• Don't have time to network? You can do it from your office using digital methods.
  • Use hashtags to virtually attend events you can't make it to.
  • Becoming a local news source and commenter is a wonderful way to showcase your expertise.

Networking will increase the number of people you know. The more people who know you, the more your name can be referred out for your expertise,” Sussie Sutton said.

You likely know the importance of networking, but with all of the other agenda items packed into your day, is networking a neglected lead generation activity?

I know networking might be the first thing to get pushed to the back burner as we get busy. It seems so easy to say, “I’ll catch the next (fill in the name of your favorite club meeting, parent group or social function).”

As time marches on, the next meeting you actually can attend might not come for several months, if at all. This, unfortunately, can stunt your business growth and worsen seasons of feast or famine as you fail to remain top-of-mind among those in their network.

If that describes you, networking is not a lost cause! Here are three surprising tech tools that can help you network more — even if you cannot physically attend the latest shindig.

Go Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a fantastic local app that every real estate professional should have if provided in your town.

This app allows those in a particular neighborhood to dish about lost puppies, personal items for sale, sitter needs, homes for sale, upcoming events, crime incidents and many of the other topics typically on display at block parties, HOA meetings, books clubs and so forth.

This is an easy way to stay connected with your neighbors even if you have missed the past 12 association meetings (yikes). You can respond to their various posts and inquiries with your expert real estate opinion and truly demonstrate why you should be their agent of choice.

Just be sure not to violate office marketing policies or the laws of our industry (Fair Housing, RESPA, TRID, etc.). And for crying out loud, do not be obnoxious and salesy. Simply seek to be a resource and create relationships.

Time needed: 10 minutes a day

Screenshot of nextdoor.com

Screenshot of nextdoor.com

Re-hash(tag) the past

Instead of feeling as if we missed out on a chance of a lifetime — like Cinderella felt before her fairy godmother showed up — we can still virtually stay connected with an event’s networking buzz.

Simply jump on Twitter, Facebook (yes, you can now search Facebook via hashtags), Instagram and the like, and use the event’s hashtag to search for conversations and pictures. Then, join in the fun remotely.

You can even use all-in-one sites such as HashAtIt to search for hashtags on multiple sites with one click and save even more time.

Time needed: 10 minutes during or soon after a missed event

Talk back

Despite your demanding schedule, do you find yourself reading local news headlines while on the go and scrolling through some of the comments below?

Well, there’s “gold in dem’ mines.” Share your expertise of your local real estate scene by creating accounts with your local online news sources and becoming a regular commenter.

My clients who make a habit of engaging on a regular basis have generated leads doing this.

Time needed: 10 minutes a week

So there you have it. Simply putting in 30 minutes using all three methods or 10 minutes using just one allows you do a lot of networking in a week — without even leaving the office. Take advantage of this technology age and work smarter not harder. After all, there’s only one of you, and you can’t be everywhere at once.

Feel free to contact me via social media or email if you have any questions.

Lee Davenport is a licensed real estate broker, business doctoral student, trainer and coach. Follow her on Google+ and Facebook.

Email Lee Davenport.

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