When I worked in Hollywood, networking was a huge part of my job. Every night I had to set up “drinks” with someone at some company or another and we’d sit at a pretentious restaurant and make small talk for an hour. I think this was one of the reasons that Hollywood wasn’t a good fit for me. Even if you’ve met me before, you might not realize that I’m rather shy. I can pour my heart out to you in this editor’s note and hide behind my computer, but in person, it takes me a little time to warm up and be myself. I’m sure I’m not the first writer to say it’s easier to speak through the written word than face-to-face. Luckily for me, networking in the Chicago real estate industry is a whole different beast. There are parties, events, open houses, seminars, etc. Every event is a new experience, and there are always new faces to see and stories to hear. Instead of sitting across a table pretending to care about someone who is pretending to care about me, I actually learn new things and enjoy the people that I meet. In almost every industry, networking is a huge part of the game. If I don’t get out there and meet you readers, then I’m just a head shot and a byline. When I attend events, I love it when people stop me and tell me they’ve enjoyed the issue, or think I’m way off the mark. This interaction makes me better at what I do. There are still nights when I’d rather stay in with my dog and take-out Thai food, but every time I decide to attend events I come home refreshed and excited about the experience. As a Realtor, networking is a must for you. While I could probably be the editor of this publication without stepping foot away from my computer, the same cannot be said for those that are in the thick of this industry. You must get your name and your face out there in order to establish a reputation that clients and others in the industry can trust. While you might also sometimes feel like curling up with a good book rather than getting out there and schmoozing, it is an aspect of your job that cannot be ignored. If you’re not a fan of going out every night, then don’t! Just make sure to make the most out of every networking event you do attend, and then the rest will fall into place. Want to start your networking right away? Come to Chicago Agent’s Spring New Construction Collection at the Intercontinental O’Hare in Rosemont. Not only can you peruse the latest new construction projects in the Chicagoland area, but it is a great opportunity to flex your networking muscles. I’ll see you there!