Networking is essential for any real estate agent, but for new agents, it might be hard to know where to start. Realtor® and industry speaker Alexis Bolin, broker-associate with Keller Williams Realty Gulf Coast Pensacola, Fla., offers tips for new agents on how to build your network of real estate connections and clients. You never know when a connection may come in handy or help you make a sale.
Get Involved with Associations
Whether on the local, state or national level, getting involved in Realtor® associations will help you meet others in real estate. Joining association committees, boards, projects and more will provide you with insight and valuable connections to other agents and professionals while increasing your knowledge of the market.
Get Involved in the Community
Volunteer and engage to learn more about your community and make new friends while helping others. Getting involved with them will not only set you up to build relationships, but doing so will also put your name out there and help establish you as an approachable individual who cares about your community. “When people see you out in the community, you get business from it,” Bolin says.
Join and volunteer at community events. Engage with community groups and organizations you may be interested in, such as school events, local government, Lions clubs, Rotary clubs, and religious groups. Volunteering is a rewarding way to get involved and give back.
While it may be intimidating to knock door-to-door in your community, it’s a great way to introduce yourself and form connections. “It’s very hard for new agents to get started,” Bolin says. “When I was a brand-new agent, I didn’t know anyone in my town. Instead of just giving them a business card each time, I printed recipe cards and shared old family recipes. It was a great way to start a conversation, and it paid off.”
Host seminars, conduct presentations and offer info sessions with tips for first-time homebuyers and sellers, downsizing, probate and more. Helping to educate others in the community will allow you to stand out as a knowledgeable, trustworthy Realtor® and a caring, thoughtful neighbor.
It’s not enough to make connections in your real estate network or your community—it’s crucial that you maintain them. “Spend a few minutes every day to contact your database,” Bolin recommends. “Having the courtesy and taking the time to remember your connections shows you care.
“You want to be their resource center,” she adds. Bolin stresses the importance of knowing your community and offering yourself as a knowledgeable resource. If they want to know good dentists or hairdressers in town, they’ll know they can come to you for answers.
She suggests hosting holiday parties or group gatherings as a way to maintain connections and show you care while also saving time. This can also help you get referrals.
Bolin is hosting a session at NAR NXT on Nov. 14 titled “Networking Session: Things I Wish I’d Said but Didn’t” and she will be teaching the Probate Specialist Certification class on Dec. 4. at Triple Play.