11 Tips for Building Your Sphere of Influence in Real Estate

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed AgentNovember 21, 2022

Successful,Agreement,,,Estate,home,Buying,Contract,Concept,,Buyer,Shaking,HandIf you are new to real estate, you may be surprised to discover how much of your time is spent building connections in the community. However, experienced real estate agents know how important building, maintaining and expanding your sphere of influence is.

Is a sphere of influence the same thing as a network? No. A sphere of influence is a group of people you can influence by encouraging them to act. A network is a group of people you’re connected with but may not be able to influence. Ultimately, your sphere of influence includes anyone who knows, respects, and trusts you.

Remember that your sphere doesn’t have an outer edge; it can just keep growing if you put in the time and effort. So let’s look at ways to expand your sphere of influence and get more real estate leads:

1. Start with people you already know

When creating your list, you should start with everyone you already know. You may be thinking that you don’t know that many people, but you may be surprised by how long your list will get.

Not sure where to start? Make sure you include your:

  • Friends
  • Family members
  • Classmates or former classmates from:
    • Elementary school
    • Middle school
    • High school
    • College or university
    • Trade school
  • Neighbors
  • People at your place of worship
  • People in your community
  • Teammates, if you play sports
  • Social networks
    • Groups you belong to
    • Your social media friend list
  • Businesses you frequently visit in your market area, including:
    • Doctor
    • Dentist
    • Hairdresser or barber
    • Massage Therapist
    • Grocery store
    • Nail salon
    • Auto repair shop
    • Coffee shop
    • Café
    • Library

Remember, if the person you are reaching out to is an acquaintance or someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, remind them of how they know you at the start of the call. Then you can use this common ground to build a new relationship moving forward.

2. Reach out

With your list in hand, you can begin reaching out. Of course, you must handle this outreach correctly to get the best results. First of all, your initial contact should be by phone if possible. Your first instinct may be to create a form email and send out a quick blast with a blind carbon copy to everyone on your list.

Resist the urge to rush this part of the process. Instead, your outreach should be personal, and your conversation should be focused on relationship-building instead of getting right to the sales pitch.

3. Invest time, effort, and attention into building relationships

While you want to build a large list that will generate repeat business quickly, remember that it isn’t a race. People can feel when you are in a rush, just waiting for the small talk part of the conversation to be over so you can get down to business. This is especially true when you are reaching out to contacts that you haven’t seen or talked to in a while.

Slow down and talk to your contacts like friends. Be genuine and cordial. Ask them how things are going and let the conversation flow organically. This initial contact is how you build trust and establish yourself as a professional they can count on.

4. Offer something of value

A,Real,Estate,Agent,With,House,Model,Is,Talking,ToOne of the most powerful ways of attracting interest and building strong connections is by offering something of value. Smart real estate agents know that there is a lot of money to be made in giving away something for free.

For example, a home value estimate is one of real estate’s most common lead generation tools. For this type of promotion, the real estate agent offers a free-market value analysis in exchange for an email address or phone number. The real estate agent then can make initial contact and offer an opinion on the homeowner’s property value based on current market conditions.

Contributing to a newspaper column can be another way of adding value and creating name recognition. By sharing your expertise, you build a reputation as a trusted resource.

These are simple ways to broaden your sphere of influence, getting customers and clients to come to you.

5. Track your contacts and interactions

Once you have made initial contact and built a relationship of trust, you will have to maintain that momentum through a regular cadence of outreach.

How can you keep up with all your contacts without spamming them? By staying organized. For some agents, a spreadsheet is sufficient. In your spreadsheet, you can include names and contact info and notate when and how you made contact.

Customer relationship management software is designed to make this much easier. A CRM keeps your contact information organized, helps you set an outreach schedule, and gives you tools to create marketing campaigns and monitor their effectiveness.

6. Mix it up

So you’ve made your phone calls and reconnected with old acquaintances, and now it’s time to coast and wait for the calls to come in. Nope. Like a garden, your sphere of influence needs regular care and attention to produce fruit.

To maintain these relationships, you must regularly engage with your contacts using multiple methods. Email funnels are one way, but they tend to feel impersonal. Also, bulk emails are easy to ignore.

The best way to handle customer relationship management is to use a CRM to establish a regular schedule of outreach that combines emails, phone calls, in-person, and social media.

7. Volunteering

Cropped,Shot,Of,Young,Volunteers,Group,Packing,Food,And,DrinksVolunteering can be a great way to grow your sphere of influence. First, check out local community organizations to see if there is a group that interests you. For example, you can meet many new people by volunteering for a scouting organization, food pantry, or local environmental group. While you aren’t there to make a sale or initiate a business relationship, people in your community will become familiar with you and come to see you as an upstanding citizen they can trust.

Some non-profit organizations align well with real estate. Habitat for Humanity is one, and many other organizations build homes for vulnerable people such as disabled veterans or offer first-time homebuyer classes.

8. Join social media groups

Joining social media groups on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can be a good way to connect with people with similar interests. Moreover, when you become part of such a group, you have an opportunity to share your expertise with others.

See a question posted that you could answer? Provide your expertise and offer additional help if needed. This isn’t the place for a hard sales pitch, but when people see your professionalism and expertise, they will remember your name when they need help with real estate.

9. Host events

Homebuying and selling can be stressful. However, if you feel comfortable sharing your knowledge with others, you can volunteer to host workshops and events that demystify the process of buying and selling real estate, obtaining financing, and purchasing investment properties.

First-time homebuyer classes are popular and even required in some states as a condition for getting a loan. Classes on home-flipping and renovations are also very popular. Remember that each “student” who takes your free workshop could become a valuable lead now or in the future.

10. Share tips and resources on your website

Website,Designer,Creative,Planning,Application,Development,Draft,Sketch,Drawing,TemplateYour website is another way to share your expertise and build name recognition. Write informative blogs covering real estate topics of interest in your local market and offer free downloadable reference materials to keep viewers coming back.

Reach out to local experts and record an interview discussing local issues relevant to real estate. This could be a banker, appraiser, hard money lender, inspector, surveyor, or even a high school business teacher. These collaborative efforts increase your reach by bringing their circle into yours.

Your website can also be used to host and promote a newsletter. It’s smart to start an email newsletter. You can use it to share helpful content that helps your customers and also gives you a way of staying in touch with them. It’s important to ensure the emails you send are relevant and interesting so they get opened and read by subscribers. Don’t send too many emails (once or twice a month is usually enough) but be sure to send one every week or two.

When sending out newsletters, ensure they aren’t coming from your personal account—use an email address specific to your business name instead.

11. Dazzle your current clients and customers

You get referrals by dazzling the clients and customers you have. When you work with a client or customer, you have an opportunity to leave a positive lasting impression that could generate return business.

Since referrals are the lifeblood of your business, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your clients to refer you to their family, friends, and coworkers. Some agents even offer referral incentives in the form of finder’s fees or other rewards.

Final Note

The truth is, not everyone can be a real estate agent. Only people with passion, drive, and desire to help others can succeed in real estate. You need to be able to connect with people by forming relationships with them and helping them see what they want out of life. And that’s where the sphere of influence comes into play! By taking the time to build a list of potential clients and customers, you can plant the seeds for organic growth so you can spend less time managing outreach and more time growing your business.

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 11/21/2022

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