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Network With The Best of Them

black-and-white-city-man-people-mediumWe are just days away from the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, and many of you might be asking yourself how can you best make use of your time at the event (or any other). Aside from the wealth of information that can help your business, a great reason to attend is to network with other REALTORS®! It is no secret that trade shows and meetings are a great place to make professional connections that can result in business, and putting your best foot forward is important. Below is a list of strategies that can help you network with the best of them!

Find the right event
Each country has their own set of events and industry leaders. Finding out what events and leaders are important to each region of the world can help give you an idea of where to go. Click here for a list of worldwide events that NAR participates in, are hosted by our cooperating associations, or are sponsored by another industry alliance.

Plan ahead
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when rushing from one session to the next in a crowd of hundreds of other agents. This can leave you with little time to stop, breathe, and network. Plan your day ahead and know what sessions will benefit your business the most. Most conferences/meetings and events offer an app that can be downloaded onto your phone or handheld device. These apps usually include the schedule of events and a map of the convention hall. The less time you spend wondering where you are going, the more time you have to meet new people and make new business relationships!

Be polite
Basic etiquette can make or break any business relationship. If your mother told you not do it, don’t do it. Be polite and smile. It is helpful to hand out your card, but try not to rely on your card to make yourself memorable. Remember when interacting with someone from a different country than yourself that cultural norms vary greatly. Our recent post on high/low context cultures can help navigate cultural faux pas.

Stay organized
Make sure you aren’t just shoving that business card in your pocket (in some cultures this can even be considered offensive). Have a place for cards, such as a card holder or special envelope. Another way to stay organized is to enter all new contacts in your phone immediately.

Follow up
Assuming you have made a few new connections and organized them appropriately, the next step is following up. First, ask yourself if you know of any referrals you could give to these connections, and if so, get the ball rolling. This is a great way to start off a relationship, and will definitely help them remember you for their future referrals. If not, follow up with an email simply saying “nice to meet you” or connect on LinkedIn. Be careful when connecting on social media, unless you are positive someone wants to be Facebook friends or wants you to follow them on Twitter or Instagram it is best to stick with outlets designated for professional networking like LinkedIn. You can always add them elsewhere down the road if the relationship evolves.

By seeking out events and opportunities to meet other agents and by telling them about your global expertise you are positioning yourself for more business. If you will be joining us at the NAR Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo from May 9-14, put the advice mentioned in this post to practice by downloading the NAR Legislative app! Simply search for “NAR Legislative” on your device (available on both Apple and Droid devices). And don’t forget to register for our largest event throughout the year, the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida from November 4-7th, 2016. Click here to sign up!

Charlee Gibson

Charlee Gibson is a Marketing Coordinator for the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial & Global Services division. She can be reached at cgibson@realtors.org.

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