Finding leads in real estate can sometimes be difficult and time-consuming. Going out and knocking on doors or making endless phone calls, you might not get much for your time and trouble (except some irate or annoyed prospects). However, if you want more business, you need to rely on your SOI. Your “Sphere of Influence” or SOI is an essential part of a successful real estate sales career. Here are some ways you can take advantage of this valuable sales strategy.
Your real estate sales sphere of influence consists of everyone you come into contact with from time to time. Your SOI includes friends, relatives, and acquaintances that are familiar with you. Whether you realize it or not, you have some influence over everyone in your sphere or circle of influence. Your effect may be negative or positive. It may be a significant effect or trivial.
Understanding the Value of Your SOI
Many of your sales or property listings should come from past customers. Having a detailed sphere of influence list is essential in obtaining repeat and referral business.
The Numbers Add Up Quickly
Here is something to think about. If you have 50 people in your circle of influence, these 50 individuals may know of another 50 people. Multiply 50 by 50, and you have 2500 potential clients. If your sphere of influence is 100 and each one is familiar with 100 people, then the possibilities grow to 10,000.
Understanding your SOI can help you build it into a powerful sales tool.
Where Does Your SOI Come from?
Friends and relatives are essential but not the only sources of your sphere of influence. Your list may include the following:
- Partner's friends
- Relatives' friends
- People you worked with in the past
- Partner's past work acquaintances you met
- Relatives of your kids' friends
- Former classmates
- Friends and acquaintances of your parents (and in-laws)
- Neighbors and previous neighbors
- Your organizations or group members (fitness centers, church, charitable organizations, and such)
- People you do business with (attorney, tax professional, auto mechanic, contractor, insurance agent, and others)
Maintain Accurate Records
Make a list of everyone in your SOI so you can keep track of them and update their contact information regularly. It is possible to list everyone in a notebook and manually enter all the information you need. However, there is a much more effective system. CRM or customer relationship management programs are valuable tools for maintaining and growing an SOI. CRM software is the perfect way of organizing and running a monthly email newsletter. CRM does much of the work for you and automates many of the tasks.
Stay in Touch
Staying in regular contact with your SOI is imperative if you want to increase your repeat and referral business. By implementing a CRM and emailing your SOI list with interesting and valuable content every two weeks, this ensures you will stay “top of mind” with your contacts.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Why not send "friend requests" from your Facebook page to everyone on your list? Social networking is an excellent way to stay in contact with everyone. Facebook lists friends of friends, so you get many more chances to build your sphere of influence list for your real estate business.
Things to Think About
Succeeding at real estate sales takes time, and your SOI list will make life easier. Everyone on the list is a potential client. An effective SOI can reach as many as 10,000 people or more. Keep your SOI list current and stay in regular touch with everyone on the list. CRM software helps you maintain a healthy SOI. Social media is another vital source to consider.