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RISMEDIA, April 2, 2011—Every year about this time, I get a powerful recharge during the annual RE/MAX Convention. Real estate professionals around the world get together to celebrate successes, share best practices, explore solutions to challenges and, of course, let loose a bit.

Seeing firsthand the great opportunities opening up to agents at these gatherings, I can’t overstate the importance of networking events for REALTORS®. Whether you take time to regularly attend board meetings, coaching sessions, designation courses or tradeshows, you stand to gain so much from being in the company of likeminded professionals.

New Contacts
Of course, these events foremost are about getting out into the professional community and meeting people. Being able to put a face with the name of an agent on the other side of your transactions is reason enough to make the effort. The more visible you are in local, state and national industry circles, the more empowered you’ll be pursuing new business contacts and leads.

Agents have a tough time sending referrals to agents they’ve never met face to face. Making that personal contact at a professional event is key to developing a robust referral network and reassuring colleagues that you’ll treat their clients like you’d want them to treat yours. If you earn one referral during each networking event you invest in, you’ll more than cover any expense of time or money.

Some of the best ideas and solutions come from agents just sharing experiences. Whether you’re new to real estate or you’ve had a long, successful career, there’s always something new to learn. And re-energizing your business doesn’t have to involve reinventing the wheel; pay attention to others’ winning strategies to learn if they can work for you. A good rule of thumb: attend each networking event with a goal to come away with just one idea to implement immediately. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the results add up.

There’s no better way to get back on track with your business goals than to hear how other agents are achieving theirs. Equally valuable is learning whether the objectives you’ve set are the right ones for the real estate climate in your local market.

Take the time to explore options for your next networking event, open up your calendar and lock it in. It will pay off.

Margaret Kelly, CRB, is chief executive officer of RE/MAX LLC. For more information, please visit