Volunteering: A great way to network and do some good
Networking. Some people are great at it and some find it difficult. If you’d rather have a root canal than walk into a room full of strangers and make small talk, you’re not alone. Yet, as a mortgage broker, networking and building relationships are important for your success.
Even if you’re not a natural at networking, you can be quite successful at it when you approach it through volunteering. It’s a great way to meet new people, strengthen your ties to your community, and broaden your network naturally.
Pros and cons of volunteering
Not sure if volunteering is the way to expand your network? Make a list of pros and cons.
- There are intrinsic rewards associated with meaningful work, like happiness, confidence, and feelings of well-being.
- You’ll meet a variety of people.
- You’ll help your community, and you can make a difference in the lives of others.
- You’ll gain experience and you might learn some new skills.
- You could make some new friends.
- You may find a mentor, or you could be someone’s mentor. Both are rewarding.
- You’ll be building your networking skills.
- Your experiences can prepare you for the next step in your career.
- Volunteer as much or as little as your schedule allows—it’s your choice.
- Hmmm, none are coming to mind right now.
Explore your interests for networking success
Networking doesn’t have to seem like work if you’re doing something you love. Mortgage broker networking events are not the only way to expand your network.
Consider a volunteer role, for example. Even if your volunteer work is not related to your profession, it’s still networking. As a broker, you work with people in all types of occupations. As a volunteer, every person you meet could be a potential client or referral.
So, why not do something you enjoy? If you don’t know where to start, there are online resources you can explore:
- Volunteer Canada has online tools to help you define your interests and a list of resources to connect you to local opportunities.
- VolunteerMatch can connect you to local opportunities that match your interests.
- The Government of Canada also provides some tips to help you get started with volunteering.
When you show commitment to volunteering, your name is the one that will come to mind when a member of your new network is looking for or asked to recommend a mortgage broker. As you consider the possibilities, look at the roles that allow you to interact with people, which increases your networking opportunities while you give back to your community.
Networking benefits aside, communities and organizations simply need volunteers. If you haven’t already, find your volunteer niche and get networking.
Lend your expertise to boards and committees
In addition to activities you enjoy, think about the things you are good at. Writing? Finance? Organizing events? Use those skills in volunteer roles for boards and committees in organizations you are interested in. This might be your professional membership association or your local community league. Perhaps you want to help an animal rescue expand its reach or welcome newcomers to Canada. The possibilities are endless.
Some board positions require experience, so just get started in a role that interests you and begin building your knowledge so that you’ll be ready for a higher-level role (if that’s what you want).
Find other ways to hone your networking skills
Volunteering has the added benefit of building your networking and conversation skills. You might not even realize it’s happening until the next time you get to use these skills in a more formal networking setting. The following articles have networking tips specifically for mortgage brokers:
Don’t forget, your underwriters and business development managers are a part of your network, and your clients benefit from the solid relationships you have built with your lenders. Don’t hesitate to contact us.