As a real estate agent, one of your biggest challenges is generating enough leads to increase your annual commission. One of the best ways to gain leads is by establishing your Sphere of Influence (or SOI). It’s a common term in the real estate industry, but do you fully understand what it means for your business and how to leverage it to your advantage? Let’s dig deeper into what a SOI really is and how you can build yours effectively.
What is a SOI?
Maybe you don’t consider yourself an “influencer” in your daily life as an Agent, but you do have many opportunities to influence people you come in contact with, who in turn have opportunities to influence those they come in contact with!
Your real estate Sphere of Influence is simply all the people who know you, at least somewhat, and who like you (or at least don’t dislike you). Everyone has a network of individuals they come in contact with now and then and for real estate agents leveraging this network properly will make the difference between an “ok” year and a record-breaking year.
Why is my SOI important?
Every Agent knows that repeat and referral business are the bread and butter of real estate. Maintaining a healthy SOI means more individuals know of your services, use your services and may be referring your services to their own contacts. If your SOI is 100 people and each of them knows 100 people, there are 10,000 opportunities for real estate referrals!
What if you made it a goal in 2015 to prioritize your SOI? Increasing your sphere is an attainable goal that can lead to more referrals, more leads and more commission.
Who is my SOI?
You probably have more contacts than you realize. Take a few moments to jot down the names of people who know you and whom you have rapport with. Consider groups of people like:
- Colleagues from your previous job.
- Your spouse’s colleagues who you have met.
- All your personal friends.
- All your spouse’s personal friends.
- Parents of your children’s friends.
- Your parents’ friends.
- Your neighbors.
- Acquaintances from the health club you belong to.
- Members of clubs you belong to, think PTA, book club, Rotary, volunteer groups, etc.
- Professional relationships like your accountant, car mechanic, dry cleaner, landscaper, hairdresser, day care provider, dog groomer, and newspaper delivery person.
What do I do with my SOI?
Once you’ve identified your SOI, make sure they know that you’re an Agent. Send them a note or give them a call to let them know that you’re available to answer any questions they may have about real estate. Remind them that your services are available and ask if you can share information with them by email.
Reaching out to your SOI is the first step, but keeping in touch is what will help you stay top of mind for these contacts. Add your SOI to a real estate CRM like IXACT Contact where you can note how you know each person and details about what they are interested in. Notes like these will help you stay organized when you have many contacts to maintain.
Managing your contacts within a CRM means it’s easy to stay in touch! Monthly e-Newsletters and Drip Email Marketing Campaigns enable you to “set it and forget it,” which means once your email marketing is set up, it will run smoothly and automatically without requiring constant attention from you. Your SOI will receive regular, branded communications from you, gently reminding them that your real estate services are available when they are ready to move.
For successful Agents, an SOI is an evolving thing. Continue adding to it when you make new friends and meet new people socially. Enlist the help of a good real estate CRM to make it as easy as possible to stay in touch with your SOI and get more business.