5 steps to creating better networking contacts

How successful agents stay proactive

Networking has become the cornerstone of a great real estate agent, and for good reason. Nothing can increase business more exponentially than a proper networking strategy.

Real estate is, and always will be, a people business. Those you choose to develop a working rapport with are essentially your greatest asset, and nothing can ensure that asset more than networking.

It should go without saying, but networking — at least done properly — is easier said than done. For as great as good networking can be, poor networking can be just as bad.

Fortunately, there are certain strategies that have become synonymous with the best real estate agents in the industry, and there is no reason you can’t use them, too. At the very least, the following should help you improve your networking results a lot sooner:

1. Find the give-receive balance

In networking with like-minded real estate professionals, know when it is better to give, and when simply receiving something is actually in your best interest.

However, it’s not the act of giving or receiving that is on trial here; it’s your character.

Take, for example, the standard business card exchange; it is far better to receive a business card than it is to give one.

Although this idea might seem counter-intuitive to the concept of a business card exchange, the idea is not to put your information in the hands of others, but rather to let the other individual know that they are your priority.

In receiving someone’s card upon the first encounter, not only is the ball in your court to reconnect in the future, but you are also sending a message — as subtle as it may be — that you are interested in hearing more of what they have to say.

2. Network yourself, not your business

The subject of your networking attempts shouldn’t be your company, but rather yourself.

Instead of promoting your business accolades, create a genuine connection with those you intend to work with.

The most genuine connections are those built on trust. There is a lot at stake in the world of real estate, and nobody wants to put their future in the hands of an incompetent individual.

Never give a potential contact any reason to doubt anything you say, and operate with the utmost integrity.

Let your work ethic speak for itself, and those you are looking to create a relationship will surely understand how it translates into your business.

Done correctly, your contact will want nothing more than to be associated with an agent of your caliber.

3. There’s no i in team

The real estate industry abolishes the idea of selfishness. Whereas the majority of other professions will pit individuals against one another in attempt to reign supreme, real estate agents have no greater tool at their disposal than those with whom hey surround themselves.

Although you certainly need to look out for No. 1, the best way to do so is by helping those around you. The sum of all the parts is greater than the whole, meaning your success is likely to be contingent on those you have developed a working rapport with.

There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but the fact of the matter remains: nothing is more important to real estate professionals than the relationships they foster.

If for nothing else, real estate is a people business; one that will only be conquered by an individual that values their relationships with their peers above all else.

Networking yourself carries the same implications. Only those who are willing to go out of their way for the good of others will find their efforts reciprocated.

Instead of looking for help in your networking efforts, extend your services to those in need. That way, you will be able to build a genuine connection with a like-minded contact, someone who can add significant value to your network in the future.

Remember, real estate networking has more to do with the quality of the contacts you collect than the quantity. If you can go out of your way to help others and practice selflessness, you will find that networking as a team is a lot easier than you thought.

4. Don’t be inactive

Fortune never favors the timid.

The most successful agents are those who have demonstrated an increased propensity toward proactivity. The only way to ensure that you are constantly moving forward is to take action.

There is no room in the real estate industry for those that are comfortable sitting idly by, nor would I ever recommend becoming an agent to anyone who is inclined to do so.

Take action into your own hands if you hope to realize success on any level.

5. Take notes

While far from revolutionary, taking notes is the one thing agents can’t afford to ignore. But far too many real estate professionals fail to address this critical component of networking.

Networking relies on developing relationships; that means dealing with far more than the minutia of the industry itself.

If you ever hope to network effectively, get to know the person behind the business. What is it they do for fun? Do they have a spouse or children? What’s their favorite sport to watch?

Although these questions won’t further your real estate endeavors, they will go a long way in making your connection that much more personable.

At the very least, a personal connection in this industry with the right individual is invaluable. I recommend taking note of even the smallest details from your first encounter.

After you connect (by no means should you do this while you are still with them), jot down a few bullet points of the things that stood out to you.

Whether you noticed they were family-centric or a huge Yankees fan, it doesn’t matter; take note. You will have something to talk about the next time you meet up or connect over the phone.

Every characteristic of a great networker shares a common thread: genuine connections. Agents’ best contacts are their strongest relationships.

This article was originally posted/written by Inman.