Bad happy hour

Bridget Jones would never “network” at a networking happy hour.

 

Maybe you’re shy. Or hate loud bars. Or hate loud people. There are plenty of reasons to dread going to the next chamber of commerce networking happy hour, and though no amount of free Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay will make awkward networking events more tolerable, here is the single most important tip to make networking happy hours better for everyone involved.

Stop networking at happy hour and start connecting.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but Scott Gerber, author of the new book Superconnectors, would say that “networking” is what’s wrong in the world. “A networker, at least in our definition, is a short-term transactional thinker, trying to make value for themselves at every single moment,” Gerber says. “They are only out with one lens and that is personal gain, personal ambition.”

But isn’t that the whole point of networking happy hours? Meeting new people that can help strengthen your network? Yes and no.

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I want you to read this story by my colleague Eileen Gunn, about how developers and Realtors across the nation are using very creative means to market homes — marketing techniques way beyond the traditional. By traditional, I mean radio and print advertising, direct mail, techniques most agents have been telling me for years are too costly and no longer as effective. How about a little paper with your i-pad? Heard last night that whereas print advertisers used to offer online ads as a bonus, now they are offering print ads as a bonus to online advertising. In 2004, I wrote a real estate story about how Dave Perry-Miller marketed a Preston Hollow home by having an elegant event there: you could sip wine, drive a Bentley, or gaze at Richard Eisenman baubles. (I even touched a bauble!)



You see, Dave was not just selling that home, he was selling a lifestyle. And today’s savvy Realtors have picked up on this and carried the ball even farther. From book signings to chef demos, celebrity pop-ins, financial planner talks to fashion shows, selling a home today means targeting the audience you want to bring into that home and then showing them how great life would be in it. Why did Phil Romano want the most chic Super Bowl XLV party at his $12.5 million dollar home?

If your home is on the market, make sure you have an agent who thinks of more than open houses for other agents and an MLS tour. I can’t think of a better example of why you need to stay relevant than Borders Books. Borders, unfortunately is shutting 30% of its stores nationwide, closing approximately seven Dallas locations. So sad to see Borders go, especially the perfect Preston Royal store where GWB signed his books, but of course those of us who read the financial news knew this was only a matter of time. Change has come to an industry; consumers and publishers are focusing on e-books, and many readers prefer to order books online through retailers like Amazon.com. Competitor Barnes & Noble wisely launched it’s own e-book, The Nook, and has done a good job with the Nook e-reader and an online store. B&N is pushing back against the online book pioneer that ate Border’s lunch, Amazon.com.