What’s the biggest challenge every agent faces in this market? Winning new listings, of course. As an Inman reader, you know that as well as anyone.
I travel a lot and am privileged to meet agents all over the country and, indeed, the world. I think you would be surprised by how similar real estate agents are, no matter where they live. The secrets to success that other agents have discovered might also help you.
Lately, I have been asking the agents I meet about their strategies for winning listings. Here, I’ve gathered some of their best ideas. I hope they help you become even more successful in 2020 and beyond.
Budgeting for both digital and print
Pam Diemer in Richmond, Virginia, is a luxury real estate specialist and certified financial planner with Long and Foster Real Estate. She relies on showing off examples of her savvy marketing to get sellers to sign on with her. One of her new clients is a recently widowed woman who is selling a large luxury home.
“Sellers choose me because I use beautiful video, images, and print materials to tell the story of their homes,” she told me. She also explains how she runs social media and digital ad campaigns to attract more potential buyers.
Diemer estimates that she spends about 60 percent of her marketing budget on digital and 40 percent on print. She says relationships are also crucial. As a member of the Long & Foster Gold Team, Christie’s International Real Estate Masters Circle, and her local financial planning association chapter, she has valuable relationships in spades.
Relationships matter most
Another top agent who believes in relationships above all else is Lisa Sun, one of the top luxury real estate agents in Vancouver. Sun’s company is an independently owned and operated broker member of Royal Pacific Realty. Relationships only thrive when you value them more than the transaction itself, Sun says.
“As Realtors, we help families make one of the most important decisions of their lives,” she says. “Trust is essential. Not just trust in your professional skills, but also trust in you as a person.
“I don’t ‘sell’ to a client. I provide advice and educate my clients and put their needs ahead of my own.” This attitude has helped Sun win listings like the $10.8 million family residence she is selling in West Vancouver.
Always be prepared for the unexpected transaction
Useful advice on winning listings can come from as far away as beautiful Sydney, Australia.
Mark Meyer, managing director & principal at LJ Hooker Double Bay, is a senior agent in Sydney. He believes it is vital to set the right goals for yourself.
“Always walk into an appraisal intending to walk out with the business. Don’t get me wrong. It is important to build rapport, but you are there to do business.”
Meyer says he always has his paperwork ready to sign because you never know when an opportunity will present itself.
“Recently,” he said, “I got a call from a neighbor next to a house I sold four years ago. The owner had just finished renovating and wanted me to check it out. He gave me no prior indication that he wanted to sell. But, by the end of the visit, he had signed an authority to sell at full-fee. So always be prepared!”
Create multiple networks of networks
Back in the United States in Seattle, Michele Schuler with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty approaches real estate with the same analytical, data-driven approach that she formerly employed as a finance professional at Microsoft.
“Listings beget listings,” she says. “They operate as your business card.”
But what if you’ve sold all your current listings?
“If you don’t have any active listings,” says Schuler, “promote your sold listings or pending listings, or even promote other people’s listings by doing open houses!”
Schuler has five tips for winning more listings:
1. Invite the neighbors to your open house, because they may be thinking about selling in the future.
2. Request recommendations and testimonials from your clients, and market them as widely as you can.
3. Be in touch as often as possible with everyone you know, focusing on the people who are most likely to refer you. Who’s having a baby, who just got a job promotion, or who’s retiring? All of those are opportunities to reach out in a very genuine way to connect, and also may organically signal a real estate need.
4. Create a referral network with people in markets that feed buyers to your neighborhood.
5. Similarly, create networks with agents in markets that your community feeds. Those relationships are priceless.
If you follow the advice of these four agents, 2020 may turn out more prosperous and rewarding for you. I wish you a very happy new year.
Georg Chmiel is Executive Chairman of Juwai.com and Chairman of ASX-listed iCar Asia