'6 Easy Ways to Maintain & Grow Your SOI'
6 Easy Ways to Maintain & Grow Your SOI'
6 Easy Ways to Maintain & Grow Your SOI'
“100 of your clients can socially leverage your brand to more than 25,000 eyeballs”
Everybody has a Sphere of Influence (SOI) of 250 people. Don’t believe me? Aside from family and friends, your Sphere includes your hairdresser, stager, UPS driver, former classmates and business associates to name a few. They are your arsenal of ‘influencers’.
Your SOI it can be a gold mine of repeat business and referrals. Top Agents get it. According to NAR , “Agents making more than $100K a year said that they got nearly one-third of their business from past clients and 34% came from repeat business.” How many Real Estate buying or selling opportunities are you going to let slip through your fingers? Let’s dive into ways you can maintain and grow your Sphere of Influence.
1. Regularly review your SOI
This may seem like I am stating the obvious. There are a lot of Agents out there that don’t have a system in place to track past clients, current clients and other potential people mentioned above that could be a part of their SOI. We talked extensively about this topic in my post- Why is SOI in Real Estate so Important (hyperlink). You could keep your tracking system of your SOI as simple as a Rolodex on your desk. Yeah, it’s a little old school, but it still works. There are database programs like Top Producer or ACT to organize and classify people in your Sphere. Once you have compiled your list, don’t ignore it. Monthly review your list, to update and also add to your list to keep it current. The point is this. Keep the list organized and current. It’s your gold mine worth million of dollars in business to you.
2. ID your Super Stars in your Sphere of Influence
When I say Super Star, I mean the people who regularly refer YOU to their friends and family to buy or sell Real Estate. You may have an SOI of 250 people, but not all of them are regularly referring you. Identify your Super Stars immediately. Make sure you are continually NURTURING them. Once you have identified your ‘Super Stars’, they can be elevated in your treatment but don’t ignore the others. They worked with you or knew you at one point so just because they aren’t doing anything now doesn’t mean they won’t do something later. I have said it before and I will say it again, PEOPLE talk! I still refer my Agent to friends looking to buy or sell and she sold me my home over 8 years ago! When you have a good relationship, you will reap the rewards.
When it comes to categorizing your list, an article in the thebalancesmb.com called How to Jumpstart Your Real Estate Sphere of Influence said: “you’ll find you want to have certain common types by which to identify contacts. You would have categories for Friends, Family, Vendors (doctor, lawyer, and local grocer), etc. Segment your contacts and prospects into logical groups that you would market in specific ways.” This is so important right now in the Era of Personalization. Having different categories helps you TARGET your marketing message.
3. Think about who you do business with to grow your SOI
Every person you work with should be included in your SOI. Hey, you are helping them succeed, so why shouldn’t they return the favor? Think of the Moving Company, handyman or landscaping services you enthusiastically recommend to your Clients. Let the people you do business with know you are ready to help them and their Sphere and ask them to return the favor. It’s OK to tell them you will be sharing and then to ask for a referral back, but then you have to nurture them to remind them. Also, add to your list your affiliates like the Title Company you work with. The people and companies who already know you would be happy to recommend your services to others, they just have to remember you because they work with a lot of other Agents. These are great opportunities to grow your Sphere of Influence in an organic way. All you have to do is ask and then start the nurturing process.
4. Network, network, NETWORK to build your Sphere of Influence
Do you attend networking events? Those people are now part of your Sphere and need to be added to your list on a regular basis. When you go to networking events, it’s not about how many business cards you can collect. This is a great opportunity to get into a one-on-one with a select few individuals and really get to know them. Once a genuine connection has been established, THEN ask for their business card. Just don’t take that card and put it away, continue the conversation by sending a personalized card following the event. When you take the time to make an authentic connection, it makes it easier to ask them for a referral. But once you engage on a regular basis at value, you won’t even need to ask. They will like you because the feel appreciated and remembered and you’re the one that gets that valuable referral.
5. Meet New People to expand your SOI
Most people find it easier to market to strangers than to people they know. It comes from fear of feeling like you are imposing on them. Get over IT! There are ways to meet new people and they are literally right under your nose. Don’t know where to start? Here are some great places to not only meet new people but raise your profile.
Now you need to create a system of adding new contacts to your SOI list. First, make sure you have all of their important info to add to your database such as their mobile number, mailing address and email at a minimum. The next important step is that you need to actually add them to your database. I know I sound like Captain Obvious, but so many Agents don’t physically add them to their database. By not adding them to your list at that moment, they fall through the cracks. Set aside the same day every week to update your list so it becomes a habit. When you forget, and I know you may not think it’s not that important, but it’s like leaving real money on the table.
Building your SOI is about building those relationships, not selling. One of your biggest goals as a Real Estate Agent should be about working with those who already know, like and trust you. When an Agent is trusted and provides a personalized Client experience, they will be referred to others for business. When your SOI is strong, it can be the KEY to having a constant pipeline of referral-based business. Who doesn’t want that?
What are you doing retain and grow your Sphere of Influence?
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Virtual XOXO, Keverne Denahan, CEO, KardZee