A Little Networking Help

Why recreate the wheel?!? See the tips below courtesy of Affordable Housing Finance:

BUILD A HABIT OF NETWORKING

Some may associate the word “networking” with shallowness, but it is actually a positive practice that is essential to any professional in business, especially in the real estate industry. Here are some tips to employ to build your networking:

·         Think of networking as a lifelong part of your job, whether you are a broker who builds relationships for a living or an accountant whose work doesn’t entail meeting new contacts;

·         Some jobs make it easier to meet new contacts, but regardless of what position you hold, make the effort to network on a regular basis. It is a win-win for you and for your employer;

·         If you work in a function where networking is a normal part of your job, make sure some percentage of it is devoted to your long-term personal agenda and not just your company’s goals;

·         Many people think of networking and career planning as an external affair. Absolutely not. Definitely seek opportunities and build bridges externally. But it is even more important to build your network and experience (indeed, this is what building your resume is all about) internally;

·         Create a networking strategy based on who you want to meet and why. In addition to external relationships, you should at least equally focus on networking within your own firm to seek out mentors and build relationships. Urban Land Institute and National Multifamily Housing Council can provide good networking opportunities, as well as good industry updates. If you have highly specialized skills (accounting, property management, etc.), you may also find affinity groups within such organizations;

·         You have 15 chances to set up your own networking opportunities in a normal work week, as weekdays provide the perfect time to get together over breakfast, lunch, or drinks … well, OK just 13—forget Monday breakfast and Friday drinks. Set a goal of a few such meetings a week and stick to it—throughout your entire career; and

·         Remember, networking is a two-way street, and real relationships are forged when you show genuine interest. As such, avoid lecturing potential contacts, telling them you are the “best candidate for x” or forgetting to look up when you are speaking. Listen and look, don’t just talk. Respond to those reaching out to you as part of their networking. This is a way of “paying forward,” and you never know where such a relationship may serve you in your own career.

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