The reality of the current housing market is that real estate listings are few and far between – even for experienced agents. With inventory levels at historic lows and likely to remain that way for a while, competition for listings is at an all-time high. So what can you do to get more listings in today's real estate market? With a bit of effort and a dash of creativity, these four strategies will help you generate listing leads even in this challenging market.1. Reconnect with former clients
Your former clients are your strongest source of referrals and repeat business. Make it a priority to reconnect in a genuine, authentic way. Don’t just pick up the phone and ask if they want to sell. Take the time to catch up with them and learn what’s going on in their lives. Take notes in your CRM or in a spreadsheet so you can refer to them in subsequent conversations. Another great way to reconnect with former clients is to look them up on social media and send them a direct message or comment on a recent post.
A warm message can go a long way to reigniting that relationship and getting back to their top of mind when they or someone they know is getting ready to sell. No matter how you make contact, just remember that one-time communication is not enough. Now that you’ve reconnected, maintain this by engaging with them on social media and following up with emails or invites to events you’re attending or hosting.2. Create seller-specific resources & communications
Without a doubt, there are a handful of people in your sphere of influence who have thought about or are thinking about moving. An effective strategy to generate listing leads is to figure out what’s stopping them and then create specific messaging that addresses their pain points. Are they hesitant to sell because they’ve heard about how hard it is to buy in this market?
You can alleviate their fears and position yourself as their trusted guide through the process by offering resources specifically for this audience. Pull together a list of reasons why it’s advantageous to sell right now and how you can help them navigate the process. Then develop a plan for delivering that information to your sphere in multiple formats: post a blog on your website, record a video and share the link everywhere (even put it in your email signature!), send a blast email to your database, create a carousel post for your social media, run a Facebook ad, etc. The key to winning listings is to reach prospects with the right message at the right time. By creating resources that reflect their current positions, you increase the chance that you’ll be the one they turn to when they are ready to make a move.3. Expand your network
Generating listing leads in a low-inventory market can be a bit of a numbers game. The more people you connect with, the better your chance is of meeting someone poised to sell. This is the time to really amp up your networking, both in-person and online. Here are some ideas to get you started.
In-person networking ideas
- Check your local Chamber of Commerce to see what events are coming up and see if there are any sponsorship or marketing opportunities.
- Host a community clean-up event or participate in an existing one.
- Find a professional networking group in your area and regularly attend events.
- Volunteer for causes you care about – this will help you connect on a deeper level with new contacts because you will have common ground.
- Host a client appreciation party and invite all of your current and former clients. It’s a great way to reconnect and maintain your relationships
- Go to garage or estate sales and talk to all of the homeowners and attendees.
- Use good old-fashioned business cards and hand them out when you have a meaningful interaction with someone.
- Attend and support local school events.
- Support your local sports teams and connect with other fans.
Online networking ideas
- Join relevant niche Facebook groups such as “mom groups” in your area, your children’s school pages or groups, and professional interest groups, and contribute by answering questions and offering quality information in your comments. Be sure not to spam or violate the rules of posting on the page.
- Join neighborhood-specific local forums like Nextdoor, Front Porch, Patch, EveryBlock, etc. Be a thoughtful and regular participant in the conversations and point people to helpful resources.
- Use social media to keep in touch with your sphere. Don’t just scroll past their content. Engage meaningfully and regularly by liking and commenting on their posts, responding to their stories, and sending them an occasional direct message.
The reality of the current market means that you might have to get creative and do a little digging to find new listing leads.
- Search the MLS for expired listings and contact the owners to see if they are still interested in selling.
- Contact FSBOs (or even go knock on their door!) and present yourself as a resource for them. If it turns out that they need help down the road, they will likely turn to you.
- View open houses as an opportunity! Before people commit to selling their own homes, they often go to open houses to see the types of properties available in their desired zip code. This is the perfect time to connect with them and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Follow up with a personalized email. When they’re ready to sell, you will be top of mind.
These 4 strategies are all meant to accomplish one goal: to get you to connect on a deeper level with people you already know and to put you in a position to meet as many new people in your community as possible. At the end of the day, real estate is a people business, and the key to success in this low-inventory market is creating and maintaining meaningful relationships that can lead to new business and referrals.