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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   January 2015

Broadening Your Network

Use a combination of direct and indirect resources to market yourself

The pace of the world gets faster and our professional resources constantly change, so it begins to get complicated figuring out and utilizing the best ways to network and market yourself. With so many resources and contacts at hand, it’s imperative to determine and use best practices to be effective and efficient. Generally speaking, there are two ways to cultivate and group your professional resources: the direct approach and the indirect approach.

Direct approach

The direct approach refers to marketing yourself by getting personally involved in local activities such as attending open houses and community events, going to local networking affairs, and dropping in on real estate offices in the area.

Sometimes face-to-face contact is the best route. When attending an event, always arrive early because this is when most networking actually happens. Nothing is more effective than looking someone in the eye, shaking hands and sharing a genuine interest in success.

Attending open houses shows Realtors that you’re eager to get to know them. In-person encounters like this are also helpful because they allow individuals to put a name to a face. It’s helpful to know whom you are targeting as well. Determine the following before stepping through the door:

  • Is the Realtor local? This can be advantageous because a local Realtor will be more knowledgeable about the area.
  • Does this Realtor have a lot of listings? Agents with a high number of listings may have more opportunities available for you.
  • Is the Realtor new to the profession? Contacting recently licensed Realtors can be a good way to become a resource to those who are just learning the business.

Getting to know people in the community can be effective because when someone needs a broker, you want to be the first person who comes to mind. You can achieve this by attending community events. Get involved in local groups that interest you, because sharing an interest is a good way to get to know people as well as to get others to remember you. Local networking events, like those hosted by BNI International, the local chamber of commerce and community clubs in your area, can also be a great way to meet new contacts.

Finally, don’t neglect simply going to real estate agencies and introducing yourself. This is an effective way to network. Try choosing an agent to target and offering that person a lead. This immediately shows you’re interested in a reciprocal relationship — if you help them, they may in turn help you.

It’s also important to remember the impression you are giving. Be persistent without being too pushy, which can have a negative effect. Also, if you have any skills or experiences that set you apart from other brokers, make those known, but do so without sounding boastful.

Indirect approach

This approach is all about marketing by communicating through means other than face-to-face contact. You can make phone calls to Realtors, search online for Realtors and clients, use social media sites to spread your name, and send out e-mails to potential referral sources.

Once you’ve found some local Realtors you want to work with through direct contact, send them an e-mail every so often. This will remind them of your presence and that you are there to help. E-mail is also a good way to remind professional contacts and resources that you are eager and available. Just be specific about what you can do to help them. Realtors are solicited by many mortgage brokers, so be creative and let them know what’s in it for them.

The Internet is a powerful resource that can’t be ignored in this day and age. Online searching can be an efficient and easy way to find Realtors. You can research Realtors and target them by how many listings they have and how long they have been in business.

Social media sites also make this process a cinch. Sites like LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all helpful for finding agents and getting to know them. In addition, you can use these sites to promote yourself. Remember that everything you post online helps others formulate judgments and opinions about you and your capabilities. Be authentic and show your skills and personality in a creative professional way.

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The number of professional resources available to brokers and Realtors in the information age is immense, so it is important to find and use the most efficient and effective ways to get your name known. Using direct and indirect networking resources can be the best way to get recognized. 


 


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