May 16, 2019
For those trying to expand their business or seeking jobs in real estate, there are countless opportunities to network with professionals and commercial real estate companies. However, those who are willing to take the initiative and utilize the resources available to them will reap the most value from industry organizations and networking.
For instance, when I lived in Maryland and was looking for jobs in real estate in Denver, I used resources available through Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). At a national event, I made a point to connect with members from Denver. I expanded my network in that market by attending a new and prospective member breakfast. Through continuously developing those relationships, I was able to secure a real estate job in Denver.
While commercial real estate agents tout the importance of relationships, the reality is that meaningful connections are valuable regardless of industry or role. These networking tips can help anyone enhance their sphere of influence:
- Utilize the chapter member directory. This is a valuable tool to pinpoint prospective clients.
- Have a few conversation starter questions in mind to spark a dialogue. Even if your ultimate goal is to land a job in real estate or secure a new client, remember that people enjoy discussing topics outside of their work.
- Attend as many events as possible. This allows you to become a familiar face in the organization, deepen existing relationships, and continuously meet new contacts.
- Keep an eye out for opportunities to do business within your network, such as bulletins or online forums like the CREW Network Open Forum.
- Meet with contacts one-on-one, such as having a quick coffee meetup. These types of informal meetings are essential to building meaningful relationships.
- Add to the conversation. Whether joining an existing conversation at an event or following up with a specific contact, be sure to bring something new to the table that shows your genuine interest.
- Get involved in a mentorship program, whether as a mentor or mentee. This can offer a unique perspective you may otherwise not been aware of, and, of course, offers the opportunity to grow your connections in the community.
The more people you meet, the faster you will grow your sphere of influence. However, it’s important to focus on the particular people who give you energy and inspiration. Even if they cannot help you achieve your goal, they can be a valuable resource as a sounding board or mentor. Those industry colleagues, especially if they have more experience than you, can share how they resolve challenges, provide exposure to new innovations, and even keep you up-to-date on current issues in commercial real estate.
Ironically, sometimes the best way to sell yourself or your company is to not sell at all. In the end, it’s the personal connections you make with people that lead to new business opportunities.
Anna Heiserman provides leasing services and market intelligence to owners and investors in the Denver office market. She brings expertise in business development and transaction management.
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