Real Estate Pros: How to Get the Most Out of a Networking Event
Felicia Beltran reveals the top mistakes that agents make when networking, and tells how to break through these barriers.
Felicia Beltran attends 10-15 major events every year, participates in a weekly networking group, and is very active on social media, the latter of which is her number one lead nurturing tool. “For me, it’s about making the connections in person,” says Beltran, a REALTOR with RE/MAX Associates in Pueblo, Colo., “and then nurturing and fostering those relationships through social media.”
A National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHRP) board member, Beltran credits her participation in group events—despite the distance she travels to get there—with helping to build her client pipeline. At the most recent meeting, she met a title company professional who within days referred her to a new client.
Here are the top three mistakes that agents make when networking, and how to break through these barriers:
They’re not intentional about it. This is where Beltran says agents tend to go wrong. “They just pop in here and there without a goal in mind,” she says. “They don’t think about it as a full-circle investment.” Good questions to ask yourself include: What events should I attend? What is my objective? Who will be there? How will I approach and network with them?
They stick to what they know. Mingling only with the people you already know is a costly mistake. Break out of your shell and create a reason for follow-up at a later date. “I see a lot of agents talking to the same people and never branching out,” says Beltran, who tells agents to bring along a stack of business cards and to be prepared to hand them all out. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”
They don’t dress the part. It doesn’t matter if it’s a major national event, a morning networking meeting, or a casual Sunday BBQ, you have to put your best foot forward at every event. That means dressing the part and always looking professional. “Treat it like a job interview,” Beltran advises. “That means no stumbling in late, no wrinkled clothing, and make sure your nametag is straight.”
Finally, Beltran also tells agents to always ask for the business. “Why put yourself out there if you’re not going to ask upfront: Do you know anyone looking to buy or sell?” she says. “When you have the courage to ask, people will be more willing to keep you top of mind.”