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Nurture Your Sphere to Build a Business that Lasts

Economist of Choice from KWRI


In a business where there are numerous proven ways to approach lead generation, Phil Byers, a Keller Williams agent in Chicago and productivity coach focuses on building authentic relationships with his sphere or “met database” and uses 33 Touch campaigns devoutly.



“My team works to be human when communicating with clients,” he says. Using this genuine approach in each of his 33 Touches (emails, direct-mail pieces, phone calls, events), he ensures that he is always connected to his database in a meaningful way.

As a result, leads coming from referrals have poured into his business. His team went into the fourth quarter with nearly $15 million in business and is primed to finish strong.  


What it means to “be human” -

At the crux of Byers’ strategy is a focus on forming “human connections” and truly relating to his clients. To do this, he calls everyone on his database quarterly, centering each conversation on them, not himself. When Byers calls his sphere, he starts off with a simple question: “How are you?” From there, he’s found that the person on the other line naturally shares what is going on in their life, providing him context to get to the heart of how he can support them.  “We want to be THE real estate resource – the experts. The conversations are less about getting listings up front and more about building relationships that will result in listings later, either from themselves or people they know.” There’s always something to talk about, Byers emphasizes. “Sometimes people are curious about how much their neighbor’s house is listed for. Others, including those that chose not to list with me, like having a second opinion.”


Byers says that the biggest mistake agents make is they call people and ask for something first.


“To build a relationship, you should call them and check in and see if you can be of value to them,” he urges. “Make the call about their agenda, not your agenda, and a relationship will grow.”


When a conversation comes to a close, Byers asks for referrals, but does it thoughtfully. He says something like, It was great talking to you today! If you know anyone else who needs my help, please let me know. “This reminds them to keep you in mind rather than pressuring them to come up with a list of leads right there,” he says.


"Make the call about their agenda, not your agenda, and a relationship will grow."

For agents who are still focused on what they need rather than focusing communications on what the other person needs, Byers reminds them, “If I meet enough people and have enough valuable relationships, I will get what I need for business.”

It comes in time, builds trust, and – while not at that exact moment – it does result in business.


Here’s where the 33 Touch thrives -

Consistency through the 33 Touch is key to Byers’ lead generation strategy. He loves how it operates with a mathematical approach. “It tells you right there: you do this many activities with this number of people, and you will get this number of business.”


In one year, his database can expect 12 postcards (one per month), 12 emails about the state of the market (one per month including the This Month in Real Estate video), five “sticky” items (such as sending magnets, summer calendars, holiday cars), four phone calls (one per quarter).

All the communications add up to keep you top of mind, Byers notes. “Even if they delete your email, toss the card, or never listen to your voicemail, they saw your name,” Byers encourages. “It’s about brand recognition. They will remember you even if they aren’t engaging right at that moment.”


Keep track of it all - All the while, Byers makes sure that he is evaluating his activities through the Career Growth Initiative.


“The CGI tools give me a fresh perspective on what I know, what I am still learning, and it makes it all so simple to grasp,” he says. He uses the CGI Calculator to track where he is at with his goals. “The CGI is making me look at my business and see what I actually want and what I need to go get it.”


“Let’s clear our minds and focus on what the most important things are,” Byers says. “That’s why I love The ONE Thing – It gives us permission to focus on what really matters to us.”


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