You’re competing for two listings priced at $1.3 million and $1.6 million. Your competition is the other 1,200 agents in your company, and the client is your company’s founder. He plans to give the listings to the top two agents. What would you do to get the listings?

A number of years ago I was one of three listing agents on a Beverly Hills, Calif., subdivision called The Summit. My boss was building two new homes and was going to list them with the top two agents in the company.

I really believed that we could do a much better job of selling the properties because we were on-site. That wasn’t a good-enough reason. To compete against the top two performers in the company, I put together a detailed marketing plan. After seeing it, Mr. Douglas put me on the listings along with the other two top producers.

If I were competing against you today for these listings, here’s what I would tell my boss about how I would market his listings. How many of these 16 services do you offer when you list a property?

First, I would emphasize that this is my premium marketing plan that helps sellers obtain the maximum price through maximum exposure to the marketplace. I charge a full commission for these services.

Traditional marketing strategies:

1. Provide the four "P’s"
What all brokers do: Put a sign on the property, put it in the multiple listing service, put it in the newspaper, and post the listing online. (The fifth "P" — for those who do only these four things — is to "Pray that it sells!")

2. Brokers’ open house (always with food)

3. Traditional open house with invitations going to the neighbors to join us for "refreshments." On luxury properties, the open house might be coupled with a wine tasting from a local winery or store, a showing of a local artist’s work, or a charitable fundraiser for a major charity.

4. "Choose Your New Neighbors" postcard marketing campaign
Many agents send out "Just Listed" cards. Just Listed cards are great for the company brand, because most people don’t remember the agent. I prefer to send out "Just Sold" cards because that says I did my job. In this case, I would offer to do both.

In addition to the Just Listed cards, I would do a follow-up postcard campaign that asks, "Do you know someone who be a great new neighbor?" I would use a fun graphic and include an invitation for a "private preview" of the property. Neighbors can be an excellent source of potential buyers as well as a source for more listing leads.

5. 1-800 call capture
Many calls coming into most brokers’ offices are lost because the person answering the phone cannot obtain the caller’s number. In contrast, 1-800 call capture systems allow the agent to obtain accurate phone numbers for up to 95 percent of the people who call on their listings. Many of these services also provide text messaging and QR codes as well.

6. Professionally produced marketing photos and property video

7. Local marketing data "home book" for open houses and showings
This data is available from a number of companies. I would print out the home book and have it available for showings and open houses. When an open house visitor asks me for the report, I will have a copy available as an app or PDF that can be sent to their cell phone via email. This means I get valid contact information. I will follow up regularly with these leads.

Web marketing:

1. Listing syndication
The listing will appear on my personal website, my company’s website, my MLS site, plus a minimum of at least 60 major real estate portals that include the tracking of how many people view the listing everyday. I will update my seller on the tracking results at least once weekly.

2. Customized single-property website
This includes detailed information about the property and the lifestyle in the area. (This site would use the property address as the URL.) Niche marketing strategies attract clients interested in this specific lifestyle and location.

3. 24-7 3-D open house
A link to our "Redecorate this listing online" page on my website. Sellers not only have access to see the listing 24-7, they can also decorate it in the colors, the finishes, and the furniture that fits their taste.

4. Downloadable virtual tour of the property

5. International Web marketing
This includes translating my listings into several different languages through services such as or For $1 million-plus listings, they will appear internationally on sites like, which has more than 60,000 $1 million-plus listings worldwide. Immobel also offers a translation app for real estate listings displayed on Facebook: IDX-Buzz.

6. Automated showing feedback
After each showing, each buyer and his/her agent will receive a request to evaluate the property. Feedback is returned automatically to me. The seller is updated as soon as the buyers and/or their agent respond.

7. Property promoted as a "featured" listing on my site as well as others where this option is available.

Social media marketing:

1. Facebook marketing
Property will post to Facebook Marketplace and my subdivision-based Facebook business page. I will also check in regularly on Facebook Places and Foursquare whenever I do a showing, an open house, or meet with the sellers.

2. Video marketing
In addition to the professionally shot video, I will shoot at least two fun videos illustrating either fun features of the property and/or what’s fun about living in the area. These videos will be syndicated to at least six major video outlets such as YouTube, Vimeo or Revver.

Needless to say, if you did all 16 of these steps, you would probably convert almost every one of your listing appointments into signed business. You would also find it much easier to earn a full commission.

Finally, sellers who receive this level of service usually become raving fans. Be sure to obtain a video testimonial from them and to post it on your personal website, YouTube, and on LinkedIn. Video testimonials coupled with a great list of marketing services will ensure that you’ll be agent who gets the listing more than 90 percent of the time.

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