By Quentin Green, YPN Committee Chair, Chicago Association of Realtors
The Chicago Association of REALTORS® Young Professionals Network’s mission is to provide tools, resources and networking opportunities to other REALTORS® who are new to the industry. I am the Chair of the CAR YPN Advisory Board, which is composed of 15 other real estate professionals who help plan and organize our initiatives for the year. Getting involved with YPN has not only strengthened my skills as a leader but also strengthened my relationships with other leaders in real estate.
“Creating and promoting content is easy, but establishing value and offering valuable information to your sphere is a guarantee to set you apart.” These words from one of our guest top producers at our February breakfast event have stuck with me.
The Chicago YPN board is constantly creating content. Every year, we host seven breakfasts alongside a boot camp and networking mixers. This year, we’re debuting a podcast — more details on that in a moment — simply because there’s so much relevant content that we simply can’t cover in a standard event schedule.
As REALTORS®, we’re always in search of and creating our own content for our channels — except our audience is consumers, rather than real estate professionals. In a dense, competitive market where buyers and sellers are inundated with brokers trying to earn their business, carving out your own presence can feel daunting.
The smartest of us all turn to our peers. How are each of us innovating and adapting our brands and our systems?
YPN’s March breakfast speaker Rashauna Scott took a brief pause in business in spring 2020 to get her systems in order and button-up her tracking, her follow-up process and her business tools. Thanks to laying this groundwork, she has been able to have a record-breaking year, thus far, in 2021.
April breakfast speaker Marki Lemons Ryhal showed us an easy method to establish our value to our sphere. Google what consumers are Googling – you’ll have a stronger idea of what your clients need from you. You’ll know what your videos should be talking about, what your newsletters should be linking to and more.
During our May breakfast, our guest speakers discussed building relationships with industry leaders and experts. The key? Continuing to show up at places with intention. This includes ensuring you’re attending networking events, shopping at your local farmer’s market and attending open houses in your market areas.
YPN’s immediate past-chair Jordan Pyle uses the video messaging tool BombBomb to send personalized video messages to his network, rather than just texts and emails. YPN board member Tyrone Green hosts Cognac & Cigars — in my opinion, the coolest client-facing event! They each have their own personalized touch.
The best business advice comes from our peers, so my favorite part of YPN is how easy it is to use our connections to create authentic moments for swapping advice and giving tips. That’s where the podcast comes in.
Each episode is co-hosted by a YPN board member who has invited a local guest expert to spend an hour diving into a topic that excites them. I’m excited to share our conversations with guests like inspectors, lenders and attorneys as we break down the real estate transaction with the team of experts who will help you and your clients.
As REALTORS®, we have tools available to help brand us as professionals. The National Association of REALTORS® “That’s Who We R” campaign highlights the expertise we bring to the real estate transaction. The Chicago Association of REALTORS® has a good amount of free tools at our disposal, including easily-customized, professionally-designed social media graphics through their partnership with Photofy, relevant, easy to understand market data from FastStats and a deep database of networking and educational programming. Take these tools and run with them to help personalize your brand and hone into what your clients need.
Don’t forget: go out there and connect with the leaders and experts all around you. Chicago YPN has introduced me to peers who have my back and are eager to share their experiences, lessons and expertise. Present yourself as a trustworthy expert for your clients by doing your research and building learning into your daily habits.
I invite you to our next breakfast or to watch to the recordings from past seasons, and, of course, to listen to the YPN podcast when it debuts this summer on ChicagoREALTOR.com and wherever you listen to podcasts. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to take your business and your brand to the next level.