In real estate, listings might just be a teeny-tiny bit important. Like, majorly essential for our survival. As a result, it pays to know where to find seller leads. In the 2014 National Associate of Realtors (NAR) survey, they asked recent sellers how they found their agent. The results may surprise you.
22% of Sellers Used an Agent They Worked With Previously
This is significantly higher than the result for buyers, which surprised me. It pays to stay in touch with your previous clients as seller leads. The average seller lived in their home for 10 years, however, so you may face a long nurturing process.
The higher sense of loyalty that sellers have might speak to the fact that they are more motivated to get a quick, positive outcome. While some home buyers are willing to take months to look around for the “perfect” home, sellers are often on a specific time schedule. Thus, someone they’ve worked with before, who they know will deliver great results, makes sense.
38% of Sellers Used an Agent They Found Through a Referral
Referrals are a major source of seller leads as well as buyer leads, which is not a surprise to most agents. Once again, sellers are motivated to have a quick, efficient transaction and get top dollar on their homes. They are going to look for someone they trust to give them information on who the best agent would be.
Nurturing referrals has as much to do with making new friends as it does with staying connected with old clients. Folks you meet in your day to day life may not be looking to move right now, but they may know someone who is. As you add additional people to your circle of influence, ask them for referrals even if you only know them casually. Someone who trusts them may be looking for a good recommendation.
40% of Sellers Chose an Agent “Cold”
Once again I found myself surprised that this is the largest category. It goes to show that farming, contacting expireds and FSBOs, and other marketing efforts are not going to waste! The most significant outreach you can make is to someone who’s never worked with you or been referred to you.
Sellers are even less choosy than buyers when it comes to selecting agents – 70% of them only contact one agent before choosing who they will list with. This may have to do with the time-based element of a sale – if they are looking to list, they may already have another home, or have a job transfer with a specific deadline.
The takeaways from the seller profile are similar to the buyers. Your cold outreach is the most effective, followed by referrals. Don’t be shy – ask everyone if they know anyone who is buying or selling a home. For sellers specifically, understand that if your presentation is effective, they likely won’t interview another agent. Focus on their time sensitivity and your professional effectiveness to close the deal.
Did the seller statistics surprise you? Share in the comments!