Your Network is Your Net Worth

By: Levi Santiago

When it comes to virtually any profession in particular, networking is important. To network is to have personal and professional relationships with people wherein your connections with them comprise an existing flow of information and resources from which you can benefit and grow as a professional. If you are a real estate professional that is looking for tips on networking to improve the efficiency and frequency of your house and lot for sale transactions, then this blog is for you.

To Network Is to Not to Make Sales Pitches to People, but to Build Bonds With

It is easy to view networking from a far distance and dismiss it as simply going from one person to the next with the intention of creating a list of contacts that you can sift through when putting your money-making plans into action. However, it is revealed by those that are the best when it comes to the game of networking that the process is simply more than just finding people “to extract value from.”

When you come to a person solely with this kind of intention, it will seep through your words and actions; and people do not want to form any bonds with someone who only wants to use them, particularly when it comes to business where there are risks amidst the investment of time, effort, and money. Once you become mindful to not let yourself fall into this kind of mindset, then you can begin to reorganize your perspective from one that sees people as something to gain from to one that sees people as those you can build with.

Networking Is to Build Your Social Capital

When diving into the methods of networking, especially when you look at the recommended approaches and shared experiences of professionals who have cracked the code of building vast networks in their respective professional fields, much of them mention the the idea of “social capital.” When we think of capital in the context of business, we think of money that is used for whatever investments we expect to have a significant return or benefit from in the long term. For example, people invest in a house and lot for sale either to have a place to live in or to have a property that they make improvements on to use as a means of profit in the real estate industry.

When it comes to networking, given that the context of capital is something that is invested which gains you benefits or a return of investment in the long term, social capital is viewed by some as one’s capacity for forming “networks of personal and professional relationships.” However, others instead define social capital as the relationships that you have formed which are genuine.

Social Capital Is Fueled by Genuine Trust

How does one build social capital? This is achieved via two elements. The first element to consider is to continually strive to improve your skills for communication, socialization, and capability of maintaining relationships. You do this through a lot of practice. There will be many time you will have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to break through barriers or limits in your own capability to form connections and bonds with other people.

This first element of building social capital is crucial because its second element is the formation and maintenance of authentic relationships with people. In order to achieve this, people will have to trust you. And this brings to light the question: Why should people trust you, particularly when it comes to working with you? A viable approach towards this is to pay attention to making small changes that do good for others.

You may do this by doing good for colleagues that are in a junior position compared to you or are in a different department in the profession that you work in. Perhaps you could recommend a house and lot for sale to a colleague who is looking for a property to buy. Small actions like that can build your relationships with people.

Change the Perspective That Networking Is Simply Businesses

Going back to the definition of capital in business, capital itself is the money that you use to make investments. Social capital, on the other hand, comprises both your capability to form genuine relationships and the formed authentic relationships themselves. When you put in time and effort to building trust with other people, especially when you give attention to making small actions, then the impact of your individual actions will compound in the long-term.

Furthermore, it’s not simply about building up goodwill in the relationships that you have with other people when it comes to gaining social capital in networking. An approach that is recommended by Paul Teshima, a co-founder of Eloqua, a marketing automation platform for Oracle cloud technologies, is to take up the role of an intermediary between two people. This approach reaps the most benefits when the two people you have linked together find value from each other because that also brings value to you as the person who brought them together in the first place.

In the position you have given yourself in that moment, you have built social capital by not only forming a more authentic relationship between yourself and someone else but also for two different people. And the social interconnection that you have created between you and the people you have linked up has the potential to form what can be considered an authentic network.

The Power of “Weak Ties”

If you make it more of a habit to act as an intermediary between people and bring value to other people by bring people together that could benefit and find value in each other, you will come across what Paul Teshima calls as the potential of “weak ties.” When thinking of networking, it can become the assumption of many that the ideal relationships to be formed in networking should have a great amount of depth and trust.

While this could be applicable for your immediate sphere in your network, it’s unfeasible to be have deep bonds with every single person you meet. And as you continue to network, you will notice that there are people that you get along fine with but are placed just on the outer edges of comprises the sphere of your network. This is not a bad thing and actually has good potential. It is these kinds of connections that are called “weak ties.”

Recognize the potential of weak ties

When it comes to networking, it is apparently recommended to build up on many weak ties. When you increase the number of weak ties you have in your network, this does not mean that you are settling for less in forming relationships in your network. The presence of these weak ties are connections with other people nonetheless. Given this, if ever there is an opportunity that you think could be best worked on with another person, you will have a broader network of people to contact.

Read more: Best Recruiting Strategies to Help You Grown Your Network

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