How do I get listings?
The push in this office is to increase our listing inventory.
Each of you understands or should start to see that having a large number of listings will result in sales. Multiple offers and listings that sell within days of hitting the market are clear indications that the market is changing right in front of us. This is a good thing. The other good thing about today’s market is we are not asking; “How do I get bank owned listings?” Our market consists of more traditional and short sale contingent listings than bank owned. This is another win for us! We are an office that historically excels in controlling the normal listing market.
Now is our time!
The way to get listings is the same now as it was 100 years ago. The simple answer is you get listings by meeting people in our area that want or need to sell their home. The part that freezes agents in their tracks is the how do you meet people in the area that want or need to sell their home? The answer may not be the same for each of you. As business owners we need to decide what it is that we are comfortable doing, what it is that we will consistently do, and what it is that helps us reach our goal of obtaining more listings. The answer will differ greatly from a seasoned agent who has invested time and money developing a farm area to a brand new agent who seemingly knows no one that wants to sell.
Here are some of the best tried and true ways to meet people who may want or need to sell their home.
Start with the people you do know.
I have been in the business long enough to know that the people that are most likely to help us willingly are some of the same people we reach out to the least. There is no better source for being introduced or learning about someone who might need or want to list their home than your family, friends, and/or past customers. We sometimes refer to this group as our sphere of influence. I want to commend those agents who already have systems in place to reach out to this group on a regular basis. While emailing is a great tool, it should not be a replacement from a good old fashioned phone call or visit with these folks that potentially are our number one source of business.
Even if you have not made contact with them in awhile, now is the time of year where that makes it easier to reestablish old or forgotten relationships. Happy Thanksgiving! How are the kids? Wasn’t that an interesting debate last week? There is a number of approaching holidays or current events that are great conversation material when reaching out to your sphere of influence. Carrying on a conversation with them and reminding them during the call that you are a successful agent in the area who is always looking for new business, is the easy part. Asking them if they know of anyone thinking of selling their home is also easy. The hard part is, after reading this email, you stop everything else you are doing and you make the call or stop over for a visit. What have you decided you will do?
Say, “Hello!” to your neighbors.
Would it surprise you to know that I have heard from a number of agents in the many offices I have worked in that they do not want their neighbors to know they sell real estate? Each time I hear this I am at a loss to understand why. I can’t think of any other profession where the professional would shy away from or wouldn’t be proud of what they do, but be afraid that their neighbors might find out. As REALTORS we should be proud of what we do and the services we provide for individuals, families, this country, and yes, even our neighbors. It is through our work that this country’s economy will improve. It is through our efforts that people who are upside down on their home loans or have lost their jobs can find relief from the stress they face. It is because of our chosen careers, newlyweds and those just starting off can realize the same dreams their parents had of home ownership.
Being comfortable with what we do, let’s go tell the neighbors. We have a great example of agents in our office who have told their neighbors. They farm their neighborhood consistently. They are active in their neighborhood. They are known as two trustworthy, professional and successful agents in their neighborhood. What and how they did it I am sure involves a lot of time, money and effort. But I am confident the one thing they did not do is maintain a secret agent identity.
So your first step is to introduce yourself to your neighbors. You hear a lot of talk about knocking on doors. If you do believe that door knocking works, what better area to start than your neighborhood! How about a neighborhood newsletter? Are there neighbors that have garage sales? Do you make it a point to visit them? Are you neighborly? Do you say hello and wave? Do you have a Watson sign on your car so that the neighbors will recognize you as an agent? I bet your neighbors would appreciate a mailing offering a free comparable market analysis that will let them know what their home and the community price points are.
Will you take advantage of this tried and true way of meeting people who may want or need to sell their home? When you drive through your community tonight, will you be thinking of ways to meet your neighbors?
Expired listings, Pre-foreclosures, FSBOs, Open Houses, Just Sold/Listed cards.
And then there are the old stand-bys. Every Realtor from the beginning of time has been instructed to contact expired listings, to call for sale by owners, to hold open houses and to make sure they announce their successful sale or listing by sending out just listed/just sold cards. Today’s market offers one more system you should consider and that is in prospecting for homes in pre-foreclosure.
Expired listings and for sale by owners have one thing in common that make this a no brainer for agents looking for new listings. They want to sell their home! I mean, how convenient for us! So how do you find these people? What do you say to them? How can you increase your chances of getting them to list with you and not the other thousand of REALTORS chasing after them? I am glad you asked. We have a number of scripts and training modules available that you and I can go over together. By practicing, role playing and understanding what other agents do that work; you will increase your success too. So, what are you waiting for? Drop by my office, email me or call to set up a closed door personalized training session.
Open houses don’t work. Ask any agent that does not hold them consistently. Open houses don’t work. Ask any agent that doesn’t knock on the neighbors of the open house doors introducing themselves and inviting them to attend. Open houses don’t work. Ask any agent that does not meet with me to discuss scripts, tips and role play the different scenarios for holding a successful open house. Do open houses work? Of course they do…if you work them. Open houses are not just about finding buyers. They are about finding buyers who have houses to sell. They are about having an easy way to meet the neighbors in case they decide they want to sell their house. Open houses are an easy way to…meet people.
Wow, this was a long post! I am sure when you opened it your eyes glazed over and you had to force yourself to scan or read it. I want to thank you for taking the time to read the entire post and I also want to thank you in advance for pondering the information and taking a suggestion or two and trying it out. For those agents expecting to find a “get listings quick and easy” new invention from reading this, well, I apologize. The fact is the most successful listing agents in this business work, and they work at those things that have always worked.
I want you to be successful. I hope you reach out to me to discuss your plan for getting more listings. We will discuss some of the suggestions in this post.