soi: Reflections on Jake's Success - 09/26/07 12:22 AM
I'm glad so many of you enjoyed the Jake Series. I, myself, have become attached to him, so you'll probably see him around occasionally.
As you may have figured out, Jake is me. Jake's story is my story, although of course that I didn't "discover" SOI on Active Rain back in 1996, and, truth be told, I did struggle with my expenses during my high-production years (although I didn't spend the money on personal marketing; I spent it going WAY above and beyond what was necessary to service my listings which may have contributed somewhat to my SOI success. Got lots of … (14 comments)

soi: Life is Good... Says Jake - 09/24/07 11:18 PM
Fast Forward another three years, into Jake's fifth year selling real estate.
(Jake's story begins here.)
Jake is the perennial top producer in his office and is considering going out on his own. He works about 30 hours a week and sells around 70 properties a year. Last year his gross commissions topped $300,000 and it looks as if he'll do it again this year.
His expenses? Not bad at all. Because his business is almost 100% SOI, his marketing budget is quite low, perhaps only 5% of his gross. And that 5% is spent mostly on entertainment (lunch dates … (13 comments)

soi: Announcing our Rookie of the Year... Jake! - 09/24/07 12:08 AM
This is the fourth episode of Jake's journey... To read previous episodes, start here. 
Fast forward to year-end...Jake was the rookie of the year in his rookie "class" of nearly 100 agents. He sold 25 homes; 22 with people he knew or people he met socially. His other three clients came from floor duty and an open house. All three of these people have since referred him to their friends and family.
Here's where Jake's first 25 sales came from:
Grandma - referral from his old boss's assistantJim and Patricia (2 sales) - Met a the wedding of a mutual friendKenny … (12 comments)

soi: Jakes Sells a House... or two - 09/23/07 03:11 AM
Let's see how Jake is doing.
In case you're just joining us, read about Jake here and here.
About a week after Jake sent out his respectful, interesting, non-salesy letter to his SOI, he got a call from Sam, his old boss's assistant. Sam's grandmother was moving to town and would be looking to purchase a one-story, ground level condominium near Sam's house. Could Jake help?
"Heck yeah!" Jake exclaimed. And he did. He helped Grandma find the perfect handicapped-accessible condominium, negotiate a good price for it and get her to the closing (literally -- Grandma doesn't drive!). Grandma loves … (28 comments)

soi: The saga of Jake continues... - 09/21/07 11:46 PM
As you may recall, when we last saw Jake, he was three months into his real estate career and pretty darn close to quitting. He wasn't having any fun or making any money.
So, one day, Jake Googled the term "How not to become discouraged in real estate" and stumbled upon an article by Jennifer Allan, author of Sell with Soul. The article was about something she called an "SOI" which, upon further reading, Jake discovered stood for "Sphere of Influence" and meant "The people who know you."
Jennifer claimed that if you devote your prospecting efforts toward the people who … (14 comments)

soi: Jake's New Real Estate Career - 09/21/07 12:16 AM
Say Hello to Jake!
One fine day, Jake entered the wonderful world of real estate sales. He went to school at night, passed his test and found an office to bless with his presence.
On his first day as a licensed salesperson, his new broker greeted him heartily and said "Welcome Aboard! Here's your desk, here's your phone, best of luck to you!"
Jake was a little befuddled by this, but he did his best to do as he was told. He spent the first few months of his real estate career learning about cold-calling strangers, door-knocking neighbors, holding open houses for other … (20 comments)

soi: 10 Ways SOI is Like Dating (Part II of SOI & the Single Gal) - 08/23/07 05:38 AM
Welcome to Part Two of SOI and the Single Gal (read Part One here)
Ten Ways SOI is like Dating:
When you leave the house, you never know who you might meet. So put on lipstick, comb your hair and put on some sexy jeans. If you feel good about you, others can't help but notice and be drawn to you. Conversely, if you're slouching around Wal-Mart in your baggy sweats, bed-head hair and morning breath, people will most certainly keep their distance! Be nice to everyone you meet. You never know if their brother or sister or aunt or uncle … (25 comments)

soi: SOI and the Single Gal - 08/20/07 11:48 PM
It occurs to me that running an SOI* business is a lot like dating. I'm thankfully no longer in the dating world, but I remember it well. Trying to figure out where Mr. Right might be hanging out that day. Pondering who among my friends would give me that magic referral to the man who was The One. Trying to find the elusive balance between approachable friendliness... and aloof-hard-to-get-ness. The roller coaster ride of euphoric highs followed by crushing lows.
When you're dating, you're bombarded with advice. Such as... it's a good idea for a marriage-minded woman to ask a man … (45 comments)

soi: Announce Your Website with a Scavenger Hunt! - 08/01/07 03:51 AM
Got your new website all fired up and ready to go? YEAH!
Waiting anxiously for the inquiries, leads and, admit it, the compliments to start pouring in?
Waiting... waiting... waiting...
Don't worry, this is NOT a blog about SEO (I'm not even sure what that stands for), key words or google rankings.
It's about how you can generate interest in your cyber-baby among the people you know. 
Have a Cyber Scavenger Hunt!
It's pretty simple, really.
Go through your web site page by page and find interesting little tidbits and factoids. (If you can't find any, you might wanna hit the drawing board again!).
Formulate questions … (12 comments)

soi: Give (referrals) and Ye Shall Receive! - 07/27/07 10:11 AM
A great way to receive referrals is to give them. Become a referring machine. Be on a constant look-out for people who need referrals to other people.
Do you have the world's best hairdresser? Dog-sitter? Handyman? Spanish tutor? Knock yourself out building THEIR business through your referrals!
How does this help you?
Oh, let us count the ways.
You become known as a resource among your SOI. Not simply as a fabulous real estate agent, but also as the Keeper of the Referral Directory. As they say, "no publicity is bad publicity" - every time your name crosses the mind of … (17 comments)

soi: SOI - It's More Fun with a Friend! - 07/27/07 10:02 AM
Real estate agents aren't the only salespeople in the world who can benefit from an SOI (Sphere of Influence)business model. In fact, many other professions would do well to consider this method of business-building.
Let's help them... and in return, they can help you.
Mentally review your list of friends. Are any self-employed? Why not introduce them to the concept of generating business from the Very Important People Who Know them?
How can this help you? Well... your self-employed friend has friends. Probably even friends you don't know. Might be nice to get YOUR smiling face in front of those friends, no? In exchange, you … (10 comments)

soi: Using Reverse Psychology with Your FAMILY SOI - 05/04/07 12:38 AM
I'm a fan of reverse psychology in real estate. I blogged about it a few months ago and have since made a long list of ways to use reverse psychology in our business. It's a fascinating concept, really.
But just last night, one more possibility occurred to me. I'm not committed to this position yet, so help me out!
As the self-proclaimed Master of All Things SOI, I encourage everyone to respectfully seek business from their friends and family. If done right, it works. And works beautifully.
Lots of agents argue with me. They claim to "hate to work with friends or family," … (11 comments)

soi: What's the Best Way to Ask for Referrals? Don't. - 04/28/07 07:55 PM
Whatchu talkin' ‘bout Jennifer? You can't be serious!
Yes, I am.
If you're asking the question "What is the best way to ask for referrals?" that tells me that something about doing it bothers you.
And if it bothers you, don't do it. Your discomfort will be crystal clear to the person you're asking, which is probably worse than not asking at all.
(If you don't mind asking for referrals, it probably comes naturally to you. Keep up the good work and ignore the rest of this blog.)
Do YOU like being asked for referrals? I don't.
When a friend asks … (114 comments)

soi: SOI in Action - 04/25/07 01:07 AM
Yesterday, I got a call from a former client of mine. She was one of my biggest investor clients during the Denver real estate boom in the late 1990's, but has since left town and no longer invests in the Denver market. We stay in touch and she sends referrals my way when she can.
Anyway, she called asking for my help in appealing a low appraisal her brother received on his home he's trying to refinance.
No problem, I tell her. I pull the comps, confirm that the appraisal is ridiculously low and email her the information, which she forwards … (18 comments)

soi: Prospecting Two Hours a Day? A New Approach - 04/19/07 04:11 AM
We've all heard from the guru's how we should prospect two to three hours a day. Uninterrupted. No distractions. After all, we are self-employed and need to ensure ourselves a steady stream of business in order to stay IN business.
Fair enough.
But for those of you who shudder at the thought of pestering strangers every day, here's a new approach, compliments of Loreena Yeo.
Loreena is my consulting client. She hired me to help her succeed in her real estate business. Per our agreement, I get paid for my efforts. But, with her insight and wisdom, she's helped me every … (20 comments)

soi: Your Elevator Speech - 04/15/07 03:46 AM
The new agent asks... "What can I tell people about myself in 30 seconds that will make them want to work with me?"
That's a tough one. I've seen some pretty creative answers. Most answers center around bragging about one's expertise, one's helpful nature and one's successes.
Hmmmm.
I'm trying to think of a time someone bragged to me about themselves and I was so impressed I asked for their business card. Can't think of one. We human beings tend to be contrarians and will argue (at least mentally) with just about anything. Tell me how great you are, and I'm … (44 comments)

soi: Okay, So I Lied... Real Estate IS a Number's Game... Sort of... - 04/05/07 06:38 AM
Recently, I wrote a rather opinionated blog about how Real Estate is NOT a Number's Game. And, I will stand by that statement, in principal. However, I'm realizing that, unfortunately, it kinda is (a numbers game, that is).
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a big fan of SOI business. I mean, why pester strangers when you can pester your friends? (Just kidding, actually, you should never, ever pester anyone for business). Anyway, I built a very successful real estate business that depended 100% on my SOI from Day One. Which, as an introvert and "not the friendliest person … (4 comments)

soi: Let's Do Away with the Dorky Announcement Letter! - 04/05/07 05:09 AM
Please, please, please! Can we do away, once and for all, with the dorky new agent announcement card, letter or whatever else that agents use to announce their exciting venture into real estate??!!
Here's a typical letter:
"Dear Friend, I'm pleased to announce...blah, blah, blah...my company is great...blah, blah, blah...I promise to provide the highest level of service...blah, blah, blah...please send me referrals. Love, Me"
Nice, but so what?
First, if you are new in the business, I strongly urge you not to announce this fact to the world. Sending out an announcement that you JUST got your real estate license and … (87 comments)

soi: An Unsoulful Tidbit from Broker/Agent News - 03/28/07 01:13 AM
Okay, so I'm reading my latest edition of the Broker/Agent News.
Came upon an article by Dirk Zeller entitled "The Four Pillars of Prospecting." Well, I never prospected much (Thank you, SOI!), but now that I'm a writer and consultant, I figure it's good to learn how the other half works. 
Tip 1:  "Set a daily time and place for prospecting." Got it.
Tip 2:  "Fight off distractions." Fair enough... oh, wait... what's this?"The truth is most agents welcome distractions taking them away from prospecting obligations. An inbound phone call, a problem transaction, a home inspection question, an incoming e-mail or … (28 comments)

soi: Managing Your SOI - 03/12/07 11:56 PM
As many of you know, I'm really "into" SOI. I think it's the only long-term business strategy that makes sense, especially if you'd like to relax a bit down the road.
But anyway, I'm putting together an online course on SOI and need to gather information on other contact management systems (CMS's) that agents use. I LOVE Top Producer and I couldn't run my life or business without it. But surely there are other lovable systems out there??
If you use a CMS, please tell me which one... how you feel about it... how much it costs...that sort of thing.
I really … (13 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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