AgentGathering of EaglesIndustry Voices

Networking: the fuel is in the follow-up

Whether you’re just returning from Gathering of Eagles or from a particularly productive networking event at your local association, the power lies in what you do next

Last week, I embarked on an incredible journey to the highly anticipated RealTrends Gathering of Eagles event, where industry leaders and trailblazers gathered. This experience not only expanded my horizons but also introduced me to a diverse group of exceptional individuals who share my passion for growth and success. 

During the week I got to speak on a panel and I even had the chance to ride around the golf course with HW Media CEO Clayton Collins — that’s me in his IG Reel wading through a stream filled with snapping turtles to retrieve a golf ball to take home to my son.

Just like with golf, it’s not the one who crushes the drive who wins. It’s a game of inches, and the one who masters the short game generally comes out on top.

Lessons learned

At GOE, I learned a lot. I learned that you need (a lot) of sunscreen to survive a round of golf during an Austin summer. I also learned that, even when you crush it in an initial meeting, it’s the short game of follow-up — those contacts that come after the event — that make all the difference in the real estate game.

I engaged in thought-provoking conversations and forged meaningful connections. It was exhilarating to take in the unique perspectives and wealth of experience possessed by each person I encountered.

As we shared our respective journeys, challenges, and triumphs, I was immersed in a sea of wisdom and inspiration. What struck me most was the shared belief in the power of collaboration and the strength of a supportive network. 

Exchanging business cards and promising to stay connected filled me with excitement for the possibilities ahead. These newfound connections have the potential to become lifelong partnerships, mentorships, and friendships, fueling my personal and professional growth in unimaginable ways.

Reflecting on that experience, I am reminded of the profound impact that expanding one’s network can have on both personal and business endeavors. These encounters have rejuvenated my spirit, ignited fresh ideas, and reaffirmed my commitment to continuous learning and development. 

With a renewed sense of purpose and an extraordinary network by my side, I am eager to elevate my real estate business while contributing to the collective growth and success of our industry. 

That all starts with what I do next.

3 ways to follow up

Getting out of our routines and comfort zones and interacting with a new group of colleagues is essential for gaining new perspectives, new ideas, and new professional connections. Yet, all too often, we squander these opportunities by letting them end the second we check out of the hotel.

When was the last time you attended an event of some kind and left full of enthusiasm, only to find that the things you learned, and the connections you made, quickly dissolved into a distant memory? Prioritizing the follow-up and getting organized ahead of time helps to ensure that you’ll take advantage of the seeds you planted once you’re back in the office.

Use one or more of the following strategies to keep that new relationship going in the days ahead:

1. Phone Call

Take the time to make a personal phone call to the individuals you recently met. Express your appreciation, recap your conversation, and offer further assistance. This personal touch fosters engaging and meaningful conversations, deepening the connection.

2. Email Follow-Up

Craft a thoughtful and personalized email to re-establish contact. Remind them of your interaction, express your interest in continuing the conversation, and provide relevant information or resources. Keep the email concise, friendly, and professional.

3. Handwritten Note with Your Business Card

Stand out by sending a handwritten note along with your business card. Express gratitude for the opportunity to meet, highlighting something memorable from your conversation. Handwritten notes are personal, thoughtful, and leave a lasting impression.

Follow-up is important for lead nurturing as well. Here are some additional ideas for following up with buyers, sellers, or new members of your SOI:

Text Message Video

Personalize your follow-up with video. Send a short, friendly video message via text, introducing yourself and offering assistance on their real estate journey.

Connect on LinkedIn

Leverage LinkedIn to connect with individuals you’ve met. Send personalized connection requests, referencing your encounter and expressing interest in staying connected. Engage with their content, share valuable insights, and foster professional relationships within the platform.

Connect on Instagram

For a more visual and interactive approach, connect with prospects on Instagram. Follow their accounts, engage with their posts, and share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your real estate business. Instagram builds personal connections by showcasing your personality and interests beyond real estate.

Remember, building and nurturing relationships form the foundation of real estate in particular and entrepreneurship in general. A single contact in your network can refer numerous others over time, leading to exponential growth. 

Harness the power of follow-up by reaching out to the individuals you meet, whether at a once-a-year networking event or in your day-to-day life. Consistent efforts in building stronger connections will unlock new opportunities for your business and contribute to your long-term success.

Troy Palmquist is the CEO of Doora Properties in California.