The Best Real Estate Business Comes From The Business You've Already Won

Top producers maintain a healthy work-life balance while maintaining an ever-expanding network of friends and professional colleagues. Here's how the best agents get there.

For many real estate agents, work is more a way of life than it is a job choice.

Weekend commitments. Dinner-time showings. Open houses.

It’s only natural for real estate to become part of your everyday dialogue, the thing against which you weigh your availability for social occasions and vacations.

However, the best agents are able to create that so sought-after work-life balance. And, they do it while maintaining an ever-expanding network of friends and professional colleagues. They know that it’s that very sphere of influence that drives their business.

This is why top producers are often stigmatized for always being on-the-go—they have a lot of people to keep up with.

It’s a numbers game

The truth is that agents at all levels of experience have a social network from which listings and buyer agreements could emanate. Earning commissions from it requires a delicate balance of professional wit and salesmanship; you also have to be good at your job.

Beyond just utilizing the influence of people one knows, real estate market leaders ensure they don’t lose the business they’ve already earned; that is, getting the listing for the home they helped the sellers buy.

Consider these sobering statistics, compiled by the National Association of Realtors for 2016 transactions:

  • 87% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others
  • Only 24% of buyers used the agent they previously worked with to sell their current home
  • 42% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family
  • Ouch


Thus: 66% of an agent’s annual commissions can be found within their sphere of influence.

NAR also reported that the median gross income for a Realtor® in 2015 was $39,200. When the above figures are applied, they show that $25,872 (66%) of that median gross would come from people already in an agent’s CRM.

Out of sight and out of mind? You’re out of business.

There are a number of ways for agents to stay in front of their sphere of influence, with varying levels of effort, cost and effectiveness.

Email newsletters are a common way for real estate agents to remain in the conversation well after the transaction. But hey have to be consistent to work, and should deliver substance and value. (Every other agent sends a “don’t forget to change your clocks” email, notes Jeff Lobb of Sparktank Media. One more probably isn’t necessary.) On average, emails are opened by 20% of your audience. And companies like Happy Grasshopper can help create unique content for you. And tools like Zap provide fully integrated systems that gives brokers and agents the ability to understand, anticipate and serve their clients’ needs.

You should also get out of your office and into your community. This means being in the same places where your sphere does business. Find out what the influential are into, and sponsor their events and activities -- such as Little League teams, 5K runs, book drives or playground cleanup.

Remember that events and “networking” call for a soft-sell approach. You just happen to be there and maybe you can talk about the market if someone asks. There’s no reason to be heavy-handed; the point is to remind people what you do so they think of you when they or someone they know thinks of real estate.

Digital ads help you get repeats and referrals without asking

There’s no doubt --  technology makes it very easy and highly effective to market to your sphere of influence. And Adwerx, a digital advertising company for real estate agents and related professional services verticals, has a product designed specifically to keep you in front of people you already know.

Set up your sphere ad with your name and destination link. After uploading your contact list, Adwerx learns the online whereabouts of those who matter to your business. The company then serves them a geo-located ad campaign for your business.

It’s subtle and non-intrusive. And people you know are happy to see you on their Facebook feed and favorite web sites.

The appeal is that Adwerx isn’t driving a hard sale with this product; instead, an ad’s intent is to “remind” those in your network that yes, you’re still in the real estate business and that, yes again, they should refer business to you.

This technology assumes homeowners you’ve worked with will be in that list as well, so they become part of the campaign’s targeted demographic. This addresses the 87%.

Adwerx campaigns can also show up on Facebook, a powerful driver of local relationships. And true to its intent, Facebook is the best tool on the web for helping people stay connected.

Pull your strategy together

Like all marketing campaigns, it pays to blanket multiple media outlets when the goal is to earn referrals.

Events, email, and digital display advertising are better when combined, each executing their own goals while collectively delivering a larger message.

Perhaps the most critical facet of sphere of influence marketing is that leads provided by friends rarely take as much time to close as those discovered with no previous connection. Referrals simply can’t be left to chance.

Between Adwerx and traditional forms of outreach, any agent should be able to generate additional revenue from those they already know.

Next year, don’t let your customers be part of that 87%. Make them part of the 66.