You may not have noticed, but I've been away from the Rain for about two weeks (except for a few little housekeeping blogs). Blog burnout - it happens and it's usually good for the soul... What have I been doing? WRITING MY NEXT BOOK! Outta nowhere, I was in the mood to create the next masterpiece (tee hee), so that's where all my creative energy went. And... voila! The first (very preliminary) draft is done!
So here I am.
Got a question this morning from a reader about SOI'ing* in a new town. And, whaddya' know, I'd just written about this topic yesterday in Chapter Four...
"Dear Jennifer, I just moved to a town where I have no SOI. Any ideas using your philosophy? Thanks for any input you can offer."
My Response (excerpted from my preliminary first draft of the new baby);
"But I'm New to Town and I don't know anyone!"
So, a little lacking in the SOI department? The only people you know are your spouse, your real estate agent and the nice lady at the bank? Well, it's a start.
First, allow me to be frank with you. Starting up a relationship-based business in a brand new town is not easy. In fact, in some cases, it may be darn near impossible. A little tough love here - if you find yourself in this situation, either by choice or by necessity, you need to accept that you HAVE a choice to make. Either you will get your backside out there in the world and meet some people as fast as your legs will carry you, or you will put your business plans on hold until you have "organically" built a sphere of influence.
Let's talk about both options.
Getting Your Backside Out There
If you're an introvert, this may seem overwhelming. I mean, WHAT exactly can you do to "meet people?" I'm with ya, there. A few years ago I moved to a new town and after two years there I hadn't met much of anyone (no, I wasn't selling real estate; I was writing books).
Frankly, I would never advise anyone to begin a new real estate career in a new town... not just because of the SOI limitations, but also because you have so much ELSE to learn! A new market, new customs and maybe even new laws and contracts!
But since you asked, I'll do my best to answer.
First, make a list of everyone you know. You may be surprised how many people you know already. Keep a notebook with you at all times so you can write down the names of people you think of as you're going about your day.
Set a goal of how many new contacts you want to have by, say, the end of the year. 200 is a good number to shoot for. Figure out how many people you need to meet between now and then to reach your goal. (The sooner you have 200 contacts, the sooner your SOI strategy will work for you - there's just something magic about 200.)
Using respectful strategies you've read about here, in my books and on my blog, strive to make new friends. Best friends? No, of course not. Just put up your antenna, put a smile on your face and greet the world like a fresh breath of air. Go ahead and do open houses, prospect to FSBOs and Expireds, or any other sort of lead generation you feel the need to do. Just be sure to treat everyone you meet as someone you might build a relationship with, not just as someone who might buy or sell a home.
Because, frankly, your goal is not necessarily to meet everyone in town with a real estate need - your goal is meet people who KNOW other people* who have real estate needs.
The more people you know, uh, strike that. The more people who know YOU, the more likely your name is to come up in conversation when the topic is real estate.
Simple enough. If you're new to town. Go make friends. TODAY!
Putting your business on hold
This is a very viable option, as unappealing as it may sound on the surface. If I were to relocate today with the intention of selling real estate in my new locale, I would probably use this approach. I'd get another job for a year or so; preferably in a company or industry that included the opportunity to meet people. I'd focus on my goal of cultivating an SOI of 200 or so and keep my antenna up for opportunities to be social, to be helpful, to get my smiling (non-salesy) face in front of people I would enjoy knowing. I'd strive to always be perceived as an RCHB, so that when I made my announcement that I was returning to real estate, the people I'd met through the year would have the confidence that I'll be a darn good real
As an introvert, making the effort to be social IS an effort and not something that comes naturally. However, I'm also mercenary enough to be willing to do it if I think it's leading to something profitable for me. And of course, a side benefit of this mercenariness is that I'll make friends in
a new town. Win/win all around.
* SOI'ing = Building a business based on the personal relationships in your life (ideally without making a nuisance out of yourself)
The Savvy Prospector: Eight Weeks to a Full Pipeline for Life!