Seminars and industry events are excellent places for you to network, but there are plenty of other places you can connect with people who can help you build your business. You just have to learn to keep your eyes and ears open to new opportunities wherever you go.
Work the Playground and Parks
If you have children or nieces or nephews, you’re bound to meet parents who could be potential clients at the playground or local park. Many times, young families are looking to upgrade and move to a home with more rooms or a bigger yard. Introduce yourself to any parents of a child in whom yours seems interested and start with small talk—you already have something in common. If you hit it off and become friendly, sooner or later the conversation will lead to home life. They could become your next client or know of a friend or colleague who’s looking.
Get to Know the Local Shop Owners
Don’t just run in and out when you pick up your dry-cleaning, order a sandwich at the deli or a cup of coffee at the corner cafe. Be friendly to the local merchants and workers in your area and chat them up a bit. You never know whose lease might be expiring or is looking to buy or sell a property sometime down the road. Most of all get to know your mail carrier; he or she goes to every house in the neighborhood and may know of new listings before they hit the market.
Volunteer in Your Area
Volunteering is good for the soul and for your business. Not only will it make you feel better, it’s a great way to get out in the community and make new contacts. Getting involved in the school bake sale, helping out the local theater group, or planting flowers at the community gardens are all great ways to branch out. The more local events you are involved in, the more chances you have to meet new people and grow your network.
Wherever There’s a Line
Most people don’t like waiting in line and would welcome a little conversation to pass the time. Whether you’re at the checkout in the supermarket, on line at the movies, or waiting at Town Hall for a permit, it never hurts to engage someone new. You never know where you’ll meet a potential client who is looking to upgrade or sell their home.