Written by Mark Duclos, SIOR, and Reprinted with Permission From Commercial Property Executive.
The pandemic has provided us all an opportunity to broaden our network like no other time in our careers.
When asked about what makes a successful commercial real estate (CRE) broker, I always say someone who can “connect the dots.” This business is, first and foremost, about connecting dots, the dots of people, information, markets, and opportunities. But how can we make these connections? That answer gets a little more complicated, but at the core is developing a strong foundation of people you can trust.
Networking usually conjures up images of early morning breakfast events and after-hours cocktail parties. However, these are not the only ways. In fact, the pandemic has provided us all an opportunity to broaden our network like no other time in our careers.
As the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) Global President during the pandemic, I have met and collaborated with more people than any other President in the group’s history. This is partly because SIOR (like many other organizations) quickly added new ways to provide value to its members, especially in the form of networking. More tools in the toolbox, per se. And many of these tools will remain in the toolbox because the pandemic showed us just how limited we were in our reach and opportunities to have in-person events prior to the crisis. Not anymore!
Remember, Virtual Events Are Real Events
It is time to change the narrative. While there are many who say virtual meetings and events aren’t “real events,” that is just not the case. Yes, there will eventually be fewer virtual events, but they will not go away. Where else can you meet, learn, and collaborate with people from all over the world? Remember “virtual” just tells you where the meeting is being held. It is simply a place.
“I hate social media”
Say what you will, but the bottom line is there are few (if any) ways that are more effective and efficient to broaden your network than social media. Where else can you consistently network with people from all over the world?
“I am too busy” or “I am not good at it”
Networking, just like every other part of your life and career, is an investment, and that takes time. Once you make the effort, you will become better at it. I spend upwards of one hour per day on social media alone.
Do you have the support?
How does your company and your organization support your networking efforts? Do they provide you content, training, knowledge, and access to other markets?
I am proud of SIOR’s evolution toward supporting our members and providing increased value. SIOR now, more than ever, offers more events, more content, and significantly higher social media and virtual presence. Content like its quarterly Snapshot Sentiment Report survey and MySIOR provide the knowledge and the deliverables SIORs need to increase their brand and help inform clients of the everchanging CRE environment. SIOR’s expanded presence in the digital world, has deepened my reach far beyond Hartford CT and even North America, affording me the opportunity to connect to more people, more knowledge, more markets, and more opportunities.
This article originally appeared on Commercial Property Executive.