The Power of Combining Social Networking with Traditional Business Networking
I have written in the past that real estate has always been a social business and most seasoned commercial real estate professionals will tell you that business is all about relationships. Most of us who have any tenure in the commercial real estate industry recognize the importance of networking and while many CRE professionals are either skeptical or “on-the-fence” about using online social networks as a business tool, most will agree that “face-to-face” is how relationships are developed and business gets done.
Many of my blog readers and industry peers know who I am strictly from my digital presence. I have gotten to know hundreds of people online over the past several years and many hundreds more at least know who I am as a result of social media efforts. In 2013, I made a conscious effort to attend as many industry events as possible and combine the power of social networking with the more traditional methods. The bottom line results from this effort were outstanding. Traditional business networking is much easier when people recognize you are and have some sense they already know you. So where did I schmooze this year?
- My travels for the year began with a trip to New York City in April for the Colliers International Office-East Conference.
- In June, I made the trek out to San Francisco to attend the inaugural CRE Tech Intersect event and followed that up in July with a trip to Orange County to speak at a CREW Event.
- In August, I made the short flight to Dallas to attend the Interface Healthcare Real Estate Conference.
- In September, I traveled to Atlanta for the Colliers Americas Conference.
- In October, I was back in New York City for the second CRE Tech Intersect event and followed that up by accepting an invitation from the CoStar Group to spend a day at their Washington D.C. headquarters with their senior management team.
What About the ROI?
In hindsight, I really expanded my business travel budget for the year, it wasn’t inexpensive, but well worth the investment. Did business come from this effort? Yes, in the form of several referrals in which the commissions that have or will be generated greatly exceed the travel expense. More importantly the business relationships that were developed or expanded, many of which were initiated online will be invaluable for years to come.
Twitter and a plane ticket works!