How can you thrive in today’s world? By building community. This means showing up time and time again to help, educate and offer value to the connections you cultivate and the people you bring together.


In challenging times, it’s a smart idea to revisit the fundamentals of good business. This spring, go Back to Basics with Inman.

Agents and brokers who have already built a community are thriving today. Why? They are the go-to resource, the well-known entity, the trusted advisor for clients looking to quickly buy or sell in turbulent times.

Pandemic aside, creating community and building affinity among a group of like-minded people is key for establishing connections and expanding your circle of influence.

While in-person and “offline” events may be on hold for now, there are plenty of ways you can build up your own base online, even if you’ve never done so before. The best part? You can transition and extend this community once live events and in-person connection opportunities resume.

We gathered a group of experts: Lab Coats CEO Tristan Ahumada, Realtor Brett Baker, Real Estate Business Coach Kevin Kauffman and Realtor Randy Carroll to discuss how to build a bigger and better community – online and offline.

Read on to learn about our collective tips for building community in today’s tempestuous marketplace.

1. Start with your passion

Building community takes time and effort — lots of it! If you’re not passionate about it, you will not do it well enough to succeed. Find out what you are passionate about. Perhaps it’s local music or the neighborhood food scene. Maybe it’s connecting small business owners together.

This will set the foundation for your group. Your true interests and passions will guide you in creating relationships and a sense of community.

2. Define your group

Understand the types of people you are targeting. Who are the like-minded people you want to reach? Don’t be afraid to ask people about their interests and find common ground by being authentic. How can you marry that with your passion and expertise?

Don’t be afraid to focus on a niche and then cater to that audience. For example, Kevin Kauffman built his business as the master of short sales. Understand your audience inside and out, and you’ll build a following.

3. Show your value

You already know the real estate world can feel like a very crowded place. To stand out from the crowd, lead with your value. What can you bring to your community that no one else can? What specific value will draw people into your community? A bright shiny object may attract attention at the outset, but value is the only way people will stay and engage in your community.

4. Be you

Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to simply be yourself. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Know your strengths and play to them. That means some people will walk away from your community as you build it — and that’s OK!

Focus on the people who do stay, no matter the size of the group. Even a small community can be a powerful one. A narrow and deep set of relationships is much stronger than one that’s wide and shallow.

5. Do it consistently

There is no magic number of posts per day or high-touch interaction metrics, but whatever cadence you lead with will be what your community comes to expect. Same is true for the tone and tenor of your community culture and content.

Consistency and frequency is how to bridge the gap from these individuals simply knowing and liking you to them trusting you. Once trust is established, those people will serve as megaphones helping to build your community and brand.

One final thought to keep in mind is authenticity. All of the above tips lend themselves to this point, but it’s worth noting just how relevant this element is to your success. Showing up time and time again to help, educate and offer value can only be done if you are genuinely passionate and purposeful about serving your community.

Your customers, prospects and greater network will see through you if you don’t. However, if they recognize sincerity, your community will have the opportunity to succeed and grow.

Mike McGowan is the CEO of Chime Technologies in Phoenix. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook

After 25 years, Inman Connect is coming to you. We’re transcending our legendary events in a live digital event, Inman Connect Now. Get ready for the top industry leaders plotting the path forward, new business ideas and opportunities, networking like you’ve never imagined it, and tons of exciting new magic, all straight to you. It’s all part of an epic new Inman experience, Connect Now, June 2-4, 2020. Click here to save your seat.

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