Despite today’s focus on social media and digital marketing, good old face-to-face networking remains a foundation of business success.

For real estate agents, a high-quality, face-to-face networking event can yield new clients and quality connections in other areas of real estate that lead to new business and build solid networking relationships that are anchored by handshakes, eye contact and meeting people in the flesh.

But networking can take hours out of one’s day, and a low-quality network event can be a waste of precious time. To help real estate agents and others better determine whether a networking event is worth attending, Mark Birch offered these tips in a February 7 blog post on Hubspot.com.

Markings of a high-quality network event

High-quality networking events offer attendees something beyond the chance to meet others. They’re opportunities for learning and meeting people with whom you want to do business and remain in contact. Because of the people who attend and speak, these events encourage engaging conversation that can result, according to Birch, in collaborations, deals and partnerships.

Face-to-face networking techniques

Face-to-face networking can yield quality connections and build solid networking relationships that are anchored by handshakes, eye contact and meeting people in the flesh.

Avoid low-quality events

Low-quality events often lack focus. Other hallmarks of a low-quality networking event, according to Birch, include events that are open to the public and might be too large to successfully navigate the crowd. These events often don’t have a purpose, but rather might be billed as simply networking opportunities. Meeting the right person or people at one of these is like finding a needle in a haystack.

How important is networking to a real estate career? See how the more than 1,100 real estate professionals who took our survey ranked it.

Ask these questions before attending the next networking event —

• Is the topic of the event something that interests you? Or is the speaker known to be a great draw? Is the subject, such as the grand opening of a new real estate development, important for your business?

• Is it something the people you want to meet will probably attend? Sometimes, you can look up who is and isn’t going on social media.

• Who or what group is organizing the event? That can make a big difference in the event’s quality or draw.

• Is it open to the public or by invitation-only? Both can be good events, Birch wrote, but the invitation-only or paid events tend to be more relevant, exclusive and focused.

• How many people are expected to attend? One hundred people or more is probably too many to navigate. Thirty to about 70 is ideal, according to Birch.

• Where is it? A poor choice for a venue might be a red flag.

Handshake, networking, building business

While these questions aren’t guaranteed to weed out the losing from winning networking events, they should help real estate agents and others to best use their time allotted for face-to-face networking.

Have tips on how you choose which networking events to attend? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: “How to Find Networking Events Actually Worth Attending,” blogspot.com (Feb. 7, 2017)