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    When you’re just starting out in real estate, the idea of generating new leads can be overwhelming. However, expanding your network of contacts is often one of the first steps toward creating a lead pipeline that consistently offers new clients. With that in mind, read over the four real estate networking tips below. They’ll help you come up with new and innovative ways to expand your reach.

    Use these 4 real estate networking ideas to start generating leads

    1. Check out your local business organizations.

    Often, if you’re looking for a place to practice networking, local business organizations are a good place to start. Specifically, it’s a good idea to check if your area has an established chamber of commerce or a chapter of Business Network International (BNI). These organizations are often a good place to start your networking journey because they are meant for professionals who are looking for referrals.

    While some organizations only have loose requirements for who can join, others have strict policies in place. For example, BNI only allows one professional from each industry to join their networking group to decrease competition between members. This means that there can be one dentist per group, one contractor, and one real estate agent. You’ll want to do your research on the requirements of each group before joining.

    2. Find ways to engage with your community — the ultimate real estate networking tip.

    Once you have a better idea of how to deliver your elevator pitch and give out your card without sounding too “sales-y,” it’s time to get involved in the community. Truthfully, this is the most important real estate networking tip. Engaging with your community is the best way to get to know more people in your local area and to expand the number of potential referrals that can come your way.

    If you aren’t sure where to start, consider volunteering for a cause that you are passionate about. Volunteering is a great way to give back while also getting to know a new group of people. In addition, you could try and sponsor local community events like 5Ks or craft fairs. Finally, you could also consider taking a class or teaching one to your friends and neighbors.

    In reality, it doesn’t really matter how you choose to get involved in your community — as long as you are willing to put yourself out there and to talk about what you do for a living.

    3. Attend trade shows, conferences, and other industry events.

    Connecting with other real estate professionals should also be at the top of your networking to-do list. While you may think that it’s counterproductive to spend your time getting to know people who may be competing for the same leads, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Often, real estate agents tend to specialize in helping their clients buy and sell within a particular geographic area or in a specific niche.

    If they come in contact with a client who wants something that is outside their particular scope, they may choose to refer that client to another agent, particularly someone who they know and trust. You could be that person and, eventually, you will likely start to be able to give referrals as well. However, before then, the process starts with getting to know other people in your industry.

    Beyond that, it can also be a good idea to attend events for those in adjacent industries, such as contractors, mortgage lenders, and title agents. Not only will getting to know professionals in these industries help you generate more referrals, but it will also be useful to have a stable of experts on-call when your clients need their services in the future.

    4. Join an established real estate team.

    Lastly, if you’ve tried networking on your own and haven’t had much success, it may be a good idea to join a real estate team. Often real estate teams are headed by experienced professionals that have a wealth of contacts. By joining a team, you’ll be able to benefit from these contacts and start to build relationships of your own.

    If you do decide to join a team, it’s best not to jump into networking right out of the gate. Instead, it’s better to let these relationships build organically over time.

    The bottom line on these real estate networking ideas

    At the end of the day, networking is key to lead generation. Over time, once your new contacts get to know and trust you, they will begin to provide a steady stream of referrals, which you can use to grow your business. While these real estate networking ideas may be enough to get you started, don’t be afraid to put your own spin on them. In truth, any activity that can help you meet new people can be seen as a great networking opportunity.

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