As interest rates continue to go up, most real estate agents are feeling the pain. Fewer homeowners are willing to give up their sub 4% mortgage which means there are fewer houses hitting the market.
Although this post is essentially how to get leads, I’ll refine it to:
- How I Got Real Estate Listings
- How To Get Real Estate Listings
- Where I Think Most Listings Will be Generated in the Future
In the simplest form, the way to get real estate listings is by putting yourself/services in front of homeowners who want to sell their homes. We’ll cover a bunch of different ways to do that in this post.
First, let’s talk about how I got most of my listings with ease…
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Former Clients and SOI
In 2021 I listed around 40 houses and the majority of them were people who I helped purchase.
If someone already trusted you to help them purchase a home, chances are they’ll let you sell that home as long as you haven’t dropped them like a hot potato. The easiest way to stay in front of them is to follow them on social media and make sure they follow you back.
The most recent listing I did came from my SOI. He had worked with us before and started flipping houses. Fortunately, I got to list his very first flip project!
I grew my sphere of influence (SOI) quickly by starting and hosting a local meet-up for investors and other real estate professionals.
Farming an Area
Although I never farmed an area, I think this is the best way for real estate agents to get listings.
‘Farming’ is when a real estate agent selects certain neighborhoods or areas to dedicate all of their time to. For example:
Bill Sohl is an agent in Florida. He could say he works the ‘Miami metro’ which consists of OVER 6 million people… But he would be extremely spread out. Instead, he focuses on less than 1% of the houses and DOMINATES his local real estate market by marketing to less than 50,000 properties.
Check out how concentrated his sales are in Parkland, FL!
THAT is farming.
Think about it from the homeowners’ perspective… Imagine if you only spoke to each homeowner one time. Whether it be cold calls, door knocking, or hosting a single open house…
They likely wouldn’t remember you…
But what if you’re the person who sells 30% of the houses in that neighborhood?
You’re the agent who consistently shows up. You sponsor local Little League teams, like Bill.
It’s much easier to succeed if you consistently put yourself and your name in front of your customers.
I always hated cold calling, but just like all other forms of marketing, it works. Drew Mathison was able to get listings, more than 4 per month, in his second 6 months as a real estate agent.
Cold calling is synonymous with getting listings.
Property ownership data is public information and finding the owners’ phone numbers is practically public information as well. I say practically because there are a ton of free websites and dialers like REDX that come with phone numbers.
Believe it or not, there are a ton of homeowners who have a personal connection with a real estate agent. If you can get in front of people who are considering selling their homes and build a personal connection with them… You will likely be the agent to sell their home.
To set your expectations, cold calling is a grind. A triple-line dialer like REDX will give you the ability to call about 200 people per hour…
Greg McDaniel, a good friend of mine who makes hundreds of calls every day, says you can expect 1 lead for every 250 calls and 20 leads per closing. 10% of the people will answer and 2/3 of the people who answer don’t want to talk to you.
Cold calling takes guts BUT, some of the best salespeople earned their skills by cold-calling property owners.
The nice thing about cold calling is you don’t have to take the rejection face-to-face. But that also means people tend to be a little more rude which leads us to…
Door Knocking to Get Listings
Getting your face in front of homeowners is a great way to set listing appointments… Eventually.
Knocking on doors and going for the kill (listing appointment) will KILL your ego immediately. Jason Coleman was on The Agent Goldmine and spoke about his experience door-knocking and lessons learned.
The key takeaway is that door-knocking, just like cold calling, is a long game.
Your goal of door knocking is NOT to set a listing appointment! Will it happen sometimes? Yes.
If that’s all you focus on you’re going to miss out on a TON of opportunities. Instead, collect that owner’s contact information so you can continue to follow up with them about what’s going on in the neighborhood. Each time, ask if they have anyone interested in buying in the area or see if they’re interested in selling their home.
This also helps people associate a face to the name. After door-knocking and collecting their contact info, you can create tags within your CRM to organize those people by neighborhoods or ZIP codes.
Once they’re organized, you NEED TO periodically follow up with all of these people to give them updates about open houses, properties coming on the market, properties hitting the market, going under contract, inspections, and any other changes in their local market.
Direct Mail for Real Estate Agents
I met Bill Sohl at the Real Estate Rockstars conference. He did a presentation for my community of agents about how he ‘farms’ a small city in Parkland, FL which has around 40,000ish homes. Every 6-8 weeks, Bill sends a mailer to every house in his farm area… This costs him around $300k annually in mail expenses.
Does that sound like a silly amount? Considering that $300k generates listings worth over $1m in GCI every year, your view on marketing expenses may need re-evaluating.
Since he is in a luxury market where the average sale price is over $1,000,000, the commissions are JUICY! Here are some of his current listings.
Direct mail is one of the oldest, most tried, and true marketing strategies to get listings.
I don’t think real estate agents in a market where the average sale price is under $500k should spend money on direct mail. It takes SO much money to get listings with direct mail. Plus, Bill said you need to do it consistently for a year before you’ll see an ROI.
So, while other real estate agents are hoping to get a little ROI on tens of thousands of dollars spent in direct mail, what would I recommend doing instead?
Attention is the new oil. Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and all other ‘free’ media platforms sell the users’ attention to those willing to pay.
Direct mail will cost around $1 per letter to get in front of a homeowner, but if you could spend $.02-$.04 to get in front of that same person, would you?
This is why I believe paid advertising to get real estate listings is so valuable. It costs a fraction of direct mail. Some platforms will even let you target homeowners.
If you have $10,000 to spend, you can either:
Get in front of 1,000 homeowners 10 times with direct mail ($1,000 x 10)
Get in front of 50,000 homeowners 10 times with paid ads ($.02 x 500,000)
I think you’d get more listings by getting in front of 500,000 people or 50,000 people 10 times…
Are you cringing at spending money on marketing?
You don’t need to pay for ads to get in front of someone who wants to sell their home. You can also do it organically via social media.
Social Media Presence as a Real Estate Agent
Social media is an extremely powerful tool. Consistently posting will keep you in front of your past clients. This is a leveraged way for you to reach everyone who follows you and stay top of mind.
The best part of social media is that you can grow your audience to reach new prospective clients.
I like to think of socials as a resume. You can show everyone who you are, and what you do, and advertise your successful sales to get more real estate listings.
I’ve looked at other articles about getting listings and some say use a Facebook page… I don’t think this is a bad idea but I believe local Facebook groups are a much better way.
He can advertise, for free, in a group of 18,000 locals and also make sure no other agents post their services within the group. I think this is SUPER valuable and he could use this group to get more real estate listings due to the size and specificity.
Use a Lead Magnet to Generate Listings
All of the above is a great way for you to get in front of potential sellers. But, most agents don’t know how to sell their real estate services. I would recommend using a lead magnet to start a relationship with homeowners. This gives you a reason to keep in touch with them.
Alex Hormozi defines a lead magnet as “A complete solution to a narrow problem”.
So, instead of saying ‘Hi I’m a Realtor. Want to get money for your house?’
You can offer something of value. A couple quick, easy ones are:
A free home valuation (Quick down and dirty CMA)
A current real estate market update (Show them all the houses that sold in the area – emphasize similar properties)
A recommendation for any updates they’re considering to maximize the value of their house
Most local real estate agents aren’t going to offer something of value for nothing… But I know you can build a MASSIVE pipeline and be the go-to agent when these people are ready to sell.
A good chunk of my real estate business was selling rental properties. If I wanted to start selling houses again, I’d contact all the people who I sold houses to and give them an updated valuation on their property.
Below is an example of a landing page for a lead magnet that Jason Boice and I are running ads to.
Since that may not apply to you, let’s talk about what newer agents can do to get listings.
The Future of How to Get Real Estate Listings
It’s the last quarter of 2023 and mortgage interest rates are at a 20 year high. Rates won’t stay this high for eternity, and when they drop, the real estate business is going to pick up like it did in 2020-2021.
So, how are people going to find their listing agent in the future?
Chances are, they already have their agent picked out. It’s the agent that continues to show up and provide value.
Those are the agents who will get the real estate listing.
So, if you want to get listings, generate seller leads now and provide so much value that the those homeowners feel indebted to you.