Get specific with your sphere: 3 ways to win more referrals

Real Estate Technology with SmartZip

The ads and flyers you run to your geographic farm often act as an introduction to you, your brand and your business niche. It’s acceptable (and expected) that your Just Listed flyers explain who you are and what you do.


But when it comes to marketing to your sphere — the people who know you best — it’s important that you work to reinforce your value proposition, not introduce it. Because while a refrigerator magnet with your face and email on it may be a suitable giveaway for 500 people in your farm, it’s a weird gift to offer the cousin who bunked with you every summer at Camp Lakota.


Your goal, then, is to make Cousin Jim feel more special than anyone in your CRM. Here are three ways you can tweak your marketing to better appeal to your sphere contacts.


1. Don’t act like you’re on a first date

The first rule of sphere marketing is to make assumptions of what your contacts know, then build on them. That means that you shouldn’t introduce yourself as if for the first time in every single flyer and ad you target at your sphere.


If you’re aiming for more referrals, then don’t be afraid to bring it up directly. These are people who know and trust you. Reference that trust explicitly by saying:


You know me. You trust me. I’d be honored to take care of any referrals you send my way.


2. Talk about a recent sphere referral

Instead of a generalized testimonial from a client who started as an online lead, include a testimonial from a recent referral.


In a one- or two-sentence intro, mention how you met this client.


My friend Julie introduced me to her brother and sister-in-law last year, and I was happy to help Max and Scarlett buy their first ever house! Here’s what they had to say about the experience.


Then, make sure that Max and Scarlett’s testimonial offers insights into how you went above and beyond to help them find the perfect home in their budget and timeframe.


3. Get rid of stock photography

We live in an era of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and constant image sharing. As a real estate professional, you have countless opportunities everyday to snap photos that will stand out and offer more personal appeal than even the most perfectly lit stock photo.


As you go about each day, try to get photos of:

  • Your favorite place to get a latte, or the amazing milkshakes at your town’s old-school diner

  • A local hiking trail, lake or river path

  • A busy day at the local pool*

  • The best place to see changing fall leaves each fall

  • Scenes from a local 5k or marathon*

  • The pool at your new listing, staged to perfection

  • Winter wonderland activities, like skiing, snow tubing and snowshoeing*

  • A spring cherry blossom festival*

  • Interior photos of your office, decorated for an upcoming holiday or after a deep clean


*Be sure not to capture anyone’s face, or to get their permission if using their likeness in an ad campaign or social media post.


Having local, original photography will help to reinforce that you’re more than a real estate expert. It will remind your sphere contacts that you’re the #1 advocate for your community and local businesses.


Whatever it is that makes you love what you do and where you work, photograph those moments and use them instead of stock photography like this:



Can’t take a photo to save your life?

In that case, pay attention to the people who can — and ask if you can feature and credit their work in a future ad campaign or social media post.


Whether it’s your amateur photographer friend with a $5,000 camera or a high schooler with a great eye and an even better iPhone editing tool, you can easily request and reward local photographers while reinforcing your work as a local agent.


Need help with sphere-based marketing and seller predictions from your sphere?

SmartTargeting for your Sphere helps you identify the homeowners most likely to sell from within your sphere and our automating marketing platform helps you appeal to these friends, former colleagues and acquaintances to win their business.


Reach out today to see which of your CRM contacts are selling this summer.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 05/19/2017 02:00 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
sphere marketing
marketing to your sphere
get referrals from your sphere

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Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Thank you for the advice

May 11, 2017 08:08 AM #6
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Thanks for the great advice on marketing to our sphere of influence.

May 11, 2017 09:22 AM #7
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

Thanks guys for the tips.  I always gain some useful advice from your posts.


May 11, 2017 12:53 PM #8
Rose O'Reilly,

Great Advice. I never thought about a photo at our lovely office. I'm going to do that tomorrow.

Thank you

May 11, 2017 07:54 PM #9
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Doing a good job helps too.

May 11, 2017 07:56 PM #10
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Beautiful advice! I especially like the idea of talking about a recent referral - just to plant the seed that referrals are greatly appreciated.

May 11, 2017 08:03 PM #11
Edward Drennan
Century 21 Dreams - Oakville, ON
Serving the Oakville, Ontario Area

On Referrals: "don’t be afraid to bring it up directly"

Right on, if you don't ask....

Great point!

May 11, 2017 08:28 PM #12
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks for sharing these great tips on our sphere.

May 12, 2017 04:06 AM #13
Pete Baranowsky Jr
The Castle Team at Maximum One Realty Greater Atlanata - Dallas, GA
Selling Good Homes, Priced Right, Quickly

 you for these great ideas to nourish my sphere

May 12, 2017 05:04 AM #14
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

These are some really good suggestions for working with our spheres and encouraging them to share referrals. Bookmarked.


May 12, 2017 07:11 AM #15
MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

Thank you great point. Make sure your advertising truly targets specifically your already earned relationship level with those in your spheres.

May 14, 2017 07:48 PM #16
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Great reminders on working our sphere;   thanks for some sample phrasing and solid tips.!

May 15, 2017 01:07 PM #17
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

Thanks for the reminders about focusing on your sphere.  It is always  the most productive market to target.

May 19, 2017 05:02 AM #18
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

All great tips, thank you for sharing.

May 19, 2017 06:12 AM #19
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Great tips.  I especially like the idea of taking photos of everyday stuff.


May 19, 2017 11:38 AM #20
Sunny Batra
Sunny Batra Realty - Fairfax, VA
It's all about service--Concierge service.

great post-----

May 19, 2017 12:04 PM #21
Stephen Turner
TriCorner Homes (TriCorner Realty) - York, PA

it's "not the 1st Date!" Never thought about it that way, but your right.

Thanks for sharing some good advice, I need to do more intros of testimonials for sure.

May 19, 2017 01:56 PM #22
Edith Schreiber
Luxury Homes, Move Up Buyers, 1st Time Homebuyers, New Construction - Frisco, TX
Dallas Area Real Estate

Great post - thanks for the helpful tips & for sharing your words of wisdom! =)

May 19, 2017 03:40 PM #23
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Specificity is key to really know where are you stand with your audience and customer base.

May 19, 2017 11:09 PM #24
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Good suggestions.  I always take photos whereever I go.  You never know whe you'll need them.


May 20, 2017 07:03 AM #25
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