If you are like most real estate agents eager to earn their next commission, you are probably focused on traditional lead-generating tasks. However, by getting that kind of tunnel vision you may be allowing the health of your professional and personal networks to suffer.
Remember, it is your network where many of your referrals and repeat business will come from so you need to actively invest in developing those relationships.
In this pocket guide to real estate networking you will learn:
Faster, more modern ways of networking
One word that can make a major impact on your results
How to earn passive income from your network
If you know or have even the slightest hunch that you could step up your networking game, you have come to the right place. Make sure you pin or bookmark this post for a friendly reminder throughout the year.
Collaborate On Content
I’m leading with this one because it is one of my favorite real estate marketing tips of all time and I want to make sure you nail this one if none of the others. One of the best ways for you to network, grow your referral business, get free advertising, improve your real estate website’s SEO, get new leads, and explode your brand awareness is to collaborate with other local business owners, schools, charities and public figures on original, hyperlocal content.
This is actually a very simple concept that will yield better results than almost everything else that you are already doing! Here is how it's done:
Start with a written blog post featuring your target. For example, a blog post on the Top 10 Date Night Restaurants In __[your market]__. Hint: I will write it for you ; )
Reach out to the businesses featured to let them know you are covering them and would like to interview the owner, manager, or chef on video to go along with the blog post.
Let them know where you will be promoting the blog post and video and request that they also help share the content on their website and social media.
Promote the content in your weekly newsletter, on Pinterest, on your own social platforms, as well as, local Facebook groups that are filled with your potential leads/clients/referral partners. Remember to tag all relevant parties when posting to Facebook, Twitter, IG, and LinkedIn.
Creating, promoting, and collaborating on this original hyperlocal content will help to make you and your business synonymous with your market. If you create enough of it you will outrank major sites like Zillow and become the digital mayor of your territory.
Despite being well worth the investment, putting all of this together can be time-consuming. To minimize your workload, I suggest you outsource the writing to a professional real estate writer like myself, time-block the filming, and use a virtual assistant to distribute the content online. If you do it this way, you could get the video portion of month’s worth of posts completed in a day or two.
If you are concerned about the cost of hiring a professional writer like me to produce your content, remember that you can charge the businesses for this content, or add affiliate links to earn passive income off every post. Not to mention all the extra clients you’ll be bringing in.
Select Strategic Hobbies
Everyone needs to indulge in hobbies. However, if you select yours with a bit more forethought, they can actually become a profitable way of networking. For this to happen, you need to choose social hobbies that are in alignment with those of your ideal clients.
For example, let’s say that your ideal clients are part of the luxury waterfront property niche. Assuming that you took my advice and chose this niche because you enjoy working with those type of people and properties, you must enjoy being on the water and the lifestyle that comes with it. Therefore, I would suggest that you join the local yacht club or boating club, spend time on the beaches, perhaps join a beach volleyball league or get involved with any associations that are relevant.
If you can’t stand the people that you are targeting and share nothing in common with them or wouldn’t want to hang out with “those people” in your spare time, then you NEEEEEED to read this!
Start Saying “Yes”
As a real estate agent, you should constantly be on the hunt for the next opportunity to be social. As humans, we get used to saying no to various invitations, but as an agent reaching for the #1 spot in your market, you need to start saying “yes’.
Someone invites you to go for coffee: you can’t wait.
Your kids’ school needs a volunteer for an event: you’re first to sign-up.
You hear of another networking group: go to the next meeting.
The more time you spend with the members of your network, developing and deepening those relationships, the more returns it will provide.
Become A Volunteer
Just as you should select hobbies that align with your ideal clients, I suggest you get involved with charities that you are passionate about and that align with your brand. Luckily, there are many types of charities and causes that will be relevant regardless of your niche like St. Jude.
However, let’s say that you have chosen to work with the aging community as your niche. Partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association would be a very relevant choice. Even if you have limited free time, you could still get involved by putting a team together for their annual charity and awareness walk in the fall.
Not only will getting involved in charitable works help you to expand your network, but it will also be very rewarding and earn a more positive brand image. This is truly a win-win.
Join Neighborhood Groups
Obviously, as a real estate agent, you should be trying to immersive yourself as deeply in the fabric of your community as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to become a member of neighborhood groups. This could mean joining your neighborhood watch, HOA, condo association or any other neighborhood-focused groups that are available. Doing so will present frequent opportunities to network with neighbors and homeowners where you can initiate a relationship and build it around common ground. That will lead to the trust necessary to convert your neighbors into clients and referral partners.
Attend Or Host Professional Events
If you are a newer real estate agent, you probably aren’t ready to start hosting any type of educational events. However, I do suggest that you begin expanding your education by joining or attending masterminds or networking events that are relevant to your niche.
However, if you are more experienced and have clearly defined your real estate niche, you may be ready to step up to the role of teacher or host. For example, if you are targeting investors, you could host seminars on getting started in real estate investing in your market. If you are targeting first-time buyers, you could start a class on going from renter to homeowner.
It may be a bit scary at first, but this is an excellent way of showcasing your expertise and collecting warm leads. You can also bring on partners like other real estate vendors to help you present and cover the costs of hosting the event. Lenders, inspectors, and title agencies are all very willing to do this to earn your business, as well as, that of the attendees.