section11PICAs agents, we spend a great deal of time and resources finding leads, those we can help with their real estate needs. However, there are those who can refer us business and they just might be under our noses.

The best place to start when building your client base is to look to those who can refer you business. We refer to these people as your Sphere of Influence (SOI). So, who are they?

In my, If I Could Start All Over, Part 1 blog, I discuss the importance of having and mastering an effective CRM. In, If I Could Start All Over, Part 2, I discuss the important of finding a coach, mentor or joining a team to help jumpstart your real estate career.

The third thing I would do is spend time developing a strategic and effective SOI. Most of us have family, friends and/or acquaintances who can refer us leads, However, we may lack the strategy to identify who these people are and how we can get them to come work for us.

You can start the process by buying a pack of 100 index cards (you remember what these are). Then go through your database, contacts, phone, etc., and write down the name of every person who might refer you a buyer or seller.

From this stack, select 10 to 12 of the top candidates. These will become your ambassadors. In essence, you are going to ask them to come work for you. Schedule a time to take them to coffee, breakfast, lunch, happy hour or dinner. Make sure to start the conversation by asking them about their personal lives and business (people love to talk about themselves more than anything else).

From there, you can start to share about your real estate business. Ask them to come work for you and to refer you to anyone who might be looking to buy or sell. Give them a stack of business cards (take theirs as well, if applicable).

They key is in the follow-up. Once you input them into your CRM (include all information you learn about them), send them a handwritten thank you note and schedule regular times to follow-up with them via call, text, through social media and email. Make sure to send them info on things they are interested in. Don’t always make it about business. This will help establish a quality relationship.

For the other 90 people, you can start to connect with them through all the usual suspects. Get to know them, find out how you can help them and make sure they know you are in real estate. Once they are in your CRM, schedule follow-up times to connect. This does not need to be as frequent as your team of ambassadors. Send them anything you come across that you might think they would be interested in. The key is consistent communication.

The ultimate goal is to be top of mind when they come across anyone who is looking to buy or sell. Regular communication is the only way to achieve this goal.

You should prioritize and spend a great deal of time developing and implementing your SOI. In fact, you should time block each day a specific amount of time to accomplish this. Remember, this is where a great deal of your business should come from and you are now managing 100 people.

It’s all about being a real estate entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs know where to find the business and exploit it. For more great tips to enhancing your real estate business, order my new book, 21 Habits of the Highly Successful Real Estate Entrepreneur.

By Mike Weinstein, MBA