Brokerage best practices

Commercial real estate networking in 2021 – what still works

March 3, 2021

The start of 2021 looks a lot different than it did last year in 2020. With the rise of the hybrid workforce and our increased reliance on technology and virtual collaboration, commercial real estate professionals will need to work to define their networking approach in a post-pandemic world. 

To help you think about what still works—and what is still feasible this year—we put together some tips for commercial real estate networking in 2021. Be sure to consider these tips in order to enhance your network this year.

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Join CRE networking groups and organizations

Joining commercial real estate associations and networking groups is one of the best ways to widen your network in the industry. It not only increases your credibility with clients, but it also gives you access to people, resources, and educational opportunities that can work to enhance your career.

Associations and organizations that are highly regarded among commercial real estate professionals include BOMA, CCIM, SIOR, and CREW—to name a few. Whether you choose to join one or many, you will definitely notice the benefits.

Attend Chamber of Commerce meetings

It goes without saying that businesses are struggling in the midst of the pandemic—and your Chamber of Commerce meetings are all about networking and promoting the interests of the business community. 

Attending these meetings—or better yet, joining your local Chamber of Commerce—provides you with great opportunities to make business contacts, acquire customer referrals, bring credibility to your business, increase your visibility in the community, and gain a voice in the government. Find yours here!

Establish a strong social media presence

As a commercial real estate professional, you have to stay connected and develop a dialogue with both your current and potential network. And social networking sites are great platforms to increase your brand awareness and expand your professional network. 

At the very least, you should build your presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. When developing your content, be sure to vary your channels to keep things fresh and put yourself in front of more diverse groups of people, share industry content to establish yourself as a thought leader, and post consistently to stay in front of your network.

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Host virtual events

Hosting a CRE networking event is a great opportunity to increase your exposure and build your commercial real estate network. Face-to-face time is crucial for staying in that top-of-mind position, even if all you’re able to do is host a virtual event this year.

Whether you are holding a live webinar or planning a more playful virtual party, hosting an event provides an opportunity to mix, mingle, and be personal with your audience while also leaving a lasting impression. People need a distraction right now—and a virtual event is a great way to make a memorable impression. 

Speak at CRE events

There’s no better way to position yourself as a thought leader in your profession than to speak to the masses at industry events. Think about it—at a professional gathering, you can work the room and probably speak with about 10 people. But if you are speaking at the event, you will reach almost the entire room.

So, even if you aren’t a huge fan of public speaking, you should consider making the effort. Try establishing those connections, get on the agenda, and captivate the audience with your knowledge. You’ll see the results pay off immediately.

Maximize your existing relationships

There’s a reason it is widely known that it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one—and the same thing goes for networking. 

So be sure to send personal thank-you messages to clients, touch base with the members of your professional network, and volunteer for CRE-related activities and philanthropies whenever you can.

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