With all of the changes and pauses in our world, some things cannot be ignored, such as your loan officer partnerships. Building these productive relationships takes time, trust and a mutual understanding. So, what are ways to grow these relationships? Consider hosting a business mixer for your partners!
Getting people together to learn about you and your business is a very effective way to build relationships with members of your community. Hosting an event such as a business mixer is a great way to do this kind of networking.
Networking will allow you to meet more like-minded people in the industry. These partners will share similar goals: closing deals and finding people’s dream homes.
Communicating well with your partners and potential partners is important even beyond building your pipeline. A business mixer brings people together with a common interest and passion. This allows you to meet others and work with people you love, so networking benefits all parties involved.
Below are tips on how to host a successful business mixer:
Define your purpose
The best networking events are those with a specific purpose. What is your area of focus? Creating a group for fellow loan officers and your partners will provide the opportunity for many connections to be made. This planning helps to define the type of people you want to attend, but also what you want them to get out of the event.
Choose your format
This is your business mixer! You can decide if you want the event to be more structured or casual, and it depends on what works best for your audience and goals.
Additionally, the guests may already be familiar with one another, or need more encouragement to mix and mingle. Know your audience and their relationships (or lack of!) to each other.
You could consider speed networking, where every participant gets to make a short introduction to the other. For a small group, you could organize a sit down meal. For larger numbers, your meeting could take the form of a professional workshop or talk. This gives participants an extra incentive to attend, and you could even facilitate networking around an activity.
You’ll probably need to spend some money on refreshments or a venue. Once you know what you want to offer at your event, then you will be able to outline your budget. Selling tickets or collecting RSVPs, will allow you to get a head count and reduce no-shows.
Choose your venue wisely. Exciting venues can have a large impact on sign-ups. You could host the event at your own office, or even your members’ offices once your networking group is more established. This can create a fun, “behind-the-scenes” look.
When selecting a time and day, consider your guests and what may work best for them. Think about work hours, days of the week, travel time, and even childcare commitments. Invite anyone specific you’d like to attend with a personalized invitation.
The most important part of your business mixer is the mixing. Make sure to greet every attendee and provide name tags. Learn each attendee’s job title, who they work for and what a few of their interests are. This will help identify others who might be useful for them to meet. You could consider using a networking app that helps people to connect before, during, and after your mixer.
It is crucial to follow-up after your mixer takes place. Implement an online community, and provide virtual networking and discussion opportunities. This lets you all continue to build your relationships. As the business mixer host, be sure to contact everyone who attended to say you enjoyed meeting them. Don’t forget to welcome any ideas for improving the event next time!
Take it online
With the current limitations of face-to-face socialization due to COVID-19, your business mixer may need to be held virtually from the beginning. A successful virtual event can happen from your home office, bedroom, or kitchen.
This way, partners spread out in a larger geographic area can attend as well. Video calling on a program such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, or Facetime, are all great ways to host an event online. These may not be in-person, but conversations can still be had and connections can still be made. Lead with discussion topics and channel all you have learned from working remotely into your networking event.
By helping others make meaningful connections, you can boost your own career and success rate. As the host of a business mixer, you can build a relationship with every attendee. Help your partners in order to help yourself. Whether in-person or virtual, your networking event can be a major success!