Skip the Small Talk: 5 Rapport-Building Questions to Ask When Networking

In an industry that relies heavily on trust and word of mouth, it’s essential to build a solid network as a broker. When fellow real estate practitioners know you and can vouch for your practice, it’s almost always certain that you won’t run out of clients to serve and transactions to close. But more than the leads and deals, networking can sharpen your practice. Being closely connected with other professionals can expose you to fresh, innovative ideas, build up your confidence, and provide opportunities for mentorship

In most instances, however, many find it difficult to connect with professionals they just met. For sure, you’re all too familiar with the awkwardness of small talk, the dull conversation about the weather and traffic jams. But the thing is, networking doesn’t need to be boring. In fact, the quick, introductory chats can be meaningful and memorable, especially when you ask the right questions. 

Here, we outlined rapport-building questions you can ask when networking opportunities arise:

How Did You Get Started in the Industry?

People love to share stories of humble beginnings. Professionals, in particular, appreciate this question because they’re able to talk about the people and life events that inspired them to choose their career path. Some answers may be typical, others can be surprising. Regardless, you’ll be able to find a common ground, which you can use as you talk about your own humble beginnings and give the conversation more depth.

What Do You Enjoy the Most (and the Least) in Our Profession?

Except for instances when you’re invited as a guest in career orientation in schools, this question rarely comes up. But it’s something worth reflecting on, as professionals. There’s a good chance that you’ll find another common ground in what you enjoy the most and the least in your respective practices. Or, what you enjoy the least is probably what they enjoy the most. In these instances, they might give you helpful advice on how to have fun doing the things you like the least.

What’s the Latest Industry Trend You’ve Been Eyeing?

This question appeals to their expertise. Trust that the ones who are deeply dedicated to their practice will have a lot to say that you probably won’t have the idle time to comment on the weather or traffic jams. As you make a mental note of this question, be prepared to share your own insights as well. Your conversation with others will be a lot more insightful when you’re ready with your own ideas. For this reason, make it a habit to read up on the latest market trends

What Have You Done Differently in Your Career in the Past Year?

This question can bring up stories of career transitions and adjustments, which were probably compelled by wins, failures, or industry changes. Some people may talk about how they moved their entire practice online given the pandemic restrictions. In this conversation alone, you can share how proptech helped you cope with the new normal. While this question can help you pick up strategies for surviving and winning the real estate game, you may also find a sense of camaraderie as you share the struggles and crossroads you encounter in the practice.

What Do You Usually Do on the Weekends?

Networking doesn’t have to be all about work. In fact, it’s one of those events where you can be a little more carefree since you’re in the company of fellow practitioners. Ask colleagues what they do on their days off. Talk about your leisure activities as well. Who knows, you might find someone who shares the same interests as you. You may even gain a golf buddy or a book club member. 

If you want to know more about the art of networking, attend the Lamudi Academy’s sessions this April tackling this delicate art of building professional relationships. Mark April 20 especially, as the training session goes extra special. The Lamudi Academy Live, happening at the Lamudi headquarters, will revolve around the topic Networking for the Digital Age. What better way to apply networking principles than to be with fellow real estate practitioners, right?

Skip the small talk and ask more meaningful questions during networking events. See Lamudi Academy’s April schedule and register for the learning sessions here.

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