Helpful Tips to Become a Skilled Networking Professional
When it comes to networking, commercial real estate is no different than any other industry; the better you take care of your network, the better your network takes care of you. While the brokerage side of the business may seem like an individual operation, you’re only as strong as your network and networking is a craft that requires patience and dedication to fully master. The following are just a few helpful tips and suggestions to help you become a premier networker in commercial real estate:
Play Your Cards Right
As a broker, you find yourself on the go often. Since you never know when you might stumble across your next client, it’s an absolute must to have your business card handy at all times. Just as important as handing out business cards, however, is taking them. A card given puts you on someone’s radar but a card taken gives you the power to initiate a relationship. To properly maximize your business card collection, it’s important to log every new entry into a database of contacts that can be tracked and monitored. Next, you must create a plan for when and how you intend to initiate contact. Last but not least, be mindful of timing; each new contact carries with it a limited window of opportunity, and business cards have a propensity to stack up on your desk if you’re not proactive with them.
Invest in Your Network
The greatest gift you can give someone is your time and nobody is more keenly aware of this concept than a premier networker. Relationships are not born from the mere initiation of contact but by logging meaningful time and establishing a genuine connection. This may sound simple enough but it becomes infinitely more complex the larger your network grows. As a result, prioritizing relationships is critical as one only has so much time to offer and must be cautious about which relationships to allocate your time towards. The balance of maintaining old relationships while developing new ones is a careful song and dance that requires a strong sense of priorities and self-awareness.
Establish Yourself in the Local Community
A great way to expand your professional network is by attending local networking organizations such as the Commercial Real Estate Alliance (CRA), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), and National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP). These organizations typically meet monthly and will provide you with exposure to other local professionals and business owners. In order to maximize your affiliations and create a consistent presence within these organizations, it’s important to attend as many networking events as possible. This is especially true of your initial years as a new member of the organization.
Whether you’re exchanging business cards, cultivating close relationships, or mingling at networking events, remember to always have fun with it. At its core, networking is designed to be a uniquely rewarding experience and should be taken as such. The more people you can plug into your network that you genuinely enjoy, the more satisfying your experience will become. At some point, networking will stop feeling like work altogether as it eventually becomes second nature. And that’s when the real fun begins because, in the famous words of Mark Twain, if you can “find a job you enjoy doing, you will never have to work a day in your life”
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Autumn Valencia is the Marketing Coordinator at Intersection, providing strategic marketing expertise to support business objectives across company divisions. For general and marketing inquiries, please contact Autumn at firstname.lastname@example.org