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Real Estate Brokerage

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.



internal communication strategy

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.

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.


Taylor is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and has a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Illinois State University. She is currently pursuing freelance writing and hopes to one day write for film and television.

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Real Estate Brokerage

Why real estate brokerages are not startups

(REAL ESTATE) Brokerages are popping up nationwide that are sleek and modern, and also misinformed as they call themselves startups. Let’s talk about the technical definition.



real estate startup

Businesses that are just starting out often refer to themselves as startups (which is inappropriate given that startups are funded differently, scale differently, and have completely different KPIs). Take real estate brokerages, for example. An increasing number call themselves startups, but when you look at the definition of a startup, can you really call yourself one?

Small businesses and startups have very different definitions (and there’s no shame in being a small business or an “innovative brokerage”). Let’s discuss.

1. Startups have a different goal altogether.

Typically, startups are about growth. They’re designed from day one to scale extremely quickly. Small businesses are often limited by a target market or geographic location. There’s nothing wrong with that, but they aren’t scalable the same way an international software brand is. Think about scaling in terms of a beauty salon versus MatchCo, an app that uses technology to create a foundation just for you. A franchise does not a startup make.

2. Startups generally seek outside funding to accelerate growth.

Startup founders often give up equity shares to generate funds before becoming profitable. Small businesses are typically self-funded, bootstrapped into profitability, and owned by one or a select few. A small business venture is typically less risky than a startup, too. The idea behind a small business venture is profit, and you want the business to last. Startups are structured to be sold or acquired once it hits critical mass – a “startup” is temporary.

3. Startups disrupt the industry.

Think about these companies – AirBnB, Google, Dropbox, Facebook, even Apple, a long time ago. In their early days, they were startups. It was risky to invest in these companies as they were trying something new (not iterating on something like the real estate practice which is one of the oldest professions in America), but they have outshone their competitors. They disrupted the marketplace. That’s what a startup does. And it doesn’t always work. Sonitus Medical attempted to disrupt the hearing aid market. They raised almost $90 million in funding before the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services decided the product wouldn’t be covered. The company held an auction and closed its doors. Brokerages have experimented with paying salaries, going paperless, or having all agents working remotely – these are all fabulous innovations and iterations, not disruptions.

The takeaway

We’ve been on the forefront for over a decade of ushering in the era of indie brokerages, paperless real estate brands, and counter-culture companies, but brokerages are simply not startups, and this is not up for debate. Iteration is not innovation.

Don’t call yourself something you’re not – be an “innovative broker” and rock it, because you’re not a temporary company seeking to scale so rapidly that you’re acquired for your indisputable disruption.

And finally, don’t fall for real estate brokerages pitching themselves as “startups” when they’re misinformed and really mean they’re simply, and beautifully “modern.”

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Real Estate Brokerage

Why you must suddenly improve your behavior during showings

(TECHNOLOGY) No longer just for secret lair owners, doorbell cams are on the rise. Make sure you’re on your best behavior when showing a property or your clients will know.



ring doorbell showings

Everyone is watching you all the time, and no, this isn’t paranoia speaking. Many homes now have security measures in place beyond a basic alarm.

As a real estate agent or broker, when you’re showing a property, keep in mind the age old adage: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.

More homeowners are installing security cameras, which can broadcast audio and video directly to their smartphones. So even if your client is at work, they can see and hear everything you’re doing if they want to tune in to their camera stream.

Although most listing clients get feedback from tours, they could theoretically check the quality of salesmanship before you even enter the front door during showings., for example, offers real time info with video doorbells, floodlight cams, and security cameras. All their products broadcast HD video directly to an app available for Android and Apple customers.

Users are alerted any time someone comes in range of the security camera or approaches the door. With two-way audio, homeowners can answer the door remotely through the app.

Amazon recently purchased Ring for a cool billion dollars, so expect to see ownership on the rise. Thanks to some heavy investing on Amazon’s part back in December 2017, Ring products are already integrated as an Alexa skill, so users can interact with Ring security products through their Echo devices.

Google-owned Nest cams pick up motion as well, and even simple indoor motion cams will alert owners of someone’s presence. With the power of wifi and a security camera, homeowners can track your activity on showings.

Avoid the classic theater nightmare scenario where an actor gets caught trash talking backstage because oops, their microphone was on an the entire audience heard everything.

You don’t want to put yourself or company in a compromising situation because something that should have been said in confidence got captured on a doorbell cam outside, or a security cam inside.

Of course, you are already on your most professional behavior when you’re showing a home, cameras or not, but keep in mind that it’s now even easier for clients to monitor their home’s interior and exterior activities.

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Real Estate Brokerage

Brokerages rarely write an internal communication strategy, here’s how

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



internal communication strategy

It’s still early enough in the year that you can start fresh personally and professionally. Help your organization start fresh 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 headingm 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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