I find that so many Real Estate Agents avoid marketing when it comes to their sphere. And yet statistics show that this can be the greatest source of referrals.
Define and Rate your Sphere
When is the last time that you took a good look at your sphere? What is the total? What are the categories in that group? Do you have past clients, friends, acquaintances, people you hardly know? Before you do anything else go into your data base and group your sphere in categories.
Do you know who in your sphere is likely to refer to you? Do you know who in your sphere already works with another agent? How many have moved away? Start deleting the inappropriate ones.
Be sure to ask all of them this question at some point: “If you were buying or selling a home do you have a real estate agent that could help you?” If they say “yes” delete them. There is no point in continuing, they are not prospects. By keeping in touch With your sphere as we will describe below, you’ll begin to find out who is an A, B, C, or D.
A = someone likely to refer to you
B = someone who with a little more contact with you, would refer to you
C = Questionable
D = Delete
Send an Item of Value to your sphere each month
In my 10 years of coaching Real Estate agents to double their incomes, I am amazed at the fact that sometimes their sphere never gets a mailing. Or sometimes the mailing is not well thought out. I worked with a client today who admitted that the material she was sending to her sphere was standard and boring. We brainstormed about Items of Value that would be interesting, fun and unique. So far she has come up with recipes and inspiring quotes. What do you send to your sphere?
Is it something you would want to receive and find valuable? If so, then I guarantee that your sphere will like it too. How many creative Items of Value can you come up with?
Overcome your blocks to calling your sphere
Everyone I have ever worked with resists calling their sphere. Here are seven objections to SOI’ing that I hear frequently:
- “I don’t know anyone who wants to buy or sell right now and even if I did, how can I base my business on them?”
- “I refuse to be one of those annoying real estate agents that the family avoids at parties.“
- “My friends would expect a discount or kickback because they know me.“
- “I don’t believe in mixing business with pleasure. If the deal goes sour, I could lose the friendship.“
- “My family doesn’t take me seriously – they see my new career as just another phase.“
- “I don’t want my family and friends to feel obligated to use me if they don’t want to.”
- “My broker says I need to cold-call, door-knock and mail to a geographic farm – that selling real estate is a number’s game, so I need to get my name out there everywhere I can.”
The list goes on, but I think you get the idea. What you need to understand is that you’re a giver. When givers give to other givers, they get back. So, in other words, if you send an Item of Value , you are giving, when you chat with them and listen to what’s going on in their lives, you’re giving again. So at the end of the call, say something like, “Oh by the way, if you hear of anyone even whispering about buying selling a home, please give me a call with their name and number.” Then say, “I’ll be happy to send referrals to your business, as well. Guess what? You’re giving again.
After doing these calls monthly (after your mailing of Items of Value) you’ll begin to know your sphere and they’ll know you. You’ll begin to learn which ones are you’re A’s, B’s, C’s and which ones to delete. Then what will happen is that you’ll be in their stream of consciousness. So you’re the first one they’ll think of when they think of real estate. Don’t be surprised if you get referrals in the first few weeks.
Be in the right mindset
Don’t make these calls if you’re feeling anxious, upset or desperate. Remember, desperations doesn’t sell. So psych yourself up in the right mindset. Think of yourself as a giver and how happy they are going to be to hear from you. Tip: if you have been thinking negatively, switch your focus to what you are grateful for. That usually puts you in a much better mood to pick up the phone.
Make it a daily ritual
Just like brushing your teeth, calling some people out of your sphere is essential. Even one a day is OK. Only call several times a day if you want your income to rise quickly.
Decide when to make your calls and keep at it until you’ve reached the people you were trying to call. Expect that several weeks after doing this; it will feel a lot easier. An extra perk is that you’re going to be deepening some great relationships and you’ll experience the same pleasure of calling them us as you would with a good friend.