You will quickly learn from top realtors, that networking is an integral part of driving your business. Although to most, events filled with strangers chattering over free cocktails can seem daunting and even a tad overwhelming, being more strategic about these events can lead to effective career development networking.

There is more to networking than just showing up to an event with some business cards to have a drink.  When you prepare for your networking events with intent and drive with action, networking becomes a powerful way to learn and understand this business better, and also a doorway to new opportunities. Pursuing new education and learning opportunities is a part of any growing career, however with real estate, learning alone will not necessarily create opportunities. Tapping into a network of investors, agents, potential clients, and community leaders will be extremely beneficial to the growth and development of your career. These 5 tips can help you maximize your next networking event.

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Have a plan.

Before you embark into any networking event, you should always have a gameplan. Even if it’s a quick brainstorm on how to maximize your time or a mental note on the list of people you want to meet and transform into customers, mentors, and referral sources. Many events have groups where you can see attendees and speakers. Be sure to do your research and take note of any notable people you want to connect with. When thinking about your potential conversations, rather than trying to impress or overshadow people, focus on your area of expertise and provide insight on what you know best.

Build rapport.

Top real estate leaders follow the principle of elicitation. Elicitation is the act of gathering intelligence and detail by getting people to talk and more importantly; learning to listen. Being able to capture details and open them into greater context will help you form a relationship with the potential client and also help you refine your selling strategy to target their interests and needs. The more that you know about them, the better you can help them. It will also help you build rapport. Successful real estate agents define rapport as a prerequisite for closing deals. Rapport defines as “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well”. A real estate client can not be defined by any single type of personality. Which is why in the real estate industry, building rapport is vidal in helping you learn how to communicate with every personality type and walk of life.

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Don’t ignore other industry professionals.

Successful agents not only build a pipeline of clients, but also a strong network of peer agents that they can learn from and work with. Engaging with other real estate professionals at networking events can open up opportunities to learn about new marketing information and innovations or tools your industry peers are using to find success. Make it a point to follow your new connections online presence to analyze their strategies and learn from them. Making a point to meet up for coffee or drinks is also a proactive way to stay connected and strengthen your relationships with the people in your industry.

Make a point to locally give back or get involved.

Being an active participant in your community has benefited the career growth of top realtors. Community involvement can expand your pipeline and grow your knowledge of neighborhoods and the type people who live in them. While networking, seek out community leaders that may be part of or run local organizations and charities.
Ideas on how to get involved:

  • Volunteer: Spending time with local groups and organizations is a great way to give back while meeting leaders of the community. You can even keep it within the industry and seek out a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. People appreciate positive community work and it also serves as great content to share your initiative on your website or social media.
  • Education: Whether partnering with schools for career days or attending local colleges to speak at real estate classes, engaging with students who are interested in learning about real estate is a powerful way to become a thought leader in your space and community. Even hosting online tutorials and live Q and A is a great way to engage potential clients.

Follow Up.

After the handshakes, well drinks, and weather talk you’re left with a stack of business cards. When you accept someone’s card try to write down an important connection on the back for follow up.  After the event, turn your networking efforts and notes into an accessible database of valuable contacts. Timing is everything. The longer you leave your new contacts unattended, the harder it will be to stay top of mind with them.

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