One of the biggest challenges facing new agents is figuring out how to get their first listings. In an industry that heavily relies on results to convince prospective clients of an agent’s value, it can be difficult for an unproven commodity to convert leads. Building a profitable real estate business takes hard work and commitment to developing top-notch sales skills. As a new agent, it makes the most sense to focus your efforts on convincing sellers to list with you vs. buyers, since that will guarantee you a commission if the property sells. Follow these steps to help land your first listing and start making money.
Call everyone you know.
Yes. I mean everyone. Grab your phone and start scrolling through your contacts. Call your best friends, call your second cousin, and call that guy you barely know. This isn’t the time for feeling awkward. This is the time to take all those acquaintances you haven’t spoken to in months and start building relationships – even if it means getting endless coffees with people you hardly know.
And when you’re having conversations with these distant acquaintances, make sure to talk about real estate: where they are living, if they’re planning on moving, or anything else related to real estate. Make sure you keep records! This is the very beginning stage of building your referral network, and records will make sure your network continues to flourish.
Talk about real estate in person.
Calling is a great first step, but you’ll only develop lasting connections if you meet face-to-face. It’s worth taking the extra time out of your day to meet in person and establish the additional layer of trust that results. Your clients will appreciate the effort you are putting forward to build a relationship with them. Plus, when clients trust you, they are much more likely to continue working with you.
Contact major local developers.
This step requires a bit of a delicate touch. You absolutely should aim to develop a relationship with one or two major developers in your area. The tricky aspect of this particular relationship is that the developers are often already working with another real estate agent in your area. That agent might not be too thrilled that you’re encroaching on their territory, and might bad-mouth you to other professional contacts. If that happens, stay courteous and polite and speak with the developer or agent directly to smooth things over.
Cold call and door knock.
While cold-calling and door-knock are great options for experienced agents (who take the time to prepare), these options are arguably the most difficult ones for new agents. If you sign up for RedX, then you’ll have an easy place find a list of all the potential, expired, and canceled listings in your area. Take that knowledge, and work this strategy consistently to see results. Track results in your spreadsheet, so you never lose track of when to follow-up with prospects.
Expert Tip: Call as early as you can. Property owners often sign with the first or second agent that calls them. Be persistent, and call early and often.
Post about your new career on social media.
Social media is an immensely powerful tool for both sales and recognition. It may not get people jumping to list homes with you, but it will bring clients in slowly and surely.
Your goal should be to work hard enough that you don’t have to introduce yourself. After you complete your first few sales, you’ll notice that your happy clients want to share your information with their networks. This word-of-mouth publicity is invaluable for anyone trying to build a career in real estate.
Go to local real estate offices.
You won’t survive in real estate without professional allies. So walk in and introduce yourself! Don’t be shy (are you noticing a theme?), go up to other agents, introduce yourself, and hand out your card.
Invest in yourself.
Your business won’t grow without investing in yourself. So take the time to make wise investments in you and your business – ads, flyers, business cards, or email blasts. You might not see returns immediately, but don’t get discouraged. It can be a slow burn, but it will eventually pay off in dividends.
Specialize in a certain area or type of listing.
Avoid spreading yourself too thin by focusing on a specialty, either in terms of location or type of real estate listing. Building a niche business will help you keep your time, advertising costs, and other factors in check. Many real estate agents choose a neighborhood to farm, and that can be a lucrative strategy. Establish yourself as an “expert” in one of these real estate niches and become the go-to agent for a specific type of property.
Generate leads on LinkedIn.
Identify the LinkedIn groups you know your target audience frequents, and join them. Don’t introduce yourself to the group with a sales pitch! It’s ineffective and might get you banned from the group. Contribute to the discussion, provide knowledgeable answers to questions, and develop a rapport with the members. At that point, you can follow up with interested prospects and offer to discuss their questions more on a call.
Target “For Sale By Owner” listings.
Only 3% of FSBO listings sell within the desired time, and a mere 18% reported receiving the right price. Find these listings on Craigslist or other real estate sites, and offer to help them get the most from their property listing. Share a blog post, or a few bulleted stats, about why working with an agent is beneficial to the seller, and ask if they’d be interested in learning more.
Reach out to expired listings.
Pull lists of expired listings from the MLS. Be sensitive to the fact these sellers are likely frustrated with their current realtor, discouraged they haven’t sold their home, and under a lot of stress. Open the conversation by acknowledging and validating their frustrations, and share a few ways you’d do things differently to sell their home fast. Leads are the lifeblood of the real estate industry. Give these tactics a try and see how they benefit your business.
If you’re a new agent, sticking to these tips will ensure you land your first listing sooner rather than later. All you have to do is make sure that you’re prepared to grow and develop your business after you close your first sale. These free real estate training and resources will go a long way towards making sure you are ready to capitalize on your success.