Stellar schmoozers can corner the referral market and build relationships that increase their business. But there is an art to networking and making lasting connections. Here are five tips for real estate pros from Keller Williams:
1. Practice. Networking gets easier if you work on it. Find someone with which you can role play. Rehearse introducing yourself and plan ice-breaker conversations in advance. (You can practice at the CVAR End of Summer Bash, a networking event coming up Sept. 14 at Central Park in Rancho Cucamonga.)
2. Don’t lead off with talk about your business. Let the person you are talking with get to know you as a person before you start telling them about your business. “People do business with people, not companies,” the Keller Williams blog notes.
3. Make a goal. Have a target in mind before attending an event of how many contacts you want to make. Keep pushing yourself to meet new people until you have reached that goal.
4. Jot down reminders on business cards. You don’t want to forget your conversation with the other person. After you receive a person’s business card, take some time after the conversation ends to write a few reminders about what you discussed. The notes will help trigger your memory after the event and help you make more personal and meaningful follow-ups.
5. Follow up. Don’t make the mistake of appearing to be overly aggressive by adding the person as a social media contact just seconds after meeting her. But don’t wait a week either. The Keller Williams blog recommends agents wait until the day after they meet someone to send a connection request.