As promised, here's the follow up to my blog yesterday entitled "Is SOI Enough in Today's Market?"
Yes and No.
No, traditional "SOI" where you simply let all your friends know you sell real estate and then send them off into the world to be your marketing department is definitely not enough. Why? Because the volume of buyers and sellers is drastically reduced from days past when everyone and their uncle knew someone buying or selling. Now, it's not unrealistic that the people you know truly DON'T anyone who needs your services today or tomorrow!
But yes, if you redefine what it means to "SOI."
If you expand the term "SOI" to include every warm body you come into contact with during your day-to-day travels, then yes, most certainly, SOI will work beautifully for you, even in today's market. Obviously, this means that you need to try to get your smiling face in front of as many warm bodies as you can, as often as you can. However, you can't just hit the streets (or the phones) with a smile on your face (although that helps A LOT) and hope that new clients will force themselves on you.
In order to capture the attention of those warm bodies you run into, you need to have something they want. What's that? Information, as in-- knowledge of your local market. Fact and figures, yes, but also a familiarity with specific listings, recent sales and even the overall vibe of your marketplace.
Sounds really simple, but apparently it's not because I'm wiping the floor with other agents' former clients who were dissatisfied with their previous agents' knowledge and familiarity with the market. Every single buyer I have right now belonged to someone else, but when they crossed my path for one reason or another, they were blown away by my ability to speak intelligently about their specific real estate wants & needs. They wanted ME! They asked ME to be their Realtor! Gotta love it.
When you're out in public and can Talk the Talk confidently and casually, business will be almost magically drawn to you. You won't have to beg for it; you won't even have to ask for it. People will ask you if you have time for them.
So, how is this related to an SOI strategy? Well, you have to have an audience with whom to share your market knowledge and the best way to find a receptive one is to be in the company of people you enjoy. Your friends, sure, but also people who live in your neighborhood or attend the same parties or eat at the same restaurant or drink at the same bar or go to the same dog park or even shop at the same Wal-Mart!
Being a nice-n-friendly guy or gal is great, and can even be enough to generate a minimal level of business is a strong market, but today, you need more. In order to effectively generate business from the people you know and the people you meet, you must have something they want. That something is information.
Master Your Market... and sell your share of it!
*SOI = Sphere of Influence = A business-building strategy based on the personal relationships in your life.
The Savvy Prospector: Eight Weeks to a Full Pipeline for Life!