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7 Action Steps to Creating Your SOI/Past Client Referral System

Realestatereferralsystem There are 3 basic reasons why many agents fail to conquer the most important real estate system to implement – your Sphere of Influence (SOI) and Past Client Referral System.

1. They never decide on a contact management or software solution.
2. If they have a solution, they don’t enter the contacts, sort and categorize them.
3. They over-analyze or never decide what to do or send out each month – thus, ultimately doing nothing for months on end.

So, let’s break it down step-by-step, get this critical system in place and generating business and referrals immediately.  The key to implementing this system is to commit to the process and set a deadline to complete each action step, one at a time. 

Action Step 1 - Create your list of past clients and sphere of influence

If you have started a list or have it scattered in 2 or 3 places (MLS, Outlook, other email program, scraps of paper, transaction folders, etc) get it all together in one place.  Make sure you have all the vital information on your contacts – names, address, emails, phone numbers, IM names or other social networking contact info.  Set a deadline to accomplish this task. 

Action Step 2 - Decide on a contact management /real estate transaction system

You can choose a program like Outlook to get started and always upgrade to a more comprehensive, real estate-specific program.  The important thing is to choose something and just get started!  Here are two possible solutions for you to consider:

REST – Real Estate Success Tracker  (www.GetRESTnow.com )  ($399 for single user license)

  • REST is my personal recommendation.  In my opinion, REST is the best real estate software on the market.  Easy to use, more intuitive, not as complicated as many programs.
  • Single and multi-user options available.  You install REST on your desktop/laptop but you can also remotely access from your PDA or another computer.

Top Producer

  • There are a variety of extras and add=ons with Top Producer and price points.
  • I find many agents have this program and are not using it to its full potential - only the contact management portion.

Research the solutions (there are others out there) and make a decision.  Set a deadline for purchase, installation and familiarization/training.

Action Step 3 - Input all contact information into selected program

Set aside a few hours and get this task done!  If you aren’t going to get to this task any time soon - hire someone to get this job done for you.  Computer-savvy people (teenagers, family members, your colleagues’ family members, agents in your office, local high school or community college students) are everywhere – find someone and hire them for this project.   Set a realistic deadline to accomplish this action step.

Action Step 4 - Sort and categorize your database. 

Optimally, complete this step simultaneously with the data entry of Step 3.  I recommend using the technique taught by Brian Buffini to sort your database:

  • A+ Multiple transactions or multiple referrals
  • A    Referred at least one client
  • B     Haven’t referred yet – probably will when you remind them/show them how
  • C     You know them/just met them – haven’t sold them a home yet
  • D    Delete - Not going to mail to them

You can also group your database by other specific categories or contact types (sellers, buyers, farm, past clients, newsletter, prospects, vendors, B2B, etc).

Action Step 5 - Create an Introduction or Reconnect letter with a deadline to mail out.

  • If you are a New Agent, ask your broker for an endorsement letter from your Broker – company.  The concept here is the SOI member knows that the agent is new and may not have a high level of confidence in their ability or experience yet.   The letter reassures the potential client that not only do you get the agent but a team of professionals and support staff.

  • The letter should outline what the recipient can expect from this point forward; what services you provide; your client appreciation program; local market updates; annual market analysis of their property; business to business resources to name some possibilities.

Bonus Action Step:  Call the people in your database and ask this qualifying and sorting question (Mayor Campaign from Brian Buffini program):

“Oh by the way, if you were buying or selling a home or had a friend or family member who was, am I the Realtor you would refer them to?”

This one extra step will help you immediately sort your database and the major side benefit…you will more than likely generate business either directly or by referral from the activity of all the calls you make.

Action Step 6 - Decide on what you are going to mail or email each month

This is the step many agents get stuck on.  They can’t decide on what to send or procrastinate about it or waste time creating their own newsletter or mailout.  Here are some suggestions to get you started.  Just pick one and do it.  You can always modify and refine later.

  • Current Market Data.  Most local Title Companies provide excellent market condition reports.  This is the information people are most interested in – what is happening in your local market.  Be the provider of that information!

Where to find - Las Vegas Real Estate Market information:

  • Members of GLVAR can access a monthly Consumer Newsletter to email to your SOI, a myriad of graphs and current market data at www.LasVegasRealtor.com
  • Nevada Title produces a monthly Market Condition Report with commentary and other excellent market reports and data.  
  • www.Salestraq.com - Fast Facts is an e-newsletter about the new and existing home market. $25/month.
  • www.HomeBuildersResearch.com - Monthly Market overview. $18/month.  Contact Dennis Smith, 702-645-4200
  • UNLV - Center for Business and Research presents the quarterly Las Vegas Housing Market Conditions for $25/year.

Action Step 7Systemize it! 

This is the final step and a key to the overall success of the system.  It simply means deciding on a day or week of the month that you will actually prepare and send out your monthly mailer or email.  Schedule it.  Place it on a visible calendar and make it happen.  Hire someone to get this task complete for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.

More posts in the  Real Estate Business Systems Series


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