When you're trying to build a successful career in real estate, half of the battle is your ability to secure a listing.
The problem? All the other real estate agents near you are trying to win clients from a limited pool of sellers. This means you need a strategy for coming out on top.
Below are five essential steps to ensure you stand out in the competitive real estate market.
Step 1: Have Your Leads Game on Lock
Securing a listing begins way before the initial interview. You have to generate quality leads, nurture prospects to the point where they're ready, and then convince sellers that they should sign an exclusive listing agreement with you.
We've covered other parts of this journey in the past. We've talked about marketing yourself as a real estate agent, getting leads from social media, and building a positive reputation that will generate referral business, not to mention the fundamentals of starting your real estate practice.
Lead generation and nurturing are huge hurdles on the path to winning more listings. Like everything else, real estate is a numbers game. The more quality leads you can generate and move down the funnel, the more opportunities you have to win a listing.
Tip: Network and Collaborate
Real estate is a competitive field, but don't get into too competitive a mindset. Put time into building positive relationships and doing other people favors. It’ll pay off with referrals and high-quality leads.
Think broadly. Attend conferences in other areas, connect with local agents through real estate groups, and get to know related professionals that excel at their jobs. Get involved in your community and partner with local businesses that are plugged into the community.
Step 2: Be Responsive
Texting culture has driven the expectation for a quick response to an all-time high. Plenty of real estate agents win a listing simply by being on the ball.
This doesn't mean faster is always better. Plenty of discerning sellers want substance over speed, and there's something to be said about creating the appearance that you're a busy professional (even if you're not). But the rule of thumb should always be to respond to prospects within a day, and yes, that's any day of the week.
Tip: Start Proving You Provide Excellent Customer Service
Being responsive isn't just about speed. This is also when you should start proving that you offer outstanding customer service.
Every time you're about to hit send on a reply, do a content check. Did you respond to every question? Even early communications should show that you're paying attention to their particular concerns and needs.
You can find a balance of speed and substance by having a script and a set of helpful resources ready to go. That way, you don't have to craft responses from scratch every time.
Step 3: Know How to Leverage Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
No matter how you handle your pre-listing routine and listing appointment, it's crucial to know your unique selling proposition (USP) and use it to help focus your messaging.
There may be a thousand things that make you great at your job, but your marketing is more effective when you focus on one.
There are a lot of potential USPs for real estate agents. Maybe you're great at guiding first-time sellers through the process. Maybe you have a hyper-specific niche. Maybe you're especially skilled at getting top dollar or selling fast.
Not any unique trait will do. Consider what makes you unique and creates value for your client.
Then use your USP to focus your pitch. The attention span of the average adult is 22 minutes. A single, clear argument for your worth is effective because it doesn't tax the brain.
Step 4: Consider a Pre-Listing Package
Sending a packet of information before your listing appointment is an extra expense, but it sends a clear message before you ever walk through the door: you're organized, you're proactive, and you're knowledgeable.
This can be especially helpful if you're new to the business. It takes some pressure off by creating a favorable first impression in advance.
Some ideas for your pre-listing package include a short bio, testimonials, and personal stats (if they warrant sharing). Consider adding helpful information, as well, like the steps to selling a home and common seller FAQs. Not only does it look good, but it may also preempt some questions during the appointment.
Tip: Proactively Gather Client Testimonials and Request Referrals
People are hardwired to want social proof even when there's objective data, we want to know what other people think. That's why testimonials and referrals are solid gold.
They can pay off in just about every stage of marketing. You should include them on your website and social media, and if you don't go for pre-listing packages, you should definitely bring a sheet of testimonials to the appointment.
This means being proactive in getting testimonials. Make it part of your post-closing process to gather their thoughts and feedback. As with leads, it's a numbers game; the more you gather, the more likely you are to get a few gems. You should also ask happy clients to mention you to their family and friends.
Step 5: Approach the Listing Appointment With a Service Mindset
Excellent customer service is about more than just quick responses, and your listing appointment is a chance to show potential clients that you're paying attention and that their concerns are your concerns.
Before your listing appointment, you should review everything you know about the client from previous communications so that you walk in with what you "know" about them at the front of your mind.
When you sit down with them, continue this theme by starting with a series of open-ended questions to learn their priorities and needs. Pay attention, and tailor your presentation. For example, don't emphasize your record closing speed for a client that says they're in no particular hurry.
Tip: Demonstrate Your Knowledge of Market Trends
You have your finger on the pulse of the local real estate market. Pay attention to trends and projections, and sprinkle a little of this information into your listing presentation. What do you think they can expect moving forward?
Just make sure to provide information without making any solid guarantees. No one's got a magic ball, and they'll respect you for addressing the role of economics without making promises.
Tip: Show Up With a Marketing Plan
Ask enough questions in the lead-up to your appointment so that you understand the best approach for promoting their property, then show up with a preliminary but comprehensive marketing plan. In truth, you may be pulling from a set of three or four "comprehensive marketing plans" based on certain traits, but it looks impressive, especially if you plug their specifics into the plan.
You'll be able to adjust things later if you discover unexpected amenities or warts. But a preliminary plan shows them that you're proactive, organized, and prioritizing their business.
Tip: Demonstrate How You'll Leverage Technology and Marketing
Open online listings have spawned a ton of marketing options that sellers love: 3D walkthroughs, drone photography, virtual staging, and more.
Show potential clients that you keep up with technology by addressing the newest trends in your presentation. Bring up the technologies you will leverage in their marketing plan, and if there are any popular options you don't offer, explain why you don't find that technology helpful.
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Written and Published by: VanEd