Tips on How New Realtors Find Listings » RealtyBizNews: Real Estate News
Congratulations on passing your real estate agent’s test. The first thing you want to do is hang this license and any commercial license you have somewhere very visible. Now it’s time to start attracting customers. You thought about real estate day and night while studying for your bachelor’s degree. By now you should have decided whether you want to focus on being a listing agent or a buyer’s agent. If you have decided to become a listing agent, here are some ideas to help you find your first listings.
A few are “true, reliable, and proven” with unique methods included for your consideration. Whichever you decide to use, it’s up to you to grow the seed. This involves tailoring methods to your local market as well as marketing and personality styles.
1. Launch a website. This can be just your profile on your broker’s website, or you can start with a Facebook page or build your entire website. Whichever method you choose, capturing visitor contact information is a big deal. Don’t just ask them to leave their phone number or email address, as most won’t. What you want to do is offer them something in exchange for their contact information. Below on this list is a presentation suggestion that you give to new prospects. You can make this same presentation available to your website visitors when they provide their contact information. Another idea is to provide a special report that they will find useful. Something like “7 Tips BEFORE Listing Your Home” or “Proven Tactics for Selling a Home with an Expired Listing”. The thing is, you want to give them something in exchange for their contact information.
2. Give a free seminar. People only sell a few houses in their lifetime. Eight or ten years often pass between houses. The rules change, the market changes, marketing methods change and many other things change. You can create a seminar that shares what’s changed for sellers, what’s current, and what’s working in today’s market. This is your chance to highlight what you’ve recently learned while earning your new license. As with all things real estate, now is the time to focus on your local market. Places to hold your seminar are at the local library, community center or at a booth at a street fair. You will need a sign-up sheet to collect contact information and you can send this along with a copy of your presentation with your business card attached.
3. Host an open house. You may think you must already have a client to host an open house, but there are other ways. Open houses are as much about finding new leads as it is about selling the home people are viewing. If you don’t have a customer for an open house, you can offer to fill in for another agent or be an “agent-in-training” to help another agent. You’ll want full access to the signup sheet so you can use the list to grow your prospect network. Have a plan for an email blast or phone follow-up for this contact list.
4. Contact your friends and family. It is a proven and reliable method because it works. A great way to start is to use social media to let them know you’re a newly licensed agent looking for clients. You may not have many friends and family who are currently looking to sell, but when their friends ask for a recommendation, your name will pop up. It is also an effective way to build a following on your social media pages.
5. Old expired with a new twist. Asking to relist expired listings is a common technique for many agents, both experienced and new. The twist is that most agents try to relist the most recently expired listings. But there can be gold in listings that expired months or even years ago. Sellers are tired of keeping their homes in pristine condition and dealing with low bids. When a listing expires, they want to take a break. Or they want to keep the list out of the market during winter and holidays. But four months, six months or even a year later, they are finally ready to re-enroll. Don’t tell these leads about all the negatives about why their home didn’t sell the first time around. Don’t belittle the previous agent or tell them the price was too high. After six months the market has changed and the price they want might just be the price you can sell it for today. Let them know that the starting point is a new market analysis. If he seems open to making a few changes, do an analysis from an inspector’s perspective that suggests some repairs or improvements to make the home more attractive to buyers. Ask to review old marketing materials and research a better way to market the home that will be more effective.
6. Build a repeatable process. You are going to have successes and failures in getting your first ads. Take careful notes on what worked and what didn’t. After a month or two, take a moment to reflect and identify what worked for you at each stage. Refine and repeat what works well. One of the most important things you want to do at this point is negotiate hard for the sellers of any listings you have landed. Also, nurture warm leads who haven’t listed their home yet. It may take time to integrate them. After all, people are entrusting you with one of life’s most important decisions and their biggest financial assets.
Always keep looking for more and creative registration opportunities. Other interesting opportunities are people behind on their property taxes, behind on their mortgage payments, divorces, vacant homes, and inherited homes. It will take you more work to find these opportunities, but there will also be less competition when you find them. And always look for unique opportunities in your area. People will be ready to list Florida beach homes soon after hurricane season and mountain cabin owners will be ready to sell after shoveling snow for another winter.
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Additionally, our weekly Ask Brian column welcomes questions from readers of all levels of experience with residential real estate. Please email your questions, inquiries or story ideas to [email protected]
Author Bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for over 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 12 years. He also draws on more than 30 years of business experience, including 12 years as a director at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives in Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, close to a highway and the Pacific Ocean.