Your Sphere of Influence: A Reliable Pipeline for Your Real Estate Business

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), realtors get almost 20% of their business by using relationships they’ve established.

When you’re new to the world of real estate, leveraging your existing personal connections and relationships is the best way to make your first sale.

Building strong personal connections significantly enhances your chances of successfully securing a deal.

This doesn’t just apply to new brokerages or agencies. People are more likely to recommend or work with someone they know and trust.

These relationships and connections are often referred to as your sphere of influence

By growing and maintaining your sphere of influence, you’ll ensure a steady stream of new deals and referrals in the real estate sector.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can grow your sphere of influence and maintain your relationships to develop a consistent pipeline of new deals.

What Is a Sphere of Influence and Why Is It Important for Real Estate Agents?

Your sphere of influence refers to your network of personal and industry connections. The stronger your relationships, the more influence you will have in the industry. 

Improving your sphere of influence is important because it means you can ask more from people you have strong connections with. 

If you’ve read our guide on how to start your own brokerage, you’ll know that your sphere of influence is vital when starting any new real estate business.

When you begin, you’ll need to make your first sale quickly. But you’ll face a significant hurdle: your business is still unknown. This means that to start with, clients won’t come to you—you’ll have to seek them.

One of the best ways of doing this is to use your current sphere of influence. You could ask for referrals from:

  • Friends and family.
  • Former colleagues.
  • Your contacts in the local market.
  • Neighbors and local community members.

5 Ways to Expand Your Sphere of Influence

Each relationship you build could result in several closed deals and could be worth millions of dollars to you.

Expanding your network is vital as it generates more leads, referrals, and repeat business, ultimately helping you build a successful real estate career.

The good news is that you can proactively grow your sphere of influence. You don’t necessarily have to wait for clients to come to you. Here are some ways to do this:

1. Take stock of all your current connections

Begin by writing down the name of every person in your current sphere of influence as a real estate professional. 

Challenge yourself to think of as many individuals as possible. Also, consider the people you could get to know or thosr you could be introduced to.

You should segment this list into different groups that represent each type of relationship. This will help you target each audience with relevant, personalized communication.

For example, imagine you were looking for seller referrals. You probably wouldn’t approach your list of prospective buyers. These people don’t want to sell and haven’t done business with you before, so approaching them would be fruitless.

But you would approach family and friends. A phone call or in-person chat with them would be appropriate. 

2. Ask for referrals

Imagine you were looking for a buyer for an extensive ranch property. By attending weekly local real estate networking events, you can seek referrals from your contacts.

This approach will likely be successful because you have an in-person relationship with these people, which means they may be more willing to give you a referral.

On the other hand, sending a generic message asking if anyone knows a buyer via your social media accounts is less likely to result in success. Your request could easily be dismissed because you don’t necessarily have a personal relationship with these individuals. 

3. Get networking

In the real estate industry, nothing beats in-person connections. You simply need to get out and meet people.

Here are some networking tips to grow your sphere of influence:

➡️ Join professional real estate agent bodies

Your local real estate association is likely to run networking events for creating connections and professional development. Attending these events will help you grow your sphere of influence and develop as a real estate professional. 

You might think that meeting other real estate agents and brokers won’t lead to any sales because they are your competition. But this isn’t the case.

Most real estate agents focus on a specific niche. They may get clients they can’t or do not want to work with. In these situations, they’ll need someone they trust that they can pass the client on to.

Another benefit of meeting real estate professionals is that they could become future employees. Finding a good real estate agent, for example, is tough, so you should always keep an eye out for good talent—even if you don’t currently need it.

Here’s a good example from Greater Nashville Realtors. They hold summer mixer events, golf tournaments, and awards ceremonies. All of these are great ways to meet fellow realtors:

➡️ Join local business groups

Don’t just focus on building relationships within the real estate industry. Get involved with your wider business community, too. 

For example, you could become a member of your local chamber of commerce, your city’s trade association, or even more general business networking groups. 

Networking can generate real estate leads and allow you to meet other professionals, like lawyers or accountants, who could help with your business. 

Here’s an example from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. The organization provides the usual networking opportunities. But you can also choose to get involved with something more meaningful, like joining a policy board:

As you can see, the infrastructure, housing, and land use committee aims to improve the local economy by opening more land up to housing. This could be a good use of your skills and knowledge and great for meaningful relationship building.

➡️ Get involved in the community

Get involved in your local community center or a charity. This will help you meet new people and develop meaningful relationships with them. It will also be rewarding for you on a personal level.

Being well-known in your community as a realtor keeps you top-of-mind, making you the go-to person for buying or selling property.

Being authentic is particularly important here. Refrain from handing out business cards to everyone at a charity event and telling them about your latest hot property.

Choose something close to your heart and do it to help people, find personal fulfillment, and meet like-minded individuals. In time, this may lead to business opportunities.

4. Use digital marketing to your advantage

You can use digital marketing tactics to foster new connections, engage with those you have existing relationships with, and drive new leads. Here are five ways to do this:

💻 Start with a good CRM

Once you’ve begun networking, you’ll need a system for communicating with your sphere of influence and growing it digitally.

The first thing to do is get a real estate customer relationship management (CRM) tool. This system allows you to store and update your contact list and automate common sales and marketing tasks.

We recommend you start using your preferred paid-for real estate CRM platform as soon as you can. Free versions typically have limitations, and switching to new tools can be difficult and time-consuming. 

A good CRM will also help you track your marketing efforts so that you know what’s working and what isn’t. This will help you narrow your marketing approach to only spend time on the most effective tactics.

When it comes to choosing a CRM, we suggest using either HubSpot or Follow Up Boss. However, always conduct your research before deciding on the right CRM for your business.

✍️ Delve into content marketing

Very few real estate brokerages do content marketing well, so it’s a great way to grow your sphere of influence, gain a competitive advantage, and build authority in your industry.

Most brokerages simply blast clients with outdated listings or emails telling them the market is ‘hot.’ This information isn’t useful to potential clients and may even lead to them unfollowing you on social media or unsubscribing to your newsletter.

Focus on creating content that buyers and sellers will find genuinely useful. This could include:

  • Buying and selling tips.
  • Training courses and webinars.
  • Listing alerts.
  • Industry newsletters.

Here are five things to consider when it comes to content marketing in the real estate industry:

✅ Understand your audience

Effective content marketing begins with thoroughly understanding your target audience. Consider their age, location, and average income to tailor your approach.

You would then need to create content that speaks to this target audience and addresses their needs, concerns, and interests.

✅ Use consistent branding

Whether you’re creating a blog on your website, a downloadable eBook, or a social media post, ensure that your content is always on-brand. Maintaining a consistent brand image across all your platforms makes it easier for potential clients to remember and recognize you.

✅ Prioritize quality over quantity

You may be tempted to churn out as much content as you possibly can for your website, email list, and social media accounts. 

However, you should aim to create high-quality content that is useful, informative, and valuable to your target audience. This takes time and often means you’ll produce less content overall.

✅ Optimize for search engines 

If you’re creating content on your website and blog, people should be able to find it when they search online. This is called search engine optimization (SEO), and it’s how you ensure your content is discovered.

Check out our guide on generating real estate leads to learn more about SEO.

✅ Consider video 

In the real estate industry, video is particularly important. You can use video to showcase properties and connect with your audience.

Creating virtual tours of a listing, for example, can enhance engagement with your content and provide an excellent experience for your clients.

📧 Use email marketing

Once you have your content in place, it’s time to deliver it to your potential clients. Email marketing is an efficient method for sharing and promoting your content, and it’s also an excellent strategy to expand your sphere of influence.

Over 30% of marketers use email newsletters to nurture leads, and 29% of them say email marketing is the most effective channel for content marketing.

The great thing about email marketing is that it can be connected to your CRM and then used to send highly personalized messages to different contact groups. 

But it’s important to think about whether email is the most natural way to contact a potential client or connection.

If you have never met the person, a targeted mass email might suffice. However, if you have worked with the person professionally, a call or a personalized email would likely be more suitable. If the person is a friend or family member, an email may not be appropriate at all.

You can read a full guide to running real estate email marketing campaigns on our blog, but here are some pointers on getting this type of marketing right:

✅ Segment your email list

You can use either your CRM or your chosen email marketing tool to segment your list of email addresses. 

Segmenting your email database means sorting your contacts based on certain criteria, such as their location, interests, or your relationship with them.

You can then target each group with emails that speak to them directly. This helps you deliver more targeted messaging via email.

✅ Use personalization

Personalized emails get an impressive open rate of 29% and a great click-through rate of 41%. If you’re not personalizing your emails, you’re missing out.

Personalizing your emails can be as simple as incorporating your contact’s name in the subject line, which leads us to our next point.

✅ Create compelling subject lines

Your subject line is the first thing your potential clients see, and it’s what ideally gets them to open and read your email. Therefore your subject line needs to be good.

A subject line should be clear about the email’s content and should give the recipient a good reason to open your message.

✅ Use a clear call-to-action (CTA)

You can’t expect your potential clients—or the connections you’re building a relationship with—to figure out on their own what their next steps should be. Your email needs to make it clear what action you want them to take through a call-to-action (CTA). 

Usually, CTAs in emails come in the form of clickable buttons that lead the reader to the next stage of your sales funnel.

📱 Leverage social media

Another effective way to build relationships that can lead to sales is via social media. Many of the contacts you want to connect with will likely be on platforms like LinkedIn, which is also a good place to market your new business.

One promising strategy is to join local real estate groups on social media platforms. These could be places where potential clients ask questions or even look for a real estate agent to help them. 

Interestingly, Reddit is a particularly good platform for this, as most cities have a subreddit dedicated to their local real estate market. 

Here’s an example of a subreddit dedicated to California real estate. As you can see, the first couple of posts are questions that, as a real estate agent, you could answer:

As with other networking opportunities, always be authentic on these platforms. Use social media groups to answer people’s questions and find real ways to help them. 

If you want to drive sales and tell followers about your successes, use your business page. This allows people to find out more about your company without you being overly promotional in groups.

💡 Getting Social Media Right
Check out these two guides to find out how you can grow your real estate business using social media:
How to generate leads using social media 
How to create effective Facebook ads
⚙️ Automate your content distribution

Managing your real estate sphere of influence will become more challenging the larger it grows. 

Networking, emails, social media posts, and creating new content all take time and effort. That’s why we recommend using automation tools to handle as many common content-related tasks as possible. 

For example, employing a social media automation tool allows you to schedule posts in advance instead of manually publishing them each day. You can dedicate time to plan a month’s worth of social media content, freeing you from this task for the rest of the month.

However, automation should be reserved for less personal communication. For example, you shouldn’t automate messages to family and friends. On the other hand, it would be suitable to automate a weekly newsletter.

5. Stay in touch with your clients

One mistake that real estate professionals often make after closing a deal is failing to stay in touch with clients.

There’s a possibility that, if you make a good enough impression, these clients will want to work with you again. By not maintaining your relationship with them, you’re losing out on the opportunity for repeat business.

According to recent research, the average length of home ownership is 13 years. If you stay in touch with former clients during that time, you can build a meaningful relationship with them. You’ll be the first person they think of when it comes to new deals and giving referrals. 

❌ An expensive mistake

By staying in touch with clients, you are building a future pipeline of real estate sales for your business and ensuring its success. 

Unfortunately, most realtors simply add their clients to their email database and send them the same generic content everyone else receives.

This is not an effective way to maintain your sphere of influence. Failing to stay in  touch with your past clients can cost you future income as you’re losing out on referrals and repeat business.

🤝 Meet Archie

With this in mind, we’ve created a tool to help you make your past clients feel appreciated for years to come.

Archie is an automated follow-up system designed to stay in touch with all of your clients after closing.

Each year, Archie will automatically send your clients:

  • Up to four “How are you?” check-in texts.
  • Follow-up emails (if there is no reply to the texts).
  • Personalized, handwritten milestone and anniversary cards.

This gives you the convenience of automation with the power of personalization to maintain your real estate sphere of influence. 

Each relationship can lead to lots of referral business and follow-on deals. This means that Archie may generate more business for you and pay for itself several times over. 

Grow Your Sphere of Influence and Get More Repeat Business with Archie 

Your sphere of influence as a real estate agent or broker is imperative to your success. Without the right relationships and contacts, growing your business will be significantly challenging.

Once you’ve established these relationships, it’s important to maintain them so that your sphere of influence grows alongside your business.

This is exactly where automation software like Archie by Paperless Pipeline can help. The system automatically maintains relationships with your previous clients so that you can turn your closings into more deals.

Visit our website to try Archie out for yourself and see just how easy generating referrals and repeat business can be.