How to Get Listings in Any Market (Without Spending a Fortune)

As a real estate agent, you know that listings are essential for success in the industry. While buyers are important, having listings gives you more opportunities to generate leads. However, what do you do if...

As a real estate agent, you know that listings are essential for success in the industry. While buyers are important, having listings gives you more opportunities to generate leads. However, what do you do if you don't have any listings to start with? The process is simple, but executing it effectively is key.

In this article, we will provide you with expert strategies on how to get listings in any market. We have compiled over 30 years of real estate sales and marketing experience, along with insights from agents at Douglas Elliman who have successfully obtained their first listings. The best part? Many of these tips are free, and we've included links to deep-dive strategy guides, checklists, and scripts to help you get started today.

1. Schedule Regular Calls With Your Sphere

One proven method for getting listings in real estate is to regularly communicate with your sphere of influence. Whether you're a new agent or have been in the industry for decades, reaching out to your sphere regularly is an easy, predictable, and efficient way to generate leads. Your sphere consists of people who are likely to know, like, and trust you enough to entrust you with their important financial transactions.

The key is to have conversations with your sphere about shared interests and connections. You don't need to give a sales pitch during these calls. Simply end the conversation by saying, "If you know anyone who might be interested in selling their home, I would love to walk them through how I can sell it faster and for a better price."

To get started, add everyone in your contact list to your customer relationship management (CRM) database and tag them as part of your sphere. Segment them based on how well you know them, and set tasks to call at least one person you know well every week. Take notes in your CRM and further segment your contacts if they mention any life changes or circumstances that might lead to a real estate transaction.

2. Run Facebook & Display Network Ads Targeting Homeowners

If you want to accelerate the process of finding leads that can turn into listings, consider running effective Facebook and Google Display Network ads. While this method requires time, effort, and investment, the potential rewards are significant. The more ads you run, the more opportunities you have to optimize them and learn what works and what doesn't.

Most lead generation services for agents use similar strategies online: create an offer of value, design an ad, set a budget, and follow up consistently. If you don't see immediate results, continue refining your ads and lead magnets until you generate high-quality leads at a comfortable cost per lead.

If you want affordable buyer leads while waiting for listings, you can try Top Producer's new Social Connect program. They handle all the work for you and provide automated nurturing tools, allowing you to focus on warmer leads. Best of all, Social Connect leads only cost around $14 each.

How to Get Listings in Any Market (Without Spending a Fortune) Caption: How to Get Listings in Any Market (Without Spending a Fortune)

3. Learn How to Find Hidden Listing Inventory Other Agents Ignore

When inventory is low, successful listing agents get creative in finding new ways to secure listings. Instead of relying on traditional methods like calling FSBOs, they explore unconventional avenues and tap into hidden listing inventory. The good news is that hidden listings are out there, waiting to be discovered and sold. You just need to actively search for them and learn how to help the owners sell their properties.

Some overlooked property types to consider are preforeclosures, probate listings, and rental properties. Preforeclosures are especially worth exploring during economic downturns when homeowners struggle with mortgage payments. Working on probate listings can be challenging, but competition among agents is typically minimal. Additionally, the popularity of real estate investing means there are many over-leveraged newbies who might need to sell their rental properties.

4. Upgrade Your Follow-up Game

To increase your chances of getting listings, it's crucial to consistently stay in touch with your audience. Even if you generate numerous leads, failing to maintain contact with them can lead to missed opportunities. Many customer relationship management (CRM) systems and tools are available to help you automate and streamline your follow-up process. By setting up these systems, you can ensure that your name is always top-of-mind when potential sellers require your services.

Automating your follow-up is essential, and tools like Agent Legend can help you stay connected with your leads until they're ready to convert. For a plug-and-play option, consider using Homebot. This tool sends monthly email updates to your sphere, providing estimated home valuations based on hyperlocal data and neighborhood trends.

5. Purchase Exclusive Seller Leads

If you don't have time to implement your own lead generation strategy, you can outsource the process by purchasing exclusive seller leads. By allocating your budget towards buying listing leads, you have the potential to cover the costs with just one successful closing. Market Leader offers an option where you pay a flat monthly rate for a guaranteed number of leads to work with each month.

6. Learn How to Prospect FSBOs (the Right Way)

Regardless of market conditions, there will always be homeowners who believe they can get a better deal by selling their homes without an agent. FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) present a great opportunity for agents to secure listings in any market. However, it's important to approach these prospects in the right way to increase your chances of success.

First, practice using the right FSBO scripts. Having effective scripts is not enough; you need to deliver them confidently and convincingly. This requires a substantial amount of practice. Additionally, leverage the fear of missing out (FOMO) when creating copy for flyers, postcards, and letters. Highlight the potential financial gains the homeowners might miss out on by not working with an agent.

7. Join a Team as a Junior Agent or Find a Mentor

Working as a "junior" agent under a successful listing agent or finding a mentor can be immensely beneficial. While it may not be what you initially envisioned, joining a team or finding a mentor allows you to learn more about generating seller clients in a month than you would in several months of expensive coaching courses. In particular, you gain invaluable hyperlocal market knowledge and confidence, which are crucial in closing deals.

If joining a team doesn't align with your goals, consider finding a mentor who can provide guidance and support. Having someone who believes in you and trusts you to deliver exceptional service to their referred clients can boost your confidence and lead to opportunities for securing listings.

8. Knock on Doors in Neighborhoods Where You Want Listings

Though the idea might be intimidating, door knocking is an effective method for demonstrating your confidence and market knowledge to homeowners. Overcoming your fear of door knocking can lead to increased credibility and trust from potential clients. Learning the right language and using the correct scripts can significantly enhance your chances of securing a listing appointment.

9. Pick Your Farm & Stick to It

Choosing a small farming area consisting of no more than 250 homes and consistently providing hyperlocal, valuable information is crucial. Utilize multiple channels to connect with your farm area, such as print marketing, monthly email newsletters, and hosting neighborhood events. By actively engaging with your farm, you increase your chances of staying top of mind and establishing yourself as an expert in that area.

10. Focus on Your Mission, Vision & Values First

Prioritize defining your mission, vision, and values (MVV) before attempting to obtain listings. Even if you have already established your MVV, it's essential to revisit and refine it periodically. By understanding how you uniquely position yourself to help sellers, you can attract the right clients who resonate with your values. Focusing on your MVV allows you to differentiate yourself from competitors and establish a strong connection with potential sellers.

11. Send Out 'Just Sold' Postcards

Sending traditional postcards to announce your successful sales may seem outdated, but they can be an effective way to stay top of mind with homeowners. Just-sold postcards serve as tangible proof that you successfully close deals and can motivate potential sellers to consider your services. Senior citizens with significant home equity are particularly responsive to postcards, as they are more likely to be considering selling their homes.

When sending just-sold postcards, always seek permission from the listing agent, especially if you plan to include pictures of the sold property.

12. Convert Open House Visitors

While many agents have mixed feelings about open houses, they can be an excellent opportunity to meet potential sellers in the neighborhood. Open houses attract not only potential buyers but also curious homeowners who want to see what's happening in their area. By engaging with these visitors, you establish connections that may lead to future listings. Additionally, keep in mind that many buyers need to sell their homes before purchasing a new one, making open house attendees potential sellers as well.

13. Use Our Listing Appointment Checklist & Scripts to Seal the Deal

Even if you excel at generating seller leads, the ability to close them and secure listings is essential. Mastering the art of delivering a persuasive listing presentation is crucial for success. Make sure to gather as much information as possible about the listing and the neighborhood comps. Create a comprehensive listing marketing plan that sets you apart from the competition. Rehearse your presentation until you can deliver it confidently and smoothly. Learn how to handle common objections gracefully. Whenever possible, shadow experienced agents during their listing appointments to gain valuable insights.

In conclusion, by implementing these strategies, you can increase your chances of securing listings in any market. Remember to stay consistent, refine your techniques, and always prioritize the needs of your clients. How will you adapt your prospecting and marketing strategies in 2024? Let us know in the comments below.