Use the Three Rs to Create New Listing Opportunities with your contacts

Most real estate agents maintain a sphere of influence, or at least categorize a portion of their database as being part of one. They keep in touch, ask contacts about their lives, provide real estate updates and ask if they can help them, or anyone they know, with their real estate needs.

An industry icon that I greatly respect, Allan Dalton, espouses a more impactful approach: influencing your sphere vs. merely possessing that sphere. It is an important distinction, and with today’s shortage of listings, there is no better time than now for your team to embrace their influence, using it to inform and guide the people that trust them, and create immediate listing opportunities (as appropriate) as a result.

One way to do this is to incorporate the three Rs—remodeling, refinancing and relocating—into conversations with your sphere. Ask them directly, “So are you doing anything interesting with your home now… remodeling, refinancing or relocating?” This will create meaningful conversations about their current housing situation and will allow you and your team members to exercise their influence and advise them of any current benefits of listing their home now.

Here are some points to include for any of their answers:

Remodeling: Major home improvement projects—and even relatively minor ones—can leave many homeowners shocked at the cost, time and inconvenience involved. When someone mentions that they are thinking of doing certain work, have a conversation about whether it makes more sense to find another home that already has what they are looking for. You can also discuss the risk of over-improving a home in a particular neighborhood. The point is that you are aware of your market and the other options that are available, so you can provide alternatives to remodeling that may be in your client’s best financial and life interest.

Refinancing: If a client mentions this, it most likely means that they are aware of the incredible affordability of home financing these days. Use that topic to discuss their housing plans for the intermediate and long-term. The fact is that with an interest rate of 3%, a homeowner can borrow about 40% more than they could if the interest rate was 6% and they would still have the same payment. So if a larger home is in their future, financing a new home now at today’s rates may be a better long-term decision than if they refinanced their current home.

Relocating: If someone in your sphere mentions that they are considering moving, your influence and guidance becomes immediately and absolutely necessary. Get as much information about their situation as you can and schedule an appointment to meet with them as soon as possible. Even if their anticipated move is not imminent, be their real estate expert and meet with them anyway; depending on their situation, you may influence them to take advantage of today’s opportunities, creating a current listing and sale where one did not exist before.

Being an effective “agent for life” for your sphere means guiding them to make the best decisions. Calls to your sphere are typically easier and more enjoyable than other prospecting calls because you know these people and you are trusted. These calls are also more productive, so by embracing this and reaching out to your sphere more purposefully, both you and your sphere will benefit.