The average Realtor sells 12 homes a year. That might not sound like a lot. But the “average” real estate agent really isn’t average at all. Some agents are part-time. Other agents focus on rentals. Real estate listings aren’t like eBay listings. Some listings are destined to become expired listings — they’re just priced too high. A real estate professional has to fight for each listing they have.
And that leads many to wonder how to get listings in the first place. How do you start building your book?
The more listings you have, the more successful you’ll be as a listing agent — period. Since other people are hard at work to buy houses, it’s not always your role to find a potential buyer. Instead, it’s your role to negotiate well for your seller.
But you can’t just wait around until someone you know needs an agent. And the process of cold calling is exhausting. So, let’s take a look at some creative ways to get more listings.
1. Promote your existing listings through social media
Some of those in the real estate business have taken this to a creative extreme.
Take a look at some “This Old House” Facebook groups. Not only do real estate professionals post their own listings, but they also post other listings they find interesting, too.
Some of these Facebook groups have literally millions of followers.
And when someone is thinking about selling their old house — well, who else would they go to?
Create a social media account and begin by posting each new listing you have. Add listings you find interesting. Continue to build your followers, and you’ll have significantly greater exposure.
Just remember to target your real estate market. Ten thousand followers in your state is better than 10,000,000 followers in another country.
Not only does this help you get potential listings, but it helps you find a prospective buyer for the market homes you already have. And that’s entirely outside of the multiple listing service.
Today, a lot of agents aren’t even bothering with the MLS. It’s easier than ever to sell a pocket listing because most people are searching online for potential homes.
2. Start a podcast or write an eBook
This probably sounds like a lot of work. But a new real estate agent has to do a lot of work. Why not make it interesting?
Everyone wants a Realtor who is knowledgeable about the housing market. Consider starting a real estate podcast about the local market. Add something of value, such as highlighting off-market homes.
Write eBooks about specific topics, such as how to purchase an off-market listing or sell a house on your own. You might be surprised. A lot of people might try to sell their house on their own but realize that they’d rather not do their own work.
Your real estate website should feature valuable content. Together with your real estate team, you can show that you’re experts within your field — and that you’re the one to contact if you’re a homeowner looking to sell.
3. Connect with FSBO homes and expired listings
When you connect with FSBO homes, you’re dealing with a potential client that you already know wants to sell.
It’s likely they’ve been trying to sell their house themselves because they don’t want the hassle or expense of a real estate broker.
But if they’ve been unsuccessful selling their home, they may be more open to working with someone in the real estate industry. Make sure that you can highlight something you provide, such as marketing or a more aggressive asking price.
For expired listings, you already know that someone tried to sell and failed. You can work with the homeowner to figure out why the listing didn’t sell — and advise the property owner on a better listing presentation.
4. Take a look at Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist
Where do people list their homes when they want to sell, but don’t really know how? They certainly can’t make their own MLS listing.
Many people are going to try to sell their homes on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, just because it’s easy. Often they’re just in the early stages of selling; they may just be testing the market.
This is a great place for seller leads. You can connect with each potential seller and ask them if they want help.
Many are skeptical about the services that someone in the real estate industry can provide. Create a pitch deck of some of your best marketing. Show them what you can do, including listing services, staging services, promoted listings, and more.
While you might not be able to hook them immediately, many of them might come back later when they aren’t able to sell their property. If they do think about a real estate agent, you’ll be at the top of their list.
Don’t make it sound like they can’t sell their own home. They probably can, if they try hard enough. Instead, let the FSBO seller know that you can save them time and effort, in addition to getting them more money. It isn’t a criticism of their skills. It’s a highlight of your success.
5. Work with a builder for leads
Builders often hire real estate professionals to sell their own listings.
Take a look at the builders who are starting construction now. Ask them if they have anyone to manage their listing. You’ll need to be able to show that you can market property well and that you’re experienced in the market in their area.
Being a builder’s agent is a coveted position. It’s easier to find a buyer because many people are specifically looking for new developments. It’s easier to find listings because they’re just handed to you.
But it’s also a different market. You can expect to make less per sale because the builders negotiate their own rates, but you can also expect to have sales more frequently, too.
Usually, a real estate agent has to be in the market for a while before they can contract with a builder. But some brokers may also have a builder client interested in new representation. It never hurts to ask.
6. Court banks regarding REO listings
REO listings are bank-owned listings, generally foreclosures, that the bank then needs to sell.
Of course, a bank isn’t going to make its own real estate website and landing page. A bank doesn’t want to have to meet with a home buyer at the property or negotiate on the home’s behalf.
A bank can be an excellent client. They are some of the best seller leads as they are often interested in selling quickly and often disinterested in negotiating.
And they can cut a soon-to-be homeowner a fairly good deal, which means it’s easier to find a buyer for the homes.
As with working with a builder, you usually need to already be established in the industry to be able to sell REO listings. REO listings are going to go to those who have established that they can secure buyer and seller leads.
Either way, having REO properties is excellent and consistent work for a Realtor.
7. Go to community events with cards in hand
You should always be networking and always meeting new people.
While it’s great to be clever, one of the best ways you can connect with people is simply by handing out business cards.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative about it.
When you go to large social events or community events, have your card in hand — and customize it to be a little more personal.
Some Realtors have cards that look like houses. Others have cards that look like keys. A past client may excitedly show these cards off — anything unique and interesting is something that will be noticed.
8. Send things out that aren’t just mailers
A mailer is just going to get thrown away.
If you’re serious about getting new listings, you should think about sending something out that’s a little more creative.
When you purchase things in bulk, you might be surprised at how cheap they actually are.
Calendars at the beginning of the year will be used throughout the year. And every time someone looks at it, they’ll be reminded of you. If they’re about to put up an FSBO listing on Craigslist, they may be inclined to call.
You don’t even need to purchase an entire wall calendar; you can just get a magnetic calendar that fits on someone’s refrigerator.
Another common item is a pen. You hand out pens, and people will take them. They will see them later on, potentially when they’re thinking about selling or buying a house.
Every item you give out should have your contact information and branding on it: your logo, company name, phone number, email address, website, and (if there’s space) your social media accounts.
Together, this will create a powerhouse marketing effect. People will see your name everywhere. And if they later see your name on the web, the marketing impact will be even stronger. They will already have brand recognition and consequently will trust you.
9. Check out the “Make Me Moves” on Zillow
Zillow has a really interesting new feature called “Make Me Move.” It could be great if you are looking for new listings. It can also be great if you’re a buyer’s agent for a picky buyer.
Make Me Move is an assortment of homeowners who aren’t currently selling their house but who would sell their house if given the right price.
So, a buyer might see the perfect home and potentially be willing to pay the asked price for it. Or, you might find a home that you’d like to represent. If you see a home listed and know that you could get that price for it, then it’s an excellent opportunity.
Zillow and Realtor.com can both provide a great number of leads, so you shouldn’t sleep on these sites. While they’re very highly trafficked right now (and, more often than not, interfere with the business of real estate), they can also be exceptionally powerful tools.
10. Join some local Realtor groups
Don’t just concentrate on interfacing with potential clients.
When you’re building your listings, you need to keep in mind the simple fact that many of them will come from referrals.
By meeting with other Realtors, you can help them, and they can help you. Realtors form niches over time; they may not want to take some listings. Or they may just have too many listings for them to reasonably give attention to.
At that point, the overflow is going to go to someone trustworthy and available. And the hope is that person will be you.
Look in your local area for conferences, workshops, seminars, and other places to meet other Realtors.
There are a lot of Realtors out there who are thinking the same thing you are: How can they find more listings?
You can consider creating an informal real estate team that works together to help each other find the best real estate leads.
The more you work with other people, the more you’ll be able to discover opportunities. After all, most transactions involve two parties. A buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent need to be able to interface to successfully complete a real estate transaction.
11. Hire a listing referral service
There are entire marketing companies that are dedicated to sending referrals to listing agents today.
Most of these companies offer exclusivity in a specific zip code. So, you will sign up, pay a fee, and get all the listings for that area.
And, usually, the fees are pretty low. You aren’t guaranteed to get the listing. You’re just sent the lead.
If you have a great pitch deck, a great landing page, and a great hook, then you can yield some pretty significant leads from services like this. You already know that they want to sell. You just have to convince them that you’re the one they want to sell with.
Start building your listings today
Many new Realtors want to know how to get listings — and the answer is, ultimately, “just work at it.”
Whatever efforts you expend will ultimately be returned to you. It’s just a matter of making those efforts.
And you don’t always have to be creative. Sometimes, you just need to be present.
FAQs on How to Get Listings
What’s the easiest way to find new real estate listings?
Sometimes it’s the old, traditional standards that are still fastest. Talking to friends and family, posting on Facebook, and otherwise connecting to people you know is the fastest way to find new real estate listings. If someone already knows you, trusts you, and has a reason to work with you, most of your work has already been done.
What shouldn’t you do for new real estate listings?
Some companies that promise leads and referrals aren’t great. If the fees seem very high and the company doesn’t have a lot of reviews, you should avoid it. Don’t spend too much money on materials and advertising right out of the gate; experiment and find out what works in your market first.
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