A real estate agent’s referral database represents an agent’s book of business. Your Book of Business is built on your SOI, or your Sphere of Influence.

Everyone has an SOI. By definition, your SOI is everyone that you know that knows who you are by name. That means that you have met them before and they still remember who you are.

As a test to determine whether an individual can be considered part of your SOI referral database, ask yourself the following question:

“If someone mentioned me by name to this person, would they recall who I am and state that they knew me or that they had met me before?”

If the answer to the question above is “Yes”, then this person is qualified to be included in your SOI referral database. You can see that the threshold for admittance into your referral database is relatively low. Although we will encourage grouping and ranking members of your SOI later on, we initially want to get your SOI referral database set up quickly so that you can start putting it to work right away.

In the video below, Icenhower Coaching & Consulting founder Brian Icenhower explains more about the people that belong in a real estate agent’s SOI referral database:

Video: Who Belongs in a Referral Database?


Who to Keep Out of your Referral Database

As a rule of thumb: Your SOI referral database should never include people that you haven’t met or who don’t recognize you by name. Continuously staying in contact with members of your SOI referral database can take precious time and money, so we don’t want to waste these efforts on people who don’t know who you are. The following are examples of people that do NOT belong in your SOI referral database:

• Inbound internet leads that you have never been in relationship with

• Residents of a neighborhood or community that you have not met

• Members of a company or other organization that you do not know individually

• Buyer or Seller Leads from years ago whom you do not even remember by name

Avoid the ‘Watered Down’ Referral Database

Don’t let your SOI referral database get watered down. A large number of agents with many years of experience will complain about having such large referral databases that they are unable to utilize them to their potential or do anything with them. These ‘watered-down’ referral databases are simply too big and unmanageable to work with, and the truly valuable members of these referral databases are buried within it – possibly lost forever. It’s far too cost-prohibitive to send mailers to them all and there’s not enough time to call them all. Consequently, they only get set up on a drip email campaign that results in very little business down the road.

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