Want to build a solid foundation for success? It’s all about networking, especially during the first one to three years of your career. And, this networking must be active and non-stop. You need to be there, ask for networking opportunities, and then take advantage of those opportunities once you get them.
Here are four tips that have helped me build a solid base of clients and prospects, and become the #8 independent agent in New York State by sales volume over the past few years. Actual trends charts, selling $144,113,875.00 in volume.
Enter the room
Don’t wait to be invited to a party, event or industry gathering. You have to enter the room. If you are not invited, ask another invited person if you can be their guest. If that doesn’t work, volunteer to check coats at the event or help with the guest list at the door. You have to invite yourself, then work in the room once inside. If you’re at an event and there’s no seat at the table you want to be at, go find a seat and put it there. Or go find another table, fill it with seats and invite people to join you.
Do the work that successful real estate professionals don’t want to do
It is important to observe and learn from successful real estate professionals. Offer to do the tasks that the best agents no longer want to do. In Manhattan, many top agents don’t want to show walk-up apartments or find rentals for their billionaire client’s grandson who goes to school in New York. Do the little jobs, and do them well. Customers will remember that you did a great job and may recommend you in the future. It’s about building your contacts and your sphere of influence.
Join groups and organizations you are passionate about
You have to live and breathe real estate. If you’re not engaged in real estate practice and presence and if you’re not talking to people face to face, then you’re not doing this job. I have found tremendous success aligning myself with organizations that resonate with me. Join groups, associations, and nonprofits that you are passionate about and build your network with like-minded people.
Build relationships within the industry
Network to grow a strong client list, but also network with people in the wider real estate industry, such as architects, interior designers, fabricators, construction companies, and general contractors. Your clients will need these professionals at some point, and it’s good to have them on speed dial. You should have an integrated network of contacts that you can serve your customers quickly and efficiently.
Finally, whenever you meet someone new, ask them if they know anyone who is interested in buying, selling, or renting a home. If he doesn’t know someone right now, ask if he can do you the favor of remembering to let you know if that changes in the future. Ask the business works!
Stan Ponte is a Senior Global Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker at Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage.