Networking is a powerful and highly effective type of personal brand marketing through which business professionals connect with one another. Over time, the relationships you build through networking can pay off tenfold, as those within the network typically share valuable business leads, essentially becoming walking, talking advertisements for each other. As a property manager, establishing strong networking skills and becoming part of a circle of like-minded professionals can help grow your portfolio and your customer base. That said, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your networking activities.
The only way networking will truly pay off is if you are authentic in your intentions. Remember, the name of the game isn’t to collect as many business cards, shake as many hands or get as many phone numbers as possible. It’s about building and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. Go in with the right attitude right off the bat and everything else will fall into place.
Expand Your Horizons
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when networking. Instead, pick a few relevant groups that you are interested in and that you feel would be beneficial for you to join. If you’re not sure which groups are right for you, ask if you can attend a trial meeting or two. Most allow this prior to joining, and it’s a great way to help make your decision.
Make it About Them, Not You
Successful networking involves two-way engagement. Take the time to get to know others in your chosen group(s). Ask open-ended questions to encourage conversation and demonstrate to others that you’re interested. Don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to share your elevator pitch when the time is right.
Be a Resource
As a property manager, you do much more than just market and maintain housing. In fact, if you’ve been in the industry awhile, you’re probably somewhat of an expert – at least compared to those who aren’t familiar with our field. Leverage this by using your skills and experience to help those in your network as needed. Over time, you will begin to be viewed as a trusted resource and a valuable connection.
Back to the topic of not making things all about you, networking is a two-way street, particularly when it comes to sharing leads. Whenever the opportunity presents itself for you to provide a referral to someone in your network, take it. Your connections will appreciate the gesture, and will remember it when the time comes to return the favor.
Lastly, if someone is kind enough to provide you with a referral, even if it doesn’t seem like a viable lead, always follow through with a phone call or email. When someone recommends you as a property manager, they’re putting their own reputation on the line on your behalf. Always be professional, courteous and respectful of this.
As a busy professional, it can be challenging to find time in your hectic schedule for things like networking, but doing so is well worth the sacrifice. And by applying the guidelines listed above, you’ll be better able to optimize your time to achieve the best possible results, which will hopefully come in the form of quality leads and new business opportunities.
The Property Manager’s Guide to Building Brand has all the inspiration and resources you need to build an extraordinary brand that persuades prospects to choose you over the competition.