I became aware of an interesting statistic a while back.
Within Simcoe County each adult personally knows at least 3 to 5 people who earn their livings through the business of selling real estate.
For every for-sale sign you see in front of a house or building in Barrie, Innisfil, Oro or Springwater for example there are 2 to 4 Realtors who were almost certain it was to be their sign.
That final selection of just one Realtor may have come down to dollars and cents, it may have been a random selection from amongst a few, and occasionally the listing goes to the Realtor who gained favour by way of a personal endorsement from someone they know and trust.
Another statistic of greater frustration to my business senses at least is the fact that each person knows at least 4 people (families) who are likely to sell their property and move in any given year. Within a one year period, between friends, neighbours, family, co-workers and the people you interact with frequently, on average 4 will have moved in the past 365 days, and 4 more will move in the next 365 days.
What is that worth to you?
One vital skill that a good number of Canadian adults seem oblivious to is the personal power gained through networking. We tend to ignore, even avoid opportunities to do so without giving thought to what we are passing up on. Amongst the few who do understand and tap into the value of networking you will find the people in society we call leaders, movers and shakers or often the people we tend to say “have horseshoes up their butts.”
You will also find that people of other cultures who make Canada their home seem to have a better grasp on the whole networking thing more so than 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation Canadians. It has little if nothing at all to do with race or culture. It is purely human instinct that when we find ourselves living in a foreign environment we recognize the value of connecting with like minded people when the opportunity presents itself.
Consider for a minute that person you were oblivious to who sat next to you at the coffee shop this morning. Chances are you would have likely struck up a conversation with them if that coffee shop had been in Moscow, Dubai or Singapore.
We tend to recognize and value our similarities more when we find ourselves outside of our geographical and cultural comfort zones. Have you ever notice how we are much better and more comfortable at interacting when we meet people from back home while away on vacation than we tend to be throughout the rest of the year?
We wonder sometimes how people can arrive in this country to accomplish more in 10 years than many are able to achieve over a lifetime, the power of networking has been a major component of their success.
In that far from home coffee shop chance encounter, odds are you would have left knowing what each other does, why you are both there and even shared a little bit about each other’s lives. You would have been anxious to share those details with someone of similar circumstance.
There is a high likelyhood as well that you would exchange business cards or contact information and if whatever they or you do professionally is something either of you needed down the road, you would put the value of networking to practice. Beyond that, anyone you know, you would likely recommend that person to as well.
Put that power to work for you
Getting back to those 4 people you know back here where you live and work who will be moving in the next year, if you see no need to play a role in their decisions then nothing can come to you from it. The few people I know who use the power of networking and referral and recognize its significance to furthering their own position in life do not go unrewarded. The action of networking rarely does go unrewarded. What happens within a person’s sphere of influence holds great untapped potential for those who know to listen and to act.
Think about this the next time you are a part of, or happen to overhear a conversation that contains the simple phrase “we're going to be moving”. It takes little time or effort to say, “I know a great local Realtor you should be calling”.
You will be doing them, me and yourself a favour that holds financial and social value for all of us by putting the power of networking that too few take advantage of to the test.