How do you get listings to grow your real estate business? Real estate agents are some of the busiest people you’ll ever meet. But the results often don’t match their efforts. This gap between efforts and results leaves many agents feeling defeated, overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel.

  • Focus your time and efforts on action that drives leads, leverage your relationships to help prospects in other ways besides finding or selling a home, and be of service.

How do you get listings to grow your real estate business?

Real estate agents are some of the busiest people you’ll ever meet. But the results often don’t match their efforts. This gap between efforts and results leaves many agents feeling defeated, overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel.

Without an inventory of listing properties, you really don’t have a business.

But finding leads, connecting with prospects and building referrals is a full-time job. Many agents are stuck working their business part time. They fail to reach their goals, not for lack of effort or will, but because they lose steam and motivation.

5 key reasons agents fail to get more listings

  1. Limited time to prospect and network
  2. Not enough inventory
  3. Not enough affordable housing for first-time buyers
  4. Existing homeowners are reluctant to sell
  5. You lack the authority to compete with established agents and brokers

You can probably identify with at least one of these reasons. There’s no smoking gun to getting more listings.

Forget about the things you can’t control. You don’t have control over inventory. You don’t have control over seller behavior. But you can take control of how you spend your time.

7 practical ways agents can get more listings

Take back control of your real estate career, and follow these seven tips for getting more real estate listings in your target farm.

1. Focus the majority of your time each day on referrals

Spend the time you have focused on activities that generate referrals. Without referrals, you have no listings. In fact, generating referrals should be your top priority every day — especially if you’re working part time.

If you’re currently engaged in SEO, marketing and administrative tasks that don’t put you in front of people, you’re spending valuable time on activities that don’t directly build your referral base.

2. Carve out your niche

Do you want to specialize in condos, new constructions, single-detached homes or FSBOs? Pick a vertical, and own it. By focusing on a single property type, you’ll be able to penetrate the market and build your reputation faster.  

By carving your niche, your marketing collateral and branding will also be more cohesive and consistent, and you’ll deepen your knowledge and expertise.

As you learn and grow, you can then expand to other kinds of properties and win listings more easily.

3. Connect with the winners in your market

Why spend valuable time and money making mistakes when someone else has already figured out how to succeed?

Reach out to the key players in your niche, and don’t be shy about getting advice or partnering with established agents in your target market.

Learn from them, and build a reputation and added exposure for your own brand.

4. Don’t solicit business, be of service

Prospects don’t want to hear your sales pitch. They don’t want to know how great you are at selling homes. They want to know how you can help them find the home that’s right for them.

They want to be assured that you have the resources, knowledge and character to guide them through the pitfalls of securing a property.  

But there are other ways you can help prospective buyers and sellers.

By leveraging your relationships, you can help business owners and homeowners in your community find solutions that you don’t provide.

Connect homeowners with appraisers, plumbers, contractors, repairs — even child care! If you help existing homeowners, they’ll remember and turn to you when they need help finding a home.

5. Provide free online content that’s useful to prospects

First-time buyers typically need help learning the housing market and applying for a mortgage.

If you can provide helpful housing and local market information, tips and advice on securing a mortgage or renovating a property and guidance for people seeking to invest in real estate, you’ll establish yourself as a trustworthy expert.

Publish online content that prospective homebuyers entering the market will find useful.

Blog articles, tutorials, webinars, free e-books and home valuations are just some of the items of value you can provide for free. Share your content through your social media channels.

6. Cruise existing listings that are defunct

FSBOS, NODs, expired/cancelled listings and probate listings are ripe opportunities for listings with a high potential for conversion. These are clients who have already expressed a clear desire to sell, but for various reasons, can’t move their property.

Reach out by phone to these prospects, be sincere, and position yourself as a problem-solver. Find out what challenges they’ve been facing, and share with them your strategy for overcoming the specific obstacles they’re facing.

If a cancelled listing by a FSBO is struggling with staging issues, hook the owner up with one of your staging contacts and offer a reduced commission if the home doesn’t sell within a specific time frame.

This way, you show the homeowners that you are committed to their success, not just your commission.

7. Interview business owners in your target farm

Business owners in your target farm can be an ideal source of qualified leads and referrals.

If you can convince local businesses that you’re a valuable, trustworthy resource that helps them generate business, they’ll return the favor with leads and referrals from their own network of clients, customers, peers and employees.

You can interview local dentists, accountants, restaurant owners, artists, freelance consultants, travel agents, etc., and publish the articles or videos on your blog.

Share the article strategically across your social media channels to generate free online exposure for your prospects. Who’s going to turn down free exposure for their business?

Your interview prospecting will open doors that would otherwise have been closed. You’ll be offering businesses an item of value, rather than awkwardly asking a complete stranger to trust you with the biggest financial decision of their life.

Focus on productive tasks 

Most agents sell one home a year because their limited time is spent on actions that are secondary to the goal of getting more listings.

Take control of your time and focus on activities that directly impact your lead generation. Don’t spend time on administrative, tasks, emails and studying SEO when you don’t have any inventory!

Think of yourself as a problem-solver and a connector of people, and you’ll generate more word-of-mouth. Through meaningful exchanges that prospects find helpful to their business or personal life, you’ll break down barriers and make it easier for you to initiate conversations that lead to more listings.

Eventually, you’ll spend less time scouring Zillow for prospects and more time booking listing presentations with prospects you’ve helped to connect with others who’ve heard about you through a friend you helped or read one of your helpful articles.

Now get out there, and become the real estate agent you were meant to be!

Grant Findlay-Shirras is the CEO of and the Local Leader Real Estate Marketing System. Follow Grant on Instagram and Twitter@GrantFSofficial.

Email Grant Findlay-Shirras

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