Sphere of Influence or Center of Influence SOI or COI
This is probably the most underworked target in the industry. These are people that already know you, trust you and hopefully like you.
According to the research that went into the book the Millionaire Real Estate Agent the return from marketing to your SOI is 12:2. For every 12 people marketed to you can expect 2 transactions per year, one referral and one transaction.
Now the amount of deals doesn't appear in a few marketing pieces. It takes a good 12-18 months before you see consistency, however you can see results earlier, but for consistent results it takes a while. But this group has the highest rate of return, 12:2 or 6:1. Even if you hit 60 - 75% of that, times it by your average commission and see what that is.
The question is what and when do you market to them. I use post cards because of their ease to produce. Letters and newsletters have too many steps. Letters you have to print the letter, have it folded, stuff it, seal it, either put labels and stamps or at least mail merge to the envelope. Same with a newsletter, they have to be folded twice, sealed a certain way...
How often should you send them something? Well according to the Millionaire Real Estate Agent or MREA, 33 times per year. At first I thought that was way too much. But it really is just a matter of two monthly pieces consistently and some fillers. If you are marketing to a married couple they each have a birthday and an anniversary, throw in a couple more things and call them 4 times per year and you are there in no time flat.
Then there is your core or advocate group whatever you want to call them is up to you, just identify who they are and work them. Now you work them a little differently. This is the group you can call and ask them for help.
The program goes something like this. Hi, how is it going? Let's get together for coffee, or whatever... When you meet them do a little hanging out, use the F.O.R.D. method Family, Occupation, Recreation Dreams... How's the family, how's work, what did you do this summer? Then you have to ask them for a favor, ask them if they would be willing to commit to sending you a referral in the next 12 months. If they say no, then they were never qualified. So I am assuming it is a yes, and then you must ask if you can follow up to see if they have any one.
After the meeting send them a handwritten thank you card thanking them for meeting with you and for their willingness to help you. Then follow up monthly.