Get More Referrals from Your Sphere of Influence

If you’ve been in the real estate business for a number of years, you’ve likely heard the phrase “sphere of influence.” This refers to all the people you know, both personally and professionally. Your network, or sphere, includes not only personal friends and family members but also people you know through organizations, through your kids or spouse, and just from being “out and about” in the community. I guarantee that once you start brainstorming, you’ll realize just how many people you do know.

So, what’s the big deal about having a large roster of acquaintances? I’ll tell you — these folks are the key to growing your business. Keeping in touch with your sphere means you’ll be the real estate agent they think of first when someone in their own sphere is buying or selling — and you’ll grow your business.

Your Sphere of Influence — Who’s in it, and Why Does it Matter?

The truth is, a lot of people don’t know how large their sphere of influence actually is until they sit down and start thinking about everyone in it. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list to help you brainstorm.

  • Family members, both immediate and extended
  • Your spouse’s family members
  • Personal friends
  • Your spouse’s personal friends
  •  Your kids’ friends’ parents
  • Your family’s friends
  • Colleagues you previously worked with
  • Colleagues you currently work with
  • Former clients
  • Your spouse’s colleagues
  • People who attend your place of worship
  • Your neighbors
  • People who go to your gym
  • Members of clubs you belong to, such as PTA, book club, Rotary, volunteer groups, etc.
  • Professional relationships such as your accountant, car mechanic, dry cleaner, landscaper, hairdresser, day care provider, dog groomer, and mail carrier

Keep in mind, your sphere is constantly growing. Every time you meet a new seller or buyer, your sphere grows. Every time you approve a spend-the-night party for your child and meet the other child’s parents, it grows. Every time you shake hands with your elderly mother’s caregiver, it grows!

Furthermore, these days, the internet and social media mean your sphere can be larger than ever. Not only can you keep in touch with childhood pals you might have otherwise lost touch with years ago, but you can also connect with people you perhaps don’t know in real life or know simply in passing. And, if you can make a great impression marketing yourself online, you’ll earn the respect of your virtual network, as well.

Here’s how to implement an effective Sphere of Influence strategy:

Our mantra is working smarter, and the same idea applies when it comes to reaching out to your sphere of influence. You certainly don’t want to invest a lot of time and money into cold leads or past clients who aren’t open to engaging with you and your real estate business.

That’s why it’s imperative to keep evaluating individuals, whether they’re acquaintances or former clients. How can you do this? Once you have your list of contacts, start dividing the list into the following three categories: hot leads, warm leads and cold leads.

If you’ve been in the business a while, you know the difference between a hot, warm and cold lead — but you might not regularly take the time to consider who in your sphere falls into each category.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about each person, so you can better determine whether they are a hot, warm or cold lead:

  • How did you meet the person?
  • Does the person live in your community?
  • Has the person bought or sold real estate recently?
  • Has the person worked with you previously?
  • In the case of previous clients, did they enjoy working with you?
  • When did you last engage with the person?

Once you figure out who counts as a hot contact, you will want to move those people to the forefront of any marketing campaigns.

Let me explain further.

If a lead is cold, that means they don’t know much about you and your business or perhaps do not need to buy or sell real estate at the moment. Your goal with a cold lead is to stay in front of them, so that when the time comes and they need an agent, they’ll think of you. Interacting in the community, sending occasional content emails and staying connected on social media are great ways to stay in front of cold leads.

If a lead is warm, that person might be thinking about buying or selling. They might be newly engaged, looking to relocate to a larger home or downsize to a smaller one — but they aren’t quite there yet; they’re just thinking about it. Many previous clients also count as warm leads — perhaps you just worked with them and they are settled for the time being, but you anticipate working together again in the next few years. These leads need to hear from you more often than cold leads, and in more “real estate-related” ways, such as helpful market tips and neighborhood information. You might also send warm leads greeting cards and gifts, when appropriate.

Everyone’s favorite category, hot leads, are where you need to concentrate your marketing efforts. These leads are looking to buy or sell soon, and may actively be either looking for an agent, trying to sell by themselves as FSBOs or asking others for agent recommendations. Mailers, drop-bys, and other more vigorous marketing campaigns are welcome and necessary with these leads.

Note that your hottest leads might be people you don’t actually know, but know of. For example, say you heard a woman at a PTA meeting at your child’s school talk about her neighbor getting ready to move. You know the woman at PTA, but you do not know her neighbor. The woman is in your sphere of influence, yet her neighbor is not. How do you get the contact information of the woman’s neighbor so you can market yourself? Try something like:

Hey Amy, I didn’t know if you knew this, but I’m a real estate agent. I would love to reach out to your neighbor Kim about selling her house! Do you have a contact for her?

When ranking Amy, whose neighbor is moving, you can temporarily move her into the hot lead category and remind yourself to get her neighbor’s information. Once you are acquainted with Kim the neighbor, you can categorize Kim as the hot lead and, if necessary, recategorize Amy. 

Once you have everyone categorized as a hot, warm or cold lead, you can decide which marketing techniques will suit each contact. Here are some ways you can reach out to people in your sphere.

Mail/Drop-Off Packages

Once you’ve put together a list, mail each of the individuals on your list a copy of your book in a bubble mailer. If it’s convenient, you can simply drop off your books or deliver them in person. 

For individuals you know or have met, attach a Post-it note on the book that says, “Dear _____. I wanted to send you a copy of my new real estate book. Feel free to pass this on to anyone you know that is thinking of selling their home.”

Email/Text Correspondence

The easiest way to reach out to members of your sphere is through email or text. Your digital book link allows you to get your book in front of more people than ever before. Insert it into your email signature, or text it out to people asking for their feedback.

Here’s an example of one of the email templates included in the course. It can be tweaked to include a link of your digital book if you prefer:

Subject Line:

Can you help me out?


Hi FirstName,

I have been working hard to put together my new book, and I’m reaching out to some people in my circle to read it and offer feedback on the content.

My book is full of helpful information to help home sellers get the most money possible on their sales, including tips on staging, pricing, negotiations, closing, and more. 

I wanted you to be one of the first to have a copy because I trust your opinion and think my book could be really beneficial if you’re looking to sell your home now or in the future. 

Where should I send you a free copy? Let me know, and I’ll get it in the mail right away. And if you have some friends or family who might be interested in reading it, feel free to send me their info, as well. 

Thank you for helping me out with this!

Agent Name




You can view the full training for both of these strategies by clicking the links below:

To Summarize:

  • We all know people who might be looking to buy or sell — and we all know people who know people who might be looking to buy or sell.
  • The key to getting business from your sphere is to stay in front of them.
  • Your books are a great way to convert hot leads within your sphere because they enhance your image with people who already know who you are. 

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