Why networking can be the key to success in real estate

Networking is the way of the future for all businesses, and incredibly important in real estate. It’s also something that many agents are afraid of, reverting instead to a ‘loose lips sink ships’ mentality where it’s every agent for themselves. Natalie Hastings explains why networking should be a priority for every agent, every month.

Do you know an estate agent who’s a curmudgeon? They might be old or young – but they’re grumpy and the opposite of a team player. They think events are a waste of time. They tend to be dismissive of coaching and training, thinking that they know it all.

For them, networking with other estate agents is tantamount to giving away their secrets to the enemy. Their focus on the bottom line comes at a cost to their business: isolated and siloed, they’re starved of fresh ideas and disconnected from the industry. But networking is an incredibly important part of the real estate industry, and those agents are missing out.

A problem shared is a problem halved – and no one knows the trials and tribulations of a life in the property market quite like another estate agent. Networking with other agents is critical to your growth as a real estate leader, giving you the opportunity to ‘compare notes’ with colleagues. If you’re worried about sharing IP with your immediate competition, try reaching out to agents from across the city, or interstate. You might start a Breakfast Club to mull over client and business structure conundrums, or arrange to attend conferences as a collective.

No one knows the trials and tribulations of a life in the property market quite like another agent.

Unable to get away for physical networking events? Owning the market in a regional area? Online networking with real estate colleagues is the solution for you.

Word to the wise: not all Facebook groups and online communities are made equal. Some are downright irresponsible, filled with liable and unprofessional conduct. When networking online, ensure you behave politely as you might in public; whilst you might sense your online networking group is a confidential, collegiate environment, social media is in the public gaze. Ask questions, brainstorm and learn – but be sure not to share inappropriate details about your business or your clients.

Do you recall the energy you enjoyed after recently undertaking real estate training that connected with your needs? Networking and training go hand in hand, providing the philosophical fuel agents require to keep improving and growing in their practice.

If you’re a business owner, prioritise training your team by bringing them to real estate conferences both locally and nationally, exposing them to the ideas kicking goals in markets different to your own.

Don’t limit yourself to only real estate networking either. Get out and about in your own community and make some mates! Real estate businesses are the ultimate local business, with expertise in a particular geographical area. You’ll benefit from networking in your community in a multitude of ways, with increased referrals, local recognition and the flurry of opportunities that arrive when you give back.

If you like structured, formal networking, look up your local BNI Chapter and see if they’ve a space for a property manager or real estate agent. Join groups that connect with your own interests, be they women in business, property investment and development or local footy and netball clubs. People are people, and they’ve all got nuggets of knowledge to share with you.

I hope next year you return to your real estate business buzzing with energy, ready to switch things up and take a risk on new ways of prospecting. Don’t forget to put networking into the mix!

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Natalie Hastings

Natalie Hastings is the Managing Director of Hastings + Co. For more information, visit hastingsandco.com.au.