How to Grow Your Network to Get More Clients
As a real estate agent, the ability to connect with the people who need your services and satisfy their needs is your most important duty.
And achieving it all boils down to one thing - your sphere of influence.
Let’s take a look at what this means, and how you can cultivate a sphere of influence that rocks.
What is a Sphere of Influence?
A sphere of influence (SOI) consists of people whom you are personally connected with.
These are people that you have a relationship with and who are very likely to influence your business by recommending your services and/or providing valuable feedback.
Examples of people in your sphere of influence include your friends, family, past clients, old schoolmates, business colleagues, and every other person that you are connected to in one way or the other.
What is a Secret Agent?
Many new real estate agents knowingly or unknowingly become secret agents – people who do not tell other people that they are real estate agents. This secrecy could either be because of shame or embarrassment at sharing they are agents, or because they do not want to look like they are begging for business.
However, you need to understand that there are certain dangers to being a secret agent.
Every day, we are presented with several opportunities to tell our SOI about what we do, and failure to take these opportunities could result in a loss of potential clients.
Being a secret agent simply means that you are limiting the amount of business that you can get, and giving another agent the chance to get your potential clients.
It is therefore very important for you to make a conscious decision to quit being tight-lipped about your business and publicize it any chance you get. Remember, if you are not gaining new clients, you most likely are losing new clients.
Why Sphere of Influences is the Most Effective Way to Find Leads
While you can make use of other forms of advertisements such as social media, newspapers, posters, and the likes, your sphere of influence is really your best bet to finding leads in the real estate world. Here’s how:
It Gives You an Edge
Firstly, your sphere of influence consists of people who know you, love you, and want to support your business.
These people are familiar with your work ethic and have a sense of trust in you. All of these give you an edge over the random real estate agent whom they are not acquainted with, thus making them more likely to work with you.
It Builds Relationships
Advertisements only advertise your business; they do nothing in the way of building a relationship between you and potential clients.
Your sphere of influence, however, gives you a chance to provide people with solid proof of your reputation and outstanding service.
As a result, there is a higher guarantee that you’d sooner get a lead from your SOI than you would from the posters you put up.
Warm Lead VS. Cold Lead
There are three main lead temperatures -cold leads, warm leads, and hot leads. Cold leads consist of people who fit your target audience but haven’t yet interacted with your business. These people are the least likely to purchase your services.
Warm leads are people who have interacted with your business, either by visiting your website, clicking on an email link, or engaging in a social media post.
People in this category are more likely to become clients than cold leads. Finally, hot leads are people who have shown interest in your services and are willing to purchase.
Your SOI provides you with more warm leads than cold leads because these people have had interactions with you and can easily contact you to find out more details about your services.
This makes your SOI one of your best bets in finding leads.
How to Build Your Sphere of Influence – Even if You Don’t Know Anyone
Have you ever felt like you do not know anyone, or that you have an extremely small or non-existent sphere of influence?
Well, you might want to think again, because everyone has a sphere of influence, and you are not an exception. The people you grew up with, went to school with, work(ed) with, play sports with, live next to, and relate with daily are all part of your sphere of influence.
You no doubt have one or more categories of these individuals in your life.
Having identified the people in your sphere of influence, the next thing to do is familiarize them with your business. To achieve this, you should:
Reach Out to Your Inner Circle
The first step to building your SOI is reaching out to the people in your inner circle; people who know you well, love you, and want to see you succeed.
Informing them that you are a real estate agent automatically makes you a candidate for their patronage or referrals. You can reach out to them via calls, texts, or a one-on-one meeting.
Reach Out to Your Outer Circle
The next step is to reach out to people who you are quite acquainted with, although not on a personal level.
These people include your neighbors, co-workers, gym pals, mailman, apartment building doorman, grocery store attendant, or bartender at your favorite bar.
The best way to inform these people about your job is through a personal meeting since you are not very likely to have their contact details.
Reach Out to Strangers and Loose Acquaintances
This category consists of people who do not know you, and who have had little to no interaction with you.
Examples of this include the uber driver that picks you up, the guy you jog past every morning, and some random friends on Facebook.
Stay Top-of-Mind With Your Sphere
It is not enough to reach out once and inform your sphere that you are an agent.
You have to remind them often so that when they think about a real estate agent, you are the first person that comes to mind. Here are some ways to achieve this:
- Set a schedule to stay in touch. This could be a monthly newsletter or a daily or weekly social media post
- Make use of software that allows you to send out texts or emails in bulk to your sphere of influence
- Send emails or postcards regularly
- Connect with them on social media
When is the Best Time to Build Your Sphere of Influence?
The best time to start building your sphere of influence is the moment you realize you want to be an agent.
Even before getting your license and practicing, you should begin telling your friends and family about your goals. By doing so, you are laying a foundation that you can begin building upon as soon as you get your license.
Final Thoughts on Building a Sphere of Influence
Everyone has a sphere of influence, no matter how little it may be. The ability to fully utilize your sphere of influence is a key determinant of how well you can beat the competition and become a successful real estate agent.
Remember to begin building your SOI even before you get your license, no matter how difficult it might be, and in no time, you’ll see that it is totally worth it.
TL;DR: Everyone has a sphere of influence – even if you think you don't have one. The easiest way to know who is in your sphere of influence, grab a pen and paper, and write out everyone you know or see on a day-to-day basis.