We real estate agents love our systems, don't we? If we can purchase a product that will help us streamline our prospecting efforts, we're all for it. Where do I sign???
But... but... but... let me fly in the face of convention here and say... STOP! Stop with all the systems and programs and products!
Why? Because when pursuing business from the *Very Important People Who Know You (that is, your Sphere of Influence or SOI), it's kinda important to make them feel special. And no system, program or product is going to do that FOR you. You actually have to do it yourself.
Here are some examples of what I mean.
A question came up a few weeks ago during my weekly SOI training teleconference. The agent asked if I recommended putting past clients on a 5-year drip campaign that automatically sends out anniversary cards and seasonal postcards. My answer? NO!
My SOI database (and especially my past client database) is precious to me. Every name in there has the potential to bring thousands of dollars to my business and deserves my respect and attention. Before I send anything out to my SOI, I go through my list carefully to make sure it's up to date, with accurate information. This exercise also inspires me to personally "touch" those who I enjoyed getting to know with a more personal effort (phone call, personal email, whatever). I want to stay intimately in touch with the names in my database. If I put my SOI on any sort of automatic drip campaign, I feel I'll lose that intimacy and connection, and be just another real estate agent looking for business.
Want another example? Today, I sent out a mass-email to my SOI offering to put interested parties on a list to receive a monthly market report created by a local economist. When the positive responses started coming in, I tried to figure out a "system" to track respondents and automatically send out the report every month. But then I caught myself... by systematizing this process, I'm throwing away a wonderful opportunity to connect with my SOI every single month when I personally email them the report. I mean, DUH! They are ASKING to hear from me; why waste the chance to include a personal note with my email each month that might make them smile (and believe me, that personal note will have nothing to do with how much I love referrals! Ick).
One more... one of my agent friends asked me a few weeks ago if she should purchase a program that automatically sends out birthday cards to her SOI. Sheesh. Is it too da*n hard to actually sign and mail a card to someone you care about? I mean, c'mon!!! Are we real estate agents so important and so busy that we can't take five minutes to write "Happy Birthday!" on a card, sign it personally, address the envelope and slap a stamp on it? Please say it isn't so!
One thing I love about this business, especially my 100% SOI business, is that every little thing I do that goes above and beyond what I "have" to do can result in a huge financial payoff for me. Personal notes (that I actually wrote myself), personal emails, personal phone calls... this is where the money is... at least if you're gonna SOI...