How Do Real Estate Agents Get Listings?

Professional man sitting on his laptop looking puzzled.

As a new real estate agent, getting listings is a daunting task—one that starts with lead generation. Successful agents master the art of lead generation by employing several marketing tactics to convert prospects into listings.

Listings tend to multiply after you have a few because current clients provide enhanced exposure. While there’s no perfect solution to get listings, there are proven methods to track down leads, leverage existing listings, and sway people to choose you as their real estate agent. 

So, you’re probably wondering, “What are the most efficient ways to get listings?” We’ve compiled a few ideas to enhance your efforts; read on to find out.

Leverage Your Circle

Building a network is a fundamental part of becoming a real estate agent—especially when you’re in hot pursuit of leads. It pays to know the right people, especially when 41% of sellers find their real estate agent through referrals. Growing your network is the most effective way to create leads and convert them to listings.

Start with your social media accounts, friend groups, family, and your existing professional relationships (even if they aren’t related to real estate). Put yourself out there and let everyone know that you’re a real estate agent looking to help. 

The key is using what your connections know about you as a person to your advantage. While you might not have much real estate experience, there may be a few folks that can testify to your character—which is one of the most important aspects of hiring an agent. Buyers and sellers want someone they can trust above all, not some sleazy commission-crazed nutjob juggling 100 clients at once.

Here are some ways to grab attention from your inner circle:

  • Make a survey on Instagram asking people if they’re considering buying or selling a home.
  • Call and catch up with old friends, ask them about what they’re doing, and mention you’re in real estate.
  • Send handwritten letters asking if they know anyone interested in buying or selling a home and offer to help.
  • Use word-of-mouth communication at gatherings to educate potential clients about the state of the real estate market.
  • Educate people for free on social media about the local real estate market and actively post your listings or client success stories to generate buzz.

Building your inner circle is the number one way to generate leads and get more listings. All other lead generation activities point towards networking with others and increasing your local footprint. Keep networking in mind as you move through this article and your career.

Focus on High-Powered Leads

While cold calling and door-knocking serve a purpose, what if there was a way to focus your energy on leads that are more likely to convert into listings?

High-powered leads exist, and they involve three different categories:

1. Expired or canceled listings

2. For sale by owner (FSBO)

3. Notice of defaults (NODs)

The problem is that there are few high-powered leads, so picking them out of your real estate market can be time-consuming, especially when you’re moving door-to-door. Make an action plan and focus on these turbo leads. Call the homeowners and ask them, straight out, for their business. Spend enough time door-knocking in each area to diversify your efforts and know which homes fall into the three categories—use them as your anchor points.

Prospecting is about being proactive. While you can use other advertising and direct mail approaches, it costs more and isn’t as effective. Generally, the more proactive you are, the more listings you’ll get.

Use Trickle-Down Real Estate Marketing Techniques

This lead generation technique is usually a “slow-burn” and less likely to get you immediate leads. It involves knocking on random doors, posting advertisements on your social media account, and using snail mail to reach out to potential clients. Digitally you can find leads by providing educational content—especially on YouTube and LinkedIn. 

The main goal of trickle-down marketing is to add people to your professional network by raising awareness. However, trickle-down marketing can be expensive, as it includes purchasing extras like physical and digital ads or business cards. It’s also time-consuming, as many agents will network by cold calling businesses or going door-to-door offering their services. 

Whatever method(s) you choose to employ using trickle-down marketing, remember this: 

Personalize all of your marketing attempts and find a way to highlight each lead’s unique situation.

Are you sending a letter? Make sure it’s handwritten and includes relevant details about their home. Are you making a video on YouTube? Find a niche topic to gain traffic and share it with your local network. 

Building your personal brand isn’t easy and it takes time. However, with an action plan and consistency, you’ll be able to capture the attention of your local market. Once you start getting leads and turning them into listings, your network will likely grow.

Host Open House Events

As a real estate agent, you should always leverage your network to attract new business. When you’re hosting an open house for a seller, this is a premium opportunity to showcase your client’s home and your ability to sell.

Shift your focus from opening the home up for potential buyers to having an open house event for everyone in the neighborhood. Show up early and go door-to-door in the surrounding area, asking people to join you at an open house for snacks and refreshments. Use marketing materials like flyers if people answer the door (don’t leave them on their porch—it can be perceived as tacky). Connect with homeowners and ask them if they know anyone looking for a house in the neighborhood. Finally, before you move onto the next home, ask them if they’re thinking about selling. 

If you hit the sidewalk and promote your open house, you’ll accomplish multiple goals simultaneously:

  • You’ll increase the odds of selling your current client’s home.
  • You’ll build buzz around your open house.
  • You’ll send a message to homeowners about your work ethic.
  • You’ll show homeowners you have what it takes to sell a home in their neighborhood.
  • You’ll highlight your determination to your current client.
  • You’ll market your services in a non-pushy way and give them a flyer with your contact information.

Going door-to-door before an open house is a great way to get more listings, network with homeowners, and sell your current listing more quickly. 

The Bottom Line

Finding listings as a real estate agent takes hard work, patience, and a bit of knowledge to gain an edge on the competition. Starting from scratch can pose a challenge, especially if you’re not active in the community because all of your efforts should point towards building your network. Start by reaching out to friends and family, asking them if they’re considering selling or buying a home soon. Use social media to raise awareness and educate your network about the services you offer. 

After you’ve tapped your network, focus on high-powered leads that put you in front of people actively looking to sell their homes. Map out expired, canceled, FSBO, and NOD owners and make them the focal point of your marketing efforts. Include traditional trickle-down techniques to maximize your productivity and put your plan in action.

Once your lead generation techniques start to pay off, use current listings to expand your footprint. Try to network with neighbors during open houses and show them you’re available if they need an agent. Remember, if you work hard, tap your current resources, and put yourself in front of interested parties, you’ll have no trouble finding listings in any housing market. 

You May Also Like