Is SOI* Right for You?

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

*SOI = Sphere of Influence = People Who Know You

I'll bet you're thinking this is going to be a looooong blog, full of sappiness, self-serving propaganda and holier-than-thou pronouncements.

Nope. Not in the mood to be sappy, self-serving or even holier than y'all today.

So, I'll cut to the chase.

SOI might be right for you if: 

  1. You are willing to put the needs of your clients first. This means that you have the TIME and DESIRE to go above and beyond what's expected, not just provide "good customer service."

  2. Your real estate career is your priority career (see above).

  3. You know your stuff. You aren't just a friendly and responsive party-animal, you are an excellent real estate agent.

  4. You know people and are willing to make an effort to meet more (and yes, we introverts can excel at this too. In fact, we're a step ahead of the social butterflies in that we're good at keeping track of the people we know and meet!)

I'm sure I'll think of more and please feel free to add to this list.

So, is SOI right for YOU?

http://www.sellwithsoul.com/

copyright Jennifer Allan 2007

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Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Chris - when you say "we have found" who are you referring to? I'd love to use those stats and that concept! Tell me more!!

Maggie - I'm here when you're ready!

Ricardo - GO YOU!

Sep 28, 2007 10:25 PM #9
Rainer
62,831
Allen C. Wright
RealtyU - Aliso Viejo, CA
NS, AHS, REPS
SOI should be a part of any "good" agents business plan.  Even if you have a small SOI when starting real estate the process of meeting new buyers and sellers should add to your SOI ... The key is what Jennifer stated in her blog, putting their interests first.  This is a sure bet to add to your SOI.
Sep 29, 2007 08:03 AM #10
Rainer
178,223
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe
LivingInBirmingham.com - Birmingham, AL
Jennifer... I have to got say help. I am having difficulty distinguishing between a sphere of influence, data base, and just people I know. How do you distinguish between them, and which one are you talking about when you discuss SOI?
Sep 29, 2007 02:51 PM #11
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Allen & Stephen - you both raise good points that I should have made clearer..

I should have called the blog "Is an SOI Business Model Right for you?" I talk about SOI so much that I've shortened the whole concept into those three letters!

Stephen - that is an excellent question and the answer is important. Your Sphere of Influence is Everyone Who Knows You and Knows that You Sell Real Estate. It's NOT just your friends & family, NOT just your client database, and certainly not "everyone you know." It's a fine distinction -- and the goal of your SOI strategy is to make sure Everyone You Know becomes Everyone Who Knows You and Knows that you Sell Real Estate. As long as you let them know in a subtle and respectful way of course!

Sep 29, 2007 10:48 PM #12
Rainer
178,223
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe
LivingInBirmingham.com - Birmingham, AL

Jennifer, thanks for the distinction. I really like the idea of working your SOI. You made a comment "let them know in a subtle and respectful way of course!"

How? Can you give an example of subtle and respectful?

Sep 30, 2007 01:16 PM #13
Rainmaker
534,400
Roberta LaRocca
Simply Vegas Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, NV. Lic BS.507
Jennifer, I have been in a customer service business my whole life but the customers came into my store.  When they came in, I did everything I could to satisfy them and had a very prosperous business.  Now, I have to be much more social and outgoing (which is very difficult for me) but I am getting better.  I have shocked myself lately because I see such an improvement in myself.  Don't get me wrong, I will never be an outgoing person, but I have gotten better! 
Sep 30, 2007 04:32 PM #14
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Stephen - in a nutshell, the way to let people know what you do "subtly and respectfully" is to strive to be a really nice guy who is reliable and competent, who also happens to be a real estate agent. Someone who doesn't pester others for business, but is so happy being a real estate agent that he naturally draws others into his enthusiasm. When you have the right attitude, you shouldn't have to ever beg for business or even ask for referrals. For specific ideas - you might want to go through my SOI blogs which you can find neatly organized under the "soi" tag on my blog page. However, from what I know of you, Stephen, I'll bet you do "subtle and respectful" naturally.

Roberta - Selling real estate changed my social life. I've always been selfish with my time and very much a loner, but once I saw the value in personal relationships, I went out and made friends. Yes, it started out as a business-building initiative, but ended up enhancing my life in many wonderful ways! Wow! I actually have FRIENDS! What a concept.

Sep 30, 2007 11:27 PM #15
Rainer
3,235
James Hershiser
RELC, Inc. - East Irvine, CA
Loan Officer for RELC, Inc.
Great post, Jennifer: thank you for posting it.  I am a natural introvert, but I have made some good friends social networking for real estate, and it helps my business, too, of course.
Oct 02, 2007 07:51 AM #16
Rainmaker
250,018
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors
You BETTER work your SPHERE OF INFLUENCE first, especially if you are a newer agent with not many clients!  You need to keep yourself in front of them one way or another on a constant basis.  I found in my first year that the easiest way to do this was by sending out monthly newsletters as I didn't have that much business anyway the first couple of months!  Now I don't have the time to do monthly newsletters, but still do quarterly ones!
Oct 03, 2007 07:07 AM #17
Ambassador
528,339
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge
If you don't have a sphere of influence then there is no need to be in business. IMO - this is my personal opinion.
Oct 04, 2007 05:56 AM #18
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Tracy - mine too, but it amazes me how many Top Dog agents don't "have time" to mess with an SOI. No, they'd rather beat the streets 60 hours a week from now to eternity...
Oct 05, 2007 01:13 AM #19
Rainer
62,016
Denise Shockey
RE/MAX Aerospace Realty - Cocoa Beach, FL
Cocoa Beach, Brevard County Florida Real Estate

Hi Jennifer,

I know SOI is for me and thanks for your help and insight! 

 

Nov 19, 2007 08:26 AM #20
Rainmaker
221,510
David & Lisa Webber
RE/MAX Executive - Crofton, MD
www.webberteam.com
It is amazing to me, but not everyone keeps in touch with their SOI.  I know of several agents in my area with 20+ years in the business who are really struggling right now that the market is slower.  How can that be???  I would think that if you keep in touch on a regular basis with your SOI, after 20 years in the business, you should have more business than you can handle!
Dec 17, 2007 09:24 AM #21
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Doesn't that blow you away? Most agents I know have let their SOI slide and they claim that they "don't have time" or "don't have the money." I've been out of real estate for two years and still get referrals from my SOI. It's such a gold mine!!!

How do you stay in touch with yours?

Dec 17, 2007 10:34 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,027,150
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

The irony is, staying in touch with one's SOI can be the least expensive way of prospecting!  Emails, handwritten notes and phone calls are all free and quite easy to do.  A couple of months ago, I started putting together a list of upcoming holiday events in our area; there are many wonderful programs here during Christmas that, while free, do require tickets.  I put all that info together in an email and sent out to my SOI distribution list;  you wouldn't believe the flurry of emails that generated from my SOI, who were tickled to get the list!  Cost me nothing but time. The possibilities are endless!

I had a call Saturday morning from a client I helped buy a home this summer; he was referring me to a neighbor who is thinking of selling.  Long story short, by the end of my one hour conversation with the neighbor, she was telling me she had a friend who is also selling this spring and asked if it were okay to pass along my contact info.  How cool is THAT?  I could have mailed to her every month for a year and never gotten that phone call. 

You just cannot beat this SOI stuff!!  But then, you already knew that.  ;-)

Dec 18, 2007 02:13 PM #23
Rainer
20,554
Vangie Williams
Prime Residential - Serving Virginia - King George, VA
Real Estate with Personality
I am an extrovert, my non family SOI loves me, my family thinks I'm corny and a little over the top.  I have many referrals from everyone but family.  Family seems to think that we as Realtors will have detailed knowledge of their financial matters.  Where do they get this crazy ideas? Oh I know the answer to that one.  Miseducation.
Dec 18, 2007 02:46 PM #24
Rainer
184,714
George Tallabas
RE/MAX Advantage - Nampa, ID
Idaho Real Estate
My real estate career is not my priority Jennifer - Serving and caring about humanity is my priority and I have been extremely successful with that being my priority.
Dec 18, 2007 03:04 PM #25
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

George - I know you have. It's a wonderful way to run a business!

Vangie - I wrote a blog about the difference between Friends... and Family... http://activerain.com/blogsview/90533/Using-Reverse-Psychology-with

Susan - As always, you're so right. Once you "get" it, it's so obvious. The hurdle is getting over the paradigm shift that you CAN combine business with pleasure.

Dec 19, 2007 12:51 AM #26
Rainer
20,554
Vangie Williams
Prime Residential - Serving Virginia - King George, VA
Real Estate with Personality

Hey Jennifer,

I love my family but they are the worst clients on the earth.  The worst, they whine, cry about the marketing fees, want you to go way beyond your normal duties.  And if everything doesn't go their way, they exagerate the truth, and so on. 

I have my apprehensions in dealing with family and even friends.  I personally don't think the that working with family and friends and real estate go. 

What I do for that SOI, is I market differently and if the want to sell and buy, I refer them to a realtor I trust.  And even that sometimes can backfire and they will still blame you for everything.

 

Dec 19, 2007 02:10 PM #27
Rainer
24,718
Kenny Franklin
Angstadt Real Estate Group, LLC - Stafford, VA
ABR®, AHWD, e-PRO®, SFR, MRP
Suppose your influence if shaped more like a cube than a sphere? :D
Dec 19, 2007 02:25 PM #28
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