How to grow and maintain Your Real Estate Sphere of Influence (SOI)
Yes, you do have a sphere
First, realize that you already have a sphere of influence. You have family, friends, old schoolmates, previous business associates, softball buddies, and more. These are people that know you, and because of that, you have some influence on them.
Then, you will need to identify your Golden Geese. Your golden geese are your “raving fans." They are the people who, without blinking twice, immediately tell their friends to call YOU to buy or sell real estate. Once you identify your golden geese (you need to know who they are), make sure to “take care of them." And be honest with yourself--most people do not have 200 golden geese on their list!
Throughout your career in real estate, you should always have a plan to grow your sphere and work it faithfully. This will become a huge source of repeat and referral business over time. Here is a list of 150 Questions to Help Build Your Business Relationships
Think about everyone you write a check to
Every company or person you write a check to is someone who should be on your sphere of influence list. After all, you are helping their business succeed, why wouldn't you want to ask them to help your business succeed? Ensure people you do business with know that you sell real estate and can assist them. Additionally, put your best affiliate partners on your list. Don't forget your affiliates-they may be some of your best referral sources!
Make Good Connections at Networking Events
When attending a networking event, the goal shouldn't be to meet everyone in the room and “collect cards." Spend time visiting with several people one-on-one and really getting to know them. After you feel you have established a connection, ask for their business card and then send them a handwritten note to follow-up with them after the event. Adding them to your sphere of influence will feel more genuine if you have made an authentic connection. Here are 30 Ways to Make Those People Feel Good.
Take Time To Meet New People
If you're wondering where you might meet new people to add to your sphere of influence list, consider some of these ideas:
You won't meet a lot of “new" people in your own office waiting for the phone to ring-you've got to get out there and establish relationships with people in order to grow your list!
Get Your Current List All in One Place
I know this seems like a “no-brainer", but I can't tell you the number of people I meet on a regular basis that do not have one system for tracking past clients, current clients, and other people who should be part of their sphere of influence. We provide RealGeeks which is one of the best tools on the market to manage your contacts.
This is a big task, but it's important and requires planning to avoid duplicate work later. You'll be surprised at how large a list you can come up with when you start pulling in your friends, old classmates, sports team members, business associates, your doctor, lawyer and others.
What is important is to hopefully start with something more than a list on paper. Your RealGeeks CRM, Customer Relationship Management software, makes this a much easier and more efficient task.
Categorize Your List by How You Know Your Contacts
Use the "TYPE" and "TAGS" Feature in your RealGeeks CRM to "Categorize" people in your sphere of influence. Then, review it monthly to make sure you've added new people you've met and updated information when people close a transaction.
You should have categories for Friends, Family, Vendors (doctor, lawyer, local grocer,etc.), Buyer Prospect, Seller Prospect, etc. The buyer and seller prospect categories are for those new ones you're about to get. Segment your contacts and prospects into logical groups that you would market to in specific ways.
Be Diligent About Getting Information and Adding to your Database
When you meet someone, ensure you have all of their pertinent information to add them to your RealGeeks CRM. Then, actually add them! So many people encounter prospects or new contacts and don't take the time to actually add them to their database list. A lot of business is lost this way. While I'm not suggesting you should just add the entire phone book or church directory to your database, I am encouraging you to attentively add individuals to your list with whom you want to be connected!
Make Contact the Way You Usually Do
If you're making a large contact list, many of them will be people you usually talk to via email, text messaging or phone. It's OK to contact them the way you always have; just split your list into groups by contact method and be sure to update your notes in your RealGeeks CRM after contacting them.
Develop Your Announcement and Send it Out
If you're contacting via several methods, such as some email, some mail and some phone, develop scripts for each, letting them know about your new business. It's as simple as :
"Hi John, I've started a new career and wanted to let you know about it. I've gotten my real estate license and I'm now a real estate agent with URocket Realty. Please give me a boost by thinking of me if you're planning a real estate transaction or by recommending me to those you know."
Don't forget your contact info.
Whatever you do, if you get a response, you need to reply back to them and thank them! You're beginning a relationship that can lead to money in the bank, so start it out right.
Plan Ongoing Contact and Do It!
Now that you've sent out your "new agent career" announcement to your SOI, make a plan for how often you want to contact them. This can vary by type, such as family will not need a lot of follow-up, etc. Follow the plan and make regular contact. There's nothing worse than finding out a good friend bought a home elsewhere because they forgot about that first announcement a year ago.
Do Some Quick List-Building Activities
Get started immediately in adding to your sphere of influence list. Get involved in community activities, go to homeowner association meetings, give out your business card to the person behind the dry cleaner counter. If you go for coffee in the mornings alone, stop getting a table and sit at the counter. Strike up a conversation with the person next to you. You may sell your very first house to someone you meet at Denny's.
Working with people who already know, trust and like you is one of the primary goals in this business. The bottom line reason we want to work with people who know, trust, and like us is because they refer others to us for business. A strong sphere of influence list is the key to a long-lasting referral based business! Use this List to Jog Your Memory