do you belong to?
How many professional organizations do you prolong to? (NAR, FIABCI, ARES)
How many do you participate in? (Civic, charitable, school, fraternity/sorority, etc.)
Step Three: next, you should write a formal action plan of how you will build your networks. In my experience, if you want to make your dream into a reality, you must commit to a plan that contains your next steps along with the times and dates for expected completion.
Step Four: you should plan to attend conferences where you can build long-lasting relationships. Pictures available on my web site at www.drmargotweinstein.com
At a recent FIABCI networking event at the Greek Islands Restaurant in Chicago, I had the opportunity to meet FIABCI-USA President, Judy Shenefield, reconnect with other FIABCI-USA leaders, President-Elect, Wayne Carroll and Mary Carroll, the newly elected Chicago Council Board Members, and also many new business contacts --- all while having fun at a very reasonable cost.
Picture #1 below includes: Chicago Council Directors Newly Elected, Lino Darchun; Margery Shinners, Deputy and CEO, Main Street Board; Treasurer, Karen Renella; Director, and Vanessa Falcon; FIABCI; (FIABCI Member, Consultant, trainer & writer, Dr. Margot Weinstein); FIABCI-USA President-Elect, Wayne Carroll; FIABCI-USA President, Judy Shenefield; FIABCI Officer, Mary Carroll; 2009 ; FIABCI President-elect Chicago, Debbie Maue, and President and Board Member, FIABCI Chicago, Nancy Suvarnamani, Century 21 S.G.R.
Step Five: you must remember to follow my key networking guidelines:
Treat everyone you meet with respect
Build relationships that are win/win for all involved parties
Have a story, “Your Elevator Speech.” Your speech should be a 30 to 60 second
introduction about you that includes your name, company, and products and services that
you could use to introduce yourself to someone and be memorable in the time it takes for
a short elevator ride.
Listen to others needs always
Ask to work together
Provide business cards
Get business cards
Follow-up with an email within a couple days of the event
And most importantly always, become a resource for others by asking yourself, “What is
in it for them?”
As in the words of networking expert, Dale Carnegie: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you”
Bio: Dr. Weinstein is an internationally renowned speaker,
educator/trainer, consultant, and an award-winning author in
real estate. She specializes in teaching career techniques,
leadership strategies, and real estate topics. She is one of the
only women endorsed by the Signature Series 2010 Speakers
by the Commercial Alliance of NAR. Her latest books are:
She can be reached at: www.drmargotweinstein.com