Is a Sphere of Influence Approach Enough in Today's Market?

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul

First, allow me to apologize for using that tired phrase "Today's Market." Real estate is most certainly local, so "Today's Market" in Denver is much different from Today's Market in Detroit, Dallas or Des Moines. I get that. But, for the sake of argument (or discussion), let's just assume that in most US real estate markets, "Today's" is not as much as fun as "a Few Years Ago's." Deal?soi

I'm just wrapping up the Savvy Prospector 12-week course, which was a live online program that helped real estate agents (and a few loan officers) create, maintain and nurture an effective prospecting strategy, which of course included a heavy dose of SOI. (Hey, it was my show and that's what I believe in).  As always happens when I teach, I learn. Perhaps even as much as my students.

What did I learn from The Savvy Prospector program?

Well, I'm not sure if this lesson came from the program or simply from being out there in the world selling real estate, but I've decided that in "Today's Market", SOI alone is NOT enough to maintain the lifestyle I'd grown accustomed to. Now, before you (depending on your frame of mind) gloat and smugly say "I told ya so," or conversely, burst into tears with disappointment, allow me to continue.

In the good old days (prior to "Today's" Market), buyers and sellers were all over the place. Everyone knew someone who trying to buy a house (and getting outbid) or who had just sold their house with multiple offers. People were amazed at the equity that had built up in their recently-purchased properties. Anyone with a toolbox fancied him or herself a real estate investor. In other words, real estate was a hot, POSITIVE topic of conversation. All you really had to do was get your cute little backside out there in the world and you could pretty easily drum up a prospect or two.

In my first year back in 1996-97, I implemented a take-a-friend-to-lunch campaign which was wildly successful. I got a lead and usually a closing from every single lunch. Like I said... everyone knew someone who was thinking about "doing" some real estate. It was practically shooting fish in a barrel. Eat some sushi, sell some houses.

Today - eh - not so much. For various reasons we're all familiar with, people simply aren't buying and selling homes in the volumes of years past. Real estate is NOT the hot, positive topic it used to be and I'll bet many of you have faced that sympathetic look when you tell someone you sell real estate for a living.

So, what's a cold-call phobic to do? Just get over the fear of cold-calling or otherwise pestering people for business?

Nope.

Stay tuned... I'm outta room on this blog. But don't fret - those of you who favor a softer approach to building your business don't have to abandon that approach until Tomorrow's Market arrives! You can continue to be who you are and experience the success you desire.

I'll tell you how tomorrow!

ja 

*SOI = Sphere of Influence = building your business based on the personal relationships in your life.

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Rainmaker
561,348
Ken Tracy
Coldwell Banker Residential - Naperville, IL
Helping clients buy and sell since 2005

Hi Jennifer.  Thanks for admitting things are different.

It seems silly to me to act like business is always "unbelievable".

We have to work harder, smarter, more, different, etc.

I look forward to your input tomorrow.

Ken

Oct 20, 2008 01:40 AM #8
Ambassador
687,235
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Hi Jennifer!  Yep, I get that sympathetic look a lot, got it just yesterday from my sister-in-law.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you share tomorrow......

Oct 20, 2008 02:39 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,041,283
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Conversely, I've been practicing my sympathetic face towards others to innerve business. 

Oct 20, 2008 05:47 AM #11
Rainmaker
784,314
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Hi Jennifer!  You are such a tease... Making us WAIT !!!!

Oct 20, 2008 06:51 AM #12
Rainer
26,172
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

Jennifer,

     I will be patiently waiting for tomorrows article.  I also am looking forward to the self study SPP!

Oct 20, 2008 07:04 AM #13
Rainer
51,604
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Hey Jennifer - glad to see you back.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow too.  Although I'm sure I know where you are already going with this. 

Oct 20, 2008 09:11 AM #14
Rainmaker
118,977
Brendan Winans
Winans & Associates - Bakersfield, CA
Professional Real Estate Services

... so I think I need to buy your book!

Oct 20, 2008 09:43 AM #15
Rainmaker
230,902
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Jennifer,  I've been believing in your SOI method since I got your book and your newsletters. But, alas, I do get the sympathetic look also, instead of knowing someone who needs realtor.

I'll be looking  forward to someone admitting that cold calling STILL doesn't have to be done, and the market us not "unbelievable" as my first broker told us to say many years ago.

 

Oct 20, 2008 12:42 PM #16
Ambassador
772,051
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Jennifer,

I am pumped up waiting for the next entry !  You sure know how to build up a little excitement - I think I know part of the answer though... will wait and see though !  ~ Chris

Oct 20, 2008 01:46 PM #17
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thanks for all the comments and anticipation! And yes, Jessica and Chris - you probably have a good idea of what I'm going to say... however.... I just got home from the Colorado CAR convention and am exhausted... so my much-anticipated blog may or may not get written tonight as planned... I'll get to it, though, promise!!

Oct 20, 2008 02:15 PM #18
Rainmaker
784,314
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Jennifer, all the hype yesterday, and still no post at 12pm EST??   :( 

Sounds like you "worked" a little too hard at the convention??? 

The NJ convention is always in December, I have a tendency to "work" too hard there too! ;)

Oct 21, 2008 03:57 AM #20
Rainmaker
93,667
Dianne Deming
RE/MAX Realty Group - Rehoboth Beach, DE

Jennifer, you take your time and don't let your fans pressure you!  Remember all, good things come to those who wait.

Oct 21, 2008 04:57 AM #21
Rainer
51,604
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Jennifer - Take your time.  I know how busy your life is out there.  And you're doing great!

Oct 21, 2008 06:16 AM #22
Rainmaker
235,927
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Going to read your Part 2 to this post.  I don't think SOI is enough, especially in this tough market.

Oct 21, 2008 03:57 PM #23
Rainmaker
231,530
Karen Ann Martin
Safe Harbor Realty - Westport, MA
Realtor Fall River Westport MA Real Estate Agent

Jennifer  In the past my SOI was sooooooooooo good to me I am primarily a listing agent & everyone wanted to sell to move up or cash out. Now my market is full of foreclosures and short sales, When someone does ask about the market I'm afraid my honesty hurts me when I tell them the truth of the market & what I truthfully think their home is worth, 

Oct 22, 2008 10:55 AM #24
Rainer
45,224
Joddie Roberts
Mountain Real Estate and Property Management - Spokane, WA
Your Spokane Realtor - Spokane, WA

Jennifer...ugh!  I hate the pressure I feel from some of the "old-timers" (excuse me if I've offended anyone) that tell me I have to cold-call, knock on doors, chase expireds, do open houses every weekend and tick-off fsbo's by telling them they don't know what they're doing so they should use me!  I HAVE to believe there is success by just being me, being a good friend, "hanging out" where other people hang out, etc.  If it was up to doing the other I couldn't make it in this business, it just isn't me.

Nov 12, 2008 05:24 PM #25
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Joddie - Wow - you said it!!!!! Beautifully!

Nov 12, 2008 11:23 PM #26
Rainer
51,604
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Joddie - I'm just as impressed with your comment as Jennifer is.  My gosh I've felt that way for a long time and the great thing is...You so can make it in this business with out doing most of the above old timey annoying techniques.  Good luck to your success - a more souful approach that is.

Nov 13, 2008 08:03 AM #27
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Y'know, Jessica - this is a huge revelation - that you don't have to become someone you don't recognize to succeed!

Nov 14, 2008 12:01 AM #28
Rainer
51,604
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Jennifer - I love those revelations!  Very good point.  I think newer agents should keep this in mind when interviewing for Brokerages too.  And make sure they work for a Broker who will support their efforts and not expect some of the above Joddie mentioned before.

Nov 14, 2008 08:02 AM #29
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