Why You Should Join a Networking Group

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There are many agents within my office who have joined networking groups.  I have not yet.

Via Bob Haywood, www.BobHaywood.com (McGraw Realtors):

Networking GroupI mentioned in a blog the other day that I was establishing a new networking group.  This is because I want to be proactive in setting myself up in the best possible situation I can for the coming slower winter months.  This is also because I’ve experienced the benefits of a networking group that works the way it is supposed to.  Our first networking group did right at $80k in business among a dozen members in one year. 

If you’ve never been in a networking group, you might want to consider joining one, if there are strong networking groups in your area.  Usually these will be a BNI or a Goldstar group.  To get into the networking group, there has to be an opening for the real estate, loan officer, inspector or whatever position.  These spots usually open up when a person benefits so much from the referrals from the group that they get too busy to stay in the group.  I know it sounds odd, but trust me, it happens.  A person may leave a networking group also when they just arent’ connecting with others in the group.

It may be just me, but I think being the only real estate professional (or whatever you do) is the way to go.  Most networking groups allow only one person per profession.  That way, you’re the only real estate agent who receives the leads from the group.  Also, you can discuss your trade secrets openly.  Of course, make sure you know everyone in the group really well first!  You don’t want to give away all your competitive advantages to someone who may go give them to the competition.  This would be an ethical violation in many groups.

A major benefit of joining a networking group, besides referrals, is the friendship and support you will receive.  When done right, the local networking group is something like Active Rain on a local level.  There is discussion, education, support, spirited dialog and income producing opportunity.  That’s the good stuff!  The bad stuff is that networking groups aren’t perfect.  Sometimes they don’t last.  Sometimes the leadership changes and the group is negatively impacted.  And sometimes, you just don’t fit into the group.  The good news though, is that there are usually other groups around.  And if there are no groups that are open, you can just go and start your own.

Get Up!  Let's make some money!


My advice is to look for a breakfast networking group.
  That means you’ll have to get out of your bed early, but the referral payoff can be big!  Lunch groups usually take an hour and half minimum and can be difficult when you get into a busy day.  We tried setting up a lunch group and it failed miserably.  As well intentioned as everyone was, most couldn’t make the lunchtime meeting due to unscheduled stuff that would pop up during the morning.

Tomorrow, I’ll share how our new networking group is going be structured and how the things we are going to do are a bit different from the “establishment” groups.  We’re very excited because we’re taking the best of what works in networking groups, tweaking it and adding our own elements.  We believe we’ve found the formula that is going to draw members and give them the support and referrals we all want and need in a slow economy.

Networking Pic from Flikr Creative Commons:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/marc_smith/4511843933/
Coffee Cup Pic from Flikr Creative Commons:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/xelcise/4597295728/

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Information and content in this blog is original to Bob Haywood

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Bob Haywood
Bob Haywood 

Tulsa, OK Realtor®/ McGraw Realtors 
Bob@BobHaywood.com
(918) 272-7272

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About susanmorrison

After living in Walpole, MA for many years, our family was transferred to the west coast when I was a senior in high school. In 1983, I graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. I am also a 1987 graduate of Providence College with a major in liberal arts and a minor in business administration. I bring to the table many years of sales experience beginning with thirteen years in Corporate Sales at Delta Air Lines. I'm the mother of three children and I'm very active within the Franklin, MA community. I am also a cancer survivor and support the American Cancer Society Charities.

My husband and I have built five homes and I've lived in a variety of other locations including Toronto Canada, Irving Texas and my current home in Franklin, MA. As a result of all my moving around, I came to the conclusion that I was an expert at moving...why not become an expert on the other side of the table? I earned my real estate license in 2004 and believe that I have found my true niche'. I can empathize with my clients on a variety of levels; whether they are buying or selling. And, like so many other good realtors out there, I believe that possessing good communication skills is one of the many keys to success.

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