How to love Brickell, Camden, and Miami.. tips for settling in and making new friends and contacts — by Dean Hunt.

Before we begin I should point out that all the info, tips and advice in this post are from me, and are not the thoughts of Camden or their partners etc.

Right, with that out that way let’s dive into this…

Although I am not THE expert on all things moving, socializing, networking or adapting to new environments… I have moved home over 20 times in my life… 3 countries in the past 7 years in fact. Hopefully there are some tips, lessons, or tricks here that help you enjoy your time in Brickell more than ever.

New to the building???

De-clutter!

Once you are moving to a new place you have the perfect excuse to sell, donate, or throw out the stuff you haven’t used in the previous 12 months. This is easier said than done, but it will help cover some of the moving expenses, free up space (especially useful in Brickell), and has been proven to increase happiness.

Note: You can find people who will photograph, list and sell your stuff on eBay in exchange for a % of the sales… I did this when I moved from England to the US. You also have this handy community portal where you can list your stuff for sale (hit me up if you are selling kitchen /cooking stuff for cheap ;-) )

Stay persistent for the first few weeks!

Ultimately you have to try and unpack and unbox everything within the first 3 weeks of moving in… studies show that anything that isn’t done at that point, is unlikely to ever get done. I am ashamed to admit I once had 5 boxes of stuff in my bedroom for over a year. Moving is stressful, expensive, and exhausting… but stick with it, and get it all done as soon as possible.

Challenge your social norms and assumptions!

Knowing how to meet new people, network, and make new friends will have a drastic effect on your happiness. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it was when we were at school, college, or university.

Some people have friends of convenience.. they worked together or were at school together, and over months and months eventually grew to like each other… so they never really needed to develop the “meeting new friends gene”.

Before I dive into my top tips and tricks to being a social superstar.. I should point out that what you are about to hear may sound cheesy, creepy, or formulaic… if you can get past the fears and worries of “social norms” and “unwritten rules” then this will change your life. I bet even the fact that I have “tips” for connecting with new people seems odd.. right? But it shouldn’t, providing your intentions are good, then there is nothing to fear.

Always focus on passions instead of people!!

Learn to seek out groups that share your passions, the people side of things will then happen naturally.

Look on Meetup.com to find such groups… here you can see a board game group I joined when I moved here 5 weeks ago…

Socializing around a passion is perfectly normal… and you already are guaranteed to share something in common with the people there… so conversation should flow much easier.

So now we have an easy way to meet lot’s of like-minded people… but this is where most people get the next steps wrong…

One of the parts of networking that many people struggle with is getting contact information from the people they get in CONTACT with… so let’s go over my sneaky tricks to do this without any of the awkwardness or perceived desperation that people assume.

Right… got a pen? Let’s dive into the “formula”…

Rule #1 : Build rapport first.

You wouldn’t ask a guy or girl for their number or email address within seconds of meeting them, and making friends has the same rules. Build SOME rapport first.

Next need to ask for their contact info without it seeming weird…

Obviously I have another trick up my sleeves…

Turn the attention to a loose-link. (Rule #2)

So here is an example of what I mean… instead of saying “You seem funny, can we be friends?” which is weird!! Try focusing on a loose connection based on something that came up in your conversation.

One week after I moved here I was at Fados watching soccer, and got chatting with a few soccer fans (we share a passion)… they were similar age to me, and seemed fun people… one of them owned a marketing agency, and I have travelled the world teaching businesses how to sell a lot more stuff via the Internet. So this was the link I used.. “If I meet any business owners that would be a good fit as clients of your agency, is there an email I can refer them to?”..

Right after I asked this I got the details of one of the group, and then the rest of the table noticed and started giving me their phone numbers too. A few weeks later my fiancé and I spent New Year at their apartment and had a great time.

Remember: Find something you talked about and use that as the reason.. it could be to share that restaurant recommendation you mentioned earlier… or to keep them updated on the idea you discussed.. the reason doesn’t need to be a good one.

You now have met lots of new people that you have a lot in common with… you have their info, and here is where most people, even seasoned networkers screw things up…

Learn to always follow-up. (rule #3)

Once I was at a sales and marketing event and a client of mine boasted that he had over 50 business cards of other attendees. Later I learned that he got home, put a rubber band around them, put them in his office desk, and never did a thing with them. What a waste of time.

Look.. people have busy lives, we all do… so follow-up at least once to show some courtesy, manners, and to plant a seed for future stuff.

Here is an example: “Brandon, thanks for helping me move the sofa… We really appreciated it. Let’s do that board game and wine night we joked about when your schedule calms down”.

As you may have guessed, the above example actually happened, and now Brandon and I are good friends.

Here is the final step.. this is a little salesy… and actually uses something called NLP (Neuro Lingustic Programming)… it is called the “linguistic pre-supposition”.. I use this all the time, and it never fails… you simply end your communication by pre-supposing the desired next step…

As always.. here is an example I use at the end of many of my negotiation emails… “speak soon”. Notice that there is a world of difference between “I hope we speak soon” and “speak soon”… another one you could use is “Let’s re-connect at the weekend to discuss a time to play some tennis”. I am not timidly asking if we could or should.. I am giving the feeling that it is inevitable and should happen. Car salesman above these psychological hacks by asking “what payment option would you prefer?” or “Do you want it in red or blue?” as opposed to “Would you like to buy a car today?” Notice the difference. Choosing the payment options or colors pre-supposes that you ARE buying the car.

Here you have a list of tips, tricks and sneaky shenanigans to enrich your life here at Camden… use these powers for good, not evil, and if you would like to connect, or know a business owner who could benefit from online sales, marketing and business development strategies and tips… feel free to reach me on contact@deanhunt.com

Adios amigos. ps: floor 12 is the best! ;)

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