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We hear over and over that success in the real estate business is all about working your "sphere of influence." So if this is so important, how can a professional in the real estate business grow your sphere of influence, and how do you keep it from being diminished?

Your sphere of influence is quite simply everyone you know and who has some sense of who you are. The name is a bit misleading, as it may sound as though these would only be people that you would have sway with. However, in the vernacular of the real estate industry, someone in your sphere of influence could be a person who may merely just recognize you on sight and may not even know your full name. But the point is that they are aware of you, and that provides the potential for the opportunity that they could be a source of leads for business for you.

Building your sphere of influence comes from three factors: 1) growing your sphere; 2) increasing the value of your influence; and 3) not diluting the value of your influence.

Growing your sphere of influence is fairly straight-forward. The more people you have touch points with, the larger your sphere will become. So becoming active in more organizations and activities, both physical and virtual, will widen your sphere. And of course being more active in your current or previous organizations and activities will also widen your sphere.

The more challenging aspect of growing a valuable sphere, however, is bringing more value to the influence you have with the people in your sphere.

One way of thinking about the value of your influence is to consider how you are helping the people in your sphere. Are you making them happy? Are you providing them with helpful information? Are you making their lives easier or better? The more you are doing these, the more they will look forward to your interactions, and the more likely they will be to refer you to their own spheres of influence.

The flip side to growing a valuable sphere is not diminishing the value of your influence with your current sphere. Diminishing the value of your influence can be thought of as a declining balance in your "attention bank." This is when people begin to tune you out instead of engaging with your interactions, because your interactions are not valuable to them.

Examples of interactions that can dilute your influence include:

- sending people info that is important to you, but not necessarily valuable to them. For example housing price reports or other routine real estate industry news.

- sending impersonal birthday cards.

- non-targeted cold-calling.

But through increased value-added interactions with a growing number of people, you can build an expanding sphere of influence that creates an ever-widening foundation for growing your business.


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