soi: SOI 101 - What Exactly is an SOI (Sphere of Influence) Business Model? - 02/04/09 11:30 PM
A Sphere of Influence business model is a strategy that focuses on attracting business to you from the people you know and the people you meet socially, as opposed to pursuing business from strangers. It's possible to run a 100% SOI business and never have to make one cold call, memorize a prospecting script or knock on a strangers' door!
There are three primary activities in an effective SOI business model.
Nurturing the personal relationships you already have within your social network (that is, your friends - I call this group my "Group One." Clever, eh?) Staying in touch with "everyone … (42 comments)

soi: "Touching" versus "Impressing" for Real Estate Agents - 01/29/09 10:32 PM
Several months ago (egads, in September) I wrote a blog with a teaser promise at the end to "stay tuned" for more... and that "more" never came. I sure hope too many of my readers didn't lose sleep wondering when I'd ever get back on topic. Here's the post... At the end of the post, I promised to discuss the difference between "touching" and "impressing."
To recap, in our business, we often talk about the need to "touch" as many people as possible with our message, whether those touch-ees are people we know (our Sphere of Influence) or strangers. We get all … (21 comments)

soi: How Can a Lender Earn My Business? - 01/15/09 01:07 AM
Because I teach real estate agents how build a business based on their Sphere of Influence (SOI = the people they know and the people they meet) as opposed to marketing-to-strangers, I'm often approached by new or newer lenders asking how they can successfully persuade US (the REALTOR community) to give them a shot.
Frankly, I'm always stumped by the question. Traditional lender prospecting techniques simply don't work - at least in my experience. Offering daily rate sheets or open house brochures won't do it. Nor will weekly newsletters - printed or emailed. Sure, I appreciate (and will use) the information, … (26 comments)

soi: Christmas Card Lemons... to Lemonade - 12/18/08 04:00 PM
Am I the only idiot on the planet who can turn a simple Christmas Card mailing project into a full-time job? My plan... send out Christmas cards to my local Denver SOI (sphere of influence) and toss in my hot-off-the-press Referral Directory magnet as an extra-special holiday gift for my friends (hey, I sprung for the xtra large magnet at over $1 each!).
Simple enough...
Well, it's been anything but. One thing after another created delays in my sending-out-cards process - first, the cards I bought (and addressed & stamped) weren't big enough for the magnet (remember, I bought the xtra large … (47 comments)

soi: Phooey on Prospecting... I just wanna do my job! - 12/01/08 12:00 AM
I'll be interested to see the responses to this forthcoming brain dump... some of you will totally relate, while others will think I'm just a weirdo.
I hate to prospect, in any way, shape or form. By "prospect" I'm not really referring to any particular method, strategy or activity, I just simply don't like drumming up business. I get no joy out of self-promotion, marketing or pursuing. I very much dislike the idea of spending any time at all worrying about where my next closing might come from.
But I LOVE LOVE LOVE selling real estate. Or, perhaps I should say that … (82 comments)

soi: To Expand Your Sphere of Influence - Be in the Right Place at the Right Time ... More Frequently! - 11/15/08 12:44 AM

Okay, so my last two postings have been a little grim, a little whiney, a little dark. BAH! Enough of that! Life is good, life is sweet, life is wonderful and it might do me good to remember that a little more often! Actually, this week has been pretty darn good to Jennifer... (‘cept for those pesky spammers on my SWS forum - my gosh, where did they come from all of a sudden? Anyone know how to get rid of ‘em?)
Anyway, let's lighten things up a bit!
A few months ago, I attended a Rick DeLuca seminar here in … (27 comments)

soi: Yes, a Sphere of Influence Approach IS enough in today's market, if you... - 10/21/08 04:53 AM
As promised, here's the follow up to my blog yesterday entitled "Is SOI Enough in Today's Market?"
Yes and No.
No, traditional "SOI" where you  simply let all your friends know you sell real estate and then send them off into the world to be your marketing department is definitely not enough. Why? Because the volume of buyers and sellers is drastically reduced from days past when everyone and their uncle knew someone buying or selling. Now, it's not unrealistic that the people you know truly DON'T anyone who needs your services today or tomorrow!
But yes, if you redefine what … (19 comments)

soi: Is a Sphere of Influence Approach Enough in Today's Market? - 10/19/08 11:59 PM
First, allow me to apologize for using that tired phrase "Today's Market." Real estate is most certainly local, so "Today's Market" in Denver is much different from Today's Market in Detroit, Dallas or Des Moines. I get that. But, for the sake of argument (or discussion), let's just assume that in most US real estate markets, "Today's" is not as much as fun as "a Few Years Ago's." Deal?
I'm just wrapping up the Savvy Prospector 12-week course, which was a live online program that helped real estate agents (and a few loan officers) create, maintain and nurture an effective prospecting … (27 comments)

soi: Free SOI* Seminar in Denver - No Sales Pitch, Just Sound Advice! - 10/04/08 12:32 AM

If traditional approaches to relationship marketing leave you cold, you'll want to hear what Jennifer Allan has to say on the matter.
Yes, you CAN succeed with a referral-based business model without becoming that annoying real estate agent everyone avoids at parties...
Want to learn how to attract business from your friends, your family, your acquaintances, your friends' friends, your friends' families, your family's friends and your family's families?
Please join us on October 28th … (13 comments)

soi: Can a Single Woman Expand Her Sphere of Influence Without Sending the Wrong Message? - 09/21/08 06:45 AM
I have a friend; let's call her Sarah. She is a new real estate agent and is committed to an SOI* strategy to build her business. So far, it's going well - she's already experiencing some success and is optimistic that she will survive her first year without ever cold-calling, door-knocking, farming or advertising.
Here's the problem. Sarah has a new boyfriend. When said boyfriend realized that Sarah freely hands out her phone number (in the form of her business card) to anyone who asks (regardless of gender), he was horrified. Not that he doesn't understand she has a business to … (118 comments)

soi: I Cannot Tell a Lie... it's tougher today... - 09/19/08 01:31 AM
About a year ago, my friend Loreena Yeo unintentionally challenged me. I had just written a series of blogs about a nice new real estate agent named Jake who went from the verge of failure to the heights of success, based on his effective sphere of influence campaign. On the second to last installment of the Jake story, Loreena asked the question: "Was Jake lucky? Did Jake begin his career during a boom time and therefore was able to experience success more easily than today's agent?"
Okay, so Loreena probably didn't mean it as a challenge, but I took it that … (21 comments)

soi: Bringing in Business... One Warm Body at a Time - 09/11/08 01:34 AM
Y'know what I love about this business? That every single thing I do, every day, has the potential to bring a client my way. Big things, small things, easy things, hard things... every action I take, whether intentional or not, might just result in a juicy paycheck for me - today... tomorrow... or six months from now.
My business comes in one client at a time. And, frankly, with the average price in my market being around $300,000, I could easily live on the business that passively floats by me. But my point is that I don't need five new prospects … (25 comments)

soi: Are You in this for the Long Haul? (Or are you planning to quit in six months?) - 09/08/08 06:39 AM
Last week, Janie Coffey hosted a teleconference for the participants of my Savvy Prospector program about the magic of niche marketing. I was spellbound by the material and it really made me think about how this business works...
Back to Janie in a sec.
We're all looking for a magic bullet, myself included. While I know I'll have a mortgage payment due NEXT October, I'm far more concerned with the one due in 25 days, the one due in 55 days and the one due in 85 days. 
But you know what? Next October will be here before you know it, and … (68 comments)

soi: Marketing (myself) Doesn't Work (for me) - 08/27/08 01:02 AM
Have you ever noticed (or is it just me) that the people you actually "market" to aren't the ones who actually respond? In my worlds (‘ritin' and real estate), I find that the bulk of my business comes from those who have not received any direct sales pitch from me. Either I'm a lousy sales-pitcher (very possible) or maybe (just maybe), people don't want to be sales pitched.
Here's an example. A few weeks ago I got a call from a lender with whom I've done a little business the past. Just your basic catching-up call, prospecting, I'm sure. Well, I … (24 comments)

soi: Too New to have SPC's (satisfied past clients)? That's Okay, Just Be an RCHB (reasonably competent human being)! - 08/11/08 10:06 PM
I recently wrote a blog called "Hang in There, Rookies! It Gets Easier, I promise! which was about how once you get a few SPC's (satisfied past clients) under your belt, this job really does get easier - the bringing-in-business part of it anyway. SPC's are by far the best source of business in our business and if you have enough of them... who know where to find you... you can pretty much be set for life. It's a beautiful thing.
However, in the meantime, while you're searching for those soon-to-to-be SPC's, you need to come across as a Reasonably Competent … (24 comments)

soi: There's No Harm in Asking, Right? - 07/31/08 11:04 AM
Okay, okay, you are all tired of me ranting and raving about the sins of Referral-Begging and Referral-Bribing, which in my opinion, just annoys and irritates your friends. Oh, and a nice side-benefit; it advertises how desperate you are for business.
Of course, I hear all the time; "There's no harm in asking!" or "You gotta ask for what you want if you expect to get it!"
I disagree. I think there's all kinds of harm in asking, and no, I don't believe you always gotta ask for what you want. But I've written thousands of words on this topic already...

soi: The Savvy Prospector - RE/MAX Approved! - 07/28/08 12:52 AM
As many of my readers know, the 12-week Savvy Prospector program kicks off on August 1st (that's THIS Friday - where has the summer gone?!). We have an incredible group of agents and loan officers signed up - it's amazing, the Sell with Soul message attracts the coolest people! Smart, creative and wickedly funny... it's a fantastic crowd.
But anyway, out of the blue, I got a message from one of the owners of my RE/MAX franchise that Dave Liniger himself (President/Founder/CEO of RE/MAX) has endorsed the program and recommends it for RE/MAX agents seeking personal training. Apparently, the word from above at … (19 comments)

soi: Building a Referral-Machine... A Softer Perspective - 07/23/08 06:58 AM
I read and enjoyed Chris Pollinger's last week's featured post on Building a Referral Machine. It was well-written and obviously quite well-received by the AR crowd. However, being the argumentative sort that I am, I'd like to, well, argue!
Actually, I'm not really arguing. Just offering some alternatives. In my years of coaching agents on their own referral-building efforts, I've found that many are uncomfortable with the idea of aggressively pursuing business and referrals from the people they know and the people they meet... so, for you... see how you feel about THESE referral-building philosophies...
Go out in the world with … (49 comments)

soi: Selling to Your Sphere of Influence... No Sales Pitch Required (Wednesday Webinar) - 07/22/08 10:47 AM
I have a special back-stage pass to a webinar I'm doing tomorrow for Agent Direct News... it's normally a Member's Only event, but because I asked nicely, I got a special link for my friends!
If you'd like to join me for the 45-minute webinar, here's what you do...
A little before 1pm (Eastern)/10am (Pacific) on Wednesday, July 23rd, just click this link:
You'll be taken to a sign-in page where you ... uh, sign in... and can listen to the webinar online. Here's the description of what we'll talk about:
Whoever came up with the idea that the best … (11 comments)

soi: BE the Person Your Boyfriend Wouldn't Dream of Cheating on (yes, it's real estate-related). - 07/01/08 12:05 AM
A long time ago, in my early 20's (egads, nearly 20 years ago), I was dating an equally young lad from Ireland. He was planning a "holiday" (as they say in Ireland) back home for three weeks. As an insecure young lass, I was terribly worried that he would meet back up with his high school sweetheart and, OMG, CHEAT on me.
So, I did what every other immature young woman with a boyfriend does... I whined, I pouted, I threatened, I begged him not to cheat on me while he was gone. Every day for a month, I "reminded" him … (25 comments)

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) Rainmaker large

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul

Pensacola Beach, FL

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Sell with Soul

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