Being a successful real estate agent means continually expanding your network. Here are six ways to network like a pro and gain that credibility.

Real estate is a transactional business, but a successful real estate agent builds a relationship business. Achieving the “like and trust” of your clients is hugely important to growing and maintaining a prosperous long-term career.

One of the necessary parts of becoming a successful real estate agent is continually expanding your network. Here are six ways to network like a pro and gain the credibility needed to build your business.

1. Show integrity

The No. 1 way to gain trust from clients is to show integrity and build your credibility as an expert.

As a real estate agent, this can come in a few forms. The first is to give honest yet compelling answers to questions such as:

  • How’s the market?
  • Where’s the best neighborhood to buy?
  • How much money would I need to buy or rent an apartment in a certain neighborhood versus another?
  • What sets you apart from other agents?

Being frequently quoted in the press about real estate trends and market activity also builds credibility, as does creating and sending a personal newsletter to showcase your business expertise and knowledge.

Speaking on an industry panel or participating in a seminar additionally offers great opportunities to position yourself as an expert in the field.

2. Be authentic

People like to do business with others they like and find authentic. Focus on forming a connection with someone first, rather than going immediately into your sales pitch.

Most likely, the person you’re speaking with isn’t in the market for your services at this time. However, he or she might have a family member, friend or neighbor who is. It’s also best to avoid highly sensitive topics such as politics or religion.

Although your time may be limited, make sure you actually know something about the person, whether it be personal or professional, before sharing business cards. You don’t want to be that person who just passes them out.

Showing your personality and that you are able to have a light conversation without hard selling yourself is a wonderful way to show your authentic side. It will also help the other person to open up and feel comfortable.

3. Take on a leadership role

Leading a group or organization is great way to build rapport and gain exposure as an industry expert in your sphere of influence. These groups can be anything including a structured business networking group, a neighborhood committee or a non-profit board for a cause that is meaningful to you.

Holding a leadership position places you at the forefront of your sphere, and it can greatly expand your network through new relationships and the connections you’ll make through your involvement.

It also shows reliability and accountability, two very important traits people look for when choosing a real estate agent. Inviting others to an upcoming event you are attending or organizing for your group is another great way to stay top-of-mind and further a genuine connection.

4. Make introductions

A great way to build trust and grow your business is by making introductions and referrals.

If there is someone you want to really impress, offer to connect them with a friend or colleague who could have a mutually beneficial relationship or help them with a particular business venture.

5. Be consistent

Going to one-off events and hoping to build a solid book of business will be difficult. It is by seeing the same audience on multiple occasions that you will have the best chance to get to know people and gain their referral.

Join business professional groups or a non-profit that piques your interest, and consistently attend member functions.

6. Follow-up

A stack of business cards means nothing. If you don’t follow up within the next day or two, the great conversation you had with a potential client or referral partner will be forgotten.

Timely follow-up shows that you are pro-active and committed to growing your relationship. If you promised to make an introduction to someone in your sphere, keep that promise.

Adding a new connection on LinkedIn is also a great way to follow up, and it will keep you top-of-mind as you share updates and relevant professional content.

Eric Mendelsohn is a licensed associate real estate broker with Warburg Realty in Manhattan. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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