Have you ever been told to collect as many business cards as you can within a networking event? Or have you yourself done this within the property networking events you attend?
Well don’t say you didn’t :). I did.
We collect those business cards and phone numbers with only one predictable end. They end up in the bin or a cupboard accumulating dust with time.
Whilst I was active within property networking events, over a period of time I probably lost interest and also started questioning why am I doing this.
That was a powerful question “Why”. It made me think if I am networking, then should there be a purpose and should there be some ground rules or repeatable framework to network.
I started experimenting after a bit of advice from others and yes reading some interesting posts as well online. I figured out quickly that you have to set your own rules and what works for one may not work for another person. However there are few common things that are applicable for anyone who wants to network.
I knew, I had to change and start controlling my mind to just let the relationships mature than me running behind every person within events. It is important to be mindful of where we can fall flat and stick a rule in there to tell your mind to take a step back and see what and why we are doing this.
Here are those 10 ground rules under which I was effective networking with people and found like-minded people to work with on my projects.
Nothing like listening to a monk!!
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1The COMMON Factor
Find what is common between self and the person you are trying to network with. People are comfortable in what they do and if it aligns to what you think and do you are giving that comfort factor to a stranger. Once you have given that comfort factor you can take it to next topic of discussion as you may see fit.
2KNOW The Network
The first meet up is about, know and let know of each other not what you can do for each other. In my earlier days, I used to jump too quickly to what I can do and what is in it for me out of enthusiasm of meeting up like minded people. However it took some practice to control enthusiasm and see the bigger picture.
3How FEW vs. How MANY
It’s not about how many you networked with but how few you connected with in an event or after the event. Lets face it, out of 100 people you network with over a period of time you probably will end up staying in touch with at the max 10 people with a push. Its critical even to go to an extent, if you have time to categorize your network and identify those whom you can help and whom you would like to join hands with for your projects.
4Power Of EMAIL
A common urge within people is to ask for a mobile number too soon into the engagement. You probably will lose the powerful networkers if you ask for a contact number straight away. However if you can keep the discussion going and just ask for email address to get in touch with towards end of your chat, you stand a better chance to get connected. Mobile number will sure follow, may not be within that event but when you get in touch with them over email.
5The Crucial 5 MINUTES of Property Networking
Most of us don’t realize or spend those crucial 5 minutes after the event to just send a quick note to people whom you connected with in the event. Spend 5 minutes and send emails with all whom you networked in an event. Serious networkers will sure respond and share their contact details at this point or within couple of email exchanges. This probably is critical thing than attending an event if i have to say.
6The CONSISTENCY Factor
We tend to attend variety of network events thinking we get exposed to wider network, however like any other area “less is more”. It’s about being consistent to a limited number of network events where you get to see few people regularly and blossom the relationships. Pick 2 events and attend those 2 regularly. You quickly notice that there will be few who will attend them regularly and within those you will find your business partners. I found one to blog with and one to create an app in property management with just 3 months of attending few events.
Let’s face it. Preparation is key to gain any impression and having a pitch that clearly tells the crowd on who you are and what you do can only do good. Evolving and rehearsing such an informal pitch help you to identify those common areas with others over time and helps to click with like-minded people. This is not a sales pitch or a brand pitch. This is about you and what you do.
8The HELLO Factor
You may not realize the power of a hello in a property networking event, however you surely will when you get back in touch with the people after event whom you connected with. A monthly email to all your network to stay in touch would be key to stay in the know.
9The Problem SOLVER
If you are experienced in a field then it would be prudent to help others with your expertise. One of the easiest way to network with people is when you are able to lend an ear and listen to their issues. Even better if you could suggest and resolve their issues. The cascading effect this will have when the one whom you helped socializes about you in the meet up.
10Being THANKFUL and ORGANIZED
Finally, never give up an opportunity to network and thank the network you built over time. I love few of my networking friends who set time aside just for meeting up people they connect with each Thursday over a coffee. By doing so it actually dictates others minds on your availability every Thursday so they know when to meet up.
Yes we are all open to network even if it’s on monthly hello emails. Feel free to drop us a note on our contact us form or just speak to us on email.