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For decades, when asked how luxury agents can expand their networks, the default answer has been through industry conferences and professional development events.

To an extent, this still holds true. These forums remain invaluable for the face-to-face interactions that leave lasting impressions — and by attending, sponsoring or even hosting such events, meaningful inroads are made with potential colleagues, partners and clients in other markets.

But the world has changed, and new networking strategies are emerging as old ones become obsolete. For example, there’s still a place for traditional advertising to position your brand in front of a wider audience. However, today it’s often part of a far more dynamic marketing mix. Similarly, mailings continue to be effective, but only in moderation; to avoid being viewed as spam, you need to produce thoughtful, high-value materials that break the mold. As for cold calling — thankfully, we’ve entered an era where there are much better options on the table.

Refreshing your networking strategy isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary if you want to continue to differentiate your services and broaden your sphere of influence. Here are some ideas to help you start.

5 tips for building bridges with peers

Claire Groome and Angela Wu – Sotheby’s International Realty East Side Brokerage

I’m constantly refreshing my networking strategies and being intentional about who I need to reconnect with. As luxury agents, global relationships are a priority, as they help us understand trends and demand in other markets while also growing our referral networks. But local and regional relationships remain critical, and here are five strategies to help with that.

1. Think bigger with digital

Social networking sites like LinkedIn are useful, of course, but there’s so much more to digital networking. Is your website up to date with compelling content that showcases the properties you represent and the unique expertise you bring to the conversation? Do you blog or vlog, providing a recognizable voice and original point of view?

These platforms can be an authentic way to effectively establish a rapport with fellow luxury agents — and virtual meetings and teleconferencing are convenient ways to follow up with them.

2. Be tactful — and tactical

Roberta Golubock – Sotheby’s International Realty East Side Brokerage

You can also optimize how you approach in-person networking events. Rather than allowing random chance to dictate who I meet, I pay attention to the guest list and make a point to get acquainted with three agents from each city. This gives me options, so I can always match the right client with the right agent when making referrals.

3. Create a unique platform

From weekly podcasts that host in-depth conversations to TikTok channels that bring luxury real estate to the next generation, agents can get creative with how they reach new audiences. I recently started a new online show called Beyond the Door — a roundtable where top real estate professionals discuss the market — and it’s currently running in the back of New York City taxis.

4. Prioritize your education

Roberta Golubock – Sotheby’s International Realty East Side Brokerage

Professional development opportunities pay dividends because you might expand your network organically by meeting other agents enrolled in the same course. Even if you don’t, you’re still growing your capabilities, which is one of the best investments you can make as an agent. Personally, I recommend Ninja Selling to become a better agent and networker.

5. Be an excellent neighbor

As mentioned, local connections are as important as global ones — and I strongly encourage agents to build relationships with industry professionals and local businesses in their immediate area. This opens the door to possible partnerships that benefit both parties.

3 ways to stay connected with clients

Cybele Kadagian – Sotheby’s International Realty East Side Brokerage

As you grow your reputation with colleagues, you can also cultivate relationships with existing and prospective clients. Here are three methods you can keep in mind as you refresh your networking strategy.

1. Elevate your community

As real estate agents, we have an opportunity to be pillars of the communities we represent — and what better way to lift them up than by sponsoring or participating in organizations that your target audience cares about? Joining social clubs and supporting charitable events can help you meet key players.

2. Be a savvy self-marketer

Harry Nasser – Sotheby’s International Realty East Side Brokerage

When refining your digital channels for an audience of luxury real estate peers, craft content that resonates with luxury lifestyle consumers. Social media platforms such as Instagram and X should be as much a priority as LinkedIn and your website as you market yourself to would-be and could-be buyers.

3. Nurture key relationships

Once you have strong relationships, don’t let them weaken over time. I send out thank you cards often, and keep track of closing dates so I can send out anniversary notes. Holiday gifts and a yearly party or dinner for clients also help to set me apart and ensure my contacts remember me.

Combine strategies to see real results

Claire Groome and Angela Wu – Sotheby’s International Realty East Side Brokerage

None of these strategies function in isolation. You initiate new conversations through direct messages on social platforms, while also devising insightful marketing emails to be distributed via CRM. You drive engagement through your website and virtual tours, while also setting in-person coffee dates.

It’s a lot, but it’s a necessity in luxury real estate today. It’s incredibly rewarding to witness your integrated networking strategies achieve success for you and for everybody you impact with your work.

Accomplished in her field and well respected by her clients, Claire Groome has been selling real estate in New York since 2001. Ranked among REALTrends Top Real Estate Agents by Sales Volume in 2019, Claire is an award-winning agent who has sold over $300 million in real estate. Claire’s success comes from the fact that she knows her business well, has a keen eye for value and potential and delivers honest service to every client. She works with an extensive global referral network that positions her clients in the best capable hands, no matter where they are looking to live in the world.

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