Boosting Your Real Estate Success:

The Benefits of Joining Your Local Chamber of Commerce

It would be hard to find a more competitive industry than real estate.  There were days when individuals could take their time, look at property, think it over, and then make a decision.  Today, real estate professionals advise buyers that if they like it, put a bid on it.  Even with a bid, there is no guarantee.  Often properties are sold very quickly and over the asking price.  So, you must figure out how to gain a competitive edge. 
Your local Chamber of Commerce would be a great place to start.  Members of the Chamber are often influential leaders and people who are “in the know”.  Having the opportunity to meet these individuals should move networking events up on your priority list.  Remember, someone either needs a piece of real estate or knows someone who does.
It is important to remember that not all Chambers of Commerce operate in the same way.  As they say, once you have seen one Chamber of Commerce, you have seen one Chamber of Commerce.  Agents need to find one that has the culture they are looking for, one that offers membership benefits that appeal to them, one that is in a market that best fits their real estate needs, and most importantly, one who hosts events that allow the opportunity to network.  
Although networking events vary by Chamber, many offer breakfast socials, lunch and learns, workshops, panels of experts and more.  There are also educational opportunities to learn from local experts, social media training, business app ideas, or training on programs like CANVA or AI.  These educational events enable agents to stay up-to-date with the latest practices, enhance their skills, and adapt to changing market conditions.   
So how do you best utilize your time at a networking event?  Remember, it is not just enough to attend an event.  Here are some tips:

•      You are always on - look the part.  Dress like you're ready to work - including a name tag with your name and company.  Arrive with a smile.  Greet everyone.      
·         Arrive early so you will have more time to network, and take advantage of talking to as many people as possible.
·         Volunteer to help registration – this gives you an easy and comfortable opportunity to meet everyone.
·         Ask people you meet, “How can I assist you and your business?"    Being known as the “connector” - not just the one in need - is HUGE in your business.
·         Find the person standing alone and make conversation.   Not everyone does well at networking - you might meet a great referral partner.
·         Schedule the networking events on your calendar and treat them like appointments. Every event is the opportunity to prospect and connect.
·         Speaking of you, it is important to not make the event about you.  Don't forget to ask THEM questions and getting to know a little about them.  After even a brief conversation with someone, you should know at least two things about them. 
·         Answering phone calls is important, especially in this field, but have the courtesy to step away, outside of view of others.  If you are taking a call or checking an e-mail or text, excuse yourself from the conversation.  Remember, by accessing your phone in any way, you are saying that the information or person on the phone is more important than the person in front of you.  It is just common courtesy and you would expect the same.
·         Speaking of courtesy, avoid wearing a headset at a networking event.  It gives the vibe that you are waiting on someone more important than the people in the room.   
·         Follow up with those who you meet.  You can follow up via a social media platform, a phone call, or a handwritten card.  Be sure to include your contact information and where you met the individual.  Remember, you are not selling here, you are simply following up.
Chambers offer so much beyond networking:
Exposure – agents can position themselves as trusted advisors and supporters of their local area.  Ideas include serving as a Chamber Ambassador or Board Member, mentoring another Chamber member, attending networking events, promoting open house events, providing Chamber testimonials and many more.  Building a positive reputation through Chamber involvement can lead to increased referrals and a strong word-of-mouth presence, ultimately boosting an agent's client base and market influence.
Resources - Chambers often provide access to valuable business resources such as relocation information, market reports, demographic data, and business directories. Such resources can help agents gain a deeper understanding of their local market and make informed decisions that drive their business forward.  
Promotion – there are often endless promotion opportunities.  Members can join at a higher level for added exposure.  There are also opportunities for event sponsorship, placement in the membership directory on the Chamber’s website (great for SEO), social media mentions, advertising slots and so much more.  Promotion will also happen organically by just being a member.

For real estate agents seeking to gain a competitive edge in their local market, joining a Chamber of Commerce is a strategic move. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce today to learn more about how you can get more involved.