You seasoned agents already know about networking, so I don't mean to preach to the choir. My contact with students is normally before they become licensed, shortly after they've become licensed, and when they are ready to move on to a higher level of licensing. Forgive me if you are reading this, and you already know the how, when and where of networking. This blog obviously is not for you! To the rest of you who may not have already been exposed to teaching, training and preaching about the values of networking, this blog is definitely for you!

Back in the 1980s, we didn't have computers. We made cold calls, knocked on doors, we left our brochures at grocery stores, restaurants, health clubs and with everyone we could. That was our lead generation in addition to mail outs, handing out brochures at events, and making fliers of our new listings for distribution in the neighborhoods. I kind of think the “old” way was the best way. It made us think, it gave us exercise, and it put us out in front of people.

Networking, however, is a different type of lead generation. It familiarizes other people with who we are and what we do. Back in my day, I wore my name badge on my gold vest, blazer or blouse everywhere I went. Being single, I would wear my “garb” out to restaurants and even to the clubs where my friends and I cut loose. It got so bad that my friends threatened to boycott me if I didn't stop wearing that nasty gold stuff every time we went out! It was funny and I assured them that the vest or blazer (not the blouse) would come off when the dancing started. It was enough to drive them crazy!

I can't tell you how many contacts I made through networking. I wore my outfit to a buyer seminar sponsored by the author of one of those “buy a house without using your money” guys. I was the only REALTOR® there, and ended up gaining a contact who later became a dear friend. She not only bought numerous rental houses, but I sold many for her and her husband. I became her maid of honor years later! Shows how important networking can be.

Then there was the student I chastised because he was a “secret” agent and wouldn't wear his badge. He tested me on it at McDonald's and acquired a listing from a contact in line. He became a believer in networking. I recall an attorney who saw me so many times with my name badge that when his assistant asked him who she should contact, my name was the first that came to mind.

Networking is crucial to your real estate career, but before you can network and before you can have that real estate career, you need to get a real estate license. TEAM Hughes Real Estate School's August Pensacola Fast Track is full, but our evening class begins August 14th, so don't delay, register today!