real estate agents

Proven Networking Tips for Real Estate Agents in 2024

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Tips for Real Estate Professionals Looking to Build Their Networks
Real estate is all about building trust, not just showing homes

All business connections are about relationships, but there's something really important about the relationships Realtors and other real estate professionals build. Buying and selling a home or property are extremely important financial decisions that can often come with emotional considerations, never mind the stress of moving! For these reasons, networking for real estate agents is different from other professionals.

Start with a Digital Business Card

Realtors aren't generally in an office at their desk. They're on the road, at showings, meeting with attorneys and helping clients stage, photograph and list their homes.

With all this mobility and the amount of paperwork the real estate industry brings to the table, it only makes sense that adding more paper will complicate matters. Digital business cards make it easy to share information without adding to the paper pile.

In addition to being easier for clients and in professional networking situations, digital business cards show off far more than your name, firm, logo, number and email: they provide a rich breadth of information about you and your business.

Let's go into that a little more by focusing on what you should include on your card.

Set up Your Card Strategically

We are often overheard saying that digital business cards do more than provide a professional's name, rank and serial number but what, exactly does that mean?

Think of your DBC as a mini website, beautifully organized and situated right in the palm of your hand.

While you should include your name, professional headshot and basic info, you should also maximize the real estate on your DBC to provide elements of relationship building. After all, your clients and the pros you partner with are going to be looking for someone they can trust.

Make a BIG DEAL of Testimonials

You work hard building relationships, so don't forget to show them off!

Testimonials are a great way to show that you've earned the trust and partnership of others. A simple link to the testimonials page on your website or Google reviews is an excellent way to highlight that you're a real estate agent worth getting to know.

Engage With Your Local Community

When it comes to networking the right way, it's obvious you should attend networking events regularly. But there are other ways to build relationships, make connections and foster trust.

One way is by being active in your community. Sponsoring community events will get you name and brand recognition. Being a regular volunteer at things like town cleanup days, speaking at community groups' meetings (think Rotary, Young Professionals and Chambers of Commerce) and being visible are great ways to build relationships.

Support Local

One of the best ways to build your reputation and create strong relationships is by supporting local shops. No matter where you live, consider being a regular at the locally-owned coffee shop over the chain.

Be a Local Hero

Just picture it: Every time someone moves into their new home there is a small houseplant or vase of flowers from a local florist, chocolates from the confectionery and a gift card to the local coffee shop.

Those businesses will appreciate you buying these items.

When the new homeowners need to purchase flowers, treats or a cup of coffee, they'll likely mention they found the business through their real estate agent. The next time you go in, they're going to remember and when a tourist says they're thinking of moving to town, you'll be on the list of people they recommend!

This works with everything from shops to gas stations to even entertainment venues.

part of building relationships as a real estate agent is being part of the community

Expand your Existing Network at Networking Events and Conferences

There's no such thing as too big of a network!

Look for networking events, conferences and other opportunities to learn and grow your network. Besides community members, it's great to have an expanded network of professionals. A successful career is built on connections and having people outside your immediate area is helpful. These are people you can gain new perspectives and gain understanding. Get out and add to your professional network.

Leverage the Power of Social Networking

Social media sites, like Facebook, are great for building relationships. Rather than posting only listings and sales, focus on becoming an expert in your field.

Join community groups and engage! When someone posts about moving to town, answer their questions. When tourists ask about things to do and see, pipe up. Being visible like this will make people think of you when they need something, especially when they need a knowledgeable real estate agent.

Serve as a Mentor to New Real Estate Agents

Everyone started somewhere and got where they are because of trusted mentors.

Once you've found footing in your career, be sure to help those entering the field. Being viewed as a trusted expert includes being seen as someone who doesn't gatekeep.

Harness the Power of Branding

When real estate agents volunteer together you'll notice something: they wear matching shirts! After a while, no one has to ask at events who they are or what the shirts mean, everyone knows which firm they represent.

Cohesive branding is a great way to build a network. By being visible and recognizable, people will continue their conversation with you each time they see you. That also means they're building a sense of who you are and what you value. When someone asks them for a Realtor recommendation, you'll be top of mind.

Cohesion is KEY

It's easy to throw together a website, social media page and other platforms but take time to think about professional branding.

Having set colors, fonts and language is another way to build brand loyalty and recognition. Why does this matter?

If you're engaging on social media and a real estate question comes up, people will start to pause when they see your logo in front of a comment because they're used to seeing you and trusting what you say. Simple things like this are a great way to create a sense of reliability.

Don't Rely on Your Best Friend! Ask for Reviews and Referrals

If someone takes the time to say thank you or asks you how they can thank you, don't ever say, "Oh, it's fine!" Leverage their appreciation by asking for real estate referrals. You can give them business cards or, better yet, share your DBC and ask them to share it.

Reviews are also a great way for someone to thank you. But be sure to make it easy for them.

"I'd love for you to write a review for me!" is great. Better, though, is having a standard way to do this.

build a network of business owners and professionals

Consider a page on your website (and link to it on your DBC) where you have a form they can fill out that you turn into a testimonial on your website. Have a button that says, "Write a Google review!" and get them right there. The less friction people face, the more likely they are to follow through.

Don't Forget to use Those Reviews and Referrals

As a real estate professional, you don't have a ton of time to create tons of content. Here's a great way to build your network: get your name out there by reusing reviews and real estate referrals!

If someone writes a Google review, screenshot it and share it on social media, your website and link to it on your DBC. Take an hour or two once a week to create a graphic (make a template first) where you highlight reviews. Don't put the whole thing, just a sentence or two - that way a six-sentence review can be multiple pieces of content.

How does this build your network? By tagging the reviewer they'll see it, and so will their friends.

Always Be Connecting

Don't hesitate to follow up with new connections. Popl's platform allows you to automatically reach out once you've gotten someone's information.

It can be awkward to follow up with a stranger, so take that on. Make sure that after a sale, you follow up with the party you represented to ask how it's going.

Use your Popl platform to include notes on clients and connections in your CRM. For example, if a couple you helped find a home were always commenting on interesting lamps, make a note.

In the future when you're helping someone move and they're getting rid of items, send the lamps. The healthiest of relationships aren't transactional, they continue after the sale. The lamp-lovin' couple will remember you thinking of them. When they have someone who needs a real estate professional, they're far more likely to recommend you.

Rethink Your Networking Strategy

Don't think of networking as something you do at networking events. Make it a strategy that is a part of your everyday business. Categorize people you meet and foster relationships with them. It doesn't need to be constant, but rather approach it authentically, reaching out when you see something that might be of interest to them.

One local Realtor partners with a local bakery and every holiday season she takes a week to deliver cookies to people in her network. From her webmaster to her stylist, she doesn't miss anyone. The box is small, the cookies delicious, and the relationships solid. Her network is full of people across industries who recommend her first because she's a presence in their lives.

Build Relationships with Vendors and Contractors

Think of vendors and contractors as local shops. Just like you'd buy flowers from the corner florist, make sure you're recommending the local plumber. Having a list of resources you leave with new homeowners and a note saying "Tell them I referred you!" is a great way to build your network.

vendors and contractors are great connections

Contractors are in high demand but they still need work and knowing that you're putting their name out there will only ever be appreciated.

Join The Chamber Of Commerce

Your local chamber is a valuable resource for your community. It's a way to build connections and collaborations with other businesses, build a referral network and foster relationships.

Many people will ask their local chamber for referrals, so be sure that you're in their directory and get involved - they're likely to recommend the people whose faces they see most often!

Join Local Organizations

Rotary International is a worldwide organization of business owners interested in volunteer work. They host weekly meetings where there is a presentation, meal and time for networking. This is a great way to meet other business professionals in your area. Building relationships through Rotary might bring new people into your network.

Of course, you don't just have to focus on business and volunteering. A local running, book or board game club will bring just as many interesting people into your orbit.

The key, of course, is to meet different people.

Think About Networking Differently

Instead of approaching networking as a "one hand washes the other" situation, think of it as a long-term investment.

At some point you may have something go wrong during an inspection. If you've built a network based on trust and relationships, chances are you'll be able to call someone and get immediate help.

This happens when you show up for others: they'll return the favor. It also shows the strength of an interconnected community to newcomers.

Tips to Guide New Real Estate Professionals

If you're new to real estate, it can feel counterproductive to form relationships with others in your field. After all, you want the listings!

Collaborating, supporting and having a strong professional network, though, is always the better choice. You can learn from those who have come before you and also teach them newer perspectives.

More than this, though, being collaborative introduces opportunities. After all, someone's going to retire or start to slow their business and will need someone to recommend.

Don't Forget Your Digital Business Card

No matter where you're going, there's always an opportunity to meet and connect. Be sure to keep your Popl DBC available on your phone with a homescreen widget so that you're always ready to connect, share and build your network.

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