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Building up your network without losing your mind

(BROKERAGE) Knowing how to build a solid network is growing more and more crucial. Learning how to do it from scratch can be daunting but it is possible.

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How do you network?

Building a network can be an exciting and dedicated task. It is not something that happens overnight, but is something that has the potential to snowball into a collection of talented individuals.

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Since recently graduating college, I’ve been working on building a network of professionals to keep in contact with as I begin my career. What I’ve been amazed with is how my network has grown in just a few months and in the most unexpected of ways.

Networking is a constant

Having been a communication studies major with a wide range of interests, I’ve been dabbling in a number of different projects since graduation. As a result, I’ve been fortunate to meet some very helpful individuals who have been great with giving guidance and advice, as well as assistance with putting me in touch with people in my fields of interest.

While it may not have always been something that I sought out, I’ve been trying to converse with as many people as possible and build connections in any social situation outside of my norm.

It is always best to just put yourself out there, because you never know where it may take you.

Networking as a new agent

This is especially important if you are just starting a career as an agent, or leaving your brokerage where you have to build your network from scratch.

The best first step in this situation is to reach out to people in your existing network to see if they know anyone where you’re going who may be of assistance.

Once you settle into your new normal, it can be helpful to break the ice with your colleagues and potential clients. Not only begin to build rapports and relationships with them, but find out who they know. Figure out what your goals are for building a network and seek out individuals who may have insight.

Communication is key

Now that you’ve been put in touch with a person or two, make sure that you’re following through on that communication.

Having a name won’t do you much good, you need to start a dialogue and see where that may take you.

Whether it be a one-time conversation or a conversation that leads to a lifelong relationship, making that communicative first step is crucial.

Being in a new setting, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by shutting yourself in or turning down introductions.

You need to be open to meeting new people and attending different professional/social functions, even if you barely know anyone there (that’s the whole point of networking!)

After a few months and (hopefully) a fairly solid network, do an evaluation to make sure that this network of people aligns with your goals and values. With this, reach out to the people who are doing the things that you find interesting.

Networking as we speak

I was recently put in touch with a mentor who gave me a piece of advice that has already proved to be beneficial.

She urged me to not just look for opportunities that are available, but seek out information on what I’m interested and find a way to pitch myself.

Having worked on different social media management projects in the past, I’ve been seeking out opportunities that would be beneficial in terms of both experience and interest. With my mentor’s advice, I decided to reach out to one of my favorite bands and simply ask if they were looking for any assistance with their social media.

A week later, I found myself at a dinner talking about different options for their social media.

From the I wound up meeting a number of other individuals who were looking for social media advice. As a result, my network wound up expanding in a positive way, just from a simple inquiry email.

Show ‘em what you’re made of

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and to ask questions. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the professional/networking realm since entering “the real world” is that no one is going to do it for you.

So, send that inquiry email, seek out those introductions, and be receptive of invitations and opportunities – you never know where it may lead you.

#MajorKey

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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Real Estate Brokerage

Brokerages rarely write an internal communication strategy, here’s why they should

(BUSINESS) Almost no real estate brokerages have an internal communication strategy, but they absolutely should.

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It’s still early enough in the year that you can start fresh, personally and professionally. Help your organization by taking into account what’s happened in recent history and where you want to go. From there, you will determine what steps are necessary to achieve your goals.

Writing an internal communication (IC) strategy can be the first step in mapping your goals and is virtually unused in the real estate industry. According to All Things IC, an “internal communication strategy is like a map, an outline of your organization’s journey. It’s the big picture of what you want to achieve.” This can be done by a brokerage, or an independent agent alike.

Great! So, where do you start? First, know what an IC strategy needs to address. This includes the where, how, what, and why.

Write down the current state of the company, then state where you’re heading, or where you’d like to be. Create a list of objectives to support this.

Then break into your “how.” Explain how you are going to get to where you want to be, as well as how long it will take and why.

You’ll then venture over to a “what” by outlining what is involved along the way to your goal. Then, throw in a little “why” by explaining why this approach is the best for the job.

Go back to “how” and tell how you’ll know when you’ve reached your destination. This part will require tangibles, measurements to support a change in reaching your goal.

Finally, give one more “what” and address what will happen if you don’t change the way you’re currently operating. If things are working for your organization, that’s great! But, there is always room for improvement.

For an internal communication strategy, it is important to include the following: a title, an issue/purpose, structure, executive summary, audience segmentation/stakeholder mapping, a timeline, channels, measurement, communication objective, approval process and responsibilities, key messages, and an appendix.

Now, what was missing from the initial inclusions was a “who.” So, who should be the one to write this document?

Well, it needs to be someone with a strong understanding and implementation for internal communications. This can be done internally by someone on staff who is an expert; or, it can be outsourced to an expert. Regardless of who writes it, make sure it is clear and concise for the audience at hand.

What is most important to remember is that writing an internal communication strategy is just half the battle. Your work is not done once this document is agreed upon by the leadership team. And finally, you must be willing to enforce what’s written on these pages and be ready to make the changes you’ve outlined.

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Real Estate Brokerage

COVID-19: Huge list of resources to quickly help you and your clients

(NEWS) NAR has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for Realtors, homeowners, and insights on how the stimulus bill will impact the industry.

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As the COVID-19 crisis continues to rattle the globe, many of us have far more questions than answers. Realtors are trying to figure out how to be socially responsible, stay healthy, and maintain their business.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has collected several resources to help you and your clients stay informed of industry happenings during these difficult times.

Click the following headlines for the full lists.

Resources for property owners

This guide collects resources curated by trusted sources like the American Land Title Association, bank regulators, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to provide property owners with guidance during the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the resources provided include:

  • A real-time list of county record office closures
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity plans
  • Information from major banking institutions regarding their policies and customer outreach
  • Information from mortgage insurers
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) foreclosure and eviction moratorium

Guidance on tech-driven alternatives to open houses

As more states head into lockdown or shelter-in-place situations, open houses are a no-go now and for the foreseeable future. While many are concerned about what this means for their business, there are options available as long as you are willing to get creative and embrace technology. In order to help facilitate this shift, the NAR has created a set of guidelines to help members navigate this situation in a way that is safe for them and their clients.

How stimulus recovery will affect the industry

A $2 trillion economic relief bill just passed the U.S. Senate and is expected to pass through the U.S. House and Presidential office without issue. The NAR has been hard at work to make sure that self-employed and independent contractors will see relief from this stimulus package.

What are Realtors doing to help their communities?

Realtors are a vital part of their communities; they know the neighborhoods and small business owners whom they see every day. During the COVID-19 crisis many realtors across the country are doing their part to help the most vulnerable people in their communities.

This is a constantly evolving situation as every state is being faced with tough decisions that affect the health of the citizens and economy. We encourage realtors to stay safe and continue checking resources as the situation progresses in their area.

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Real Estate Brokerage

Project Hatch: Advice directly from successful people

(BUSINESS) Project Hatch shares stories of major founders around the world in an effort to help others grow professionally and “found” their dreams.

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Even if we’re at the tip top of the professional food chain, there is always something that we can learn from those who came before us. Additionally, there is always something that can be learned from peers (or mentors if you’re continuing the career-ladder climb).

This is the intent of Project Hatch, which is designed to tell the stories of founders in order to inspire others who are looking to go down that path. “The best way to learn how to build a company is from those who have done it before,” according to Project Hatch’s official website. “Project Hatch features case studies and analysis from the view-point of founding teams.”

Examples of case studies include some current heavy hitters, such as Tyler Handley – founder of Inkbox, Alex Zaccaria – founder of Linktree, and David Ciccarelli – founder of Voices.com. Their stories include where they are and how they got there.

“So for us, the primary drivers of growth have typically been performance marketing and the associated word of mouth and the organic and return off that. So Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap and we’re experimenting with TicTok right now,” – Tyler Handley

“We created a solution to a problem that we thought was unique to us; but it turns out millions of other people had the same problem. One of the key moments of validation for us, was early on, when the platform was uploaded to Product Hunt,” – Alex Zaccaria

“Exactly two years ago, we raised $18 million USD from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital out of San Francisco. As growth stage equity investors, they were attracted to a large and growing market for voice and audio products,” – David Ciccarelli

The case studies include four key areas that are broken down for major industries. These include: ecommerce, media, agency, and SaaS. With ecommerce, you can learn how to create scalable stores; with media, you can find out how media giants receive hundreds of millions of views on different social platforms; with agency, you can learn how to be more innovative in order to standout in today’s competitive market; and, SaaS offers the most passive form of online income when done correctly, so they feature those who have done it (and are making $600k per month!)

Project Hatch boasts over 15,000 monthly users, over 33,000 monthly page views, and 111 monthly interviews. The site also includes run downs of celebrities’ net worths (so, be sure to look through that if you want to feel bad about yourself).

This is a solid platform that offers something interesting for everyone at any point in their career. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, since there is so much professional advice out there, don’t go overboard looking into so much of it that you forget to do your own work.

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