YPN May Breakfast: Building A Professional Presence | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

On Wednesday, May 26, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast “Building A Professional Presence” virtually through Zoom. Even though our get-togethers at Manny’s Deli were put on hold, we couldn’t wait to devour advice from local industry experts. You can stay up-to-date on upcoming YPN virtual events by following the YPN Facebook page!

THIS MONTH’S SPEAKERS:

professional presence panel

WATCH THE ZOOM WEBINAR RECORDING:

 

READ SOME KEY TAKEAWAYS:

Thank you to Harrison Beacher, Grace Kaage and Rachel Scheid for sharing your time and expertise with YPN!

The goal of this month’s breakfast was to dive into personal and professional development. These local and national leaders went beyond buzzword topics like lead generation and instead discussed the skills, habits and qualities that make us well-rounded professionals. That way you can build your own professional presence as you grow as a REALTOR®.

How Are You Meeting People? Show Up!

Harrison, who is based out of Washington D.C., was “voluntold” to attend his local YPN event — flash forward six years, and he’s on the cusp of ascending to the Chair position of the NAR YPN Advisory Board as well as president of his local association, the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®.

Grace and Rachel both started their leadership journeys by attending this exact breakfast series at Manny’s Deli! They met friendly, welcoming people and were also “voluntold” to apply for a committee. The rest was history.

“It is an absolute myth when I hear people say, ‘you don’t get business from other REALTORS®.’ That could not be more true,” Grace said. Real estate is a relationship business, and the relationships she has built through volunteering have helped both her and her clients.

Harrison concurred. Looking back at the start of his career, he wishes he got involved earlier. Through his involvement, he generates a lot of business, simply by being known and seen.

For Grace, showing up as authentically as possible is one of the best things any new REALTOR® can do for their career. This also means not confining your business to the screen and to emails or DMs on social. You need to show up to events and set up in-person or face-to-face interactions as much as possible. “You never know who you’re going to meet at another event who can open a door for you.” Like Rachel advised, be mindful of your well-being and don’t overbook or overextend yourself, but make sure you’re building time to show up to real estate networking events.

Harrison reminded us that strengthening relationships and networking is a lot like fitness. You get better by doing lots of reps. He has asked his team members to go to different kinds of networking events simply for the purpose of getting used to having conversations with people. Over time, you build confidence in your own value proposition and the ability to find a connection with colleagues and clients.

“Ask yourself, why shouldn’t someone want to meet you?” Rachel said. “Not just at real estate events, but farmer’s markets and bartenders at bars. Introduce yourself everywhere and it will pay off in dividends.” Your professional presence should be everywhere!

Advice For Rookies: Make Mistakes.

If you’re new to real estate, don’t get locked up by what Grace termed perfection paralysis. “Have the courage to fail,” she encouraged. “You’re not going to know what works for your business until you put it out here and get feedback from your community.”

Harrison wishes he stepped out of his comfort zone earlier. Looking back on the early years of his career, he realizes being more established means leaning into experimentation isn’t as easy as it would have been when he was still new. “Proficiency and efficiency come from trying new things, even if they make you nervous or uncomfortable,” he said.

Rachel wishes she listened more and talked less. “You do not know everything. There’s always someone who knows more than you do about something and you can learn from them.”

She also emphasized the importance of learning from rejections. As a self-proclaimed worrier who has fallen victim to overthinking or over-worrying, she highly encourages working on not taking things personally. “Don’t sweat a small step or rejection,” she said. “Keep pushing and keep trying.”

This mental resiliency and determination to experiment and explore out of a desire to learn and improve are surefire elements for building a business of success and a rewarding career.

Consistency Creates Confidence. Confidence Builds Trust. Trust Earns Business.

What’s Rachel’s advice for REALTORS® looking to take their business to the next level? Consistency. “Getting there is easy, but staying there is harder,” she said. She emphasized the importance of integrating systems into your daily, weekly, and monthly business so every ounce of your success is built sustainably into your business long-term. “It’s a lot harder to integrate systems into your business when you’re ten years in. Start them now!”

Harrison’s next-level advice? Focus on scheduling appointments. “When you get better at appointments, you’ll be able to convert more,” he said. “You can build a business around that specific skillset. This is actually a great metric to track. For my team, our goal was X amount of appointments in a year, which would convert to X amount of converted clients.”

Like the panelists shared earlier, you strengthen your networking and relationship-building skills through practice and consistency. This builds confidence, which is Grace’s advice for taking your business to the next level. You must have confidence.

“Confidence comes from one place. It’s how you speak to yourself about yourself relative to your perceived competition,” she said. “Good news, it’s a trainable skill. Be gentle with yourself, and remember to believe that you’re a great REALTOR®.”

Harrison chimed in, “Buyer consultations and listing presentations, all kinds of appointments, require confidence and great listening.” Rachel’s advice to listen more, combined with Grace’s advice to project confidence, on top of Harrison’s advice to get good at appointments, will set you up to be unstoppable.

Do Everything With Intention.

What’s key to a professional presence? No matter what, try to be thoughtful about everything you do.

Harrison is extremely intentional about what activities he is doing and what he’s sharing on social media. As an industry professional as well as a leader, he has honed in on the values he believes in and how his actions are portrayed online. Post with intention.

The panelists advocated earlier for showing up as much as possible, but Rachel also cautions newer REALTORS® who may make mistakes like her and say yes to too many things. “Whether you’re sending an email or attending a happy hour, if you say you will do it, make sure you do it. I believe in saying yes as much as possible, but don’t compromise your personal health or the quality of your work. If that’s on the line, then you can say no with intention.”

How can you improve your value proposition to clients when your experience isn’t your greatest asset? Do your market research. If you spend time interpreting the swaths of data at everyone’s fingertips, you will be head and shoulders above consumers. Research with intention.

“Be thoughtful in terms of people’s time if you’re reaching out to a mentor figure or to someone you would like to be a mentor,” Grace added. “Is this someone who can help you? If so, how? As a mentee, know what goals you want to accomplish.”

As you build these relationships with your peers or your role models, remember it isn’t just about information sharing. Build a relationship by grabbing a coffee or hopping on a phone call that is purely about getting to know each other.

If you are serving as a mentor, listen and understand how your mentee wants to run their business. You’ll be able to provide more thoughtful, actionable advice for your mentee, and both of you will blossom as a result. When you’re building your professional presence, keeping up your consistent business-building habits, projecting confidence and pouring your energy into relationships, you’ll go far.