Over the years of talking with agents, reading blogs, and just gathering tips from top producers, I have put together some basics of gathering listings. I'll focus on attracting buyers in a future series. I'm still gathering some data on that topic.
If you are a listing agent, you have learned the secret that top real estate agents have known for years. Rather than focusing upon the selling side of the business, true top producers rely on listings for a majority of their real estate commissions. It is possible to sell many more listings in a month than it is to show and sell multiple purchasers. The balance between the two is very important; when worked properly your sellers will always translate into enough purchase business to keep the purchase side of your business strong.
The one complaint I hear from most top producing real estate agents is that they never find enough time to market. There are so many good ideas to implement, but not enough of their most precious resources to explore every possibility. That is why one key to marketing is focus. Focus involves finding one or two good ideas and carrying through on these regularly.
Top Producers have a system for obtaining referrals. They do not let this important activity happen by chance. A system such as this would revolve around keeping in touch with your sphere of influence. An agent's sphere of influence would include his or her:
- Personal Contacts
- Previous Clients
- Prospects (don't forget the 'tire kickers'... they will buy or sell at some point)
- Co-workers - present or previous
- Association Contacts
- Professionals - Local Business Owners (they market their company also)
- Vendors - Title Companies, Mortgage Consultants, Financial Planners, Home Stagers, etc.
Many top agents have built databases of 500 or more targets who they contact on a regular basis (or intend to contact). The database itself is only the foundation upon which the system is based. It is the implementation of an activity taken to produce referrals that is most important. The system determines how often, by what method, and with what medium contacts with the sphere are to take place.
The contact must include something that will induce the production of referrals. This may translate into a specific offer (I'll touch on those later), the introduction of educational information (such as 'readying your home for sale') or keeping your contacts informed with regard to homes on the market (such as the next open house... which I discussed in a previous series). The most important thing is to make sure that you communicate that you are looking for good listings and that you have willing purchasers. Create the idea that you can fill the need. Don't lie - Have a plan to attract the buyers if you do not have some already.
If you do not have a comprehensive database, I can introduce you to software and systems designed to house and utilize these databases. Of course, you can always do a search on AR as well because many of your peers can suggest a system to use and which avoid.
In the next few posts I'll talk about adding value, educating the seller, and maybe approaching FSBO.
I look forward to blogging more about this topic. As I mentioned, I am still gathering some information on attracting buyers in today's market, so that series will follow shortly. Until then, I'd love to hear what techniques work for you! Feel free to share your comments.
Have a great day!
John Cannata - Reliant Mortgage