- Join a Real Estate Brokers Organization and Attend Social Events (Virtual or In-Person). Brokers organizations including those affiliated with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) bring together many real estate professionals (e.g., agents, brokers, brokers-in-charge) who can serve as professional contacts. Joining such a group allows you to expand your professional network. Merely joining, however, is not enough. Attend social events hosted by the brokers’ organization, whether live (social distance!) or virtual. Naturally, most individuals attending will be agents. Not many attorneys, if any, will likely attend. This will allow you to stand out. Offer to be a source of information for professionals you meet. You never know when they or their clients will need your legal services.
- Join a Brokers Organization and Assist the CE Committee. After you have joined a brokers’ organization, join a committee to build strong professional relationships with individuals that can serve as a referral source. The Continuing Education (CE) Committee of a brokers organization, in particular, is a great choice. Similar to lawyers and CLE requirements, real estate professionals must obtain a certain number of continuing education credits each year. Joining the committee that puts together education courses for the organization allows you to leverage your real estate knowledge with non-lawyers. You can help create the curriculum for a course or work with fellow members to create educational content for agents. Your fellow members will benefit from your legal background, and you will be able to display your expertise.
- Join Committees of Other Real Estate Organizations. Brokers’ organizations are great ways to meet brokers. But other organizations also provide great ways to meet other real estate professionals. The Urban Land Institute is one such non-profit organization that specializes in research and education. The International Council of Shopping Centers is a trade association that focuses on the retail real estate industry. Get involved in the substantive work of the organization by joining a committee. Meet other industry professionals. Working with others on a committee will put you in situations where they place their trust in you to complete the work of the committee. When you accomplish the work of the committee, your fellow committee members are more likely to trust you with their clients.
- Make a Virtual Presentation for a Real Estate Company. Read articles in trade magazines or newspapers for timely topics. Once you have narrowed down a topic, become the expert and gather as much information on it that you possibly can. That topic can involve a statute, regulation, or recent case decision. Then prepare a presentation that you can pitch to a potential client or referral source. In these times of COVID-19, offering a virtual presentation is probably best. This is a great way to display your expertise on cutting-edge trends and get in front of new clients or strengthen relationships with existing clients.
- Teach for a Real Estate School. One of the best ways to market to potential clients is to teach them. Each state has a host of real estate schools that provide courses for aspiring real estate agents and CE credit for licensed agents. Offer to teach a pre-license course or prepare a course on a topic of real estate law (for example, commercial leasing) that will place you in front of the type of clients you want to impress.
- Create a Real Estate School. This is a more advanced way to market to clients and will likely require you to have your real estate license, depending on the regulations in your state. There is also the additional work of obtaining the proper teaching license, if any, and setting up the infrastructure for a school (website, etc.). It is a great way to market your skill set if you are taking a long-term marketing approach. The ability to create educational content for real estate agents in your state cannot be underestimated. You add value by giving them the education credit they need to maintain their licenses, and you can display the breadth of your knowledge.
- Write Content for Your Law Firm. There are many ways to contribute to your law firm, but generating content provides the best return in terms of non-billable work. The reality is that most attorneys do not have time to put together content, so you will be doing your firm a favor by making it look good, and you will do yourself a favor by being perceived as an expert on the topic of your choice. Potential clients see your ability to write, and the content keeps you “top of mind” with them. Clients (potential or existing) prefer that their attorneys stay abreast of legal developments that affect their business.
- Write Content for a Trade Publication. Writing for a trade publication is one of the best ways to place yourself in front of potential clients without ever having to speak a word to them in person. For example, if you are a real estate lawyer and you would like to focus on restaurant clients, consider writing an article for Nation’s Restaurant News, a leading publication for that industry. If you are a hospitality lawyer, write an article for Lodging, the magazine of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Choose your industry and tailor the article for your targeted audience.
Premium Content For:
- Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section