So, I took my real estate exam in December '07. I passed, and with that I was going to conquer the world...be TOPS in the Real Estate Industry here in Southern California!
Although clouded by the current market woes and near fall-out, I was still going to set myself apart and make $$! Well, yeah...ok. It didn't quite work out that way. Not because I COULDN'T make it happen, and definitely NOT because I failed, because the potential and ability is there, and will always be there...but it's because I became quite busy with another venture that was in its infancy stages during this time as well.
I met a very wonderful and ambitious real estate gentleman who introduced me to his broker. Now it all seemed ideal (to me) with its quaint and comfy office, few agents, and Down To Earth enviance, I thought I would just fit in...and with license waving in my green little hands...ready to be trained...earnest to break into and become a part of this potential million dollar industry...there I sat.
Phones weren't really ringing, so real estate salesperson/receptionist skills didn't come into play. Surfin' through the MLS system till I nearly gagged was all but a thrill...hmmm, I thought...I've seriously gotta do something! Take me out on some showings! Let me sit for an open house! Let me cold call! Let me place some yard signs...clean some yard signs?! Anybody? But nuthin! So I got up, marched right into the broker's office and asked, "What is it going to take to get me started?" I had to get my feet wet. I was eager to learn, and I was willing to teach myself from observation alone...but one problem...not too much was going on to observe...at least at that time, and at least from where I stood. Now, don't get me wrong, I was never discouraged and I never gave up. I understood the reality of the current conditions. Agents became a little tighter on what they chose to resource out. I understood that. They had mouths to feed and mortgages to pay, too. So, the broker says..."start by putting your SOI together, and we will go from there." SOI? What the heck is that?
It is your Sphere Of Influence.
It made sense...start by telling everyone I know who I have had an acquaintance, what I am up to...let them know I am available! So, that is exactly what I did.
I wrote a letter briefly explaining who I was, in case anyone forgot, and what I am doing now, and how I can help them. But I didn't use it toward my Real Estate Business...(at least not yet). My list was long and I was happy with myself...but I was getting increasingly busy with what I was doing on the side. So I started focusing on marketing myself, and then thought why don't I use my Sphere Of Influence to gain some recognition by those a little closer to heart and home?
I modified and used this Sphere Of Influence idea for My Notary and Loan Signing Business! I cannot even begin to tell you the magnitude of work for me which it has made. What an incredible idea...and it was free, and easy...and since it gave those that I listed a sense of familiarity because they had met me before, or knew me personally, it cemented some relationships and generated a lot of notary work, and the referrals are AWESOME!
I have marketed myself quite extensively, but would have missed this opportunity because I didn't think to even market to my family, colleagues, or friends. As subtle as this little modest letter that I had written to my SOI, it has pushed my notary business forward. I highly recommend it...and maybe, once I get the nerve or inkling to pursue my RE career, I will peruse this little gem then, too!
Thank you for enduring a moment of me.
Cheryl Lee Anderson