The 5-5-5 Method: The Key to Engaging With Your Sphere of Influence

April 3, 2020

If you’re an agent who’s built their business on client events or face-to-face contact, you might be trying to make sense of the new business landscape. The current market situation may have altered your work environment, but one thing is certain: Now is the time to re-engage your sphere of influence.

“Relationships are based on shared experiences, and strong connections can be built in times of uncertainty,” shares Nick Waldner, top agent and CEO of the Waldner Winters Team. 

Waldner’s own business is almost 80% based on referrals from past and current clients, neighbors, and family members. While challenging, he sees the current situation as an opportunity to double down and show his sphere of influence he cares, while connecting with them in a way that meets their needs and generates referrals. Waldner shares his strategy below, encouraging agents to move away from a world of noise to focus on what they can control: who they follow up with, how frequently, and with what level of intensity. 

“Previous ways of managing your database may no longer work, but you’re not alone,” he reminds. “We’re all in this together.” 

The Goal: Emotional Proximity

Picking up the phone in a fraught time can feel scary; however, “strong relationships that lead to referrals begin with conversations,” says Waldner. “When you reach out to your sphere to engage in a conversation, you’re creating emotional proximity – or emotional nearness. This allows you to remain top of mind when your clients are having a real estate conversation with someone in their circles – which they inevitably will.”  

To accomplish this, he suggests the 5-5-5 method. Using this system, you should be touching 15 different people per month, in groups of five.

Month 1: A Call – The model begins with a call to your clients once per quarter. “The idea is to simply check in. “You can start by talking about what you’ve seen in the news and ask them how they are doing. Or, you acknowledge a significant event like a home-a-versary and say, “Congratulations… Can you believe you’ve been in your home for three years? How are you doing?” Whichever you choose, the most important part is getting started. 

Lost for words? Check out these scripts from KWU for creating a caring check-in call.

Month 2: A Social Media Exchange – The next month, connect on social media and interact with the same client. Remember, in the digital world, “likes” 👍 are like high-fives, while comments are similar to virtual hugs. “Always give a compliment and ask a question,” suggests Waldner. Did your client just post an image of themself building a blanket fort with their children? Pop in to ask a question, then say “Hey, that’s adorable. Glad to see you and your little one are having so much fun.” The goal is to pursue an exchange.

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Month 3: A Handwritten Note or Text – Your note can be as simple as, “Hey, I hope you and your family are doing well. I was just in your neighborhood with new buyers and thought about you all. Hope everything is great!” 

As you send this last bit of communication, you want to establish a number of things:

  • You’re still in the real estate business
  • You care for your client’s family
  • You are local to their market
  • You have buyers, and are able to help anyone your client might know who is looking to buy or sell

Again, every month you should be connecting with 15 different clients, in groups of five. Those receiving phone calls in month one will be getting social media interactions in month two and a note in month three, while those getting social interactions in month two have already received a call in month one and will be receiving a note in month three.

Leverage Command

If you are a Keller Williams agent, you have the option of leveraging Command’s quarterly contact SmartPlan. Once assigned to the SmartPlan, you will be notified on a quarterly basis to call your client and begin the cycle again.  

“Command is an amazing tool that has allowed me to follow up with my clients consistently without the additional cost of expensive technology,” shares Waldner. “It takes care of functionary tasks so I can be there for my clients when they need me the most.”

Ready to connect with your sphere? Get started with the following actions.

Taking the time to connect with your clients now and showing empathy during this massive shared experience will pay off in the near future.

“Understand that what you do today will provide for you and those who rely on you in the following 30, 60, 90 days,” says Waldner.

Pivot: Shift Ahead 

To access livestreams, on-demand video, and other helpful resources that will help you navigate the changing business landscape, visit (and bookmark) the Pivot: Shift Ahead homepage.

Let’s Pivot

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