3 Ways to Network When You Can't Leave Your Desk

Originally written for Inman News

"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

You may likely know the importance of networking but with all of the other agenda items of your day is networking a neglected lead-generation activity?  I know networking may 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)”.  Yet, as time continues to march on, the next meeting you actually can attend may not come for several months, if at all.  This, unfortunately, can stunt our business growth and worsen seasons of "feast or famine", whether as agents or brokers, because we do not stay top of mind among those in our network.

If that describes you, networking is not a lost cause!  Here are 3 surprising tech tools that can help you network more even if you cannot physically attend the latest shin-dig.

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, staying top of mind and truly demonstrating why you should be their agent of choice.  Just be sure not to violate office marketing policies or the laws of our industry (i.e. 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

Re-Hash(tag) the Past

Instead of feeling like 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 like HashAtIt to search for hashtags on multiple sites with one click, saving even more time.  

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

Screenshot of HashAtIt

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.  Leads have been generated by my clients that make a habit of engaging on a regular basis.

Time needed: 10 minutes a week

Have questions? Ask away by following me on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Google+ or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor.  And, be sure to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform your real estate sales game plan.  Here's to your success!
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