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    7 Networking Hacks for Newbies

    The saying is cliche for a reason, “It’s all about who you know.” Real Estate is an industry in which having a solid network of connections is almost a requirement, and to build your list of connections you need to network. Networking events can be fun, but it takes some skill to not only feel comfortable in such an environment, but to also thrive in it. The conversations you have at these events can be highly beneficial in many ways, so long as you’re a bit strategic in your efforts.

    1) Connect With Who You Know – It’s easy to say hello to a familiar face, so if you know anyone at the event be sure to connect with them first. It’s a great way to get past any initial nerves and if they are more acquainted with the group, they can make introductions for you.

    2) Contact The Organizer – If someone notifies the IREM Houston office they are a first-time/new attendee at an event, we always make sure to introduce them to key members of our organization. It’s an event planner’s job to make sure everyone enjoys their experience so help them help you!

    3) The Buddy System – When possible and appropriate, bring a colleague. Not only will they help you feel more comfortable, it’s easier to get a conversation going with more people involved.

    4) Canned Questions – Have 3-5 questions ready as a “go-to” for a way to open conversations or keep them going when there’s a lull (because it WILL happen). It can be specific to your industry (what type of property do you manage? How do you like working in that part of town?) or more general (Have you been to this place before?).

    5) Fake It Til You Make It – Networking, like any skill, takes practice. You will likely find yourself feeling nervous until you get the hang of things so just breathe, smile and know you aren’t the only anxious one in the room. 

    6) Business Cards Are Still A Thing – These days, most people will keep contacts in there phone rather than a rolodex. BUT, you will not likely find people putting your info into their phone at an event. Business cards are still the currency for information exchange at these events so come prepared.

    7) It’s All In The Follow-Through – Connections made through networking events need to be nurtured like any relationship. If you meet with someone at an event, take a moment to follow up with them in the next 2-3 business days.

    Having a strong personal and professional network can be incredibly rewarding, but it takes effort. Everyone has been the “new guy” or “new gal” at a networking event so find comfort in the fact that you aren’t the only one who may find it difficult. Just know it’s worth your time and energy!

     

    About the Author: Lindsay Konlande currently serves as the Association Assistant for IREM Houston. Lindsay earned her Bachelor Degree in Communication from Texas A&M and has several years of experience in marketing, public relations and copywriting.

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