4 Creative Ways to Land Your First Real Estate Listing
Listing your first house can take some time when you get into real estate. And we’re not talkin’ just weeks or months—it can take years! Heck, some agents never list a house in their entire career!
A big reason for this is because potential sellers aren’t sending out Bat-Signals into the sky for you to figure out who’s thinking about selling. On the other hand, finding prospective buyers to work with is a lot easier when you first get started. Which is why so many agents begin by working with buyers.
The problem is, many agents get stuck in the mindset that they aren’t ready or worthy of listing houses. It’s less intimidating to simply show people houses and hope that they’ll eventually buy one, than it is to get a listing appointment, give a presentation, and ask them to sign a listing agreement—especially when you don’t have any listings under your belt if they ask how many houses you’ve sold.
It can easily become an endless cycle of working with buyers, waiting for a listing to hopefully fall in your lap, so you finally have proof that you’re a “listing agent”.
While waiting and hoping may eventually pay off, you’re better off intentionally trying to get your first listing. After you get your first one, it gets easier.
You’ve probably been told to go after FSBOs, expireds, and withdrawn listings, but that can be daunting and you’re competing with every other agent going after them as well. And of course it makes sense to hit up everyone in your sphere and ask if they or anyone they know wants to list their house, but a direct ask isn’t something every agent is comfortable with. Not that doing any of those things is wrong, or won’t work. Anything will work if you do enough of it. But let’s take a look at four things that are little different than your competition may be doing.
Practice Makes Perfect
Offering to do a free CMA is nothing new in real estate. It’s something almost every agent is willing to do for a potential seller…when someone asks. But most agents don’t practice doing them, and when they finally get called to the big leagues for a listing presentation they don’t feel confident in their ability to do a CMA. This can actually be a subtle, subconscious reason why so many agents avoid going after sellers aggressively.
Feeling confident in your ability to do a CMA will make you want a reason to do one and show how well you can interpret the market data. So practice doing them on a daily basis. As with anything, a little daily practice will make you better at them.
Take it a step further and reach out to friends, family, neighbors, or anyone else you can think of, and offer to do one specific for their house since you do one to hone your skills every day anyway. It’s an easier ask since you’re not asking if they want to sell, just if they want to know the value of their home. (And who doesn’t?!) Eventually one of them is bound to actually want to sell their house! You don’t have to do one daily, but the more often you do, the more your chances of digging up a listing.
Take Pride in Your Guide
Even if you have access to a seller’s guide provided by your company that gives people a snapshot of the selling process, consider creating your own.
The process of thinking through the process and putting it in your own words can help you truly own what you’re handing out to people. Plus you can control the information you do and don’t include, and make it sound more personal than a lot of handouts companies create (which generally sound canned and boring). Jazz yours up and say things in a way that’ll make potential sellers want to actually read it. Make it available as a PDF you can send digitally, but also consider having some hard copies printed to hand out to people.
Once you’ve created it, make sure everyone in your sphere knows you created it and offer a copy to anyone who wants one. Write a post about how you created a free guide and offer it on social media, and perhaps even run ads for it.
It may take some time and effort, but the authority and credibility having your own guide will give you is worth every minute you spend on it. You’ll look and sound like an experienced listing agent before you’ve even listed your first house.
If you don’t have the time, or just aren’t that into writing, you should check out our Inner Circle membership. We have a seller’s guide that you can slap your branding on and even edit if you’d like. And there are 19 other guides you’ll have access to (7 of which focus on sellers!).
Dazzle ‘Em With Data
Homeowners love to know what recently sold in their area. Sure they could just look up what a house sold for online, but they may not actually do it, and they probably aren’t looking up every single house that sold. So every month or quarter, compile all of the recently sold listings in the area and make it available for people to see. Post it on your website or blog. Send it out as an email to your sphere. Post a link to it on social media. You can even send “snail mail” to every house in your area or farm if you have a few bucks to spend.
Providing the data alone may be enough to create a sense that you’re a listing agent, but take it a step further and write a summary of the market in your own words. How many houses sold? Is it more or less than usual? Are prices higher, lower, or stable? What type of houses seem to be in most demand? How long is it taking for houses to go under contract?
Adding your two cents is the real trick here, because people will start to see you as an authority on the local market.
Start Spreadin’ the News
Keep your eye out for news articles that would appeal specifically to potential sellers, and regularly share them on social media, or by email. But don’t just post them or send them, add your personal point of view with a quick blurb. Sum it up for them in your own words. What is the article saying in a nutshell? Why should it matter to them? What should they do, given this news?
The more you post about listing houses, the more people will think of you as a listing agent.
Don’t expect tons of reactions, comments, or responses. People will silently absorb that you’re posting things geared towards sellers and come to associate you as an agent who works with sellers. But don’t be surprised when you do get someone who chimes in on your post, or sends you a message asking you for advice on selling, or specifically to come list their house. It’s not about converting everyone who sees the articles you share; it’s about finding the few who are thinking about it to trust you and reach out to you.
You can find tons of articles all over the web to share, but just be careful about sharing ones that require the reader to subscribe in order to read it. That can be annoying to people.
If you want real estate articles with your branding on them, we have hundreds to choose from in our Inner Circle membership, and new ones are written every week.
Doing just one of these things on a regular basis is bound to get you your first listing, but doing all of them consistently is a surefire way to get your first more quickly, and many more over time.
Keep in mind that so many agents aren’t doing much more than hoping and waiting for a listing to fall in their lap. They aren’t intentionally going after them and, therefore, aren’t listing a ton of houses. So don’t feel like you aren’t worthy. Have confidence, envision yourself as a listing agent, portray yourself as one already, and soon you’ll have your first of many listings to come!