When starting a real estate career, having a sphere of influence can make a huge difference in how quickly you start to see business come your way. It boils down to the old adage that sometimes it isn’t what you know, but who you know. So, what happens if you’re new to town and don’t have a strong network? Maybe you’re a young agent and your sphere hasn’t started buying homes. What is the best way to start your real estate career without a sphere of influence?
Here are my top 3 tips for creating, cultivating, and connecting to a sphere of influence when you’re starting from scratch.
Networking is a necessity for any agent. It is imperative for the agent without a sphere of influence. That being said, what is the right kind of networking to build a client base as quickly as you can? I am a firm believer that you should do what you want and like to do. Lots of people will tell you to join BNI or the Chamber or Rotary or something like that. Those are all great organizations, but are they great for you? Try joining an organization or club for something you like. If you’re into fitness, try a running club or fitness class. Into politics? Try an organization for your particular party or viewpoint. By doing something you like, first of all, you are more likely to continue doing it instead of just trying it for a while and then quitting out of frustration. Also, because you like what you’re doing, you are more likely to be seen as genuine and not someone who is just there trying to get business.
There are a lot places online where people go to seek out an expert in real estate. Unfortunately, what they get sometimes is a lot of things but an expert opinion. So, here’s an opportunity for you to step in and be the answer to their questions, be the expert. Watch the forums on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com, and your MLS, if it has one. Answer questions, provide advice, and try to score a shot at a phone call or appointment. I have watched one of our agents who didn’t have much of a sphere use this tactic and in less than a year she is one of our top producers.
At the end of the day, when you don’t have much in the way of a sphere, it all boils down to hustle. How many people can you connect with in one way or another and get into your database. Are you working open houses to meet potential buyers? Are you taking the contacts you meet as you create your sphere through joining organizations and building friendships? Are you working the web for new business and, if so, are you getting the contact info and connecting? Are you leveraging relationships in your everyday life? Make your goal to add 3 people to your database or CRM software every day. Then come up with a plan to stay connected and start asking for business and/or referrals.
Starting from scratch is tough, but can be done if you choose to hustle. Like everything else, you just have to make and work a plan that is driven by your goals.