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Easy Ways for Building Trust With Your Sphere of Influence

Building trust with your sphere of influence is crucial for any real estate professional. Strengthening these bonds has its challenges. Your sphere knows you on a personal level, as a friend, family member, or acquaintance. But as a real estate business owner, you also want to connect with them in your professional life and be known as the agent who goes the extra mile to help buyers and sellers with their real estate transactions. Earning business and referrals in today’s real estate market takes time and trust. 

“Trustworthiness is a currency that funds our paychecks, so we must be mindful and intentional about how we show up to deliberately earn people’s trust and then work to keep it.” – PLACE President Chris Stuart

What is your sphere of influence?

Real estate agents build their businesses by keeping their databases filled with leads. The sphere of influence, also simply referred to as sphere or SOI, is the most crucial segment in that database. When lead-generating with this group, your strategy should be to use your communal ties for good and be known as a connector.

Consisting of friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances, your sphere isn’t necessarily people you’ve done business with. They are, however, people who can refer you to potential clients. Since your real estate sphere knows and trusts you, they are the perfect source for repeat and referral business.

The list will likely be long, but unlike leads in your database, most of your sphere doesn’t view you as their dedicated real estate professional – yet.

To determine the potential clients and business in your sphere, ask yourself the following:

  1. How many spheres of influence are in my database?
  2. What is the homeownership rate in my primary county?
  3. How many homeowners are in my database?
  4. How many of them will move this year? (6.8%, according to NAR Research)
  5. How many transactions are in the database this year?

With this information, you’ll understand how fruitful, meaningful relationships can be for your business. Put a plan in place that nurtures them with consistent outreach, automation tools, and real estate marketing using:

  • Direct phone calls
  • Handwritten cards
  • Email drip campaigns
  • Networking events
  • Social media posts
  • Client appreciation events

Utilize your real estate CRM to communicate consistently with your sphere of influence at a high level. Earning their trust takes time, and the more consistent you are with reaching out, the more likely they’ll think of you the next time they or someone they know needs real estate advice or services.

How do you build trust with your real estate SOI?

With a few behavioral tweaks, you’ll be the only person your sphere of influence wants to talk to about real estate because you know them personally. 

Use these four simple techniques to build trust with your sphere at a high level.

1. Matching

Matching is doing the same thing that another person is doing. Not only is it considered flattering, but it has been scientifically proven to impact relationships positively. In essence, mimicking the behaviors of others enhances communication by making them feel validated and understood through similar behavior.

Accomplish this by subtly mirroring:

  • Posture
  • Hand gestures
  • Facial expressions
  • Body language
  • Eye contact

Behave in a way that’s slightly different from their actions. For instance, if they’re fiddling with a pair of glasses, bring your hand to your face. This responsiveness helps establish rapport and encourages individuals to lower their guard because you appear similar.

 2. Mirroring

Tone, inflection, vocabulary, and word choice between you and your sphere of influence should sound like you grew up in the same house. Echoing the person in this way can powerfully impact the conversation. This can also help you identify a person’s preferred speaking style to communicate with them on a deeper level.

Note how the other person talks and adjust your speaking style accordingly. Make note of:

  • Sounds
  • Feelings
  • Words

In addition, be conscious of different communication styles and phrases.

  • Kinesthetic communicators may resonate with phrasing like “gut feeling.”
  • Attentive auditory communicators use words like “I hear you.”
  • Big-picture visual communicators connect with phrases like “I see.”
  • Using words like “we,” “us,” and “our” is a great way to communicate alignment.

3. Control the narrative

Keep conversations in the comfort zone of your contacts, enabling you to stay on topic and move towards a mutually beneficial business relationship. You can do this regardless of their communication style.

For example, don’t go into granular details if the other person speaks in big-picture terminology. Give an overview instead.

4. Keep it light

Having a personal connection first and then adding a business relationship layer is complicated. Keep communication lines with your sphere of influence casual and steady using the FORD Model: family, occupation, recreation, and dreams. With this model, you’ll be able to build authentic connections.

  • Family: Tell me how you two met again.
  • Occupation: What drove your interest in becoming a _________?
  • Recreational: I’m just starting __________. Can you share your favorite techniques?
  • Dreams: Where would you like to travel?

Don’t ask for business during that conversation or afterward; otherwise, clients may interpret your interest in their lives as ingenuine.

Discover how you can grow your business with PLACE

PLACE helps teams engage their clients and contacts with innovative real estate technology, tools, and resources to build stronger relationships. To find out if your real estate business could benefit from a partnership with PLACE, fill out this form.

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