5 ways to uncover listings during the slow season

Real Estate Technology with SmartZip

With the holidays rushing in and your business slowing down it may seem tempting to trade in your hustle for hibernation and take a long winter's nap. With many agents doing just that this becomes an even hotter time to make yourself stand out and be known. This season is also a fantastic time of year to identify listing opportunities that could keep you busy from now through spring 2017. Below are five ways to leverage your downtime and take advantage of the season -- all while building up your base of potential sellers.


1. Warm up your sphere of influence

Many agents throw all the hard work and effort they’ve put into building and establishing great relationships within their network by letting the connections go cold.  Now is the best time to stand out by extending a handshake, mailing a card, delivering a gift of holiday cheer or even hosting a festive get together.  Not only are people more receptive to rekindling connections, but they are also more likely to be turning their thoughts inward this time of year. As people begin to ring out the old and prepare for the new, they may also be priming themselves to be a future client.  Whether they are beginning to feel the hallowed halls of an empty nest or the cramped quarters of a growing family, many will be considering a change.


If your sphere is warm and your connections are strong you will be poised to be the one they ask for help come selling season.  Although the concept is simple, the execution can be daunting. Consider tools like SmartTargeting Sphere to identify those in your sphere most likely to sell come spring.




2. Double up on lead follow-up efforts

Your neighbors are more likely to get open house flyers and Just Listed announcements in the spring. When the market is hopping, your voice may be lost in the crowd … but when the market slows down, so does the average agent’s outreach efforts.


That’s why Portland, Oregon powerhouse agent Bev Blume ramps up her efforts during the quieter fall and winter season.


“I’ve found that by doubling up my follow-up and marketing efforts in the down season, the

impact is a lot more profound. Not only do I have time to send more thoughtful notes and

marketing pieces, my targets and prospects have the time to respond. Whether I’m restarting

an old dialogue or getting in touch for the first time, I’ve found that the lead-up to the holidays

is a great time to reach out and get a response.”


3. Support a local cause: Offer holiday gifts to top prospects

Do you know a local school selling holiday pies or wrapping paper or a Boy Scouts troop selling wreaths? Step up to be their best customer, then pass these holiday treats along to your top prospects. You can either host a live pick-up event or personally drop off the gift along with a hand-written note.


4. Hold a holiday light contest

Brighten up interest by holding a holiday light contest.  Most people will be putting up lights anyway so this can be very simple; drop off flyers, decide on a date to judge and present a gift to the winner. Neighbors love to see their work and achievements admired, so mentions and pictures on social media (with their permission, of course) will delight them and show what a great marketer you are.

predicitve analytics does the work

5. Let predictive analytics do the work

Whether you have time to burn or are still busy wrapping up your 2016 sales, it can still be tricky to determine which contacts are gearing up to sell. SmartZip’s predictive analytics solution offers tested, proven predictions on the most likely home sellers in your market area or sphere.  Put the analytics to work to help carefully design your holiday light contest map, gift giving list, holiday card distribution and overall marketing efforts to focus on those most likely to sell in the coming months.  Apply predictive analytics to your farm and your sphere to save steps, time, effort and help you engage with the right people at the time. New Year planning is right around the corner for you and your prospects.

Why not make it a great 2018 for you both!


Are ready to get a jump on your 2018 listings pipeline? Take a look at the predictions in your farm and sphere.


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Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

This is great information.  Although buyers and sellers are active year round,  slow periods are a great time to look at what can be done more effectively to increase productivity.

Nov 28, 2016 05:57 PM #3
Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Lots of good ideas here ... Many of these ideas can be done year long ... so our business continues blooming each and every year.

Nov 28, 2016 07:27 PM #4
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I'm interested in hearing from agents that SmartZip works for.

Nov 29, 2016 06:39 AM #5
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

Great tips, thank you!  Tempting to 'take it easy' when things are slow...but need to lay the groundwork for next year!

Nov 29, 2016 07:01 AM #6
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I appreciate your sharing some great tips. Keeping in touch in a positive way is really important.

Nov 29, 2016 07:31 AM #7
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

If we manage our business correctly, there should be no slow season! Thanks for the tips for keeping things moving all year long.

Dec 05, 2016 03:08 AM #8
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Who said holidays are slow.... I would not feed that myth because it makes the public, agents feel like games over for the ho ho home sales. It is not and folks with family gatherings make very important real estate estate sale decisions, decide to finally invest in recreational property collectively as a family and job transfers, you gotta moive quick happen year round. Kat Palmiotti is right. Sellers, buyers having to close this year for tax reasons push the throttle levers too.

Dec 05, 2016 03:37 AM #9
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for sharing these great tips. I will keep these in mind as I am making my marketing plans for  2017.

Dec 05, 2016 04:29 AM #10
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Some great ideas here.  I especially like the "support a local cause" idea to pass along gifts to prospects.  I wouldn't recommend sponsoring a lighting contest, though.  Our REALTOR® Association did this for many years and it is very labor intensive, organizing people to drive EVERY single street.  When I was the organizer, I remember getting complaints from people (after the winners were announced) that their neighbor (or whoever) should have won!  Just some insight into my experience.

Dec 05, 2016 04:31 AM #11
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Agents are always looking for ways to increase their listing inventory. These are more ideas to include.

Dec 05, 2016 06:00 AM #12
Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around

These are great points!  I was taught right from the start of when I entered the real estate business, that this is the best time to fill up my funnel for the spring season while others are taking a break.


Dec 05, 2016 07:43 AM #13
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Great tips. Connection is key to a successful business. Now is the best time to reach out and touch someone during the holidays. They will remember you come Spring time.

Dec 05, 2016 12:12 PM #14
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

There has not been a slow down this December. The key is no matter busy, average or slower, you need to market yourself to attract your next clients. 

Dec 05, 2016 04:30 PM #15
Mike Bjork
American Pacific Mortgage - Redondo Beach, CA


Some great advice.  I see similar characteristics with Bev Blume.  I notice more activity on my Blog posts and website in the fall, toward winter.  Then things start to happen after the New Year or Spring (sometimes after Tax season).  I believe their gathering their information and research before they're ready to shop. 

Dec 05, 2016 05:00 PM #16
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

I have heard some of the great race car drivers state that while most have a natural tendency to slow down just a bit after a serious accitdent has occurred they will push even harder.  Same results I believe.  M

Dec 05, 2016 05:50 PM #17
faye schubert
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Realty - Branson, MO
technology and marketing specialist

Winter is a huge internet viewing timeframe and a great time to grow the listing count.

Dec 05, 2016 06:24 PM #18
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This is one of the best things I've read in a long time! You deserve extra sales because of this post! Very innovative! Especially, the holiday lights idea!

Dec 05, 2016 09:55 PM #19
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

faye schubert You have no idea how inspired I am right now! I hope you are too! Happy holidays!

Dec 05, 2016 09:56 PM #20
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Thank you for some great tips.  

Dec 07, 2016 05:46 PM #21
Noel Mayer

Thank for you for all the great ideas

Dec 28, 2016 08:35 AM #22
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