This article series is largely taken from the Real Estate Marketing Playbook with permission from the author.
Your sphere of influence includes your family, friends, colleagues, teammates, neighbors, kids’ friends’ parents, former coworkers, former classmates — in short, everyone you know by name. For most of us, this totals around 200 people.
Luckily for you, this is a list you’ve been building your entire life. The people you already know are much more likely to give you a shot than a person you’ve only met once or twice.
It makes sense that the relationship-based real estate industry would be intimately familiar with the value of this large circle. Having a personal connection with someone, wherein they genuinely know (at least on some level) who you are, is the best basis for establishing a professional relationship.
People want to work with those they know, like and trust, and the more people who know, like and trust you, the better position you’ll be in to grow your business.
Typically, depending on how you structure your business, 65-80 percent of your income will come from your sphere of influence, so maximizing this resource is a no-brainer.
There are ways to nurture and grow your connections authentically. There are also ways to think you’re tending to your sphere that are less authentic, and therefore, less effective.
For example, many agents use automated, so-called “efficiencies,” which are ways to project themselves into the minds of people in their sphere with the touch of a “send” button.
Certainly, there are effective uses of newsletters and email that add value to your relationships. However, the thoughtless overuse of email, particularly mass emails, is one of the least effective ways to connect with your sphere. If you’re using this practice, it’s a great place to start refining your approach.
Make an effort to find out what is meaningful to the people in your sphere, and use that information to approach them accordingly. Some people like to chat on the phone every so often. Some need face-to-face time.
You may know people for whom it’s important that you contribute to, or participate in, their favorite charity event. Some people desire more hands-on attention, while others prefer less.
Facebook is popular for a reason — busy people can stay connected with their friends, from the convenience of their desk chair. But, be careful how you use this tool. Some in your sphere avoid Facebook, and your most insightful post would miss them entirely. Also, beware of the social media time-suck. You can put in a lot of time with very little return.
The beauty of a personalized approach is that there are multiple mediums through which you can make your connections, and you can use some or all of them.
Typical methods include personal phone calls, email, newsletters, in-person meetings and social media. By incorporating a customized strategy, you will strengthen the core connection that people in your sphere have with you and remind them that you are someone they know, like and trust. This makes you the person they’ll go to or send their sphere to when it comes time to buy or sell a home.
Real Estate Marketing Playbook was inspired by observations and experiences over many years in the real estate business. This series includes example strategies from the playbook, and the full text is available on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — Re/Max Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.