Yes, a Sphere of Influence Approach IS enough in today's market, if you...

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

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.



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Show All Comments
Dianne Deming
RE/MAX Realty Group - Rehoboth Beach, DE

Thanks, Jennifer.  Your insights were worth the wait!

Oct 21, 2008 05:02 AM #1
Ron Wysocarski
Wyse Home Team Realty - Port Orange, FL
CEO, Pricing Specialist

Thanks for giving us a window to your thoughts.

Oct 21, 2008 05:17 AM #2
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Right on targer, (as usual!)

I think a big piece of that knowledge today is that you have to put a positive spin on the negative media. There is a lot of "good" out there, but it is not reported because it doesnt "sell"

So take the time, read past the headlines your self, and find the positive in the data, I assure you... It IS THERE!

Oct 21, 2008 05:17 AM #3
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Yes Jennifer, you gotta know your stuff.  Buyers quickly learn a lot when they start their own research, and if you haven't done your homework they can tell!   How embarrassing is that?

Oct 21, 2008 05:53 AM #4
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Hi Jennifer

Your post is to the point today have to move in the direction of SOI business that is supported with business, sales skills and relationship skills.

Good luck and success

Lou Ludwig

Oct 21, 2008 05:58 AM #5
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty /

Jennifer, you are indeed a shining example for us all of a "trusted advisor" to your clients and that is what we all should strive to be!  Great stuff!  And at a time we all need to keep this as our focus!  Thanks!!! G

Oct 21, 2008 06:11 AM #6
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR


     Simple and obvious, so VERY effective, yet so few people adhere to these words.  You just can't hardly beat out good ol' knowledge.


Oct 21, 2008 06:25 AM #7
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Ah, but Jennifer, that is in your book too! Product Knowledge!  I decided at the beginning of my career that I can't wow people with the salesman lines , but I was sure going to know my stuff about houses and real estate.

Again, thanks for the advice!

Oct 21, 2008 09:07 AM #8
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

It really is magic to be able to talk about your product with confidence. I can see the difference in myself when I'm talking about my local 'hood (where I specialize) versus other parts of town where... well... I DON'T specialize! I don't think I inspire much confidence when talking about Thornton or Castle Rock, but ask me about Northwest Denver??? I gotcha!


Oct 21, 2008 09:09 AM #9
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Absolutely right on!  The ability to speak confidently and enthusiastically about the market is the don't have to pester strangers or force yourself on anyone - they will be ATTRACTED to you when you exhibit you know what you are talking about.  It really IS that simple! 

Oct 21, 2008 11:51 AM #10
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

You are correct.  Buyers and sellers want an agent that really knows the market in more difficult times... they know that the market is that much more difficult and thus their value of an experienced and knowledgable agent is that much more valuable... in many cases, invaluable !  As the average agent does not impress most buyers and sellers, the better agents can benefit that much more !

Oct 21, 2008 12:28 PM #11
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

People do look to you as a source of information for real estate in your area and if you deliver, they start to trust you and come back for more.

Oct 21, 2008 04:03 PM #12
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

Being the source of information is the way to go.  I have always enjoyed that part of the business and will continue to work this way.  I must say though it needs to be natural and you need to be passionate about it in order to succeed.

Oct 21, 2008 10:15 PM #14
Judy Greenberg
Coldwell Banker Long Grove - Buffalo Grove, IL
Coldwell Banker - Buffalo Grove - Long Grove Homes

Information is key! My soi want good deals to invest in, so I'm going to do my research about the best deal in town... 

Oct 21, 2008 11:10 PM #15
Kim Peasley-Parker
AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc. - Sumter, SC


Great post and some good information.  I have always kept up on the market and made sure I was ready to talk about it if I could.  I do it all the time and it does work.  I have also found just blogging about our local market has garnered me many emails from prospective clients.


Nov 11, 2008 06:19 AM #16
Joddie Roberts
Mountain Real Estate and Property Management - Spokane, WA
Your Spokane Realtor - Spokane, WA

I've been thankful for the number of conversations I've had with people lately regarding my local real estate market.  I do believe information is powerful and it was with confidence I was able to either correct or adjust their thinking.  We absolutely have to know our market....

Nov 12, 2008 04:53 PM #17
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

In your first post about this subject, you mentioned how there is less business in this market.  I haven't been in real estate for as long as you, but I did some research regarding sales over the years, and things aren't really that bad.  It has only been those "wonder years" of 2004, 2005, and part of 2006 that have skewed what people think is average.  In May this year, our sales were higher than in May of 2007.  As of September this year, our sales were higher than in 2002 and 2006.  I feel that we are actually approaching what I feel is a more normal market, and what is much more typical of the average number of sales in my area.

However, with that said, we still have way too many homes on the market, and are still struggling with short sales and foreclosures.  Again, that is reminents from 2004 to 2006, and those people who bought during those times may be hurting for a long time.  I don't believe that is a true reflection of todays market, because most of those homeowners are hurting because of what occurred in 2004 through 2006.  Unfortunately, we will be dealing with this, I believe, for several more years to come.

Nov 12, 2008 06:07 PM #18
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Interesting comments, Troy and actually... I might be inclined to agree that we're experiencing a more "normal" market, as opposed to a hyperactive one. In the 12 years I've sold real estate in Denver, my fall season (August - November) is ALWAYS slow and my own personal numbers are pretty much in line with years past for this time of year. We'll see what happens after January, which is when I usually get crazy busy!


Nov 12, 2008 06:14 PM #19
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Interesting comments, Troy and actually... I might be inclined to agree that we're experiencing a more "normal" market, as opposed to a hyperactive one. In the 12 years I've sold real estate in Denver, my fall season (August - November) is ALWAYS slow and my own personal numbers are pretty much in line with years past for this time of year. We'll see what happens after January, which is when I usually get crazy busy!


Nov 12, 2008 06:15 PM #20
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