Whether you’re on the job hunt or not, there’s no doubt you’ve been encouraged to “network, network, network!” more times than you can bear to count.
The real estate and property industry is relatively small. Everyone seems to know everyone, so your connections can take you a long way - if you’re networking correctly, that is.
If all those conferences and industry events you’ve been attending aren’t paying off, there’s a chance you might be making a few blunders.
Here’s what you might not even realise you’re doing wrong - and how to fix it.
1. Failing to follow through
You met someone over a networking happy hour and promise you’ll send that recruiter your portfolio.
But as the night wears on, that recruiter meets dozens more people and you’re sure she’s completely forgotten about you, so you decide it’s not even worth emailing her the next day.
Big mistake. Huge.
Meeting someone is only the first step in networking. To forge a long-lasting relationship, Ms Brookes says you need to follow through - every single time.
“Don’t collect business cards and make promises of catching up or connecting on social media if you don’t plan to.
“As soon as you leave the event connect with everyone you met on LinkedIn and pop them a personalised one line email letting them know you enjoyed meeting them,” Ms Brookes told WILLIAMS MEDIA.
2. ‘Showing up to the opening of an envelope’
Networking isn’t about being at every single event there is.
Virginia says you need to hone in on what it is specifically that you want to achieve - whether it be expanding your network, growing your personal brand, or finding a new job.
“Do your research and make sure you can benefit from the function.
"Will there be people there you can do business with? Is it in a realistic geographical location to where you do business? Is it relevant to the industry you work in?” Ms Brookes said.
3. Being inauthentic
We get it, networking can be SCARY. Walking into a room filled with strangers is overwhelming for most people, and while it might be tempting to put on a mask to cope, it might actually be doing you more harm than good.
“There’s no need to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will always meet more successful types, overachievers, and incredibly interesting people, so the best thing to do is to just be yourself,” Ms Brookes says.
“People buy off people, so if you want your new contacts to work with you, make sure you show them the real you.
And if you’re the introverted type who hates networking (hands up, me!), Virginia says the easiest fix is to introduce yourself to just one other person who is in the same boat as you.
“The easiest way to crack the crowd is to walk up to someone else that is standing alone and introduce yourself.
"They will be so relieved that someone has spoken to them and it instantly takes you from standing alone swirling your drink to looking like you’re well connected.”