All week, Inman is taking a Deep Dive into Coldwell Banker. We’re talking to key executives, unpacking the company’s strategic moves and reporting on the Gen Blue Experience event — taking place virtually and in New York this week. Stay tuned in the coming days for more on Coldwell Banker, and for future Inman Deep Dives into top brokerages.
Becky Eakle believes that 60 percent of a real estate agent’s work should be with sellers. And if an agent has been in the business for more than two years, that percentage should tick up to 70. The trick, though, is how to make that happen.
Eakle is a Coldwell Banker agent in South Carolina, as well as a coach who works with other agents across the Southeast. Tuesday morning, Eakle also appeared during Coldwell Banker’s Gen Blue Experience event to talk about how agents can better win listings in a hot-but-competitive market.
Eakle’s argument during her presentation was that agents who have a good mix of their own listings can better “control your time and energy” than those who focus entirely on buyers. And in a market where bidding wars are common, the listing agent is always going to walk away with a completed deal.
“The agent who always wins is the listing agent,” she added.
Here are Eakle’s tips for finding listings:
Types of potential homesellers
In order to build up a business that includes listings, Eakle offered six categories of potential homesellers that agents can reach out to.
First, she advised contacting homeowners who have a lot of equity and might be open to cashing out of their property. Such homeowners will likely respond positively to information on how much the market has appreciated, or to suggestions for what their equity might accomplish.
Second, Eakle said that homeowners might be interested in listing when they have new space needs, for example if a family has a new baby. The third category was essentially the inverse of the second: People may be open to selling their home when they’re looking to downsize, for example, when their children leave the nest.
Eakle’s fourth category of potential homesellers included opportunists, or in other words people looking for homes in their neighborhood or for deals. And finally she said that, fifth, some people might be open to selling when they meet financial hardship or, sixth, when they’re looking for their forever home.
Where to find homesellers
During her presentation Eakle launched a poll for the dozens of agents tuning in to the session virtually. The poll asked attendees how they find listings, and 91 percent said they go through their sphere. Eakle said that was fantastic.
The second most popular response in the poll was finding listings via social media, at 32 percent, followed by farming at 30 percent. Other responses included homes that are for sale by owner (FSBOs) at 9 percent and expired listings at 8 percent.
Eakle said all of those methods are good ways to find listings. And she had pointers for how to do each of them effectively. When using social media, for example, she suggested doing a live video on Facebook or Instagram. She also advised agents to include a call to action in social media posts.
On the other hand when farming, Eakle offered a script that included telling potential homesellers about their local market right off the bat.
Ultimately, Eakle’s thesis was that knowledge is key. She advised agents who want to do more listings to understand their market, and to be able to talk to their clients about topics such as inventory, interest rates and equity. The idea is that many people might be willing to jump into the market, but may not have the deep understanding of what’s going on that an agent brings to the table.
“A lot of times the market is moving really quickly so the sellers may not realize what’s going on,” she said. “So you’re going in and having a conversation with them.”