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There are so many hats that a real estate professional has to wear in order to be successful — marketer, networker, event planner, administrator, lead generator and many more. While each task requires a lot of skill and a healthy dose of hustle, how far is too far when it comes to walking a fine line between being effective and looking thirsty?
Below I list five do’s and don’ts that will keep you on the right side of being a hustling hero and not looking like you need a cold glass of water.
As a real estate professional, you should have a well-defined personal brand that you present to the world as a united message. If you don’t yet have a firm outline of that brand or want some pointers on perhaps revisiting or refreshing your brand, read here.
Be sure to stick to this branding and messaging as it’s better to be authentically you than trying to be someone else. Imitating others and being fair-weathered with your messaging will only make you look like you are trying to be something you are not, and no one likes that.
Don’t change your branding and messaging too often or with every trend or whim that arises. It will only confuse your audience and detract from having a memorable public persona. Take constructive feedback into count, but don’t let others influence you in your messaging. There is only one you, and like-minded clients will find you.
When it comes to social media try and strike a fine line between strategic planning and being spontaneous. It’s an important platform for generating leads, but sharing some on-the-spot content is key for adding a little fun and providing a true sneak peek into your personality.
Definitely take inspiration from others, but make sure you are not copying outright. Also, make sure you are presenting your true self to your audience. If you try to be something that you are not on social, the audience can tend to see through this and they won’t like it. Remain humble, authentic and real on social, and people won’t be reaching for the unfollow button.
Networking is a must for today’s real estate professional in order to generate business and make valuable connections with those who offer ancillary services — finance and mortgage professionals, business managers and, of course, your real estate agent colleagues.
However, with so many draws on your time, be mindful that you are being strategic with each opportunity by planning ahead. Try looking for relevant industry events in the morning or evening to ensure your day is free and clear for regular business. There are plenty of great breakfast and happy hours to attend that won’t cut into your day and also help you maintain balance between your work and family life.
It also goes without saying that when attending these types of events, make sure you are fully prepared to provide your contact information — be it a physical or digital business card.
When it comes to networking, don’t spread yourself too thin. This will only lead to stress and anxiety, and in today’s fast-paced world, there is already enough of that in day-to-day life without manufacturing more.
If you are new to attending networking events, it will take a little time to feel comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and making small talk.
Whenever those feelings creep in, just remember that everyone there is in the same boat and more often than not, a lot of people are likely feeling the same thing, so go up to someone and use your charming personality. Best case, you grow your network. Even better case, you make a lifelong friend.
Event planning and execution
When it comes to planning an event (most likely for an open house) to draw the line between hustling and looking thirsty, the number one rule is this: Set your budget and stick to it.
While it is tempting to keep adding things to your event to make it grander and grander, remember that no one is going to care how much you spent on flowers or candles. Just make sure you have plenty of refreshments (including lots of water and non-alcoholic drinks) and plenty of materials on the listing you are highlighting.
When planning and executing an event, don’t forget the ultimate goal of the event. As I mentioned above, most likely it will be an open house to showcase a new listing. Don’t focus too much on the “party” aspect of the event. Keep alcohol offerings to a minimum and don’t provide any liquids or foods that could cause harm to the home — red wine is the worst offender.
Don’t think you need to provide the party of the century, but do make sure you are highlighting the standout aspects of the home. For example, if the home has a beautiful outdoor area, make sure you activate that space so it encourages people to walk outside and enjoy. You can do this by setting a drinks or food station there and making sure the doors are kept open throughout the duration of the event.
Being involved in the community is a great way for a real estate professional to learn more about the region they serve and to also meet people that could become great industry connections and even clients.
When deciding where and how to spend your time with community involvement, be sure that it is something that you are actually interested in so you enjoy the activities and opportunities and also that it is authentic for you. There is nothing that will make the hustle look thirstier than being inauthentic.
Like networking, it’s important not to spread yourself too thin when it comes to community involvement. Make sure you don’t over-commit to ensure that you are best serving your needs and those that you are aligning with.
Over-committing will only lead to disappointing others and possibly yourself. If there is one thing a real estate professional needs to be (aside from everything else!) it’s a guardian of your time.
Successful real estate professionals find the perfect recipe for adding a healthy dose of hustle to their daily routine while not looking thirsty. It’s important to find that balance and not to push into the “thirsty” territory, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining your overall messaging, being active on social media, networking, event planning and execution, and community involvement.
If there was one takeaway as a general litmus test for hustle vs thirst, it would be to remain true to who you are — what you stand for, what you believe in, and how you want the world to perceive you.
Laura Stace is vice president of luxury marketing for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.