The ability to generate listings is the most valuable skill an agent can develop. But where are the opportunities, and how can we add value to homeowners in a way that positions us to garner more listings right now?
The following strategies will provide you opportunities to generate more listings in any low-inventory environment.
1. Expired listings that are 3-12 months old
Homeowners are flooded with calls the day their home shows as expired on the MLS. Agents swarm to the opportunity to relist the recently expired listing.
Over the next few weeks, if the sellers do not relist their home, agents move on to the next batch of freshly expired listings. In the 3-12 months after the listing expires, the opportunity zone of less competition and a high probability of a willing seller collide.
Maybe they didn’t have the right agent, or they weren’t selling at the right time, but in most cases, they are still interested in selling. Now, we have a window to provide value to these owners by updating them about the market or sharing an updated evaluation and finding out their plans for the property.
2. In-search-of posts on social media
We all eventually work with buyers who struggle to find the right home. We can let our buyers see the extra effort we’re making by posting on social media in hopes that others can help us find the perfect property.
Try something like this:
I’m working with a family looking for a three-bedroom, two-bath property in [your city], and I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know about anyone who is considering selling in the coming months. Thanks in advance for helping me find the perfect home for this great family.
Share this type of post with your network and watch how this strategy attracts listing opportunities.
Farming is the most fundamental way to generate listings. Identifying a neighborhood or area where you will be known as the expert is critical to an agent’s success. A systematic approach of calls, direct mail and emailing when possible to your targeted farm will create listing opportunities.
This one may feel more difficult given our current health guidelines, but that should be changing soon. If it’s possible in your area, door-knocking is extremely effective. Most homeowners are glad to know about upcoming open houses, new listings or listings that receive multiple offers.
The script would be something like this:
Hi, I’m Sally Agent with ABC Realty, and we are letting the neighbors know that the house around the corner came on the market a week ago, and it had nine offers within 24 hours.
Here is a sheet with details of that home. We are letting the neighbors know because we have eight potential buyers who missed out on that house who might now be willing to pay a premium for a house in this neighborhood. Have you heard of any of your neighbors who might consider selling?
We don’t ask them if they are considering selling their home because if they are, they will let you know. If their home does not come up, we can end the conversation with the following: “I would be the worst Realtor in the world if I didn’t at least ask you if there is a price where you might consider selling your home.”
This is absolutely one of the most effective ways to connect with people, and if we can get face-to-face with them, it’s a great chance to find out whether they have ever considered selling.
5. Circle prospecting
This method gives us significant reach outside our own sphere of influence by connecting us to the people who live around a house that has recently seen activity, like hosting an open house or going under contract. My process is to contact the 10 people who live across from the house and then five on either side of it.
We can say something like:
This is Sally Agent with ABC Realty, and I wanted to let you know that we just listed the house down the street from you, and it will be going on the market next week. We wanted to make sure you knew so you have the opportunity to choose your next neighbor if you know of someone who is looking to move into your neighborhood.
We can even close out the conversation with the people in those circles by mentioning that we will likely see a lot of activity at the property and asking whether there is a price at which they would consider selling their own house. This gives us the opportunity to uncover additional listing opportunities as well.
6. Open houses
It’s no secret that in the current market, open houses do a great job of helping us sell homes, but they also help neighbors figure out what their own houses are worth. Many times, the people around the property will stop in to find out the list price of the home and to see how their own home compares.
I always station someone at the door during an open house, (often it’s me), who signs people in and who can ask whether the visitors already own a home in the neighborhood. Then, I send a handwritten note to everyone who stopped in, and I offer a no-obligation update on their home’s value.
I remind them that the sale of this house will impact the home values in the neighborhood, and I offer to help them determine their home’s value.
7. Unsolicited video CMAs
Adding value to owners without them asking is always a good idea. The unsolicited video CMA is simply recording a video of your screen using a tool, such as Bombbomb or Zoom, as you go through the active, pending and sold comparable homes and then end with a current value range for the owner’s home.
Provide a range of value, and simply say:
This is a range due to me not seeing the inside of your home for a while. If you are curious about what it would sell for in today’s market, let me know, and I can give you that number after a quick 5-minute walk-through of your home.
Recording the screen demonstrates that your data is only 10 minutes old, and you can send this unsolicited valuation analysis to people that you know. This could be past buyers, people who visited an open house, or owners in the neighborhood that you farm.
In the fourth quarter of 2018 (my last quarter in sales before shifting to my current position), I sent out one of these each day I worked those three months. The 72 unsolicited video CMAs I sent out generated $11 million worth of listings, and I closed over $9 million directly from these emails over the next six months.
8. Expired listings and for-sale-by-owner listings
This is purely a reminder because we all know this to be true, but we shouldn’t overlook these opportunities. There’s a lot of competition for these listings because these folks have already indicated that they want to sell, but they haven’t found the right agent.
Develop a plan of action to go after these. There’s plenty of information on the internet to help you build a strategy if you don’t already have one in place.
9. Orphaned neighborhoods
Neighborhoods that feature 3- to 5-year-old, track-built homes by national builders are ripe for sales. These are neighborhoods where national builders have their own sales teams that sell the new homes as they are built and move on to the next neighborhood once they sell the last home.
As a result, these homeowners are often left without an expert agent for the neighborhood, so we have a great opportunity to follow up with them in anticipation of a sale.
Establish yourself as the expert in these neighborhoods, which typically rotate after about three to five years. Even if nothing has sold recently, once one house sells, others will, too.
10. Past buyers
We should never overlook the people we have sold to in the past because they already know, like and trust us. It’s an easy check-in call to find out whether they still love the home. This gives us the opportunity to find out if they are considering selling now or in the future.
If we stay in contact with our past buyers and continue to add value after the sale, they are going to do business with you when the time comes. This is a chance to check in and find out where they are in their journey.
11. Online seller leads
There are a number of ways to generate seller leads online. You can buy leads through a service like BoldLeads, or you can use Facebook ads to generate seller leads. Although these are low-conversion (usually about 2 percent) and they take a while to generate, we can always buy leads and filter through them to find the ones that offer the best match.
Your ability to generate listings will be the key factor in this being your best year in this business. Take action on one or more of these 11 strategies. and you will see your opportunities to take more listings expand.