Networking is an important element of success for real estate agents. Afterall, working in real estate is all about building strong relationships. Making networking a part of your business strategy can have a tremendous impact on your lead generation efforts. If you want to build an authentic network that drives more leads and propels your business, keep reading to discover the top five real estate networking ideas for 2022.

Volunteer in Your Community

Volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about is an incredible way to gain valuable connections for future business and referrals. You’ll have the opportunity to network with locals and give back all at the same time. Volunteer ideas to consider include donating your time at an animal shelter, asking local schools how you can assist or sponsoring a charitable walk or run. If you want to keep your volunteering real estate-related, volunteer for a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity or reach out to an affordable housing advocacy group in your community. To further improve your visibility, post pictures of you volunteering on your business social media accounts. This will also help give the charity of your choice some exposure.

Attend Real Estate Conferences and Events

Networking at a real estate event or conference is a highly effective way to grow your connections and your business. In addition to being an opportunity to develop your skills and learn about the latest market information, events are also a great way to gain referrals. While it may seem counterproductive to spend your time connecting with people who may be your competition for leads, the opposite is actually true. Real estate agents tend to specialize in helping clients buy or sell within a specific geographic area or niche. So, if an agent you meet at an event comes across a lead who wants something outside of their area or scope, there’s a high chance they’ll refer that lead to you!

Sign Up for a Group or Class

If you have an interest in fitness or playing sports, join a fitness class or sports league. There are numerous fitness classes out there to join and most communities have recreational sports leagues. From softball teams to yoga classes to spin classes to kickboxing, the possibilities are numerous and all are wonderful opportunities to connect and engage with people who you already have something in common with.

Similarly, you can join a local club to indulge in your interests while also expanding your network. Think book clubs, hiking clubs, movie clubs and even small business owner clubs. Try using a site like Meetup, which offers a variety of groups to join wherever your interests lie. You can also create a group of your own!

Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Your local chamber of commerce offers a wealth of networking opportunities. Chamber events and programs can provide you with great opportunities for getting to know new people. During your first year of membership, be as active in these events and programs as possible to get the best networking benefits. You’ll also be able to get a feel for which activities are a good fit for your real estate business. This is an excellent way to gain credibility in your community while growing your network!

Connect With Other Real Estate Agents

Networking with agents in different cities or states can create mutually beneficial referral networks. Even better, technology has made it easy for agents to join groups of like-minded real estate professionals from across the country. Buffini & Company, for example, has its own Referral Network and Facebook groups to help agents connect and give or get referrals.

Bonus Tip: Use the Mayor Campaign

When you’re out there networking and find yourself communicating with a potential lead, use the Mayor Campaign to enhance your interaction. The Mayor Campaign is a simple yet effective dialogue that helps you to determine who will be an advocate for your business. It’s called the Mayor Campaign because when you use it, you’re basically figuring out who you can count on for their vote. Here’s how to use it when meeting new people:

Oh, by the way…If you were buying or selling a home, or had a friend or family member who was, do you have an agent you would refer them to?

This dialogue will allow you to quantify all your new connections. If they already have an agent in mind, be gracious but also let them know that if anything ever changes, you’ll always be there to help. And if they don’t have an agent in mind, great! Let them know that you’d like to stay in touch and would love to be there to help with any of their real estate needs.

Bottom Line

Networking and the growth of your real estate business go hand-in-hand. By following these tips, you can build a diverse network of contacts that will open the door to more leads, more referrals and quality clients for life.