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In the real estate business, you may hear about clients who sometimes refuse to deal with agents when buying properties. Instead of burning bridges or ending up frustrated about losing a sale, brokers and agents should realize that they are in an industry where connections and relationships are important in success. This is where the need for networking comes in, and the sooner brokers realize that they need to widen their network, the better it will be for them. Real estate transactions are largely founded on relationships; networking is the best tool that can be used by brokers to grow their businesses.
Networking 101 for Brokers
Networking is about three things—meeting people, cultivating relationships with them, and finding out how these relationships can be beneficial to one’s business. The objective of meeting new people is to increase one’s sphere of influence (SOI). In the business of real estate, who you know and who knows you spell a big difference when it comes to selling and closing deals. It may be just a natural tendency for a person to trust the people they know, especially since a property purchase is a major financial decision.
When you widen your network, you:
Establish a Professional Online Presence
There are many ways for a broker to improve his network, and in this age of internet technology, the use of social media platforms is one of the fastest and most effective ways. Being active in social media means an increased online presence. A professional online page and active social media accounts can be used to build your reputation and enhance credibility. Joining groups or creating one can eventually deliver followers who share the same interests.
Networks are also valuable sources of information and learning. With a little honing of listening and social skills, other people’s actual experiences can provide useful insights you can learn from. Industry updates and practices or other relevant topics can also be shared among contacts.
Know the People in Your Industry
There are also schedules of sales events for brokers and agents, and it is a good idea to find time to socialize with people within the same industry. Forums and conferences are perfect venues to create connections with co-professionals, and at the same time update one’s knowledge.
Joining professional groups and community organizations can create more permanent and personal connections. It does not have to be about real estate alone; even a school’s PTA organization or a community-based group can help expand one’s network. The important thing to remember is the potential of establishing links and relationships with different types of people.
Form a Reliable Team
Most successful brokers have their own sales team and forming one will be a great advantage in terms of expanding your potential client base and sharing the workload. A competent and efficient work team can cover more tasks and deliver better than a single person doing all the work.
Brokers with extensive networks also have the advantage of generating more leads for possible sales. Leads are the soul of a real estate business—without cultivating more leads, the business will not prosper. Networking also means expanding contacts, be it with other agents, potential clients, or possible sources of referrals. Every person added to your contacts list can become a prospect or a solution that might be helpful in the future. Relationships with these contacts should be cultivated to keep the leads flowing.
This tendency can also be viewed in the context of Filipino values and traits, where pakikisama and hiya influence buying preferences. In fact, most brokers admit that a big portion of their sales come from referrals, and this further validates the importance of networking in the industry.
Every sale made with a client should be treated like a seed being planted—if cultivated well, it will lead to other potential deals!