If you’re looking for a new way to grow your business, go to the contacts app on your phone. Now, scroll to the bottom and you’ll find the total number of contacts that you’ve saved. This number might surprise you, because you most likely don’t connect with all of these people on a regular basis. But you can change that, because your contacts app is also your most accessible Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool as a real estate agent! Here are a few ways that you can use the contacts you already have to grow your sphere of influence.

1) Get Involved in Your Community

The people in your neighborhood and surrounding area will either give their business to you or another agent. If you’re new to town or don’t get out a lot, you might not have much business simply because you haven’t networked within your community enough. Fortunately, there are easy ways to do this while having fun at the same time.

Volunteer: This is one of the most effective ways of getting your name out to prospective clients. Donating time to an organization that you’re passionate about allows you to meet people who have similar values, and they’ll remember you for your generosity.

Here at HomeSmart International, we recognize the importance of giving back to our community and encourage our staff and agents to do so on a regular basis. HomeSmart Helps, HomeSmart International’s 501(c)(3), provides local monthly volunteer opportunities benefiting different charities. This allows our agents to make a positive change in the community while also networking with the people who will give them business down the line.

2) Link Up with Local Businesses

A real estate transaction involves more than just the buyer, seller and agent. Lenders, escrow officers, movers and home inspectors are only a handful of the people your clients work with throughout the home-buying experience.

Build relationships and partner with affiliated businesses by inviting them to join you at an open house. This is great exposure for them and an opportunity to show yourself as a well-connected expert in your industry with the relationships you need to make every aspect of a transaction a smooth one.

Having a team of trusted companies will be valuable to you for many reasons. First, you can count on them to provide seamless transactions and a high level of service. You can also refer your clients to them, and you’ll generate leads when they refer their clients to you. Real estate is a relationship-building industry, and forming these mutually beneficial associations is an important step toward growing your business.

3) Attend Industry Conferences and Events

You never know how far an agent connection might go. By attending industry events and conferences, you’ll add a diverse group of agents to your network. This is important because they can help your business at any time. For example, an agent from a different part of the country could refer you to one of their clients who is looking to buy in your area. The more connections you make with fellow agents, the better!

We always encourage our agents to connect with one another and stay well-informed. Our agent mixers are hosted at popular spots and allow agents to mingle with others in their community. We also make our presence known at industry-wide conferences like the National Association of Realtors (NAR) each year, encouraging our agents to join us and expand their own network.

4) Get Social

In today’s world, it’s just as easy to network online as it is offline – if you do it right. By providing quality content aimed toward your prospects, you can build your business through social media.

Be Intentional: When working on your social media presence, it’s important to keep your platforms looking clean and high-quality. Don’t overwhelm your leads with too many posts or content that doesn’t add to your message. Each post should add value to your leads by persuading them to work with you, so keep this end goal in mind every time you add new content to their feeds.

HomeSmart International makes it easy for our agents to keep an intentional online presence. We provide them a variety of SmartTools that take the stress out of content creation by automating their marketing efforts. In addition, our Marketing Design Center (MDC) provides professional templates for posts that agents can use on any social media platform. This all makes it easier for agents to focus on what matters most: growing their client base.

Join Groups: There are a variety of networking groups all over the web for real estate agents to join. To start, joining groups designated for agents will provide you tips and resources to grow your business. HomeSmart International, for example, has several Facebook groups that make networking easy for our agents by providing them one place to stay updated and socialize with one another. Whether you’re trying to find an open house to hold open, or want to learn what successful agents are doing, these online communities allow you to interact with agents around the globe without even leaving your house.

You’ll also see a boost in your business by joining groups designed for your prospects. These might be community-based in the area you’re farming, or they could focus on certain interests that your prospects have, like home improvement. As a member of these groups, you can easily stay up-to-date on what’s happening in specific markets. You can also provide your own insight as an agent by participating in discussions and answering questions. If you positively contribute on a regular basis, you’ll be remembered as a knowledgeable agent in the area.

5) Use Who You Know

When all else fails, don’t be afraid to reach out to people you already know. If there are people in your contacts who you haven’t spoken to in years, take the opportunity to reconnect with them rather than allowing their information to take up space in your phone. Don’t worry about focusing these conversations completely on your business; it’ll most likely come up naturally. No matter how the conversations go, you can be sure that your effort doesn’t go unnoticed and you’ll score some new clients from it!

So next time you visit the contacts app in your phone, use it to your advantage. Whether you call up someone you haven’t connected with in a while, or add some new contacts that you met at a community event, this list will provide you incredible networking opportunities to grow your business.

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