Networking can be tough. Sure, there’s the familiar events out there, the ones with open bars, plenty of extroverted people, get-to-know-you prompter questions, and at the very least, passed appetizers. But if you’re brand new or trying to get a foot in the door of the real estate industry, there can be more dead ends out there than wide-open opportunities. Sometimes you have to create your own. Keep reading for some fun, creative, and engaging networking ideas to get the ball rolling on your new (or existing!) real estate career.
1. Check out your local apartment or builder’s association. A GREAT first step is to check out what associations are in your area. Realtor associations, apartment associations, and builder associations are found in most major metro areas and most also offer virtual links to attend if you live a little further away. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people -even if you haven’t started your career yet- is a great way to make some connections. To make a large association even smaller, look into joining a committee or task force within the organization. Most associations host committees to focus on everything from legislative advocacy to marketing and advertising, so you’re guaranteed to find something to spark your interest!
2. Find a mentor. Having a sounding board within your chosen career is a fantastic way to invite an unbiased influence into your circle. Ideally, your mentor should be in the same industry as you but maybe not the same company. Big decisions like job changes, promotion negotiations, career shifts, and other opportunities are always easier to sort through if you have someone in your corner with your best interests at heart.
3. Get educated. From Certified Apartment Managers to licensed Realtors, there’s always another certification, class, or credential to help you learn more about your chosen profession. Bonus: most companies offer scholarships or will pay for half of the cost of the course if you sign something promising to pay it back if you leave the company within a certain timeframe. Being able to commit to a class and pass a test shows your current and any future employer that you are dedicated to your industry and want to thrive in your role. If you’re not sure about educational offerings, find a board member or committee member within the association and ask!
4. Be a mentor. Once you’ve ingrained yourself in your industry, consider taking a newbie under your wing. Someone who is getting their own start in the industry could really use a strong and positive influence as they navigate through their career. Being able to pour into someone else will always pay you back tenfold in the satisfaction you get in seeing your mentee thrive.
5. Teach. You’ve heard the phrase “if you can’t explain it, you don’t know it well enough”? Take it to the bank! Ask your association if there’s an opportunity to teach or instruct classes throughout the year. Have an idea for a class that isn’t offered? Suggest it! From Diversity & Inclusion classes, Social Media Marketing classes, and even industry panels of experts, there’s always an opportunity to bring new and exciting information to the people who are in your industry. Plus, in preparing to teach, you’ll probably learn something new as well!
For any networking event, even those within your own company, it’s nice to have a supplier partner who has your back. Your local BG Real Estate branch is available for sponsorships, facilitating continuing education, or helping put together a networking event for your company. To partner with us, reach out on social media or on our website at BGSF.com.