Back in the days of analogue telephones and 1 megabyte hard drives, you’d be hard pressed to find a cubicle or desk without a Rolodex on it. These handy little revolving phone books were a staple in the business world, helping professionals in every sector catalog and store the contact information of their customers and contacts with the greatest of ease.
The Rolodex is a simple device. Nothing more than two loops of hardened wire fixed to a stand with a selection of posterboard cards hanging pendulously beneath, it is as effective as it is simple. When you bought it, your Rolodex would be blank, but every time you made a business connection you could add that person’s contact information to it. Over time, a prolific businessperson could collect dozens upon dozens of vital contacts!
Today, virtually no one uses these archaic devices anymore. Most modern professionals have replaced them with smartphones and tailor-made applications that can store a virtually limitless number of contacts. Every now and then you’ll see an old-timer with one of these now outdated gadgets on their desk, but those old-timers grow fewer and farther between every day.
One thing that hasn’t fallen out of fashion, however, is the practice of having a core group of essential contacts. Some of these contacts may be old friends or family acquaintances, but most of them must be won the hard way: by networking. So, you ask, how does one go about the task of building a digital real estate Rolodex in 2022? That’s what we’re here to tell you!
Why networking is so important
Now, at this point, you might not be convinced. “But everything is online these days!” you sputter in indignation. “Why go through all the trouble of painstakingly building a well rounded contact book when you can simply look up a specialist online?” you might bahçeşehir escort add. These are valid points, for sure; nevertheless, networking is still very important.
The biggest and most obvious benefit of having a thick and well rounded virtual Rolodex is that it’s easy and convenient to find someone to do whatever task you need done. Instead of having to go through the trouble of looking someone up online, perusing reviews and trying to make sense of poorly designed websites, all you’ll have to do is look up a name on your phone!
Furthermore, everyone that you add to your list of friends and business partners should already be familiar with you and how you work. Instead of starting from scratch every time you need something done, you can gain the ease and convenience of working with someone you know. No more feeling around in the dark to figure out what the other person is thinking!
Finally, networking is great because it can net you real friends as well as professional relationships. With a virtual Rolodex that’s full of contacts, you’ll have people to eat lunch with, go bowling with or whatever else you’re of a mind to do; it’s more than just business! When you’re in a tight spot, you’ll want more than just a business partner: you’ll want a friend.
Taking names in 2022
So, we’ve convinced you. You want to start networking as soon as possible. Great! Just one problem; where do you start? How exactly does one go about the task of systematically initiating and nurturing business relationships to fill out the pages of your virtual Rolodex? We’re glad you asked! In the following sections, we’ll be giving you some helpful tips on how to get the networking ball rolling and start filling those pages. Let’s begin!
Attend a conference
While much of the modern professional’s life takes place online, there are still a number of aspects of it that do not. One of the most prominent of these aspects is conferences. While there are without a doubt plenty of excellent networking opportunities to be had elsewhere, a conference allows you to cut straight to the chase and do what you came to do: network!
There are conferences for just about every business sector, but real estate conferences are one of the most common. No matter where you live, there’s a good chance a real estate conference of one type or another is taking place near you. Go to one and see what happens; only good things are bound to come of it!
You see, in most conversations, bringing the conversation around to real estate can be a challenge. Asking your friends whether or not they’re trying to find a real estate agent or buy a new home can be a perilous subject to breach, but at a real estate conference, everyone is thinking the same thing. You don’t have to lead the conversation or be obnoxious, you just have to talk real estate!
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it can be quite tough for some. If you want to get leads and garner business associates, you’re going to need to meet them in one context or another. This can mean any number of things, from giving your business card to strangers at a coffee shop to introducing yourself to potential clients at the grocery store. Just put yourself out there and ply your trade!
One great way to initiate the type of conversations that will lead to you getting leads and partners is by hosting house parties. If you’ve got the space for it, inviting good friends and new acquaintances over for dinner can be both fun and productive. Pop open a couple bottles of wine, enjoy some good food and have a good time. Don’t talk business the whole night, but don’t miss an opportunity if it presents itself!
There are an abundance of additional situations and contexts where you’ll find opportunities to strike up casual conversations and make connections in the world of business and outside of it. The important thing to remember is that you’re not just trying to generate leads and make moves in the real estate business; you’re looking to make genuine connections. If you do that, the leads will come too, in time!
This one is less a specific strategy and more a general piece of advice, but it’s still highly relevant. When you’re learning to network and fill out a virtual Rolodex with trusted associates, you need to be able to take networking opportunities wherever you can find them. If you hesitate or choke, you might miss the opportunity of a lifetime!
Overcoming social anxiety can be difficult, but if you want to network effectively it’s something that you need to do. Get outside of your comfort zone as often as you can, and put yourself in situations that make you feel challenged. Over time, talking to strangers without tensing up and acting unnaturally will become second nature to you!
Again, it’s important to remember that you’re not just chasing short term gains here; you’re pursuing mutually beneficial relationships that, if maintained properly, can last a lifetime. You don’t want to use people and drop them the second they’re inconvenient. Far from it, in fact! You’re seeking professional relationships that work in both of your best interests, so that your real estate agent Rolodex is always at hand with someone to help you out of a tight spot!
While Rolodex might have faded into the distant past, there’s no doubt about the fact that networking is still a vital practice in the world of real estate. Without it, you’re unlikely to see much success; after all, no one wins a war alone! With some diligent effort and due discipline, your virtual Rolodex will be full in no time.