We’ve heard the old adage hundreds of times: “Your network is your net worth.” If you’re active on social media, you have probably seen it in memes, tweeted out accompanying images of various friends and acquaintances hanging out with self-titled industry “influencers,” and hashtagged to infinity. While you might be sick of hearing the saying, few real estate investors will dispute its truth. In real estate, possibly more than any other sector, the ability to network effectively is an invaluable one.
Large Scale Networking Tips
One of the best places in which to network on a large scale, and get the best “bang for your buck” in terms of both time and money, is at a well-attended industry event. However, even the most active networker may walk away from a conference or expo essentially empty-handed if they do not consciously make good networking decisions. Some of the most tried-and-true networking strategies are still the best, so be sure that the next time you attend an industry event, you are prepared:
1| Make sure you have plenty of business cards. Yes, people still collect them and use them to contact you later!
2| Write and refine your “elevator pitch.” You have 15-30 seconds to explain what you do. Be ready.
3| Remind yourself to be an active listener. The best networkers offer others value, so listen for opportunities.
4| Brush your teeth. Sounds silly, but the idea is to be as easy to be around as possible. That means fresh breath, no heavy perfumes, and professional attire.
5| Leave your shyness at home. If there are industry influencers in attendance, you need to meet them. Be prepared to be brave.
6| Equip yourself to follow up. Collect contact information in a way that will let you follow up after the event. Usually this means emails or phone numbers stored in a way that will help you use them later.
7| Be social. Most events offer social networking opportunities via custom app, branded hashtags, and social sharing venues. Use them to create connections and make yourself more reachable for other attendees.
At events like Think Realty’s National Conferences and Expos, for example, part of the point of attending is to make connections with industry leaders who are there specifically to meet attendees. Take advantage of this accessibility by shaking hands, introducing yourself, and making a positive impression either by offering value or demonstrating a memorable aspect of yourself or your business. Don’t forget to network with exhibitors at these events as well! While you might be tempted to think of them as nothing more than vendors offering services, you will be surprised what you learn and the opportunities you uncover if you take the time to share information and shake a few hands in the exhibitor hall.
Think Realty’s next National Conference & Expo is on October 14-15, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out about this special networking opportunity and reserve your space by clicking here.