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“The hallmark of a good leader is knowing what you don’t know,” says O’Connor, “so getting outside of your comfort zone to attend at least one new type of meeting a year can be eye-opening and energizing. For those you attend regularly, it’s important to evaluate what you want to get from a meeting before you go. Look at the speakers, the session topics and, if available, the attendee list. Be purposeful while at the meeting. Focus on actionable take-aways and implement one or two ideas afterward to justify the investment of time and money.”

“Simply filing away the notepad full of great ideas from the meeting does no one any good,” says Cheatham. “Before someone heads off to an event, that person should be armed with a list of challenges and questions the firm is wrestling with currently, with the aim of bringing back to the team information that addresses those most-relevant items from multiple sources at the meeting.”

When tackled effectively, however, networking pays off not only for the broker in attendance, but for his or her entire team as well.

According to Leisey, networking—“without question”—gives his firm an important leg up in its market. “For us, especially being in the Midwest, following the trends in other markets is really important. The more people I can meet and learn from, gives us the competitive edge,” he explains. “We have the philosophy within our organization that when we stop changing and stop doing things, that is the beginning of the end for us.”

Pearson agrees. “There is no question that our sales professionals receive benefits from our participation in networking groups,” she explains. “The knowledge that we gain enables us to improve the delivery of our services to our sales professionals, and supports us in implementing services that help us to provide enhanced services to our clients.”

For information on this year’s RISMedia CEO Exchange in New York City, visit http://rismedia.com/events/rismedias-real-estate-ceo-exchange/

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