If you are in real estate, and you have heard the buzz about SOI and how it can help you generate tons of referrals and increase your revenue, we bet you are wondering what all the hype is about!
The truth is there are a lot of people out there who will readily help you to boost your business- and no, you do not have to cold-call anyone- neither do you have to lay your hands on a database. The magical thing is that you already know these people, and they know you. Still, puzzled? Allow us to tell you more.
Nurturing Your Sphere of Influence (SOI) in Real Estate
Let’s begin with what an SOI is:
Everyone has a set of people that they know really well, and you are definitely no different. Loosely put, these are the people that belong to your sphere of influence (SOI).
However, this is too general, so let’s narrow it down further. From all the people you know, which are the ones that can recall you and who know you by name? Now you have a narrower group of people.
But this is still too broad because the idea is to focus on the people that will help you generate real estate business, either directly (when they buy or sell a home) or indirectly (when they send you referrals). So, to put it simply, your sphere can include family, friends, neighbors, your family’s families, and their friends, or perhaps even people on your social media contact lists- generally anyone who knows you and knows about your business!
These are the people in your sphere of influence, and they will play a significant role in your real estate business.
Why is SOI in Real Estate so Important?
Real estate is a very competitive market, and every lead and referral that comes your way makes a difference.
The people in your sphere are ready-to-use resources you can tap to bring in more referrals and revenue for your business and hence becomes a trump card that you hold.
Additionally, since they are already acquainted with you, you do not have to start marketing your business to them from scratch. Hence, getting your SOI campaign off the ground will cost you a minimal amount of money compared to what you would have to spend if you had to promote your business to complete strangers. When reaching out to your SOI, your spending will most likely include some small gifts, greeting cards, etc.
But there are many more benefits to using SOI to market your business. Here are a few:
1. You will face less rejection
People prefer to do business with people they know and like, and hence, it is much easier to do business with familiar people. Familiarity also means less rejection as compared to the rejection that you will probably face when dealing with strangers.
2. You will have trust
If they know you, there is already an element of trust (unless you have previously given them a reason to feel otherwise). As we all know, trust is an essential element of a business relationship- it is beneficial to both you and the client.
3. You will end up doing a great job
When your customers are people you know, you tend to give your best and go out of your way to serve them, which may not be the case when working with strangers. More happy customers mean more referrals for you.
4. You will get more business
If you provide quality services, people who know each other will most likely discuss what a great real estate agent you are. Which, again, only means more business for you.
5. You will enjoy your work
It goes without saying that since the people you will be doing business with are your friends and family, you are more likely to be more comfortable and enjoy interacting with them as compared to cold calling or even dealing with complete strangers.
Now that we have seen why SOI is so important in the real estate business, let’s look at how to:
Maintain and Grow your Sphere of Influence
Yes, you have probably made mental notes of all the people in your SOI who can help you. However, this is not enough to be able to use it effectively for your real estate business.
To actually start tapping into your sphere of influence, you have to:
1. Create a database
First, start by putting down all your contacts into a database. To be more organized, you could categorize your contacts according to how you know them- friends, business contacts, ex-clients, etc. This will be the base on which you start marketing your business.
2. Grow your database
To hit your targets and grow your business further, you will have to continue to grow your sphere of influence or your base, and hence, you will need to further add to it. One easy way to do this is to remember to ask for the contact information of every new person that you meet and diligently add it to your database.
3. Update your database
Remember, it is essential to keep your database updated, as an outdated database is of no use to anyone.
4. Stay on top of mind
It is easy for people to forget about you, especially if you are not directly interacting with them on a daily basis. So, to remind your SOI that you are around and that they should send business your way when the opportunity arises, you could send them greeting cards or small gifts (to make a more significant impression) from time to time.
How to Use Gifts to Leverage Your SOI
Gifts are a great way to keep in touch with your contacts as well as stay top of mind, and you do not have to go bankrupt doing this- neither do you have to spend your time agonizing about what gifts to get people. Using a specialized gifting service like the Eva gifting assistant can help you accomplish this without the hassle or the stress of doing it yourself.
Another benefit is that Eva is easy to use. All you have to do is sync Eva with your database. Then, Eva will take care of the whole gifting procedure with little or no intervention from you. The entire process is automated- right from learning what each recipient likes, to choosing a gift from its fun and trendy catalog, to wrapping it up and delivering it with a handwritten note and lots of love from you. It makes gifting extremely simple, and more importantly, it also draws your SOI closer to you.
Leveraging your SOI is easier than you may think. But, you must be prepared to tap into your sphere of influence that is already available to you.
A lot of realtors are apprehensive about tapping into their contacts for fear of burning their relationships or goofing up. However, this should not be a concern, especially if you are authentic and particular about your level of customer service.
However, what you should worry about is getting organized. This is the key when it comes to leveraging your SOI. If you do not have the time to create and maintain your database yourself, get someone to do it for you. It will be worth it in the end because your SOI can become a reliable source of referral and repeat business for you over time. And if you use it correctly, you can rapidly accelerate your real estate business.
To know more about how Eva can help you leverage your SOI, get in touch with us. Or register for our 14-day free trial and let the power of real estate gifting grow and nurture your business.