Been doing a little private SOI (Sphere of Influence) tutoring with some local Denver agents. Yesterday, as I was working with one of my students, she asked me a question that got me thinking (I love that). She asked "So, my goal is to expand my Sphere of Influence database to a certain number by the end of the year?"
Well, sorta. At least, that's probably one of your goals. But as I answered her question I realized that there are really four different branches of an SOI business model, thus four different "goals" to shoot for as you build your SOI model.
Here are the four branches:
- Your Direct SOI - that is - the people you know
- Your Indirect SOI - that is - the people your SOI knows (i.e. referrals)
- Your Third Generation SOI - that is - the people you meet via your SOI
- Everyone Else - that is - every single person you encounter in your day-to-day wanderings
Your Direct SOI
These are the people who know you and know you sell real estate. It's made up of your Group One (your social network) and your Group Two (those people you know that you don't socialize with). You should try to have at least 200 warm bodies there; of course, more is better, but they don't "count" if the person wouldn't recognize your name off the bat. These are people who KNOW you, even if they aren't your best friends.
You'll get business from your Direct SOI, but it probably won't be your primary source of closings. Most of aren't blessed with an SOI who buys and sells houses on a regular basis!
Your Indirect SOI
These are the people your Direct SOI refers to you, who, of course, will be added to your Direct SOI once you've met. Your Indirect SOI should be a fairly consistent source of business for you, assuming your Direct SOI thinks a lot of you, and they know how to find you.
Your Third Generation SOI
These are the people you serendipitously meet as a result of your existing personal relationships. For example, back in 1996, I met my second and third clients ever at the wedding of a mutual friend. I met another client at a Pride parade I attended with my GLBT friends. Another at a Super Bowl party. Stuff like that. This can be an enormous source of business for you, if you're often out there in the world with a smile on your face and your antenna up, and can speak intelligently about your local real estate market to anyone who's interested (and please don't bore those who aren't!)
These are the people you run into during your daily travels. Every single person you meet, every day, has the potential to be the newest member of your Direct SOI. Not all will, of course, but you never know who will end up being your biggest fan. It might be that young couple who stumbled into your Open House who had a child the same age as yours. Or that woman standing next to you at Ace Hardware getting a key made, who casually mentions she just moved to town. That guy you meet at the dog park. Your neighbor three doors down who is looking for his lost cat. The woman who calls you off your Craigslist ad to purchase your roller blades.
Again, HUGE potential with this category - if not today, then next month or next year.
So, looking at the four branches... how can you incorporate these four categories into your SOI-building goals & activities?
The Exceptional Agent Project is Live!