A sphere of influence is the network of people that a real estate agent has influence on in some way. Typically, it is used to describe people that a real estate agent can position themselves as an expert to.
SOI is the commonly used acronym for sphere of influence.
Many real estate sales come through referrals and existing contacts. The sphere of influence is a way for agents to focus on growing this effective business segment. Cultivating a sphere of influence is slow but typically cheap or free. Buying leads is expensive but fast. As a result, most successful agents have built a strong and extensive sphere of influence.
Most surveys estimate that 60-75% of real estate sales are referrals or repeat clients.
Agents use a combination of customer relationship management, email marketing, and social media software to manage their sphere of influence. These allow agents to follow up with and inform their SOI.