This year, there are far more real estate agents than listings to go around. It’s tough, and to win a listing seems like an accomplishment in itself these days. While the market’s boom seems appealing for many to make a hefty paycheck, the reality is that real estate is an incredibly tough industry to break into — and we haven’t gotten into the low inventory market yet.
To start, most professionals don’t earn a decent living early on. On top of that, this low inventory market has made it a huge challenge to win listings causing many new realtors to dip out, and many seasoned agents to evolve and improve their skill set. In fact, a realtor’s ability to generate more listings in a low inventory market may be their most important skill in this climate.
1. Utilize digital tools to win listings
There are a few sure things in this market. One — the largest homebuying population is millennials. They operate online and expect many things to be done in a digital fashion (and they expect you to as well!). Two — we’re on the backside of a pandemic. Many operations have transitioned to a digital experience, and you need the ability to easily update something, change data or work remotely in this environment to be successful.
In NAR’s recent Real Estate in a Digital Age Report, researchers highlighted the importance of social media as the highest number of quality leads are generated from social media. While most agents report managing a social profile because they think they are expected to, begin to hash out an entire social media action plan to generate more leads. One way to start would recognize that social media profiles are a great place to promote listings and ones that are coming soon. When you meet with potential clients, you could also come prepared with graphics you would use in your marketing. Use the online experience just like you would anything else in the lead generation game — it’s a critical tool.
Today’s technology is wild. In fact, there’s so much data out there that it can be hard to know how to put it to use! There are tools available, such as Google Data Studio, that can help present your data in a comprehensible way for potential clients to understand. Lead with data and show potential clients that you’re knowledgeable, understand the market, their area and have specialized expertise.
2. Remain in contact with previous clients
Here’s the deal — overall, people look working with their realtor. In fact, just about 90% would work with them again, but only 13% actually do. Realtors fail to stay in touch, which results in a massive lost opportunity. When you’re struggling to gain new listings, it’s important to remember the vast list of clients you’ve accumulated over the years. Have a strategy in place to reconnect with your previous clients every so often. That said, this is also a great opportunity to utilize social media. By connecting with clients on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, make sure to monitor for any life changes that might suggest a potential move. Track major events like a wedding, childbirth or even a retirement as a reason to touch base for a potential listing.
3. Know where to find home sellers
In a recent virtual event, successful Coldwell Banker agent, Becky Eakle, explains the importance of knowing where to find home sellers in a low inventory environment. Not that you have a crystal ball of knowing where to find them, but she did conduct a poll to find where agents do find listings:
- 91% find listings through their “sphere”
- 32% through social media
- 30% through farming
- 9% through FSBOs
- 8% through expired listings
These statistics give realtors a great starting point for where they might pick up a listing — especially when the environment is challenging to actually win one. In addition, it’s important to be aware of who is most active in the buying and selling market. Right now, it’s the boomers. Americans 60 years or older are the most active population, and they’re the most active they’ve been in nearly the past decade. While many boomers retire and stay in their homes, several are using their equity for the ability to buy a new home. Scan your previous client database for anyone around 60 years of age who might be interested in downsizing, especially if they currently live in a two-story home.
4. Target open houses for nearby listings
Scanning for open houses is a more effective strategy than it seems, particularly in a hot housing market. When one homeowner in a neighborhood or on a street decides to sell, it creates a great opportunity for agents to gain a new listing. First of all, many homeowners in a neighborhood aren’t aware of their home’s actual value until they see a neighbor’s listing. This is where strategies like circle prospecting and skip tracing come into play — identify and contact the homeowners nearby. By knocking on doors, mailing or calling, you can take an educational approach to inform them about the current market and what their home could sell for. To be most effective, spend the most amount of time on homeowners who have a large amount of equity and around five years of living in their home.
5. Be the first to contact a lead
It sounds incredibly simple and not much of a “strategy”, but be the first to make contact with a lead. In NAR’s 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, researchers found that 77% of home sellers only interview one agent before deciding to list their homes. The statistics point out that you have the greatest chance at winning a listing by being the first to make contact. Apply this strategy by frequently making contact with client referrals, and touch base often with previous clients to have a shot at their listings or someone they know. And once a lead comes in, you need to have processes in place to make contact right away because if another professional beats you to it, there’s a big chance you lost that listing.
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