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Networking is something that we as professional real estate agents should be doing all the time. The common misconception is that networking is merely the exchange of information between people. Instead, it’s about establishing, maintaining and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with people.

In and of itself, networking is not difficult, but it can be intimidating. However, networking is an important activity in everyone’s lives—everyone networks, even if they don’t know it. For example, when you need a plumber, you ask around in your circle and see who they recommend. We want the same word-of-mouth exchanges to happen for our real estate business and services within our own communities.

People put pressure on themselves when they promote their business; however, this does not have to be the case. Simply discussing your life as it is and only mentioning your business when it becomes appropriate is the best way to network and not seem salesman-y. This is also a great practice to teach your team! In fact, one of our coaches challenged her team to a month-long competition to have an intentional face-to-face conversation with everyone and anyone that they came in contact with. The goal was to talk and not sell. Agents found that they could network with postmen, grocery store clerks or someone they were in line with. After completing this simple challenge, they had a 100-200 percent increase in appointments set, 9,399 “touches,” 6,999 total conversations, and 309 appointments set by the 14 agents. That’s the real power of networking.

Networking can happen anywhere as long as you’re not waiting for someone to ask you about real estate. What makes your business relevant to the people you talk to is your passion for the services you offer; knowing this allows you to further take the pressure off to sell to others when you network.

You don’t need to go to a networking event to build meaningful and beneficial relationships to advance your career. You just need to take advantage of the opportunities around you and get out of your comfort zone. Try getting off your phone and having face-to-face experiences with people in your community. One last benefit of networking that I want to leave you with is that you can speak with other real estate professionals to stay current with trends, opportunities and resources that can further advance your career development to provide the best services to your team and clients.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting, and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Contact him at Verl@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com. For more information, please visit www.WorkmanSuccess.com.

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