Our contributor Neil Mathweg, trainer, coach and REALTOR- has some helpful tips this week about what to say when you call your sphere of influence, to help you grow that relationship and have something to talk about. And our very own Alex Camelio has additional tips in the video below, so make sure to watch that too.
You hear all the time; “stay in touch with your sphere of influence.” Am I right?
Well, what do you say when you have nothing to say?
Yes, I get it, I’m supposed to call my sphere of influence. But I’m sorry, I don’t have time to look at their recent facebook post (if they are even active on Facebook) so that I can strike up a conversation with what’s important to them. Great idea, but just not practical for me. I also love to see how their house is doing that they bought from me, again another great idea; but what if I haven’t sold them a house? What could I say to everyone, when I have nothing to say?
Here are seven ideas (below the video), that will help you strike up a conversation without sounding weird.
1 – Plan an event and call everyone for the invite.
It could be as simple as a happy hour, or as elaborate as taking a group to a Brewer Baseball Game (Go Brewers!). Other ideas are to have a summer picnic, pool party, family fun day at a zoo, bowling event, movie event at a theater, and the list goes on. Simply plan an event and call your sphere to invite them.
Wait…before I go on. I know you have two objections to an event. 1) It’s going to cost too much and I don’t have the money 2) What if no one shows up? You were thinking that, right?
As far as the cost goes: Do some research and set a budget. Then go ask for sponsors. Ask your lender, title company, attorney, insurance agent, inspectors, contractors, etc. It’s that simple.
What if no one shows up? Or what if I only have 50 people in my network? Find 2-3 other agents in your office that want to join you. Have them invite their 50 people. Do it together. When your people show up, and see the 10-20 people that other agents invited, they have no idea that they are not your people. It works, we’ve done it for years at our firm.
2 – Create a survey
The call would something like this. I started it with a casual ‘Hey how’s it going!” and lead the conversation asking them if they had time to help me with my real estate business. Then, I prefaced the first question by saying something like, “So as you know I’m a real estate agent. Here, I’m trying to figure out where I need to position myself. Would mind helping me by answering three questions?”
Then I would ask them these three questions:
- If you decided that you were going to buy a home today, where would you start your search?
- Where would you find your realtor?
- Have you, or anyone you know, thought about buying a home? How about- has anyone you know recently gotten married? How about thinking of downsizing, or moving? Switch this question up as appropriate- because those things might mean they’d be interested in your expertise. If you offer free information to those people – like a report about something relevant in real estate- it’s an easy way to pick up a lead. Want ready-to-use reports you can personalize with your name and contact info, like “The Top 10 First-time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid” or “6 Steps for Selling Your Home for Top Dollar”? Check out Service For Life! for yourself.
3 – Setup “Home Sold” alerts
This one is my favorite, as I think every owner appreciates it. I call all of my sphere and let them know we now have a new service that will email them a notification once a house in their neighborhood sells. In the email it will tell you the details of the house and what it sold for, what it was listed for, and how many days it was on the market. Then you just ask for their email address and address (if you don’t have it already). Simple as that.
The beautiful thing is….you’re talking real estate with them!
I know I know…now you’re thinking how do I set this notification up? Right in your MLS. Or I use home sold alerts from Home Scout (a program from my lender), or you can search for other applications online.
4 – Create a VIP club on Facebook
The VIP Club is a facebook group that you set up for all your, well… Very Important People. You can talk about local events, have free drawings for things (like coffee at Starbucks, local businesses’ services – this is a great time to partner with local businesses who may want to donate to receive the exposure and your recommendation). You can also have a rental perk – where you buy things like pressure washers, tables, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, trailers, etc. Then let VIPs “rent” them for free. Keep them all in storage unit and meet people at the unit to sign out the item. Make this group a place for exclusive info and freebies, AND a great way to instantly contact members.
5 – Announce the “start” of something like a newsletter
Are you starting Service For Life!? Call your sphere and ask if it’s okay to add them to the mailing listing. Now you don’t need to ask someone permission to send mail to them, however it gives you a good excuse to call and talk to them and start a conversation.
What if you have been mailing something out for a while? Well, call them and ask if they are receiving it and ask what they think of it. Conduct an ‘informal poll’- they’ll enjoy the chance to share their views and give feedback.
6 – The market is up and we need listings!
This is just a simple call – are you thinking of selling or do you know anyone?
You can preface this call by sending something of value to the people you’re calling (past clients and friends). One suggestion is to put together a list of service providers that you know, have used or worked with, and that you recommend (a great opportunity to network in your area, and maybe even get some ad revenue!). Then, after they should have received it, give them a call to make sure they have it, and ask if they know anyone who is looking to buy or sell. If you’d like a FREE script for this call, CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW to have one emailed to you.
7 – You are a media company…but do your real estate clients know that?
I launched a show and brand called, I Love Madison (www.ilovemadisonshow.com) and it’s gone so well, that some people now think that I work for a company called I Love Madison. I have to get people to know that this is not my job (I’m still a REALTOR®), and instead know that this is a project to help those who are new to Madison get connected. It would give me yet another reason to call my people.
Are you launching any media that you want to make sure people are seeing? If so, it gives you a great reason to call your sphere.
If you’ve lost touch with clients, we’ve got a previous article with a FREE downloadable letter to re-acquaint yourself with them in a way that’s memorable, and positive. Click here to read it.
What are some other ideas? I would love to hear your comments.