Stay connected with your sphere of influence
By Dorothee Rubin
You probably already understand that your sphere of influence is a great networking tool for generating leads and referrals. It is, in fact, the main underpinning of your business.
The sphere of influence is a metaphorical idea that suggests that since everyone you know knows someone else, you can use this liaison to broadcast your services to a much larger audience. It’s also suggested that this audience includes everyone you ever met.
When did you contact your sphere of influence last? Do you have a marketing list? In this tough real estate market, it’s time to go back to basics. If you don’t already have one, it’s time to build your marketing list. It’s simple. Using your email software, EXCEL spread sheet, or your favorite real estate software, record the email address, home address, work address, phone numbers and personal information such things as birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc. of friends, relatives, and other people you know but not to the same degree. These are people such as trades people, professionals, club members, school contacts, neighbors or just acquaintances.
Now that you have put together a list, draft a letter or an email about your services and include something they can use. For example, several people on your list live in the same area. If you include the recent history of the purchase price of homes in the area, this could be information of interest to them as home owners. Another example is to send a recipe under the pretense that they might enjoy trying it, too. Or the approach could be a newsletter for the area that is informative and provides interesting items that will catch their interest. Here you can introduce your services but also provide information of upcoming events, community news, or how to do something. It is another way to get your message out and give back something of use.
Calling your client base is just as important as sending them something to read. Don’t be shy to call and just chit chat about how they are. Don’t always make a call a sales call. This goes a long way to keep relationships alive and gives the clients the feeling that you are concerned about them as people not just sales opportunities.
When is the last time you passed on a lead to the competition? If you have a lead that you know you cannot handle, why not think about passing it to another agent who can make something positive happen? Referrals are nice but don’t always look for instant referrals. Try planning for future referrals. When you help others, they will remember your good will and be receptive to passing opportunities back to you.
In this electronic age, the newest approach to communication is the blog. Have you thought about becoming a blogger? You can set up a free blog on the Internet provided by several organizations and express your opinion about real estate issues in your area, welcoming people to respond. Or, you can write about anything else that you interests you. It is one of the quickest ways to build name recognition in today’s worldwide sphere of influence.
There is nothing magical about cultivating your sphere of influence, nor should you expect instant results. It is, however, a way for people to learn about your services and keep you in mind, while you provide them with some useful information. People do things for others when it is reciprocated. This is a useful concept to keep in mind when you think about cultivating your sphere of influence.
Dorothee Rubin, CIPS, GRI, TRC, ABR, PMN is president of the Miami Dade Women’s Council of Realtors and a 2007 Florida Association of Realtors. She is broker-owner of Diverse Realty.
Copyright© 2007 Agent Publishing LLC