The Benefits of In-Person Networking for Real Estate Appraisers
Although there are amazing benefits to instant messaging, Zoom meetings, and other virtual communication resources for appraisers, there’s nothing quite like shaking someone’s hand and speaking with them face-to-face.
Body language and genuine emotions are difficult, if not impossible, to read when communicating virtually. Misunderstandings are also more likely to occur when you’re speaking with someone through text or email, rather than in-person. Whether you start initiating meetings with new contacts at your local coffee shop, or you start attending industry events such as Valuation Expo or Appraisal Summit, solidifying your business relationships in-person is essential.
In general only 7% of all communication is considered to be verbal; so what about the other 93%? Tone of voice, body language, and facial reactions are factors that you should consider when approaching any business conversation. Get familiar with the signs of positive and negative body language so you can use those to your advantage, and help make better connections with other appraisers and potential new clients.
Here are some tips to help you navigate your next meeting:
- Is the person you’re talking to looking at a handout or presentation screen, rather than directly at you? If so, ask them if they have any questions about what they’re looking at.
- If you notice any tension such as squinting eyes or pursing of the lips, ask if they have any concerns. These signs are typically indicative of the person feeling uncomfortable or nervous.
- Take note when someone taps their fingers or fidgets with something in their hands while you’re speaking with them; these are often signs of boredom. Try bringing the person into the conversation to get them engaged, or speed up and get right to the point of your sales pitch.
Not only is it important to understand what to look for in others when it comes to tone of voice and body language, but it’s also critical that you have confidence in presenting yourself and your services. In an article published by Hubspot, they go into detail on 8 best practices for positive body language in customer service. You can use these tips to improve your delivery and communication the next time you talk to a business prospect or industry professional in-person:
- Maintain eye contact
- Have good posture
- Smile, but only when it’s appropriate
- Avoid fidgeting
- Face the person you’re talking to
- Be aware of your tone
- Try not to cross your arms
- Be clear and confident when speaking
As an appraiser and business owner, it’s important that you get your name out there and make your brand known at industry events. This is marketing 101 for any company in the world today.
Tradeshows and conferences in the appraisal industry are a fantastic way to meet people you probably wouldn’t have the chance to connect with otherwise. By bringing together like-minded business professionals from across the country, conferences serve as the ultimate venue for appraisers who want to grow and establish themselves as a force in the industry.
Try reaching out to the show or event coordinators and ask if there’s an opportunity for you to participate in a presentation or training session. This is a fantastic way to get the focus on your services for an extended period of time, and to highlight the key benefits of your appraisal business that you want to make sure are showcased.
Going to trade shows also gives you the chance to find new solutions to help you with your appraisal business. Look for booths like Anow’s where you can get a live demo, ask specific questions pertaining to your appraisal business, and see how you can simplify your life with new tools and tech. Not to mention there’s usually some cool swag and giveaways going on that you can participate in, so overall it’s a fun, informative, and valuable business move.
Other Networking Opportunities
There are many ways that you can network with your peers and meet new clientele that don’t include traveling to a major industry conference.
Build a LinkedIn profile, if you don’t have one already, and use this to establish connections with leaders, peers, and clients in the appraisal industry. Having an active online presence often leads to unique engagement opportunities that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. For example, an appraiser group may see your profile and be impressed with your offerings and/or customer reviews, so they may invite you to do a workshop and allow you to share your insights.
Next time you need to have a meeting with someone, ask if they would be interested in going for a coffee or lunch instead of a virtual meeting. These types of personal interactions are much more meaningful and genuine than a basic phone call, and they will leave a lasting impression.
Joining different appraiser organizations and coalitions will give you a leg up on the competition when it comes to knowing where training sessions are happening and where groups of local appraisers meet up. There are dozens of appraiser groups nationwide such as the National Association of Appraisers, Association of Texas Appraisers, and South Carolina Professional Appraisers Coalition, to name a few. These avenues are designed specifically to educate and connect appraisers, as well as inform them of industry meetings and events.