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Friday, April 22, 2011

Maximize professional memberships

CREW Detroit President Offers 10 Tips to Make the Most of Your Membership
As 2011 President of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Detroit, an organization influencing the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women, Marilyn Nix knows her way around networking events and membership-driven associations. The Principal and Broker of Marilyn P. Nix & Associates, LLC, Bloomfield Hills and a former real estate executive with General Motors, Nix says there is a strategy to maximizing the benefits of membership in any organization that has a dual purpose of educating its members and facilitating new business opportunities. 
“When we join an organization for the expressed purpose of learning more about business or a specific industry, there is the incorrect assumption that business opportunities will follow,” offers Nix. “But new business from member organizations is not automatic, even if you attend every meeting. There’s a strategy that can be followed to increase the potential for creating new business.”
Nix offers the following ten tips.
1.    Don’t be a wallflower, get involved!  Every membership organization has committees. Being part of a committee is one of the best ways to build your network and exercise your skills.
2.    Use the question mark.  Bring one relevant question to every meeting to serve as both an icebreaker and a legitimate topic for discussion, and you will expand your knowledge as well as others.
3.    Meet and greet.  Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know at each meeting or event to develop your network and make a lasting impression.
4.    Think outside your location box.  If your organization is a chapter in a national network, attend regional and national meetings as a way to expand meaningful opportunities beyond your geographic comfort zone.
5.    Tap into an organization’s website.  Navigate the organization’s website frequently for research tools, information and opportunities in your profession.
6.    Find a mentor.  Further cultivating a one-to-one relationship with another member can provide invaluable opportunities that enhance your career.
7.    Dine with decision-makers.  Schedule monthly breakfasts, coffees, lunches or dinners with a board member for savvy advice on the value of maximizing membership opportunities.
8.    Streamline your encounters at an event by making a list of people you want to meet.  If available prior to an event, check out the list of registrants (some organizations make them accessible) and target the people you want to meet. If no list is available, craft a list of potential attendees as a guideline.
9.    Reach out to the community.  By participating in an organization’s outreach activities, you’ll strengthen your bonds with other members and make a difference.
10. Synergize.  Be a resource to other members and build cooperative relationships that will set the stage for long-term business alliances.
“When you maximize your affiliation with a business organization, you’re better able to navigate through economic challenges and put yourself on a path toward professional success,” Nix concludes.  
About CREW Detroit
CREW Detroit (www.crewdetroit.org), founded in 1986, is a dedicated to influencing the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women through networking and member-to-member driven business opportunities. It is a founding chapter, and one of the largest local chapters, of CREW Network, a professional organization of more than 8,000 women and men in commercial real estate women in the U.S. and Canada that serves as a key resource to CREW chapter members and the commercial real estate industry.  CREW Network members hail from all disciplines of commercial real estate and represent every type of expert required to "do the deal." Learn more at www.crewnetwork.org.

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