How to Get Real Estate Listings
Finding Listings as a Real Estate Agent
- Think about the market. In high end real estate markets like New York or San Francisco, you will need to spend money on meals and cards to finesse upscale clients. For low end markets, you might want to lower your commission and use the internet to find a variety of clients and focus on volume. New agents, without connections, might want to build on personal connections.
- Build a database. You should build a database of contact information for people you know who could be clients. This includes friends and family or anyone with whom you have had a business relationship in the past. Offer to provide an estimate of the value of their home.
- Most people are interested in knowing how much their home is worth. If they find that it is worth much more than they believed, they might be inclined to sell. Even if that is not the case, you have established a relationship with someone who might be inclined to get in touch with you when they do decide to sell.
- Send holiday or anniversary cards to individuals in the database. This will remind them about you and encourage them to get in touch when they want to relocate. If you send a card for the fifth or tenth year anniversary of the date on which you secured a property for a former client, you might find that they are back on the market.
- Look for expired listings. The MLS retains information for owners who have taken their property off their listings. Many of these owners might have been unable to sell their house at a reasonable price during the market downturn. If you contact them with good news about the prospects of their sale, you might find that they are interested in putting the house back on the market.
- MLS listings are available at www.MLS.com.
- Network at open houses. When you stage an open house to advertise one of your current listings, you will meet a number of potential clients. Attendees are quite probably looking for an agent to help them buy a property, but might well be looking to sell their own property as well.
- Search Zillow’s Make Me Move database. Zillow offers a service by which potential sellers indicate that they would be willing to sell their house if it reached a certain value. Search the database for people whose properties might have accrued enough value for them to sell.
- Look at rentals. Properties are often put on market for lease because the owner wasn’t able to sell the house for as much as they would have liked. Now that the market has improved, it is possible the owner will reconsider selling the property. Contact them and offer to assess the value of the property.
- Visit houses with “for sale by owner signs.” The owner here has decided to go it alone, but might be reevaluating that decision if the home has languished on the market for some time. Inform the owner that for sale by owner houses are often ignored by buying agents, and that with proper advertising you can sell the house for more than they can.