A group of prominent real estate voices laid out several actionable steps for building through a slow market at Inman Connect.

The verdict is in — the old way of doing business is over. Join us at Inman Connect New York Jan. 23-25, when together we’ll conquer today’s market challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Defy the market and bet big on your future.

In a market starved of inventory, it’s even more crucial to build a real estate business around the gift that keeps on giving — the real estate listing.

That’s the opinion of real estate coach and consultant Sherri Johnson and Keller Williams brokerage owner Tommy Choi. The two prominent figures joined moderator and real estate team leader Kendall Bonner for a discussion on how to tailor a business plan for today’s depressed home market at Inman Connect Virtual.

Finding any client is crucial for a real estate agent, but the best return on an agent’s time comes from pursuing listing clients, Johnson said.

“You can leverage one listing into three to five to even seven sales, if you do it right,” Johnson said. “In this transaction-based environment that we’ve become, let’s remember that one sale, that one listing you had, can bring three-plus transactions or referrals from it. And you just have a strategy to do that.”

One way this can happen is by taking advantage of the connections an agent can form with guests at a listing’s open house, Johnson said. But it also involves cultivating future transactions from following up actively with former listing clients and potential clients alike, she said.

And when that old-school, listing-centric, networking approach is combined with a focused online marketing push, it can extend an agent’s reach substantially, Choi said.

Choi’s firm has seen success by using paid advertising to promote a monthly online webinar that offers to educate participants on the latest market data. These sessions tend to pull results in something like 500 registrations. Of that number, 300 people might attend, and 30 might result in a face-to-face consultation, he said.

That kind of response costs about $1,000 a day in ad spending leading up to each monthly webinar, he said. But it pulls in much more in commissions over the long run.

Choi said his firm focuses on following up with former clients — not to make a hard sale, but to offer expertise and maintain a connection.

“The long game is, eventually, when they do get ready to sell, it’s having the mind share so that we’re their first phone call,” Choi said.

While there are many paths to converting listings into future sales, Johnson argues, focusing your energy on finding new listing client appointments will pay off most in the long run — while eventually making the short run easier to navigate as well.

“If you have a long-game approach, you will always have a short game,” Johnson said. “You will always have predictable, consistent income.”

Email Daniel Houston

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