May 20, 2016

Why You Need to Keep Networking During Busy Season


Busy Season for real estate is between the the months of March to July. In these months, home searching and buying is at it's peak. Trulia published a report studying home online searches that mirrored just that showing that in many states people are searching to buy new or more properties during this time.

As a real estate agent, you probably have your hands full. Your calendar is booked, you have ongoing emails going out to your buyers and sellers, and you're going from open house to open house. There isn't a lot of time. for networking or building new relationships.

But, we're here to tell you to get out of that mindset.

Did you know that people who are looking to buy a house are beginning their search 6 to 12 months before? Imagine if your potential leads were searching for a home during the previous busy season. Did you reach out? Or were you too busy?

There are many variables to this; however, the average real estate agent sells about 3 houses a year.

You're not average, right? (Or at least you don't want to be) If most real estate agents are focused on things outside of relationship building and networking, this is your chance to stand out and to stack your odds that you come out on top.

Keep networking during real estate busy season...

We understand that it becomes difficult to juggle multiple tasks, but we also want you to know how important your network is to your business. Between listing a home and finding the perfect house for your client, you're probably wondering when you'll find time to network and continuing

1. If you're busy, then you'll get more things done

I was listening to NPR a few mornings ago and heard from Shankar Vedantam say that busy people get more things done. Logically, you could think that "Of course busy people get more things done because they have more things to do." But, after exploring more, that is not the case. Researchers have found that busy people are more motivated to get things done and busy people are willing to take on more tasks.

As mentioned before, you understand that you are probably really close or even at your capacity on tasks you need to accomplish during this busy time, yet making a concerted effort to add in time to network will pay off tremendously. There is still more room to take on important tasks. We aren't saying jam your plate full to the point of exhaustion, but you can follow a few steps to keep networking while you are working with your clients during busy season.

    • Organize your time

Sometimes, this is easier said than done. However, when you are almost drowning in your workload from clients, you have to start with organization. Look at your calendar and block off times. Even if it means you block off time to sleep and the first hour of every morning you check your email, you'll have time back that you didn't have before.

    • Segment your contacts

If you bucket your contacts into one category, you're doing it wrong. We won't fully dive into our previous articles on contact segmentation and the importance of it; but, you'll save more time and your messages will be much more effective with the segmentation.

    • Set reminders for yourself

If I don't write something down, there's a high possibility that I will forget about what I needed to remember. Whatever it is that you do to remind yourself of things you cannot forget, set those up ASAP. It can be easy to forget things when we are busy, but if you don't have those reminders, you could get so much more done if you didn't forget about those things in the first place.

2. Your network today will be your network tomorrow...maybe

There was a New York Times article that cited a study saying that on average older people had smaller social networks versus younger people. The article is titled "To Get a Job in Your 50s, Maintain Friendships in Your 40s" and it fully highlights the importance of just that. Professor Wanberg, one of the researchers mentioned in the piece said, "Once you hit your early 40, even if you aren't looking for a job, work to learn new skills and stretch yourself. Also keeping your networks strong by staying in touch with former colleagues and classmates, along with current co-workers and clients whom you don't see regularly."

via The New York Times

The article highlights how it is important during this time in your life, but it's really important throughout your whole life and vital to your real estate business. Busy season doesn't mean you put your blinders on and forget about everything else. You'll still have clients that you'll need to maintain a relationship with because you'll never know what time of the year you'll need to call in a favor (or referral).

The state of your network today won't always be exactly the same tomorrow, but if you let you go to waste because you're busy with new clients, your network tomorrow could suffer in the long run. How do you keep your network up-to-date when your to-do list is packed?

We've mentioned habit building in a couple of posts, but building short, quick habits during busy season will ensure that your network isn't something you'll have to cleanup when things are a bit slow.

Here are some habits you can try out for yourself:

    • Try taking 5 minutes every morning to send one follow-up.

    • Every 3rd time you check your email, clear it to inbox zero.

    • Meet with at least one new person bi-weekly.

    • Every Friday afternoon, organize your contacts into their proper segments

    • Message a past client every Monday with a relevant article about their house.

You can try to input some of these habits into our Creating Habits Worksheet. You can download it here!

3. You'll find more opportunities

If the average real estate agent sells 3 houses per year, they potentially also don't maintain their network during busy season. Think about the competitive advantage you'll have to rise to the top. Avoid putting the blinders on while you are working through your current clients during busy season and keep up with your network during this time. Your busy season could extend through the whole year and not just to the spring/summer months.

If you are saying that this is truly impossible, don't worry we have you covered again -- automation. There are many services and platforms where you can set up personalized automation to send out the messages when you're strapped for time.

Keep going

We know you're in the midst of busy season now, but don't forget about your network. It holds the keys to your biggest successes or it could hand you your biggest failures if you don't keep up with it. How are you handling this busy season? Are you managing your network at the same time?