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How to Use Your Commercial Real Estate Network on LinkedIn

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You may have recently found yourself in a situation where you either need to be searching for your next opportunity, or you feel that you should be looking, given the uncertainty and instability of the economic climate as a result of COVID -19. The obvious option is to explore companies that you would like to work for and apply to their posted opportunities. However, there is a more impactful opportunity here for you to use your existing commercial real estate (CRE) network in a meaningful way. As the saying goes, “it’s all about who you know,” and leveraging your existing network is without a doubt the most powerful tool you have at your disposal.

Given the new working from home focused climate, one of the most accessible strategies for using your network is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is by far the largest and most respected professional networking platform and people like me spend literally every day on LinkedIn looking for the next great hire.

Below are some helpful tips to not only use your network but to do so in the most impactful and professional way.

Reconnect with your LinkedIn connections 

LinkedIn is built off the premise of connections and networks, therefore you will likely have hundreds or thousands of connections in your network ready to be reignited.

Taking the spray gun approach and reaching out to every single connection you have, would not be the best approach. An effective and strategic outreach plan requires a little pre-work:

  1. Start by thinking about which companies you want to work for, and which contacts in your network currently work at those companies. On LinkedIn, applicants are nearly four times more likely to get a job at a company where they have connections. If you click on My Networks tab you can filter your connections by company, location and much more.
  2. Think of the approach to your connections as a target graph. Start with the closest circles to you; are there family members or friends that work at companies you would like to work at? Start there and work your way out to your wider connections of acquaintances, past co-workers, classmates, and so on.
  3. Next, when you have identified who you want to contact, you should plan what you want to say. Your note should be professional, depend on the depth of relationship you have with that individual, and positioned with a follow up or action items to end.

Here are some example LinkedIn messages for you:

  • Hi {name}, I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to reach out to share with you an article I had found to be most interesting on {insert article website name}. What are your thoughts?
  • Hi {name}, I hope this message finds you well. It’s been a while since we last connected at {insert event/ association}, and I wanted to check in and see how you were doing? Looking forward to connecting with you soon!
  • Hi {name}, I hope this message finds you well. It’s been a while since we last had a coffee. I really enjoyed connecting with you to discuss {industry topic} and hope we can catch up soon. How are you finding this new normal?

All these preliminary messages allow a nice personal introduction and a great way to start a conversation with a contact. Once they respond, the second message is typically a good time to broach your ask, whether that be a question around a role, or the right contact for a job inquiry.

If your connection is the direct hiring manager or recruitment contact, you might want to take a more direct approach, but remember, you should still provide a short, personalized message.

Make your mark in LinkedIn groups

If you are an avid LinkedIn user, you will know that LinkedIn groups are a effective function to use. LinkedIn has a wide variety of specific groups that help you connect with like-minded professionals in your field, industry or location. You can search for your groups by clicking on the search bar and selecting the group option. Typing in your desired  group will bring up a list of options for you. You ideally want to be joining groups with the most members, as these tend to be the most industry leading and will gain you the best exposure.

Once you are accepted into the group by the admin, the next step would be to think about how to gain yourself exposure.

My suggestion would be to position yourself as an expert in the industry to the group. The easiest way to do that would be to post an insightful, relevant industry specific article or other piece of content to initiate conversations. Begin by asking a question which will encourage others to share their thoughts. It will also show that you have a good understanding of the industry and its trends.

After you post, you should be prepared to reply to comments made by group members, and leverage those to kick start a new conversation with the individual where you can enquire about potential opportunities.

Ask for Referrals and Introductions

The final way to best use your LinkedIn network would be to ask your connections to introduce you to their connections. First you will need to research your connections, and you do this by viewing their profile. Under the highlights section of their profile, LinkedIn has included a “Get Introduced” button, which will allow you to request an introduction to people at their current or previous organizations. Before doing so, apply previous tips on how to approach.

  1. Be professional and personalize your message
  2. Lead with your expertise/ knowledge
  3. Provide a clear ask and follow up

Using these easy, and effective tools on LinkedIn are a sure-fire way to use and expand your CRE network. Remember – have a plan, reach out with a concise and personal message, and follow-through with an ask and offer something of value in return.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Natalie Kaye

Director, People Strategy & Operations | Global


Natalie is currently on the Global People + Brand team. Natalie is focused on developing global people programs and platforms, working with our regional people teams to enable best pratice sharing, create connectivity and help to define common strategies. 

Natalie has 9+ years of Talent Acquisition experience from both private and public sector in North America and Europe, focusing on enabling organizations to make long term strategic hiring decisions, and bringing in the best talent for their organization.


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