By Kelly Reark
What ways do you network with your fellow real estate agents? Do you walk away from a happy hour or business card exchange really knowing much about them or their business? Likely not. Do you ever wonder why?
Having a pocket full of business cards is one thing, but getting to know other real estate agents is another, and very beneficial. You want to broaden your referral network with more than just a name on a business card.
Recently, I made it my mission to take networking a step further. I had collected business cards from a real estate retreat that I had attended. I began with an agent I thought I could refer business to that is in a market about two hours from me. She brought in another agent, who brought in another agent… and on and on. The best part is that we all have specialty areas in which we work. We have spent a full day in many of our markets, learning about the areas from one another. The plan is to keep learning and growing. It is amazing how much we are able to teach each other. Frequently, our preconceived notions of an area were corrected.
I now know that I have a completely fabulous, intelligent, trustworthy, bright agent network to refer my customers to in a variety of market areas. I know that they will be taken care of, and so will I. I know that if they have sticker shock in one location, they can be referred out to another with similar lifestyle qualities. Or if their preferred lifestyle is not available in my market, I know which agent to send them looking with. Plus, I can call on them to tap into resources or fresh ideas for marketing, technology, and peer training. My network of international agents grows stronger by inclusion of each of their networks.
We became friends on Facebook. We network on LinkedIn. We send texts and photos to each other. We show off new listings via e-mail and bite our nails when we know one of us is having a difficult time. The more we work at it, the more valuable our relationships become.
Take the time to give yourself the benefits of a strong referral network. Personally bonding with other agents is infinitely better for your business than randomly pulling a business card out of a hat.
Kelly Reark is a native Floridian and e-PRO® with Gasparilla Properties, Inc. in Boca Grande, Southwest Florida. Visit her online at www.WaterfrontKelly.com or www.BocaGrandeRealEstateNews.com.