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10 Do’s and Don’ts of Real Estate Networking Events

December 15, 2023

Most real estate professionals know a colleague who seems to have mastered the game. Maybe they have a knack for finding great deals for investors, or maybe they have dynamite sales skills that can close any deal.

If you’ve ever wondered how they got where they are, the answer probably involves networking. Effective networking is the best way to forge valuable professional relationships and learn industry wisdom.

If you want to supercharge your career through networking, keep reading for tips on what to do — and what not to do — when you’re networking at real estate events.

Do Attend In-Person Events

One of the pillars of your networking plan should be to attend real estate industry events in person. In the social media era, it can be tempting to skip physical networking events, especially if you have a significant social media audience.
But local, in-person industry events are where you’ll make the most valuable and lasting professional relationships. The people you meet at local events will likely work in the same area as you and be able to provide industry resources and insights into your business. That kind of contact is a lot more valuable than 1,000 people liking a meme you posted on Instagram.

Do Have A Robust Online Presence

That being said, you should have a vibrant and comprehensive online presence. Make sure you have accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other social media platforms. You’ll reach different audiences on each platform, making it easier to market to multiple generations.

Your accounts should be professional, engaging, and on-brand. These platforms are invaluable for sharing wisdom and making remote connections with other industry professionals. Post on a regular basis, and engage with the posts of your peers. Make sure all your social media accounts, as well as your professional website, are included on your business cards.

Do Have A Refined Pitch And Plan

Have a general idea of what you want to gain from networking. Are you trying to get a new job? Are you in the market for a mentor or mentee? Are you after market insights, or are you a novice who’s still learning basic real estate terms?

If you don’t have a ton of networking experience, put a plan together before attending big events. Can you briefly and interestingly describe yourself and what you do? If not, sit down and hone your pitch. If necessary, ask a close friend or loved one to listen to your spiel and give you feedback.

If you’re a reluctant networker, consider giving yourself a quota. For example, challenge yourself to collect 30 business cards or initiate 20 conversations.

Do Create Business Cards That Represents You

You’re going to be handing out a lot of business cards at networking events, so you need to get your card just right. Not only does it need to be aesthetically pleasing, it needs to accurately represent you. Do the colors and logos match the ones on your company website? Does the look and feel of it match your professional brand? Is it generally in line with industry standards? Finally, review your contact information and job title on the card to confirm it is all accurate and up to date.

Do Be A Taker And A Listener

At networking events, a lot of real estate professionals will get caught up in handing out their own business cards and giving everyone within arm’s length a hard sell. That approach can work, but if you’re networking to build relationships, it can be a lot more effective to take people’s business cards, listen to their pitches, and make them feel seen. Networking relationships are like any other relationship. They depend on trust.

Do Stand Out, But Not Too Much

You’ll want to dress within industry norms, but not to the point of blandness. If you arrive at an event in a button-down shirt and khakis, you’ll be indistinguishable from everyone else wearing the same outfit. Adding a small, but memorable, piece of visual flair to your appearance, such as a piece of jewelry or a unique hairstyle, can make your networking more effective, just by making you more memorable.

Don’t Be Too Humble

When talking to industry leaders or other notable figures, some real estate agents have a tendency to deprecate their talents. This is intended as oblique praise because it emphasizes the status of the other person, relative to yourself.
In reality, that person is probably sick of this treatment, and it makes the speaker look small and unconfident. Instead, think of reasons why the other person should want to talk to or be interested in you, and pursue that angle.

Don’t Look At Your Phone

Most professionals consistently have pressing texts or emails to answer, but you shouldn’t let them intrude on your networking efforts. To forge authentic connections, you need to be fully present, which means keeping your phone in your pocket.

Don’t Forget To Follow Up

Networking doesn’t stop when an event ends. It’s actually just beginning. After forging those tenuous connections, it’s time to nurture them into full-fledged relationships. Organize the contact information of everyone you meet and send a follow-up email or tag them in a social media post.

Remember, networking isn’t an end unto itself. It’s a way to build a professional network that will consistently support your real estate career going forward.

Ideally, networking should take place in a laid-back atmosphere where it’s easy to get to know other people. Some mild self-promotion is probably unavoidable when you tell people what you do. Others will also engage in self-promotion to some degree. However, try not to lapse into full-on sales mode, which can be alienating to fellow professionals who are just trying to expand their network.

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