An excerpt from Volume 1 of Be The Better Broker.
Early on in my Mortgage Brokering career I attended almost every real estate-related or finance-related event I could find in our city. I showed up ready to walk the walk, clean shaven, sporting one of my $99.00 suits, with a pocketful of classy business cards.
At each of these events, if I ran into somebody I knew yet hadn’t seen in a while, or if struck up an interesting conversation with someone new, I would make a point of connecting with that person again soon after.
All too often we run into people, have a quick chat and part ways with a weak “We should get together sometime” And we leave it at that. Instead I would seize on these comments and actualize them: “In fact, I am back downtown again Monday and Tuesday of next week for mid-morning meetings; I could make either a coffee or a lunch work on either day.”
Ninety-five percent of the time we would schedule something right then and there, as opposed to never at all.
The odds were that I in fact had no plans to be back downtown the following week, but I wanted to make it easy to find a yes; I wanted to create four potential times to meet in a low-pressure sort of way.
Now that I did in fact have an appointment, I would in turn try to leverage off that meeting at least one or two more in the area the same day.
From these additional meetings there would inevitably be additional opportunities to either meet or be introduced to others. Of all the many books I have read, books on networking were not on the list. Perhaps reading a few on power networking might have honed my skills further, but I always loathed the concept of “networking.” It conjures in my mind dystopian images of robotic interaction for no purpose other than perpetuating the self. Networking to network…not my style. The end result of such a thing is a hollow shell of frail and baseless “connections.” Dedicated networking events seem like an archaic, slow motion and much frailer form of LinkedIn. If I want a superficial initial connecting I can get it there, from my office chair.
All of the meetings I had were with people I genuinely liked; life is too short to meet and to work with people you do not like.
I found relevant events by joining the Chamber of Commerce (which lasted just one year), The Real Estate Action Group (seven years and counting) and The Real Estate Investment Network (which lasted three years), and subscribing to the key local business publications, BC Business magazine and the Business in Vancouver newspaper, both of which I still review thoroughly.
These sources are excellent directories for local business events, although admittedly I attend far fewer at this point as my time is better spent in my office working current client files and attending to the database that I have grown, rather than adding further clients to it. And therein lies the lesson.
If you found value in this piece, please forward it to another Broker you know and respect. Also, please reply with any comments.
For a steady diet of posts like this, please click here to subscribe.