Networking is important to growing your business, but not for the reason you might think.

Your business is suffering because you don’t do this right: Network.

The word may conjure up icky memories of stilted conversations about the weather or “Can you picture how that would help you (fill in the blank)?’’ Or even worse, awkward posts on social media or cold messages to a friend-of-a-friend of your neighbor’s third cousin to get lead flow.

Here’s the good news: None of that is networking.

Legitimate (and successful) networking does take work, however. You must be strategic, and it can be uncomfortable. Still, networking is a lot more important than you might think.

Why Is Networking Important to Your Business?

This may seem like an obvious question, but the answer is not what you might expect.

Yes, networking is critical to your business for lead generation, business development, industry connections, and all those other reasons we generally think of as the fruit of networking.

It’s time to flip the script.

Networking is one of the best ways to expand your thinking. Your goals. Your vision. It’s about breaking out of your comfort zone. Getting you to expand your horizons. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day of listing appointments, texts, basketball tournaments, and never-ending emails.

Do you ever just pause and ask yourself: What am I doing with my time? Is this how I want to spend the next 20 years of my life? Is this all my business will ever be?

When you are constantly working “in” your business as a realtor, you put yourself in the very risky position of never seeing the forest through the trees. Completely missing the larger picture. Never giving yourself the freedom to dream. To plan big. To think bigger.

Networking can help you combat this tunnel vision, but you need to get outside yourself and your circle of influence.

Expanding Your Circle

It’s time to connect with people who have different businesses, who are three years ahead of where you are—people who aren’t even in real estate, people who moved out of being a realtor to start something else.

If you are trying to keep your business churning even with all the doom-and-gloom headlines, the answer might not be to work harder and to dig deeper. It might just be to think bigger and dream bolder.

Sometimes, the only way to realize how broad those horizons are and how much you are really capable of is to expand your circle. That’s one of the reasons I was able to become agent optional (and eventually give up listing homes entirely.)

I purposefully put myself in rooms where people did way more than I did. They weren’t just realtors. They were also rehabbers, wholesalers, and private money lenders. They thought and planned on a scale I hadn’t considered for myself. This gave me the courage and inspiration to take hold of my future.

When rehabs and wholesales weren’t enough anymore, I had to change my circle again. I put myself in rooms with people who bought hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of real estate. They graduated from single-family to commercial.

I’m not saying you need to (or even want to) leave the industry. Perhaps you want to be a realtor for the rest of your life. But you can always be a better realtor, close more deals, and get better clients by putting yourself in circles that expand your thinking and force you to grow.

Put yourself in the rooms and in the conversations where you are the least experienced one there. If you find yourself constantly the expert, you are in the wrong place.

Categories | Article | Operations
Tags | Networking
  • Neil Timmins

    Neil J. Timmins is a real estate syndicator, broker, opportunist, and author. He generates passive income opportunities through industrial real estate in Cash Flow Country, the midwest. He has been involved in $300+ million in transactions and hosts the podcast, "Passive Real Estate Investing with Mavericks".

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