Written by: Corbin Yaldoo
Whether you’ve been in our industry for three months or thirty years - there is one simple thread that binds our network: building relationships.
If you're a “people person” like me, you’re deemed the “outgoing friend” and truly want to help others succeed. I've always had a passion for commercial real estate and the tight knit community it produces. From day one I treated networking as an essential way of gaining and maintaining my success.
You want to network with your seasoned peers to learn, and greener peers to teach. But you better believe the seasoned ones are also learning from you and the greener ones are teaching you right back. This led me to be involved with the International Council of Shopping Center’s Next Generation Michigan Program, where I became a Next Generation Co-Chair in May 2015. It has led to name recognition and increased responsibility, which I take seriously - my name is a big part of what I’ve got to go off of in this industry.
If you have a passion for your career, you’ll love connecting with the people in your industry too. Starting off in the commercial real estate industry over 6 years ago, I’ve mastered these 5 helpful tips to step up your networking game. They are:
- Put yourself out there - You never know who's going to be at the event, conference, bar/restaurant, school, internship, airport, etc.– always be on game and ready to connect with someone.
- Confidence is key - Kick the conversation off by making it about the other person, let them talk first, it is always easier to follow their lead. There is really no reason to be shy, it becomes more and more natural with practice.
- Don’t be afraid to walk up to the heavy hitters or the ball boys - Everyone has something to share and knows something you don’t know. Knowledge is power!
- Ask questions - Whether it relates to a project or something personal like family, engage the other person that you are speaking with and try to find common ground.
- Dress for success – For me, I always add a little spark to my outfit as it could initiate a solid conversation. This also applies to the rest of your life, even outside of work it is important to look presentable… “Dress to Impress!” I was once told “people first look at your hair and your shoes” so keep this in mind when it’s 6:00AM and you just want to toss on a loose sweater, not put the hair gel in, and wear those old raggedy shoes! It could be the day a big time client pops into town unexpectedly.
Listen, networking is a skill and it takes a few times at bat to knock it out of the park. But if you look at networking as essential to your future success - you'll understand the genuine culture to it.
I've always had that approach of "meeting an attorney with a client that owns several shopping centers to lease or sell and wants to move in a different direction from his current broker(s)."
Here is a perfect example:
One of the more seasoned brokers in my office, who has been in the industry for more years than I have been alive, recently received a phone call from someone he hasn’t spoken with in 20 years! His reputable name and hard work ethic stuck in the mind of the caller. The caller had a few properties that he wanted the seasoned broker to list. The seasoned broker couldn’t believe that the caller had remembered him as it had been decades since they last spoke. You just never know when you’ll have the opportunity presented to get new business!
Remember, always be on your game! Stay focused and keep in mind that networking at an event, conference, dinner, or ball game can only advance your career. It might not be today, tomorrow, this year or even in five years, but at the end of the day, step up to the plate, put yourself out there to make those grand slam relationships – we’re all in this to achieve our goals and make money together.
Corbin Yaldoo | Senior Sales Associate
Mid-America Real Estate-Michigan, Inc.
38500 Woodward Avenue, Suite 100 | Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Phone: 248.855.6800 | Fax: 248.839.5216
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.midamericagrp.com