Creating a Referral Machine With Zero Spend - Toby Salado

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By Toby Salgado. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

More listings, more money, better life

We are closing in on a new year and hopefully all of you are planning out your goals for next year. I dont usually get into end of year planning but, this is such a weird year that I felt like I should address this topic.

One of the reasons I felt like this was important is that unlike in other years is that everything has been changing so fast. I know thats how it feels---everything is so different than it was last november. When I say things are so different now Im not necessarily talking about politically or even economically even though areas are massively different than a year ago. Im talking about the differences in how we live--how we work --fundamentally how we spend our time and attention. And all this matters to a very large degree as we think about how we will attempt to reach more people and convert those people into listing their houses with you.

Let me ask the question - what are you going to do this year that will propel you forward? When i meet with teams and we decide on a 12 month business plan I usually take time and make sure that we are addressing the appropriate areas--some of this is getting the culture right--meaning that the culture is in alignment with where the team is headed. Many times in newer or smaller teams there simply is no unifying culture. Once we address the soft portions of a team or business I like to get into the nuts and bolts. I want to know how they retain existing clients and making them brand ambassadors when they are at work or at play. How do they get new clients? Where will they get new clients?

Im gonna do a quick and dirty rundown of some of the things i am telling my clients to be mindful

The first area I always encourage clients to look at is their sphere of influence and your database. Everyone thinks they are in touch with their sphere until they find out their good friend just listed with someone else. SOI and database at first seem like one pillar but, i find it helpful to separate the two. On your sphere in this time of constrained supply sellers have a ton of choices so you need to be extra vigilant that everyone in your sphere knows what you do and why your the best at it. The same thing for your database but, the connection you have with your soi and your database is often different---the connection you have with your database is more tenuous than your sphere but, the goal is the same. For everyone in your database you need to stay very much in front of them right now. They need to know that your a realtor and that you can help them. The question is can you really help them? What is your unique value proposition? Why will your soi and database put you at the top of all the other agents they know?

When is the last time you spoke or texted to everyone in your phone? Whens the last time you sent out handwritten notes? Im not going to cover all the stuff you can do to get closer to your soi or database i just want to remind you that the lifeblood of your business are the people you know.

And If you dont know that many people you need to go out and meet them---more than that you need to go out and help someone and then help someone else---sooner or later you will have a whole bunch of people that will be singing your praises. Whats that zig ziglar line? Help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want. I think thats true.

What if your in the right now game? I need a deal right now because---I need to pay my rent or I need to feed my kids or whatever--I totally understand. If you need a listing right now lets talk about what you can do right now. The first thing is this---do you really need a listing right now because if thats true I would ask you how did door knocking go yesterday? Maybe you think you need a deal right now but, that door knocking thing---well thats not my thing and hey arent we battling covid? For the person that says they need a deal but, are not willing to go out and do whatever it takes to go out and get it--------I would suggest that sort of person either doesnt actually need a new listing and that they should probably find another way to make a living. This is not a hard business but, it can be hard on our egos----we want people to come to us---we want to put our 800 dollar boots up on the desk and have people come so that we can dispense all our knowledge. Thats a great idea and maybe you will get there one day but, for the 99% of the rest of us we need to put in the hard work.

For those of us that want to look at our other options lets spend a few minutes chatting about this. Assuming we have gone thru our database and our sphere we can start to look outside the places closest to us. I was going to drop into some of the online and offline strategies for gaining new clients but, Im going to take a step back into talking about your sphere of influence. Let me share why I think this is really important right now.

As i said earlier this country is as divided as its ever been and we are all on the lookout for fake or biased news. I can look at cnn and all i see is that covid is killing the whole world and then I pop over into foxnews and Im seeing riots and unrest and I dont fully believe either narrative. I think thats true for everyone and when we are not sure we can trust what we are seeing online, on television or on the radio we turn to the people we trust most. Those people around us---if I trust suzy and suzy trusts toby----i trust toby.

This is why your sphere is so important and in this timeframe it is more important than ever. OK--I hope you will indulge me a bit here if you think you know the story.

When I coach newer agents----they tell me they dont have a sphere or that its very small--that might be true in some cases but, the fact of the matter is that a lot of people have a giant aversion to “selling” their friends. Man--if you think that----you are not gonna last. We can provide value to our sphere-----those other coaches that tell you to use magic scripts to talk with your friends are wrong----I would say your intuition is correct when you think that you are going to burn relationships trying to use scripts on your sphere. Your friends know what you talk like and when you start sounding inauthentic---your dead. You shouldnt use scripts or rely on crazy things like “33” times to start scoring referrals from your sphere. Whatever you do---be super authentic with what you say and how you say it. Your friends will know. I mention being authentic because our next step is to write down a ton of names. So--if your taking notes---grab a pad and pen. I suggest you open up a spreadsheet--it will help us move names around later.

Right now this is just a brain dump----as you write names down dont start making judgements about who should or should not be on the list----everyone should be on the list.

  • Past coworkers (even if your last job was waiting tables)
  • Your friends (yes, even the high school pals you haven’t seen in 20 years)
  • Your spouse’s or partner’s coworkers
  • Your spouse’s or partner’s friends
  • Your kids’ friends or their parents (depending on age)
  • Your kids’ teachers and school workers
  • Your extended family
  • Your neighbors
  • Friends and acquaintances from any social groups such as Neighborhood Association, Rotary, PTA, etc.
  • Anyone you interact with regularly (even if that just means once every couple of months), for example: your hair stylist, accountant, doctor, dentist, even your bank teller.

Don’t get sidetracked thinking about what you’re going to say when you reach out, or why you really don’t know this person that well, etc.

The first step is to just get the names down on paper—and at this point, it’s absolutely crucial you don’t undervalue or overthink a single candidate for your list.

Now that we have all the names we can color coordinate to heat zones or levels of influence or levels of connection. Think of this like a dart board---the center or bullseye is our hot zone. The people in our hot zone is our immediate family, our close friends and daily/weekly contacts. The next circle is our warm ring this would include nearby family, social friends, church members, business associates. Then you have your outer ring--distant family, neighbors and casual acquaintances. Outside of your outer ring is everyone in the world you havent met---people you dont know---this is guy in the car next to you at a stop light. These are cold contacts. These are the people that you target when you buy facebook ads, radio ads or grab a billboard.

Once you have all the names written down and segmented all your connections into hot, warm, and outer rings. You need to reach out to them in a way that is authentic to you as well as the level of connection. For a lot of your list it would be really strange to call up and announce the topic of the call is business. For a lot of people just getting a call from you might be out of character---if you chat with them on facebook---reach out to them on facebook. Talk with them on the platform and way you normally talk with them and try to engage them in different methods---if you normally chat with them on whatsapp ask them for their email so you can send them an article. Slowly try and close the gap between you and them---talking with someone in person is always better than texting them

Reaching out with a question like “is this the year your going to buy a house”? Or something like that is terrible; instead reach out and share with them a recent win, a funny story or a new aha about the market. Can you do this for everyone on your list? Remember, this is not a sales call----your sharing something personal which might just happen to coincide with your career as a realtor.

Let me insert here a pro marketing tip: once everyone in your sphere clearly knows that you sell real estate we now need to cement this idea or craft a brand around this notion. Your sphere trusts you as a person now we need to get them to trust you as an expert. This is where we can leverage social media to show our wins. This is where we become an active member in the community--pta or neighborhood whatever. This is where you need to start to buying traditional and digital media. This is a tool like radio goes crazy---once your sphere hears you on radio being endorsed by some bigwig the game changes. Now your no longer the guy i used to wait tables with but, now your the real estate expert. Your ideas and opinions carry weight. I have to jump in here---if your looking to up your game whether thats buying radio or just buying facebook ads send me a text. This is where my 10,000 hours lay. I would love to see if it can help my cell is 619-301-0823

OK---this is where i start to diverge and go into marketing or I get more granular on specifically how to not only make all these calls and send all these emails but, how to keep track of them ie having a crm.

Hey---wait a second---let me ask you guys---do you have a crm? If not--why? And if you say that you have “access” to your broker or team leads crm I would strongly encourage you to have your own crm no matter what. If you follow some of the suggestions already laid out you will be on track to creating your own referral machine. And thats exactly what Im talking about---the great brian buffini built a whole empire using the exact outline above. I dont know about you but, if I am going to set out to build a referral machine I would want to own the machine--which is your database.

If you dont have your own crm because of the cost consider joining a broker like exp that gives you a ton of these tools---they give you a professional website that is completely your own and your own crm---it comes when you join. If your not familiar with the pros and cons of using your brokers tools Im happy to have a quick 1 on 1 chat with you about what someone like exp offers. You can still text me at 6193010823 and just let me know what you want to talk about.

OK--maybe next week we can get further into year end planning or if you guys have a topic send me an email to superagentslive@gmail.com and if you like the show please go to itunes or wherever you get your podcasts and give us an honest rating anbd review it helps other people find the show.

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