Disappointed With Your Sphere of Influence Efforts?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Happy Grasshopper

I recently caught up with Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, real estate trainer and author of Sell With Soul.  She gave me the inside track on Prospect with Soul for Real Estate Agents and shared her feedback about Happy Grasshopper's automated email marketing services.  (For the full interview, click here.)

Celeste: In your book, you talk a lot about “sphere of influence”, what exactly does that term mean to you?

Jennifer: "Sphere of Influence" is quite a catch-phrase in the real estate industry.  Most agents and trainers assume it to mean "everyone you know," although some think of their sphere as only their "friends, family and past clients." Neither definition satisfies me - "everyone I know" is too broad and "my friends, family and past clients" is too narrow, and if a real estate agent relies too literally on either of these definitions, they'll almost certainly be disappointed in the business they see from their sphere.
Let's hit "everyone I know" first - that implies that everyone you know, knows you and knows (or remembers) that you sell real estate. That's almost certainly a false assumption since the people in our lives aren't keeping track of us on a daily basis. While we'd like to think that "everyone we know" is always thinking about us and looking for ways to support our businesses, that's a little optimistic!
Conversely, to say that your SOI is only your "friends, family and past clients" discounts the tremendous business-generating potential of all those other people you know who aren't friends, family or past clients, but might be happy to hire you or send business your way, if properly approached.

Therefore, the best definition of Sphere of Influence is "Everyone Who Knows You and Knows That You Sell Real Estate," which can and should include friends, family, past clients along with "everyone else" - and again, that "everyone else" group, can be a terrific source of business for you.

Celeste: You recently reviewed Happy Grasshopper, would you mind sharing your opinion about the service?

Jennifer: Of course! I see a lot of products, systems and programs designed to "build relationships" with one's sphere of influence. And most of them are, in my opinion, dreadful. They do nothing to make the recipient of the relationship-building communication (postcard, newsletter, etc.) smile and think of the sender (the agent) fondly. They do nothing to start up conversations that can lead to all sorts of wonderful things.
But your service is different and I like that you don't promise to create a relationship where perhaps none exists! You give the agent an easy-to-understand tool to use that he can (and should) add his own personal touches to. It's not fancy, it's not "corporate," and it doesn't insult the intelligence of either party. A Happy Grasshopper email campaign will not take the place of other relationship-building activities, and I like that you're upfront about that instead of promising agents that all they have to do is buy your product and BOOM! They'll have more business than they can handle.
Celeste: How would you recommend that Happy Grasshopper users bring some “Soul” to it?

Jennifer: I think of your product as a starting point for an agent who isn't used to communicating with her SOI on a regular basis. Your material is well-written, friendly, timely, and extremely easy to customize. Which I think should be done - that is - I think that every Happy Grasshopper email that goes out should have the agent's fingerprints all over it! She can add a few personal thoughts on the subject of the month, or some other personal note that will be of interest to her sphere, and here's the most important part... BE RESPONSIVE to any responses that come in as a result of the email! If someone responds, respond back! Start up conversations! If appropriate, make a date for coffee or lunch! Use the system as a conversation-starter, not simply a "Whew, glad I got this month's 'touch' out of the way!"
If a certain month's topic doesn't really interest you, don't send it out; just skip it. Maybe do something different that month - a market update report or some sort of interesting newsletter.


Keeping in touch is the simplest concept in the world, yet, most agents fail to do it because they get too busy or they don't know what to say.  Happy Grasshopper's email marketing services software makes it easy, just upload your contacts, we write and send fun, friendly emails for you.

Get Started Today>>


What others are saying:

Hey..you rock!! I am so tickled with finding "Happy Grasshopper" I am in the process of downloading all of my email addressed so soon I will have to upgrade..but I love the whole thing!! Thanks for making my job easier and a whole lot more fun!!!
       - Jean Mabry, Keller Williams Southern Arizona

I love your writing style and the things you choose to write about! I will definitely be upgrading soon as I add more people.
       - Susan Beck, RE/MAX Equity Group

Just wanted to check back and let you know that I received three responses to the email - I am quite pleased, because I know how difficult it is to get any sort of response from anyone...even if you put them on the cover of the magazine, you might not get any sort of validation at all.  This note is just to show my appreciation of what you have done.
       - Cher, Ourusamagazine.com

I've had two e-mails sent out so far, several contact have e-mailed me back. I'm going to slowly add more contacts and see how it goes. But I'm happy with the e-mails so far ... this is a good idea for people (like me) who have a difficult time staying in touch with past clients and even friends.
       - Cynthia Larsen, Broker/Owner, Safe Haven Realty


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We help salespeople write and deliver thoughtful, well-written follow-up that connects them with their prospects and current database in a way that builds a stronger relationship and a deeper trust.  Take our free assessment here to see how we can help you keep in touch with your sphere, convert more leads and grow your team.


Comments (15)

Gloria Commiso
Keller Williams - Hermosa Beach, CA
Hermosa Beach

thanks for the information....im more a 12 touch girl w a committment to reaching out and sending personalized notes and postcards. My sphere has sustained me in this challenging market

May 09, 2011 03:58 PM
Greg J. Gardner
Writer and Author - Black Friday - Banner Elk, NC
Writer and Author, RE Investor

Most posts catch my attention because of the number of comments, but I caught this one early and this was great information.

Greg J. Gardner

May 09, 2011 07:03 PM
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Most agents  when asked about their SOI, never include businesses that they deal with, i.e. dry cleaners, Doctors, Dentist, auto mechanic, plumber  etc...there are loads more.

May 09, 2011 07:52 PM
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

I like Happy Grasshopper so far. It has started some conversations for me with clients. It sure doesn't hurt anything and it keeps your name out there.

May 10, 2011 04:20 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Thanks for the Jennifer interview and post. I'm a Sell with Soul fan and I always stop and listen or read when Jennifer shares an opinion. 

May 10, 2011 05:47 AM
Linda Hunt

Thanks for the information. Staying in touch with my SOI has always been a challenge.

May 10, 2011 08:24 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Wow - you made me sound awfully darn smart, Celeste!!!!

May 11, 2011 01:46 AM
Happy Grasshopper
Happy Grasshopper - Tampa, FL

Jennifer, Thank you for taking time to share -- everytime I see a user editing there emails and bringing there own personality into the service it makes me happy.  Your definition of "sphere of influence" has actually really helped me understand a lot about our product!  --Crazy how that works.

May 12, 2011 03:53 AM
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Celeste I should be signing up with Happy Grasshopper soon. I am hearing nothing but great reviews about this product. Congratulations on the Gold Star. Great post.

May 13, 2011 05:37 PM
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

It's important to point out not to create a SPEAR of influence as I've sometimes heard it called.

May 13, 2011 08:56 PM
Virginia Dean
Keller Williams Tulare County - Visalia, CA
Real Estate Done Your Way

Great post as usual.

I am a bit challenged with email addresses as some of my sphere are former workmates and all i have is their work email.  I guess I could start with that and ask for their home or personal email address.


May 14, 2011 02:02 AM
Paul Franciskato
Asset Brokering Services - Junction City, KS

Happy Grasshopper provides a great way to develop a presence in the minds of those who are part of one's sphere of influence without being intrusive.  I'm enjoying my Happy Grasshopper service!

May 14, 2011 10:43 AM
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Great information Celeste, thank you for sharing it with us

May 15, 2011 05:07 AM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I was the Realtor® who thought it was everyone who knows you. But she brings up a good point. Going have to mull that over a bit.

May 24, 2011 03:56 AM