5 Networking Tips to Increase Your Sphere of Influence
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By Burke Smith, Chief Communications Officer at HSA Home Warranty
In the real estate industry, networking is one of the most important facets of the job. A savvy real estate professional will use each and every opportunity to meet new people and connect with them to make future business opportunities.
Try these simple strategies to grow your contact list and increase business leads:
- Drive them online. Everything you do offline must have a call to action to drive people online. Whether you meet somebody outside of church, at the grocery store or at an open house, the only way to convert them into a potential buyer, seller or referral source is to have a place online to drive them. We all know that nobody wants a phone call every day, so the only way to maintain that high-touch is to create an online connection. Preferably that connection will be via Facebook, LinkedIn or another social media platform, not necessarily your website. You will also be able to track this engagement on social media and your website. Remember, “one can’t prove, disprove or improve that which one can’t measure.” – Jack Welch
- Enhance Social Media Involvement: Get on LinkedIn today and start endorsing your past, present and current clients. When you endorse them for what they do, your name pops up in an email to them as someone who just endorsed them for a particular skill. It’s even better when they are so appreciative, that they reciprocate and endorse you for your skills. Remember, social media are not about “buy a home or sell a home with me,” it is “prove to me that I can trust you.” Also, look around Facebook and reach out to friends of friends and be sure to comment and share your friends’ posts. It is amazing how people will take notice of who “likes” photos of their kids. Connect with local organizations, businesses and charities, and support those charities by promoting their events on your pages. Tweet meaningful articles, and ask thought-provoking questions. The goal here is to have your name connected to as many people as you can, and leverage their networks to increase traffic to your own pages and website.
- Form Strategic Alliances: Creating an alliance with potential business partners in the real estate industry is a great way to boost your client list. Strike up relationships with real estate attorneys, mortgage providers and headhunters for local companies. Endorse these people when you see clients, create links on each other’s webpages and use their social media networks as a way to increase your own. Schedule a meeting ASAP with all of your affiliate service providers: home warranty, mortgage, title, escrow, attorneys, etc. Tell them that when you WIN, they WIN, so let’s make sure they are sending you content, and “liking” and “sharing” your social media posts.
- Volunteer: In addition to the good you can do for your community, volunteering is a great way to get to know new people, many of which may have deep roots in your community. Check around for volunteer opportunities at local churches, food pantries or community centers. There’s nothing quite like building good will along with a larger client list. Be sure to promote your volunteering by posting updates to your social media. Keep in mind that the more attention you bring to a particular cause or charity, the more support they will get.
- Meet Someone New: Take a walk through the towns or neighborhoods you cover and introduce yourself to those walking by, sitting on benches or enjoying a cup of coffee. Try to set a goal to meet 5-10 people a week and just offer a quick hello, hand them your business card and engage in some small talk. Just be sure not to annoy them, and be on your way without taking too much of their time. A small giveaway (gift card to a local coffee shop) can help cement the meeting in someone’s head.
Be nice to everyone you meet and don’t be too pushy about what you do. Before you know it, you’ll have the most connections in town. Don’t ever walk away from a conversation without giving that person a place to go to stay connected with you on the web.
For more information on how to build your own social media strategy, visit HSA’s Social Media Resource page. Here, you can watch recorded webinars by Burke Smith and learn how to improve your website to win more listings.
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