“But Mother, how could you? I am a Realtor!”
One day Patti Ketcham was visiting her mother in the home where Patti grew up and her Mother said, “Oh, I keep meaning to tell you. I get these cards from this nice neighbor down the street about the value of my house. I have kept them all for years, so if you ever need them, you know where they are.” Patti Ketcham has sold real estate in Florida for more than 30 years. She also teaches and does agent training statewide. Yet, her own mother suggested she seek the advice of a “nice neighbor and Realtor!”
This is an interesting phenomenon that plagues many Realtors — their Sphere of Influence (SOI) does not think of them as a Realtor of choice. They will call on strangers rather than family or close friends to help them with a real estate transaction. How can you make sure your friends, family, and acquaintances remember not only what you do, but know how well you do it?
Keep these 4 steps in mind as you circle back and revisit your inner circles.
Make sure your sphere of influence knows what you do. Remember to ASK for the business. You cannot garner their trust and support if you fail to ask for the job. Many people have no idea how a Realtor is paid for their time and service. Talk to your SOI about the process and let them know you want referrals.
Secure new leads in your circles outside of real estate. Make a list of everyone you know: lawyers, teachers, dry-cleaners, friends and family. Use that list daily to nurture those relationships. You already have a core group in the places you frequent on a regular basis — the gym, your book club, your volunteer activities. Make sure this group knows you want and need their referrals.
In “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Get to know those in your sphere of influence a little deeper. Ask questions that could help you help them later on. People will feel good about the conversation (and therefore you) because you listened.
Family and friends also should be viewed this way – you can train them to think of you beyond the normal role they see you in, as relative, team parent, committee member, etc. Look for opportunity to educate them on the topic of real estate.
Remember to network and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE your knowledge. Give freely of good information. Publish your expertise so your SOI can follow and share. Talk with your sphere about the current market. For instance: reduced interest rates, first time homebuyer incentives, and new homeowner’s insurance discounts.
DON’T FORGET your network outside your area. Share the referral or relocation process with them.
Network and share, but don’t over-use your personal social media with your business posts. A great attention getter every now and then announcing a special closing or a new listing is fine for reminding them of what you do; but, use a separate account for daily marketing of your business.
THANK YOU! Thank you can never be said too much. Gratitude is a powerful tool and should be used constantly. Write a note to thank friends and family for referrals – especially them. This reinforces your professional image in their mind over the casual relationship that is so familiar.
A closing thank you gift to your clients is not only an appropriate gesture; it also reinforces a positive lasting impression with them. They will remember you for future business or refer you to their sphere of influence.
Above all, enjoy the process. It can take time, but when you make an effort to contact even a small portion of your SOI every day and ask for their referrals, you will begin to see new leads generated. Maybe your mother will even remember to refer you!