The most valuable people you will deal with in real estate are those in your real estate sphere of influence (SOI), sometimes called your center of influence (COI). Developing your SOI doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. From making a list of your SOI relationships to tracking engagements and employing customer relationship management (CRM) software, let’s dive into the most effective tips and strategies for efficiently and consistently building and nurturing your SOI.
1. Identify & Make a List of Your Sphere of Influence Relationships
Everyone you know in your neighborhood makes up your personal sphere of influence. Usually, these are people we know outside of real estate. Go through your phone contacts, check your social media accounts, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, and walk around your community. Identify and list all of the people you know, considering the following sphere of influence examples:
Inner Circle Relationships
Outer Circle Relationships
2. Invest Time & Personalize Your Outreach
After listing your SOI in real estate, contact them consistently—calling or emailing them once or twice a week. However, the most common trap here is to send out something generic. While your closer connections will likely respond to you regardless, you won’t get as far with everyone else. Start reconnecting with your past clients, inner circle, and professional relationships by phone. As for your outer circle and non-professional relationships, you can reach out to them by emailing them.
To get started, use our email example below and tweak it according to your preferences:
Always remember to talk to your contacts like they are friends and to take your time. Avoid the temptation to rush and jump straight into the sales pitch. Your outreach must be personalized. Be sincere and cordial, and focus on the quality of your chat and developing a relationship rather than calling as many people as you can as quickly as possible.
3. Keep Track of Your Connections & Engagements
Maintaining momentum with a consistent outreach schedule is necessary once you have established initial contact and a trusting relationship with your SOI in real estate. You must be organized if you want to keep in touch with all of your real estate sphere of influence without spamming them.
A tracker spreadsheet is an excellent method to keep your contact information organized and monitor your marketing campaign’s effectiveness. You can enter names, contact details, and information about how and when you made contact in your spreadsheet. We have prepared a spreadsheet to streamline your tracking process and help you get started. Download it, then make the necessary changes to make it more suitable for your needs and preferences.
However, a manual tracker sheet might get cumbersome, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of contacts. Following up with your sphere of influence is a continuous process. Maintaining a consistent pattern helps you stay at the forefront of your sphere of influence minds and nurtures your relationships. Thus, enforce an organized follow-up strategy specific to every person you have contacted. Leveraging CRM software is ideal for effectively and efficiently tracking and following up on your SOI.
Zoho CRM has tools that automate suggestions and customizations to track high-priority clients, set reminders, and improve communication and processes. Also, you can send emails, make and log calls, respond to social media comments, send transactional text messages, and embed Zoho CRM chat support on your website. Its SalesSignals feature sends real-time notifications whenever a prospect interacts with your brand from any channel.
4. Always Carry Your Business Card
Your real estate business card is vital to fostering a positive brand experience. You never know when you need to create a great first impression. So, keep a few business cards on hand, especially when attending networking events. Ensure that your business card showcases your personality and includes all your contact information, such as your name, number, email, website, and brokerage details, so that clients can contact you for your services.
Order your business cards once you’ve decided on a design. VistaPrint provides hundreds of premade designs with distinctive textures and styles. Or you can personalize your own business card design. Additionally, the platform offers professional design services if you need them.
5. Stay Active on Social Media
Using social media as a platform to connect with people who know you and the people who know the people who know you is a great way to grow and nurture your sphere of influence in real estate. Sharing thoughts and ideas is the core purpose of social media. Instead of posting a blog entry or listing a photo, try experimenting with video, polls, interactive content like stories, and user-generated content to promote engagement and build connections. Aim to publish four pieces of content or more each week and reply to all comments to keep the conversation going and make it noteworthy.
Here are some social media sites you must leverage to grow your SOI:
- LinkedIn: Best for contacting your professional SOI, including your past co-workers, other real estate professionals, and contractors you’ve worked with.
- Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram: Best for reaching out to your inner and outer circle SOI.
- TikTok and Twitter: Best for engaging with the general public.
6. Conduct Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most used and affordable ways to keep connecting with your past, current, and prospective clients. The key to successful email marketing or pitching is to segment your contacts and ensure you deliver them valuable content, like market trends, new and exciting listings, and community news.
To help get the best results from your email marketing, here are some idea topics and email types that you could include in an email to your SOI:
- Home improvement or maintenance tips
- Neighborhood spotlights
- Reviews and stories from previous clients
- Market data and infographics
- Recent sales information
- New listings
- Open house invites
- A fun house-related survey question
- Mortgage news and advice or interesting local market information
7. Keep in Touch With Your Past Clients
There are various ways to stay in touch with previous clients. For instance, send them a thank-you note or closing gift when the transaction is completed, give them a personalized email occasionally, or drop them a phone call or text once a year to catch up. Consider sending them gifts on special occasions like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and childbirths.
Pop-by gifts are also a fun and effective way to stay in touch with your past real estate clients. It could be food, drink, decor, candy, and self-care pop-by gifts. It is also often accompanied by a note of gratitude or a fun reminder that you are a resource for them and their friends and family. For clients nearby or residing farther away, the best ways to deliver your pop-by gifts are doorstep drop-off, hand deliver, mailbox, or event integration.
8. Attend & Host Events
In the real estate industry, in-person connections are the most effective and valuable. Attending networking, professional development, and community events will help you expand your sphere of influence and advance your career. If you are comfortable sharing your knowledge with others, you can offer to lead workshops and events. Talk about flipping houses, purchasing and selling real estate, and renovations topics. Remember that every “student” who attends your event or workshop can potentially become a valuable lead at any time.
Here are just a few real estate event ideas that you can attend or organize:
Educational or Professional Development Events
Why Is a Sphere of Influence in Real Estate Important?
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), referrals remain the primary method most homebuyers find through their real estate agent. Referrals by friends, neighbors, or relatives were highest among Younger Millennial buyers (50%) and Older Millennial Buyers (44%) compared to older generations. In addition, 36% of recent homesellers used a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative.
As a result, having an extensive network of connections is vital for success in the real estate industry. Since both quantity and quality matter, you should make a concerted effort to widen your circle of influence while maintaining the connections you have already established. Thus, employing the above-mentioned strategies and tips would best sustain solid and meaningful relationships with the individuals within your real estate sphere of influence.
Your network offers countless opportunities. By maintaining contact with your SOI and adding value to their experience, you can establish yourself as an authoritative figure in your community. Engage with your SOI regularly and systematically to create a solid referral lead generator that can help you reach your sales goals.