- Brush up on the basics of an event and the knowledge that attendees will generally be discussing
- Know the in's and out's of the local market before attending to have a solid foundation to speak to attendees about
- Use these events to connect and socialize with people who may be in the market to buy or sell
Once again, Miami boasts a blockbuster season for headliner events.
Sporting and wine and food events attract fans and aficionados galore, while the Miami International Boat Show draws some 100,000 visitors from 80 countries. According to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, these are “marquee weekends where the world wants to be in Miami.”
For local real estate agents, the strong presence of out-of-town and international visitors offers a first-class opportunity for networking, brand-building and aligning with potential customers on mutual interests. Whichever market you target, find commonality to build relationships.
Check out Facebook and other social media and websites such as SocialMiami.com, Miami.com and SoFlaNights.com, which offer calendar schedules of main events and local happenings. Investigate and learn about off-the-radar gatherings for networking and sought-after invites. .
Prepare well before you step out the door
You’re going to events to achieve real connections and show your professional expertise, not to pass out brochures. Make sure you are knowledgeable about local real estate so when asked, you can discuss prices, market trends and building profiles.
Take pride in your city, its history and architecture so you can describe the amenities and advantages of living here (e.g. knowing portholes from eyebrows is especially relevant on Art Deco weekend).
Channel your inner concierge for out-of-town visitors as an insider guide to shops, restaurants and things to do. Just casually recommending a good dry cleaner or hairdresser can create a connection with a future customer.
Brush up on interesting topics
You must be sincere– no pretending to love horses in order to hang with the polo crowd. If you really haven’t a clue educate yourself on the basics. You’re there to show that your leadership and participation skills translate over more platforms than just real estate.
Knowing about contemporary art and collecting can connect you with an affluent and trendy crowd that typically look for high-end condos.
Attend Art Basel, know your way around Wynwood, and are on friendly terms with several gallery owners. Once you can hold an intelligent conversation on the subject, you’ll have the confidence to invite potential customers to attend openings and art shows with you. You may even score VIP passes for them.
Volunteering lets agents be involved in their community
Whether it’s helping out at an animal shelter, working with underprivileged children or sweating at a Habitat for Humanity build, you can engender goodwill all year round. Charity events are a big part of the local scene and you can offer to help out with your time or talents, by buying tickets and/or taking an ad in a program or newsletter.
For agents who know their fore from their aft, social events related to the Miami International Boat Show and Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show offer a great way to meet like-minded people (and an opportunity to present waterfront homes with dockage). Doing your homework in advance can get you on invitation lists and present opportunities for hosting or co-hosting small onboard events for selected guests.
Connect with your brokerage on events they run and create a buzz. Targeting the luxury market, for example, requires high-end sponsors, an exclusive guest list and a big budget. Team up with other agents to host a small party in an art gallery, brewery, beautiful listing or other interesting space.
Allocate a budget for your event-focused strategy. Whether it’s for advertising, hospitality expenses or buying event tickets for really good customers, you are investing in your professional career.
Tapping into the local synergy between real estate and the stylish, sophisticated art and lifestyle scene takes effort– but in Miami, it’s well worth it.
Beth embodies impressive accomplishments from her 30 year career span. She is currently the President of Compass.