Being a successful realtor involves more than selling houses and providing good service to your clients. To achieve success in such a competitive industry, it’s essential to build strategic professional relationships. From bankers to contractors, inspectors, and other community members, it’s the people you know who will help your business thrive. Since being a realtor is somewhat of a solopreneur enterprise, building those relationships might take some extra effort.
Here are six networking tips for realtors who want to build relationships that can take their careers up a notch.
1. Build trust with respected lenders.
Developing solid realtor-lender relationships can improve your ability to serve your clients well. You may need to refer your clients to a bank when they’re ready to apply for a mortgage loan. If you’ve already laid the groundwork of building trust with a lender, your clients will reap the benefits. A loan officer who respects you is more likely to take good care of your clients.
In addition to building a solid professional relationship with at least one lender, you should also be well versed in loan types. Some home buyers may qualify for an FHA loan without realizing it. As a realtor, you can make home buyers aware of alternative loan options that may benefit them. That way they can ask loan officers about those options when they apply for a mortgage.
2. Attend industry events.
When’s the last time you attended some type of realtor event? If it’s been a while, it may be time to start building your network by attending more of such gatherings. Since networking events in the real estate industry often come with a hefty price tag attached, choose wisely. Keep in mind that virtual events are often more affordable than in-person ones. But you may find it harder to build your network during a virtual gathering.
When selecting which in-person conferences and meetups to attend, choose those that align most closely with your preferred market. For example, if you specialize in helping newlyweds obtain affordable housing, a luxury real estate summit may not suit your needs. Carefully consider the primary purpose of each event you attend so you can build your network with the right professionals.
3. Join local organizations.
You know the real estate mantra: location, location, location. Real estate is almost by definition linked to specific localities, which means it’s wise to build your local network as much as possible. There are many ways to do this, but one of the best is to join local organizations. You’ll find that such groups are invaluable for helping you build relationships with other professionals in your area. You’ll likely meet attorneys, contractors, and bankers in the organizations you join.
Community groups may vary depending on location. But most towns and cities have Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, and other groups that can help you with networking. Check with your city’s website to see what types of community groups are available and learn how you can join. Once you’re in, start attending their meetings so you can build relationships with other professionals in your community.
4. Connect with online networking groups.
While local organizations and groups can provide rich networking opportunities, they aren’t always the best fit. It can be hard to attend in-person community meetings when you keep a busy schedule. If you want to do better at networking but your time and resources are limited, consider joining virtual groups.
Virtual networking groups are often free of charge and don’t require you to give much in terms of time. Many local groups maintain an online community as well for those who can’t attend physical meetings and events. Connecting with such groups online can help you get to know other prominent professionals in your industry.
5. Build a social media presence.
These days, if you aren’t on social media, it’s almost like you don’t really exist. With over 270 million social media users in the United States alone, you can see why many businesses prioritize their social media platforms. If you have social media accounts but post infrequently, you’re not harnessing the full potential of your social media presence.
For best results, conduct a social media campaign that includes a plan for frequency and target audience. Many successful businesses post updates a few times per day on various social media platforms. Do what is realistic for you and will help you increase views and interactions. You may find it easier to set aside one day per month to create many social media posts. Then you can use a social media marketing app to manage the posts you created and release them on a schedule.
6. Join a realtor association.
A real estate association is a group made up primarily of real estate agents and other related professionals. You can build relationships with fellow realtors, property managers, appraisers, and similar pros when you join such a group. Realtor associations often provide useful market research information and realtor training. They also play an important role in creating and maintaining industry standards.
The National Association of Realtors is one of the most well-known realtor associations. It has over 1.4 million members and lobbies to promote policies that encourage the selling and buying of property. Before joining such an association for networking purposes, make sure you understand its code of ethics and cost of membership.
The most successful realtors are often those who know how to network. Building mutually beneficial professional relationships should be as high on your priority list as improving sales and providing exceptional customer service. If you’re ready to ramp up your networking game, use the six tips above to guide your next steps. As you build your network, you’ll become more visible in your community and accelerate your professional success.