If you are like most luxury real estate marketing professionals you are probably tired of hearing the hype about online social and professional networking and are looking for the ROI, already. However, if you are not adept at the fundamentals of networking in the first place, all of the new tools will not help your cause. You most likely will get frustrated and miss the true value of the tools.

Social and professional networking has been around as long as human beings have transacted business together.  Networking is at the heart of building a business based on referrals. The new tools of networking can simply speed up the process and exponentially open up new possibilities of connecting with potential referral sources even beyond your immediate marketplace.

To clearly differentiate the importance of networking skills from the new tools, we strongly recommend that you read some books on the art of networking that were written BEFORE online social networking existed. Brush up on your fundamentals then take a fresh look at the online tools. Once you fully understand the fundamentals, the tools will seem almost magical.  Serendipitous moments will start to become the norm, but no less astonishing.

Begin the Cycle of Networking by Giving

Here is an example of the kind of coincidence that can happen when a key networking principle is applied very well. That principle is to begin the cycle of networking by giving.  We were trying to find out the name of a specific group on Linked In that we were unable to find. We posted our question on the “Answers” section of the site.  Several people answered, but no one had the right one. Two weeks after the question was automatically closed, we were approached by someone who happened to see the question and indeed had the right answer.  This gentleman owns a professional video editing school in Hollywood. I called him and, after a bit of brainstorming, we discovered that we can also do some video business together.

Reciprocity is a natural phenomenon that results when someone begins the networking cycle by giving.  It is a good practice to explore ways that you can reciprocate when you are given to first.

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