5 reasons you don’t have a listings-based real estate business (yet)


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If you focus over half of your business on buyers, you’re a real estate salesperson. If half of your business (or more) comes from listings, you’re running a real estate business. 

If you want to take your business to the next level, you have to take more listings. Today, let’s go through some of the reasons that agents don’t take more listings and how to fix the problem. 

1. They don’t have enough market knowledge

Are you confident in your understanding of the history and trends for your local market? Do you have a professional opinion about where the opportunities are for buyers and sellers in your market? One of the main reasons more agents don’t pursue more listings is their lack of confidence in their ability to provide value to the homeowners.

The reason most agents work with buyers is that the level of professionalism needed to serve listings is dramatically higher. For many agents who work with buyers, their duties are often little more than order takers who email a link to a dozen or so properties and then ask the buyers which one they would like to see.

When working with listings, agents need to be competent with pricing the home correctly, providing insights on how to prepare the home for sale to maximize the attractiveness to potential buyers, marketing the home in a way that gains the maximum amount of exposure, and providing the seller with detailed feedback on showings and offers. These are all learned skills and many agents sadly don’t take the time or make the effort to become true professionals.

This is an opportunity for you to separate yourself from your competition. Become a student of your market. Become the most creative marketer in your area. Become the most professional agent you can possibly become. By doing so, your competence and confidence will increase, leading to more listings.

Knowledge is power and having confidence in your market knowledge breeds contracts, or in this case, listing contracts. Human nature provides a natural aversion to walking into the unknown. This is true with listings as well. If an agent doesn’t have the confidence that they know their market, they avoid going on listing appointments or putting themselves in a position of discomfort.

2. They lack a unique selling proposition

Do you have a clear and unique reason why a homeowner should list their home with you instead of any other agent? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. The lack of a unique selling proposition is why so many agents take so few listings.

An agent who can clearly communicate how their process will help the homeowner sell their home for the highest price possible, in the least amount of time, and with the least number of hassles will take more listings. Developing and continuously improving your unique selling proposition is key to your ability to increase the number of listings taken on an annual basis.

3. They don’t have a marketing plan that gains seller confidence

Do you have a marketing plan that will increase a listing’s exposure to potential buyers? Can you communicate it in a way that homeowners see the value of your marketing expertise? Unfortunately, the answer to the previous two questions is “No” for most agents.

If that’s you, now is the time to develop a marketing plan that provides you with the confidence that you have a plan of action that will deliver results. A successful marketing plan in today’s environment should be creative and systematic.

Your proposal should include listing out the types of marketing all agents, including you, will do like syndicating the listing to all major websites, placing a sign in the yard, and any other tasks that will be performed to gain the home exposure. Although we assume homeowners know everything all agents do, most don’t. By listing these tasks out, you make sure the homeowner knows everything that will be done.

The next part of the marketing proposal includes all the things you will do that other agents may not do. If you send Just Listed cards, tell them you do and why you do. If you have professional photography and videography done, tell them so and why that is valuable to them. If you do targeted social media campaigns to attract their ideal buyer, explain the why and how of your campaigns

A written, professional marketing plan yields more listings.

4. They lack a focus on listings

Does your database have more potential buyers or more homeowners (potential listing leads)? Do you spend more time speaking with potential buyers or potential listings each day? What we focus on expands. If your day is focused on adding value to potential buyers, you will attract more buyers. But the reverse is true as well. By focusing your attention on adding value to potential listings, you will naturally attract more listing opportunities.

The shift to focusing on listings starts in two areas, marketing and your outbound prospecting calls. The marketing change begins with a shift of focus to geographical farming, predictive data analytics for listing lead generation from companies like SmartZip, or a shift to more seller-focused social media content.

The shift to calling homeowners and potential listings happens when your outbound prospecting calls focus on checking in with past buyers, circle prospecting after a sale, or calling FSBOs and expired listings. By shifting your focus, you will shift your results.

5. They don’t have a geographical farm area

Do you have a geographical area or neighborhood where you consistently add value to the homeowners and where you’re known as the expert agent? If you don’t have a neighborhood or area where you are consistently adding value and are known as the expert for that area, then you are simply not maximizing your opportunities to generate listings.

Geographical farming is a fundamental strategy for all top listing agents. If you don’t have a farm area, now is the time to start. If you have one or more areas you farm, add an additional area. The agent that adds value to the most homeowners will be the agent that generates the most listings. Take action on this as soon as possible.

If your business consists of working with real estate buyers for over 50 percent of your transactions, then you are a real estate salesperson. But if your business consists of over 50 percent of your transactions coming from listings, then you are running a real estate business. Build your business on listings.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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