Defining Sphere of Influence in Real Estate - Influential Agent

One of the most common questions I receive from real estate agents is: what is a sphere of influence and who should be in it? This is an important question, as 70 percent of real estate agents’ income comes from their sphere of influence. The answer may surprise you, as it has changed over the years.

Simply put, a sphere of influence (SOI) — also called a center of influence (COI) — consists of anybody you can influence because they know you. Some traditional coaches define SOI as people who know you, like you, and trust you, but I’d like to challenge that idea. To me, SOI is much wider reaching.

Sphere of Influence Criteria

Think about how many people may be aware of you. If you have any kind of online presence, a large number of people may be listening to your message. They may not know you all that well or even trust you, but you have the potential to influence them. With this in mind, here is the criteria I use to determine if somebody is in my sphere of influence:

1. Do They Know Me?

Keep in mind that this does not just refer to people I have met in person. I could have spoken to somebody over the phone or messaged an internet lead. In other words, all this takes is some kind of introduction.

2. Do I Want to Do Business with Them?

You know as well as I do that not everybody you meet is going to be an ideal client. For this very reason, I take the time to think about whether the person is somebody I want to be working with before deciding if they belong on my sphere-of-influence list.

3. Am I Willing to Invest Time to Get to Know Them Better?

This is super important: if I were to add somebody to my sphere list and never talk to them again, they’d soon forget about me. This means I’d have little to no influence over them.
To meet this requirement, you need to implement a sphere marketing program where you contact everybody on at least a quarterly basis. For instance, I use Sphere Influencer, which reminds me to nurture relationships for the maximum impact.

Can Old Contacts Go on Your Sphere List?

It’s logical to think that contacts you haven’t spoken to in years can’t go on your sphere-of-influence list. After all, you don’t really know them anymore.
I would actually argue the opposite. You do know them, even though you haven’t connected in ages. If you want to do future business with them and you are willing to stay in contact from now on, these contacts can go on your sphere list.
However, if you answer “no” to either question two or three, these people shouldn’t go on your sphere list. Maybe you’re embarrassed to reach out after so long or you know without a doubt that they’re not interested in working with you. That’s also fine — just put them on your not-met list and communicate them in a more automated fashion.

How Many People Should Be in Your sphere?

When you apply the above criteria, you’ll probably end up adding a lot of people to your database who weren’t there previously.
I’m always shocked when real estate agents who have been in the business for many years reach out to me because they lack leads in their pipelines. I ask them how many people are in their sphere of influence, and the answer is often between 50 to 75.
That used to blow my mind. Then I got to thinking that maybe they believe only past clients can be in their sphere. In reality, it’s just about building relationships.

Figuring Out Who Is Your Ideal Client

One last thing to take into account is who is your ideal client. Figuring this out is critical for sphere of influence, as it will help you decide whether it’s worth investing your time into a contact. You may even like to create a client avatar — this will help you when it comes to goal planning.
Too often when I ask real estate agents who are their ideal client, I receive the answer “a buyer” or “a seller.” Is it just any buyer or seller? Of course not. You need to be as specific as possible. For instance:
  • What types of buyers or sellers?
  • What price range?
  • What area?
  • What kind of personality do you prefer to work with?
You need to go beyond servicing people at a high level and enjoy what you do. The last thing you want is to dread going to work with your client.
If you’re unsure what to include in your ideal client avatar, think about which of your past clients you enjoyed working with most. What traits did they have in common? This is not about discrimination: it’s about finding who you’ll be able to serve best.
Now you’re ready to clean up your sphere-of-influence list; all you need is a kick-butt marketing system to stay in front of your contacts and provide them with significant value.

How do you define sphere of influence?

Let me know in a comments below

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