So, you want to know how to get real estate listings to grow your business? Listings are the linchpin of some of the most successful real estate agents and a great way to grow your real estate business.
Why are listings so valuable?
Listings are often regarded as the crème de la crème for real estate agents, and it’s easy to see why. First and foremost, you have the opportunity to represent the seller in both the sale of their old home and the purchase of a new home, potentially earning yourself two commissions. As the listing agent, there’s also the possibility you’ll meet new buyer clients who contact you directly about your listing. If these buyers don’t already have representation, you may be able to represent them in their search for a home. Finally, scoring a real estate listing increases the likelihood you actually get paid since buyer clients sometimes end up buying a home listed for sale by owner (FSBO) or choosing not to buy at all.
For real estate agents, the value of getting a listing is clear. While securing listings can be a challenge, here are 7 strategies you can use to get more listings.
1. Find your niche
Many successful real estate agents specialize in a particular market. For instance, you might choose to focus on representing sellers of luxury homes, downtown condos, or waterfront properties in a specific area. Distinguishing yourself from other real estate agents can be difficult, but you can set yourself apart if you establish a reputation as the resident expert in your specialty. Some agents even go so far as to specialize in just a few specific buildings. In addition to name recognition from choosing a niche, you’ll also be able to provide better service to your clients, who are more likely to call you when it’s time to sell.
Have you ever heard the saying, “your network is your net worth”? A robust referral network is a solid foundation to help you get more real estate listings. While your referral network often starts with family and friends, it should extend far beyond your inner circle. Networking with your local community and other professionals in the real estate industry (like out-of-state agents, financial advisors, and mortgage lenders) can help you get more listings. Attending or sponsoring local events or joining a professional group like the Rotary Club can also grow your network and open up opportunities to win more listings. Be proactive about telling others you’re a real estate agent, and if someone mentions selling a house, don’t be afraid to ask for the listing or an introduction to the homeowner.
3. Paid advertising
Paid advertising is another effective way to get real estate listings. From billboards and bus benches to pay-per-click, there are countless ways you can advertise to potential sellers.
If you don’t want to pay up front for your ad campaign, you can use a commission advance to cover your advertising costs and continue generating a steady flow of listing leads.
4. Direct mailers
Though snail mail might seem like a relic of ancient history, direct mail remains effective for getting more real estate listings. Using direct mail, you can target a specific neighborhood and send a customized message to hundreds of homeowners. Unlike an email inbox, which is inundated with upwards of 100 emails per day, the average American only receives an average of 2–3 pieces of physical mail per day.
Another benefit of direct mail is that you can outsource the entire process, from designing your mailer to delivering it. Direct mail is significantly more expensive than email, though response rates are around 4.4% compared with email response rates of just 0.12%. Like paid ad placements, you can fund your direct mail campaign with a commission advance.
5. Cold Calling
Cold calling isn’t efficient, but if you ask top real estate agents if they’ve done cold calling, chances are they’ve done it at some point in their career. Cold calling can be especially challenging nowadays because people don’t like answering phone calls from unfamiliar phone numbers. Cold calling can also be mind-numbing and tedious work, so you have to be patient enough to dig for the diamond in the rough. If you plan on cold calling, make sure you scrub your prospect list to exclude any phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry and any state do not call lists.
6. Calling expired listings, withdrawn listings, canceled listings, and FSBOs
The internet and multiple listing service (MLS) are ripe with FSBO homes and listings that are withdrawn, canceled, or expired. Though you’re likely to face competition from other real estate agents and encounter some disgruntled homeowners, you do have the comfort of knowing you’re dealing with a homeowner who has already expressed an interest in selling.
7. Door Knocking
Door knocking isn’t for the faint of heart, but it could help you get some new listings. Door knocking usually doesn’t cost you anything besides your time, and can be a great way to meet your neighbors and build relationships. Keep in mind that door knocking doesn’t always have to be salesy. For example, if you have a listing, you can knock on doors in the neighborhood and invite the owners to check out your open house. They might not be interested in buying, but it’s a quick and easy way to let them know you’re a real estate agent anyway.
Before you go door knocking, make sure you check the local laws regarding door-to-door solicitations. In some places, you might have to obtain a solicitation permit from the city or township.
Figuring out how to get more real estate listings is an iterative process that takes patience. Once you find your niche, you can employ a combination of different strategies to drum up listing leads, like networking with local and professional communities, paid advertising, cold calling, and door knocking. Landing a listing can take time, which means you may face hundreds of nos before your first yes. But remember, every no brings you one step closer to that yes, and to cracking the code on how to get more real estate listings.