How to Build a Smarter Book of Business
Recently we’ve been talking a LOT about data. Big Data. Smart analytic data. Specialty Nielsen Prizm data. Geographic data based on radial search technology. Demographic data selects such as age, gender, income, and property data. We’re working hard to ensure that we can be your trusted resource for all of these data sources and then some.
On thing that has to start with you, the agent, however, is your sphere of influence database. It’s truly the foundation for your business — and it is the difference between always chasing new commissions, or having a reliable, consistent referral base you can count on. Want to build a business that is strong, sustainable, and competitive and that you can sell when you’re ready to retire? Start here. Now. Long before the end of the year — and you’ll help yourself to get on track to average more transactions per year, every year.
Think about this –if you had 250 people in a database that you consistently stay in touch with and who you develop a RELATIONSHIP with, then who will they call when they have a real estate question, need or referral? YOU. If just 10% of those folks listed, sold or referred you per year, what would that mean for your income?
“But building a database is HARD!” (Ever hear that one?) It doesn’t have to be and it doesn’t have to be done all at once, but what it does need to be is a consistent part of your weekly business habits. NOT having a sphere of influence list is hands-down, the single biggest obstacle to agent success. Not having a database you can market to will keep you in the not-so-fun cycle of always chasing new business, without the benefit of ever gaining any traction. And think about this — if data inputting is an issue — there are lots of college kids still home for the summer that would love an opportunity to make a few dollars just for a few days work of inputting your data.
So where do you start? Pick a date to work on it and commit. Open a spreadsheet on your computer or tablet. Or choose an online database management system. Then ask yourself (and answer) these 30 Questions:
- What are the names of the members of your family?
- What are the names of your spouse’s family?
- What are the names of your “extended” family?
- What is the name of your best friend?
- What is the name of your spouse’s best friend?
- What are the names of your very close friends?
- What are the names of your spouse’s very close friends?
- What are the names of your children’s friends’ parents?
- What are your children’s teachers’ names?
- What are your children’s coaches’ names?
- What are your children’s principals’ names?
- What are your children’s dentists’ names?
- What are your children’s doctors’ names?
- What are your children’s optometrists’ names?
- Who cuts your children’s hair?
- Who sells you your children’s clothes?
- Who is on the PTA Board at your children’s school?
- Who is your children’s Sunday school teacher?
- Who cuts your hair?
- Who does your dry cleaning?
- Who does your pedicures, manicures, facials?
- Who do you purchase gasoline from?
- Who services your car(s)?
- Who do you buy tires from?
- Who sold you your current car(s)?
- Who have you purchased cars from in the past?
- Who cleans your car(s)?
- Who is your mailman?
- Who do you know at your church?
- Who do you see at the convenience store you most often go to?
Next, add every customer you’ve ever had. Add the neighbors. Add old business colleagues. In fact, click here to get a copy of our BusinessBASETM, download it at no cost and read it thoroughly. On page six you’ll find 150 questions like the ones above that you need to ask yourself to build a sphere of influence list of at least 250 people. It will also tell you all the fields you will want to set up for each contact such as name, address, email, occupation, etc.
Then take ACTION. Start a touch marketing campaign to these folks every 21-35 days. Consider a series of postcards such as holiday, or recipe postcards, that will keep you top of mind, take just minutes to order and send and helps you incubate each person on our new list until you have the opportunity to see or speak to them.
And DON’T wait until you have all 250 or more in your list to start. Remember that old saying by Arthur Ashe? “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Momentum doesn’t just happen. You have to get started somewhere. If you only get 25-50 people put into your book of business this month. Start sending to them. Or Make it a goal to just put 100 in this weekend.