Networking is an key skill whatever your career, but if you want to become a successful real estate agent it is absolutely crucial. Being able to quickly build a rapport with potential customers is a vital aspect of the role, and the ability to speak to fellow agents may also help you to glean new business ideas and learn different approaches to your work. Like many skills, practice makes perfect, but you can fast-track your way to networking success by taking the following steps.
Listen and smile
When it comes to getting to know property owners and potential clients, smiling will make you look more approachable and will also have a positive impact on your mood. Avoid starting your ‘elevator pitch’ immediately as you don't want clients to feel uncomfortable or pressured into purchasing. Instead, keep conversation light at first, asking simple questions such as "how are you?" or “did you have far to travel today?”. It may sound simplistic but the most important thing is to carefully listen to their answers and start building a relationship of trust.
Start a new hobby
Networking in a business environment can be intimidating to begin with, so start by networking in a casual setting. The easiest way to do this is by joining a hobby group in your town or city. Start by finding classes or meet-up groups in subjects that you’re interested in learning more about. Having the chance to meet and bond with new people will give you the confidence to apply these skills in a business setting. Another good idea is to familiarise yourself with your clients by learning about their own interests and hobbies. This understanding and advanced knowledge of your customer means you'll find it easier to identify the right property or buyer for them.
Build a diverse network
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when you’re looking for business networking events to join. Meeting people from a range of different careers is a good way to ensure that your network stays fresh, and increases your chances of connecting with potential clients who you wouldn’t ordinarily have met. Remember that in real estate your next customer may come from a wide range of industries, and it's up to you to make sure that you're the one they come to for property advice and expertise.
Keep in touch
Building a solidrelationship with a new contact takes time and effort. When it comes to property owners, be patient and prepare to develop your relationship over a long period to create a strong foundation. Even after a sale, a long-standing relationship could result in further opportunities in the future. Be sure to send them useful information every so often and suggest relevant events that you can attend together. Networking websites are now making this easier than ever, and just taking the time to share an interesting article or some of your property expertise can be enough to keep your name at the forefront of the mind for future repeat clients.
We are constantly looking for experienced real estate agents with a gift for networking to join our team. Visit the Engel & Völkers website to learn more about building a career in luxury real estate with us.