Realtors and mortgage professionals are under tremendous pressure to maintain their careers in a down market throughout history. Yet in today’s challenging climate, Realtors and mortgage professionals have a huge advantage over their counterparts of the past: the internet. The internet’s instant reach to a world wide audience, lighting fast exchanges of information, and the sharing of hyper local information (once considered a secret except to the professionals within a geographic region) are reasons why today’s industry professional must utilize the internet first and foremost.
The days of the handshake, face to face meetings, and local advertising will never go away as methods Realtors should utilize. But make no mistake about it; we are in a global economy. Prospective investors and home buyers can and do come from the four corners of the earth to buy California real estate. California real estate is an exotic and most often sought after commodity; regardless of the Barstows and Stocktons of the landscape, California Realtors have the “goods” that most other agents only dream of servicing.
So now what? I am telling you that you have the best product, best climate, and a gaggle of world wide investors waiting to take advantage of this challenging market. What’s the next move? NETWORKING as in social networking on and off line.
Case in point, Mr. Brian Brady. Brian is a successful mortgage broker based in, fire ravaged, San Diego, California. A few years ago Brian was down to his last deal with no pipeline and very serious ideas about leaving the industry. Today Brian is one of the most successful mortgage professionals in the country. How did he go from a nearly out of the industry rags to a burgeoning business riches? NETWORKING specifically online networking.
Brian related his story to me at this past summer’s Inman Connect Conference in San Francisco; Brian was a guest speaker at the conference. He summed up his strategy and experience in a short conversation. What Brian related is the key to turning around your business. Are you listening Realtors and mortgage people? Here it is in short form:
1. Research: Go online and research the Realtors or mortgage professionals who blog in your area. What’s a blog? Stay tuned for my next article Tools #3 for that information. Google Blog search is a great way to start but usually you can simply do google searches in your area.
2. Read and Comment: Once you have found your local niche and begin to expand outward always leave a footprint. Commenting on an article is a great way to let people know you exist and your thoughts or advise. Most blog comment sections allow you to place your web site url or your blog url- an instant opportunity for readers to contact you or read your information.
3. Network Online: Dedicate a daily routine to commenting as if you are walking your farm leaving door hangers or knocking on doors. Essentially you can cover more “territory” with greater “reach” by commenting online than you ever will off line.
5. Join your local networking groups: Local Chamber of Commerce, Toastmasters, leads groups like Business Networking International, and any offline functions related to your niche or business within your geographic area
6. Secret Tip! Some of the finest real world face to face networking groups are women centric. Women’s groups often are far more collaborative, cohesive, and willing to share-help one another. The competitive instinct in men to kill or rule anything is absent in these women’s groups. If you are a man reading this then you especially should attend and join your local women’s networking groups. It is a great lesson in humility as well as very productive. The best groups I have found so far:
a) Women’s Council of Realtors: One of the most powerful women’s groups and the most influential in the Realtor space.
b) National Association of Women’s Business Owners: Women business owners and very influential C-level decision makers make up this group. My local chapter has a number of authors, attorneys, investors, real estate industry professionals and media executives. A fantastic mix and wealth of contacts are ready to be made.
In order for networking to really be effective you must give value first. Give value and ask for nothing in return and you will receive the one thing that is most important in networking according to Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships. His universal truth of Connecting: It’s not who you know, it’s who knows YOU!