The saga of Jake continues...

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

As you may recall, when we last saw Jake, he was three months into his real estate career and pretty darn close to quitting. He wasn't having any fun or making any money.

So, one day, Jake Googled the term "How not to become discouraged in real estate" and stumbled upon an article by Jennifer Allan, author of Sell with Soul. The article was about something she called an "SOI" which, upon further reading, Jake discovered stood for "Sphere of Influence" and meant "The people who know you."

Jennifer claimed that if you devote your prospecting efforts toward the people who know you instead of the people who have never heard of you, not only will you have a heck of a lot more FUN, but you'll stand a much confusedbetter chance of success.

"How can this be?" Jake asked himself. "I don't know anyone who wants to buy or sell a house right now! How could I possibly generate enough business from my friends to pay the bills and keep the wife's toenails polished? This doesn't make any sense!"

Well, Jake kept digging and reading and found a whole bunch of articles Jennifer had written on the topic. As he read, he realized that what he was seeing contradicted almost everything he'd ever heard about self-promotion and marketing for a self-employed person.

Jennifer advised against pursuing strangers for business... against offering incentives for referrals... against, even, ASKING for referrals at all!

Jake felt a tug deep inside as he continued to read. He felt a glimmer of hope. Even though her approach was "wrong", according to his corporate training, it felt very very right. It made sense to Jake. Bothering strangers and mailing out hundreds of postcards never felt right to him, but his broker insisted that it the best way. And Jake believed him.

But he was starting to have his doubts. Maybe, just maybe... this SOI stuff was the magic bullet he'd been hoping for.

So Jake began his own SOI Seduction campaign. He made a list of everyone he knew, grouped them into two categories, and sent out a respectful, interesting, non-salesy letter to them all. He started reaching out to his friends and acquaintances, not as a real estate agent, but as a genuinely nice guy with a good head on his shoulders... who happened to sell homes for a living.

Stay tuned, we'll check back in with Jake soon to see how it's going.


copyright jennifer allan 2007

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Keith Perry
Coldwell Banker - Hiram, GA
REALTOR - West Metro Atlanta
Writing a blog in third person ...oh must be the hangover...nevermind
Sep 22, 2007 12:06 AM #1
Linda Reynolds
Bradenton Real Estate - Linda Reynolds - Bradenton, FL
Bradenton Real Estate
I am interested to hear how he is now doing, if he is making progress or if he decided to drop out of the business.
Sep 22, 2007 12:17 AM #2
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL
Author to author - this third person stuff is a bit freaky for a Saturday morning before I've had my first coffee. :)
Sep 22, 2007 12:42 AM #3
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
So have some coffee... hang in there... this is a true story and yes, there is a point. Besides, what's wrong with Freaky?
Sep 22, 2007 12:51 AM #4
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
You fly in the face of conventional teaching, I like that in an article. Please more updates
Sep 22, 2007 12:54 AM #5
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hey, Broker Bryant writes 3rd person all the time. For those of us with multiple personalities it's very easy:)

Sounds like Jake may be on to something here. I actually have a different approach since I prefer not to work with friends and families. Of course many of my customers become friends BUT they are Real Estate friends. 

Broker Bryant...that doesn't make any sense!

Yes it does!!! doesn't!!

Oops!!! Now I'm arguing with myself:)

Sep 22, 2007 01:00 AM #6
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
BB- that's funny cause I actually thought of YOU while I was writing this (the third person stuff).
Sep 22, 2007 01:14 AM #8
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

Jennifer - It is easily glossed over as readers furtively race to discover what will become of Jake, but there is a KEY PHRASE in this segment. People will read it once, twice and three times and miss the biggest point that can be made.

Sure, the majority of brokers sit new agents down and have them fill out forms, read scripts, make a list of 100 people they know and sometimes even advise them to join a group like BNI, where once a week they can ask group members the question "who do you know that is looking to buy or sell a home?". Almost every agent gets to go to that dance at least once early in their career.

Selling with Soul has one tiny little difference that makes all the difference when you are beginning your career. Oh, there are many big differences, but there is one tiny way of phrasing, one tiny way of focusing that is different. It is a starting point. Being a starting point, it seems almost trivial to point out. I love running my fingers and I have had my coffee so I shall continue.

Let's pretend that real estate sales could be compared to a journey. You start at point A and begin walking due East to your destination. After walking for a mile you reach your goal. Now lets say someone says, Hey Jennifer turn to your left about 2 inches, that will get you to your goal. Do that and keep walking. The farther you walk, the farther you move from your goal. The difference in direction when you began was only two inches, after walking a are no where near your goal (Damn it, if I had gone to math class instead of hanging out in the art department all day....I could tell you exactly how far away you would be).

What is the tiny difference that can send folks off on a career path that is two inches off?

"The people who know you"

Anyone can fill a ledger with the people that they know. Your target in the beginning is people who know you. Think about it.

On one hand - "Who do you know ....?"

and on the other "Who knows you . . .?"

It is a subtle difference that will make a huge difference on the way your career begins and the life of your career truly will be impacted by how you begin. The end of your career will be determined by your ability to grow and change as you move through the life of your career. Starting with a solid base will just help you stay closer to the path of least resistance.

Oh, and by the way, if you know of anyone that is looking to read or share comments, my blog is there for the asking. LOLOLOLOL ( I know you get it)

Sep 22, 2007 01:47 AM #9
Edith Wharton
Cottage and Loft Realty - Midlothian, VA
Realtor - Chesterfield VA

LOL!! Jennifer,This is like a soap opera...can't wait to see the next part!

Please don't be too long! ;0)

Sep 22, 2007 01:52 AM #10
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

John... BINGO. Either you've already gotten to that part on my CD or, again, we are on the exact same wavelength in the universe. It doesn't matter one little bit who YOU KNOW. What matters is WHO KNOWS YOU AND KNOWS THAT YOU SELL REAL ESTATE. That's MY definition of SOI.

And to elaborate... "The More People Who Know You and Know that You Sell Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell."

We are so darn smart (with or without coffee)

Sep 22, 2007 02:01 AM #11
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

Jennifer - I don't think I have gotten to that point yet. I would remember shouting "Eureaka". I suppose I have always felt it, but it hit me between the eyes as I read the latest episode of "Jake".

I don't want to venture out onto that fragile consultant limb, but, that spin is one of the great hooks of the University!!!!!! (hint - everyone else says "who do you know", successful agents ask "Who - Knows - Me".

I will share more should we chat.

Sep 22, 2007 02:31 AM #12
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents
You better get to work on getting on with the next chapter (episode). It is almost like watching TV every week wishing the week would go by faster. LOL.
Sep 22, 2007 12:07 PM #13
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales
I love your style, Jennifer - and Broker Bryant, I love it when your personalities start to argue.  LOL
Sep 23, 2007 06:52 AM #14
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