Chambers of Commerce - Are you Mining the Gold?

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate
Chambers of Commerce - Are you Mining the Gold?

As a real estate broker I'm on the hunt for leads.  I am always looking for someone who is moving, or someone who knows someone who is moving.  So networking has Networkingbecome a very nice source of business for me.  

There are many different ways to network:  professional groups, college meet-ups, Rotary, church meetings, and PTAs. I've chosen to work with my local Chamber of Commerce and discovered a professional group that meets often - breakfasts, lunches, and cocktails hours are all in the mix. Often several a week.  I can have a full calendar of events if I choose to.

Networking on a regular basis is important - it's not good enough to show your face, pass out a few cards and disappear.  It takes regular attendance, enough times that other members recognize you, perhaps even hug you.  Chamber of Commerce members that attend networking events are there to promote their own business.  So they understand why you are there.  And they will refer you if they know and trust you.

Just this year alone, I've closed $1.5 million in referral sales from Chamber of Commerce meetings. It is not lost on me that I really want to help them in return - anything I can do to refer business to them, you know that I'll do it.  Plus - and this is a big one:  I've written localism posts about many of the businesses that are represented there.  So they already know and like me.  

Check out your local Chamber and know who is in charge.  Offer to help at events - they're always looking for volunteers to help with sidewalk sales, city block parties, or other fun events. I realize not all Chambers are as busy as mine are - but even a few events can be productive.  

Give your local Chamber a chance - attend events and have fun.  It could be the best part of your marketing plan.  And don't forget to attend . . . regularly!  


Posted by

Margaret Goss - Winnetka and North Shore Real Estate Broker
Specializing in homes for sale in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, and Evanston.

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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Margaret, I belonged to the Chamber a while back. It can be a full time job keeping up with the events. They are a good organization.

Sep 19, 2013 11:26 PM #17
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

People buy from people first and showcasing yourself wherever you go will produce results...Chamber events work well too

Sep 19, 2013 11:56 PM #18
Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate
RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales - Anacortes, WA
Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties

margaret, I am in the process of writing localism posts on Chamber members and their businesses. Great idea.

Sep 20, 2013 12:34 AM #19
Deb McNeill
Flying M Team Small World Realty Fort Worth, Tx - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Perfect timing on this blog....I just recieved the annual dues bill from my chamber and was wondering if I should continue to be a part.

You are so right--it's not just being a member, it's not just showing up to the chamber lunches and passing out cards. It's about being involved...and that applies to any group.

Nice feature!

Sep 20, 2013 12:35 AM #20
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Great advice, Maraget.  I've often thought about networking with the Chamber.  Thanks for the encouragement. 

Sep 20, 2013 01:07 AM #21
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Bob - they are - and so many people don't take advantage of them

Jeff - thankyou.  A one-side networker will be found out pretty quickly!

Rich - yes - give it a try.  It might not work for everyone, but you won't know until you go.

Norma - so, I'm preaching to the choir!

Kat - You're welcome - and good luck giving it a go!

Debbie - you didn't say if you were involved.  A business like yours would be welcome by the Chamber.

Marc - try going more often - get to the point where the name tag isn't necessary anymore

Ava - I'm sure many people already know to do this - but it was really a revelation to me how productive it can be


Sep 20, 2013 01:15 AM #22
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Lawrence & Sheila - it's not for everyone because it takes time - often in the evenings.  But I've found the more I go, the easier it gets

Ray - excellent!  And they will continue to notice you.

Patrica - regular attendance (just like school) is pretty important if you want to really network seriously

Michael - that's true, so I don't attend every event (like ribbon cuttings) but try to make as many as I can

Richie - the more places you show your face, the more people will recognize you

Helen & Larry - and then when you attend an event - they will know you and love you!

Deb - thank you.  Definitely sign up again and keep your involvement.

Mike - give it a try.  Most chambers have so man events to choose from, you don't have to tie yourself down just in the evenings if that doesn't work for you.

Sep 20, 2013 01:20 AM #23
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Margaret:  I'm a huge fan of the local Chambers and the services they provide.  I served for years on our local Chamber Board .. and as president a few years.  It's gratifying .. and it just makes good business sense.  Some of my strongest relationships stemmed from that participation.  Again, you're the best cheerleader your community has!


Sep 20, 2013 01:27 AM #24
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

I'm a member of Pennyslvania's Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. I'm the only home stager in the group, every where I go and people are starting to remember me which is nice. I try to go to as many networking events (other than EMCCC) as possible because you can't expect to go once and get business. Just like you said they have to trust and know you.

Sep 20, 2013 02:16 AM #25
Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR
BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253 - Davie, FL
Top Listing Broker

I coudn't agree with you more Margaret. Without system, I just don't know how to keep all of them in mind. 

Sep 20, 2013 02:16 AM #26
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Margaret: As a board member of a local chamber here I can honestly say you get out of it what you put into it. Thanks for the post!

Sep 20, 2013 02:26 AM #27
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I so need to do this! My sister in Oregon opened a frame shop and thrived right thru the most recent economic downturn in a very small community because of her involvement with the Chamber of Commerce.  I am a member and say month after month that I need to get involved.  It's time to put action to words.  Thanks for the kick in the seat of the pants!

Sep 20, 2013 02:30 AM #28
Matt Kombrink
RE/MAX All Pro - Saint Charles, IL
Your #1 Source For Real Estate

Margaret, thanks for the advice.  Always looking for anything to help grow the business.

Sep 20, 2013 03:06 AM #29
MaryKay Shumway
The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948) - Sister Bay, WI
Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert

Margaret, it is so true, and a great source of referrals.  Congratulations on the post!

Sep 20, 2013 03:39 AM #30
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

I do believe your local Chamber of Commerce can be a good source of referrals.  However, I also know that our local chamber has probably 15-20 real estate agents that are very active already, and it is difficult to compete since some have been members for many years.  If you can get in, it can be a great resource.

Sep 20, 2013 04:34 AM #31
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Margaret~ We are members of our local Chamber of Commerce, we volunteer and I'm an Ambassador. We do our best to attend as many events as possible~Ribbon Cuttings, Business After Hours, Lunch n' Learns, etc. We also volunteer when time allows. You are absolutely right about being visible, you CANNOT show up once, hand out cards and expect leads and referrals to fall from the sky!

Sep 20, 2013 06:23 AM #32
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Margaret - This is one of the things that has been on my to do list.  Thanks for the reminder.

Sep 20, 2013 02:48 PM #33
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Gene - I'm not surprised that you would be involved locally as well.  You're as much a cheerleader in your area as I am in mine.

Suzanne - exactly.  I remember a woman who helped people design their wardrobes showed up once.  I had wanted her business card to give to my daughter but couldn't do that because she never came again.  

Patty - I'm not sure what you mean by system in this context

Paul- you can't be a part-timer and expect to get something without putting it in

Evelyn - I'm so glad I could give a friendly kick to you.  Particularly after seeing the success it brought your sister, you need to dive in

Matt - give it a try and be consistent

MaryKay - Thank you!

Troy - I'm sure that's an issue for many agents - in my Chamber there are about 5, and at the last breakfast meeting (7:30-9am) I was the only one

Donna - you're doing it all already so you know what I'm talking about!

Christine - get started . . . right away!


Sep 21, 2013 12:19 AM #34
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Margaret I have always wanted to join a Chamber of Commerce. But for whatever reason,something seems to get in the way of that happening. Got to make time I guess.

Sep 22, 2013 07:13 AM #35
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Lanre - Please make time and go to a few meetings.  If it feels right, make sure you keep going and get involved - there are some excellent relationships to be made.

Sep 23, 2013 03:31 AM #36
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