The joke among many in my area is that many forms of networking are called "notworking." I could attend a networking event almost every day, nurse a cocktail, wear a nametag, and converse with fellow agents about life, the universe, and everything, but that doesn't necessarily mean it generates business or helps me sell one of my listings. On the other side of the spectrum, there are networking groups that people would die to get into- a good BNI group, for example, could yield enormous referral opportunities because of the exclusivity of professions.
I don't belong to a BNI group. However, I am fortunate to belong to small, select professional networking group as the exclusive real estate broker known as PNW, or Professional Networkers of Westchester. This morning at 7:45, while most of the world was still home yawning, I was at a meeting of this group of accomplished Westchester-based professionals, discussing how we can get our respective businesses to the next level. It is brain food, a think tank, and an extraordinary source of business that my own clientele should feel good about.
PNW has one of just about everything- a banker, architect, painter, CPA, chiropractor, property insurance broker, and over 20 other professionals, and we exchange referrals and ideas every other week and meet one on one often in between. It keeps me engaged, and, perhaps more importantly, gets me in front of tremendous sources for referrals so I can get buyers for my listings and listings for my buyers. So, every other Friday (and for a few hours a month in between) I am in front of a my fellow members by 8am, working to get the next breakthrough.
There are no weak links- just about every member is accomplished, full time, and at the top of their profession. And while it isn't easy to get out early and meet before the start of business, it is worth the effort.
Success is not a 9-5 thing.