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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

More agents than ever earn business from networking and SOI

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From cold calling and radio shows to painting classes, agent efforts to grow sphere of influence aren’t one-size-fits-all.

The verdict is in — the old way of doing business is over. Join us at Inman Connect New York Jan. 23-25, when together we’ll conquer today’s market challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Defy the market and bet big on your future.

While falling mortgage rates started thawing a frozen housing market, most real estate and mortgage agents told the Inman Intel Index in November they were most focused on investments in networking and growing sphere-of-influence (SOI) to generate business. Over 71 percent of agents chose this combo, a new high point as they leaned into best practices and watched a rough year come to a close.

Perhaps more revealing, though, than what they were investing in is how: Several survey respondents detailed activities that not only pre-date TikTok and Facebook, but the internet altogether.

Over 71 percent of real estate agents considered networking/SOI building their best use of time and money today, 24 percentage points higher than Triple-I’s October reading. Nearly 50 percent of real estate agents — another new Triple-I high — said they would grow these investments most over the next 12 months, topping social media (28 percent), open houses (8 percent), and buying leads (6 percent) among others.

However, the range of efforts showed several paths toward building a Rolodex. Here’s a sample of comments left by respondents:

  • “Community involvement through volunteering time and energy for a good cause.”
  • “Direct mail. No one else knows how to do it properly!”
  • “I do two radio shows and a television show each week. Have been for about 17 years.”
  • “I teach a class on staging.”

TAKE THE DECEMBER INMAN INTEL INDEX NOW

Artificial intelligence can help you envision that wallpapered third bedroom on a listing you love with a vibrant new coat of paint, but it can’t do the work for you (yet). Enter Erika Johnson, an agent at Keller Williams Preferred Properties in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, who, along with two KW partners, is hosting a “Homeownership Paint & Learn Seminar” next month for buyers and sellers.

Johnson, who will also bring in mortgage and title company representatives to answer questions, pitched prospective attendees with a three-headed value proposition on the invitation: “Discover valuable tips, meet real estate professionals, and unleash your creativity.”

Loan originators responding to November’s Triple-I survey also placed networking/SOI growth at the top of the return-on-investment ladder. This choice outpaced the next nearest activity, sitting open houses, by nearly three to one. While the answer choice didn’t hit a new high for loan originators since the Triple-I opened in September, it was within one percentage point and marked the second time in three surveys that it topped 61 percent.

Email Chris LeBarton

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