How do you grow a sphere of influence in real estate? Learn how the top producing agents build their SOI book of business that generates repeat and referral business for the rest of their careers.
How do you grow a sphere of influence (SOI) in real estate? Real estate is a game of touches. It’s all about mindshare. If you stay in front of people using a variety of contact methods, over time, you will gain mindshare. Without become an annoyance or over-selling, you can come from contribution and add value to your SOI.
In today’s blog, we are going to talk specifically about how to grow your SOI database. You will also get a FREE DOWNLOAD of one of popular SOI worksheets. Let’s jump right in.
VIDEO: How Do You Grow a Sphere of Influence in Real Estate?
3 keys to how to grow a sphere of influence in real estate
Here are 3 simple keys to growing your sphere of influence database.
- Never close your marketing department
- Time block for lead-generating activities
- Use a contact plan and stick to it
1. Never close your marketing department
Realtors will often start the year off very motivated. The problem hits when they get busy. Suddenly, all efforts are focused on customer service and not on lead-producing activities. If you want to learn how to grow your sphere of influence in real estate, you must never, ever close your marketing department.
You must dedicate at least a few hours a day to continually generate new leads and add contacts to your SOI database.
2. Time block for lead-generating activities
Here’s a harsh reality. Check out these stats.
- 33% of all newly licensed agents quit after their first year
- 87% of agents leave the business within their first 5 years
- 89% of all transactions in the U.S. are handled by 11% of agents in the U.S.
These numbers are daunting. Everyone quits for the same reason. They don’t have enough business. Agents don’t quit because they didn’t provide good enough customer service. They quit because they couldn’t make enough money to make a living.
When this happens, I ask this simple question. How much time last month did you spend on activities that were designed to generate new leads? Most of the time, these agents are not spending enough time (or any time) on business-generating activity.
Don’t get hung up on customer service tasks. Always time block for lead-generating activities.
3. Use a contact plan and stick to it
This is the reason ICC exists. We work with our clients to create systems that will help them succeed and defy the harrowing failure rate of real estate agents across the country.
One of these systems we believe in is our Annual Contact Plan. It contains 100 “touches” for you to make throughout the year. It is fully customizable, of course, and we created several versions to help get you started. Each plan contains a variety of contact methods. Email, mailers, client events, pop-bys, social media direct messages, etc.
Each member of your SOI database will get 100 “touches” from you over the course of one year. Here’s why. If you stick to this contact plan, you will see the results. For every 7 people in your SOI database, you will receive 1 side of business.
How do you grow a sphere of influence in real estate? It’s a numbers game
With our 7:1 ratio, you can calculate how much money you can expect to make from your SOI in one year. Remember, this is what you can expect if you stick to your 100-touch contact plan.
If you have 300 people in your SOI database and you make 100 contacts to them over one year. If you apply our 7:1 conversion ratio, you’ll get 43 closed transactions in one year. From that number, you can use your average GCI per transaction and calculate your annual projected GCI.
A lot of you may question these numbers. We have been doing this for a very, very long time, and this is the number we see. If you look at other experts in our industry, they predict a similar number. This does work.
Why do agents fail?
All that said, there’s a reason not everyone succeeds in real estate. You may think, if it’s this simple, why doesn’t everyone succeed?
The simple truth is: most real estate agents lack motivation and consistency. They don’t stick to the plan. They don’t do the tasks.
You will reap the benefits of the Annual Contact Plan if you stick to it. If you waver during the busy season, you won’t get these results. If you don’t make 100 contacts a year, you won’t get these results.
Many agents get hung up in the process. I’ve worked with agents that can’t get past the point of trying to decide on a CRM, let alone setting up their SOI database and Annual Contact Plan.
How do you grow a sphere of influence in real estate? Get out of your own way
Creating an Annual Contact Plan takes decision-making off the table. Suddenly, a real estate agent has a list of action items that must be done each day. There is very little thinking involved. It’s harder to shut down your marketing department when you have a regimented lead-generation plan to stick to each morning.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give a Realtor on how to grow your sphere of influence in real estate? Get out of your own way. Make a contact plan and stick to it. And if you have trouble sticking to it, get an accountability partner or a coach to hold your feet to the fire.
Top Producers get most of their business from their SOI
Success leaves clues, so follow what the top producers are doing. At ICC, we coach many of the top-producing agents and teams across North America. What do they all have in common? They all use their SOI as their primary pillar of business.
How do you grow a sphere of influence in real estate? Do what the top producers do. They do activities every day that help them continually grow their SOI.
Who can you add to your SOI?
There are many ways to add members to your existing SOI. It’s very important to not water your SOI down, however, so make sure they pass the test. (Do I know this person by name? Do they know me by name? If both answers are “yes,” they belong in your SOI database.)
In our SOI online training course, we have several helpful worksheets that will help you think of people to add. Family, friends, acquaintances … this includes a lot more people than you may think. We’ll help you jog your memory.
First, set your weekly growth goal
Now, it’s time to take action. Make a weekly goal for how many new contacts to add to your SOI database. If you want to grow by 5 people a week, set that as a goal and make sure it’s on your 1-3-5 business plan.
If you feel like you simply don’t “know” enough people to add each week, here’s a simple solution. Join local service groups, networking groups, charities, and non-profits. This is an easy way to meet new people that you can easily add to your SOI. If you have kids, there are so many sports, school, and parent groups you can join. This is just the tip of the iceberg on how you grow your sphere of influence in real estate.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Who Do I Know From These Industries Worksheet
Need help thinking of all the people you know? This worksheet will help you come up with more names to add to your SOI database, and it will also help you find areas you need to work on. If you don’t know anyone from a specific category, time to reach out. Not only will you add to your SOI, you’ll also potentially grow your business-to-business referral database, too!
Want to learn more?
- Read The High-Performing Real Estate Team. You can buy Brian Icenhower’s best-selling book on Amazon.
- Subscribe to The Real Estate Trainer Podcast. You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, and anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts.
- Join the Real Estate Agent Round Table. We are always posting fresh content, including market updates, free templates, and host dynamic discussions with the industry’s top producers.
- Subscribe to our newsletter. In the sidebar of this blog, you’ll see a form to fill out to subscribe. You’ll be the first to find out about our new resources, free downloads, premium online courses, as well as promotions.
- Reach out and talk to an ICC coach. Not sure which of our coaching programs is right for you? Let us help you.