Real estate pros need to be more aggressive

By Jovana Rizzo | June 18, 2009 02:22PM

alternate held a networking event at the Park last night

Real estate pros say networking is important now more than ever to make connections and get deals done.

Professionals from all over the real estate spectrum — investors, brokers, lenders, insurers, architects and more — gathered at the Park restaurant in Chelsea yesterday for’s networking event.
Ellen Depoorter, who has her own architecture firm, said the projects she was working on have been stalled because of the economic crisis, and she recently started attending networking events to meet developers looking for architects.

“There is less work so I decided to go out and look for it,” Depoorter, who has LEED accreditation, said. “I’m going to make [attending networking events] part of my routine even when I have work. I’m doing conceptual work right now and generating ideas so when clients do come, I’ll have ideas ready,” she said.

Aaron Lefkowitz, an agent at real estate insurance firm Brown & Brown, said that people are more willing to listen to sales pitches now because they’re looking to save money, even if it means changing a company you were previously doing business with.

In good or bad economic climates, people said that networking is helpful for business, although it doesn’t always immediately lead to new business.

“You come out with a lot of contacts, which usually leads to one deal,” said Glenn Lawson, an interior designer who works with Barbara Brock, president of home staging company A Proper Place. The two said their business has been busy as more sellers are staging homes in the hopes of attracting buyers.

Although real estate pros often don’t leave networking events with a solid deal, Travis Lane of KBR Fund said that the real estate business is “75 percent who you know. You need to be the first person someone thinks about.”