Is your Market Slow? Then Network…

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This has definitely been a roller coaster year for the housing industry. If your phone is quiet and you are wondering how to generate more business, network.

Networking can be easy. It shouldn’t feel like work; get involved in things you love and it will be fun and simple.

Do you love to entertain? Join or start a Bunko group and offer to host the event at your house. For those of us involved in the housing industry, networking opportunities are boundless: women’s councils, Realtor® councils, home building associations, sales and marketing councils, the local chapter of Urban Land Institute and more.

How about your college alumni association, fraternity or sorority? Start building your network early in your career. Attend seminars, networking events and workshops. Build your Rolodex® and call on your connections to build your business and in turn, build theirs too.

What if you don’t have a lot of time? Introduce yourself to people at the local track when you are walking laps or talk to folks in line at the grocery story. You never know who you are going to bump into or meet. Networking happens everyday; you don’t necessarily have to be at a cocktail party, trade show or other social event to network.

If you like parties though, look for opportunities to attend events thrown by local and regional magazines. Often those events are well attended by the movers and shakers, and yes, the best networkers in your area. Many times these events are grand openings of new high rise condos, restaurants or clubs and can be great fun.

If you love animals, find a way to get involved with your local shelter or animal rescue group.
Volunteer activities are another great way to meet people from all walks of life.

Set aside part of each day to network. Drop colleagues an email or mail them a birthday card or a thank you card. Find a way to stay in touch and reach out to your existing contacts; they are a source of future referrals and a valuable link in your networking chain.

Finally, don’t overlook the Internet as a place to network. Social networks such as www.LinkedIn.com provide places to meet new contacts as well as keep in touch with current contacts.

Don’t be shy; find a way to get involved. Network; it will be good for your bottom line.

Expert networker, Carol M. Flammer, MIRM, has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Jobs section for her skills in utilizing networking to build business.