In most markets across the U.S. agents are scrambling to get real estate listings in 2021. They aren’t easy to come by, because so few people want to sell right now.
And who can blame them? Would you sell your house if you felt unsure that you could find a new house to buy?
That said, here are a few thoughts on how you can get real estate listings in 2021.
First, think about your target market.
Instead of focusing on people who might want to sell because they can get top dollar right now, think about who actually needs to sell.
The categories that come to mind for me are:
- Corporate relocations
- Military relocations
- Estate executors
- People who must move into a care facility
- Divorcing people
- Those who can’t make the payments due to loss of employment, illness, or death
Take time to think about these folks and which are the best fit for you. Then get your lists and get going!
For some you’ll need to farm a general area. For others you can get lists from county records or from companies like Cole Realty Resource.
Next, if you want to get real estate listings in 2021, consider what homeowners want from you.
Homes are selling quickly, and most homeowners know that. So quoting statistics about how fast your listings sell isn’t going to get you anywhere.
In addition to a quick sale for top dollar, what else do homeowners want?
The number 1 complaint people have about their real estate agents is feeling ignored. Once they sign the listing, the agent disappears. Their calls go unanswered – and if anyone does get back to them, it’s an assistant, not the agent they thought they hired.
Whether buyers or sellers, real estate clients want attention.
- People want to understand every step in the selling process. They want to know what will happen – and when, and why.
- When they’re worried or unsure, they want to be able to reach you for reassurances and answers.
- When presented with multiple offers, sellers want guidance in how to compare those offers and choose the best one to pursue.
- They want to feel like they have an experienced professional who is on their side, guiding them and protecting their interests.
To see which of your attributes will help you get real estate listings in 2021, go read your testimonials.
From your testimonials, you’ll learn what you did that mattered most to your clients. You’ll learn why they loved you – and why they’re likely to refer others to you.
Your testimonials will tell you what to stress in your real estate marketing efforts.
Perhaps it’s accessibility or your attentive listening skills. It could be your calm assurances or your skill in explaining the process – or the math. It might even be your service after the sale.
Whatever your past clients mentioned is a point of excellence for you – so use it in your marketing.
What if you don’t have a lot of testimonials?
It probably means you’ve been afraid to ask for them. I understand that, because I don’t like to ask either. It feels a bit “needy.”
But you do need them, because prospects do read them. Some brokerages automatically send a request for feedback with a link to a site for clients to add their comments. Some don’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t do your own asking.
When I owned a brokerage, we mailed a request similar to the one below. We sent a form they could fill out, and we included a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We used a big, colorful stamp because for some reason people think they’re more valuable and will want to use them. (I know – makes no sense to me either, but that’s what marketing gurus say.)
SAMPLE FEEDBACK LETTER:
Dear (name of buyer or seller),
Will you do me a favor?
In my ongoing effort to give each of my clients the best possible service, I’ve prepared a short “How did I do?” questionnaire. Will you please take a few minutes to answer the questions?
Note to agent: You can put the questions in the email and ask them to reply, or you can add a link to an on-line survey. These questions are my suggestions – you may have others. If you use postal mail for this, be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
- What did I do for you that you especially appreciated?
- What did I do that you wish had been done differently?
- What else could I have done to make your transaction more pleasant?
- Will you recommend me to friends and family?
- Do you have any words of advice for me?
Once you get feedback, if your client has said something complimentary, write back to thank them, and ask for permission to use those words and his/her name in your marketing materials. You might also include a link to the correct page on one of your social media sites and ask them to add their testimonial. While you’re at it, ask if there’s someone in their acquaintance who could use your help right now.
Make good use of the testimonials you already have…
- Sprinkle them into your marketing messages.
- Put a couple on various pages on your website.
- Include them in listing presentations.
To give your testimonials greater impact…
Give them a headline. Pull a key statement from your client’s words and build a headline around it. Then, even if prospects don’t read the entire testimonial, they’ll get the key message.
Bold key sections. Bold type draws eyes, so try bolding just one key sentence or statement in each of your testimonials. Here’s an example: “Just wanted to drop you a message and tell you how much I appreciated the way you handled the sale of my house! We had a contract within 48 hours for the exact amount I wanted, and we closed in less than 30 days.” Choose carefully. Think: “If my visitor reads just one line, which line should it be?”
Break up the text. Your clients aren’t necessarily writers or marketers, so some of them will write 20 or 30 lines praising you without making a paragraph break. You won’t be changing their words when you add the breaks necessary to make it easier for your site visitors to read their praise, so choose logical spots and just do it yourself.
Business as usual won’t help you get real estate listings in 2021.
So change your focus. Market to the people who need to sell and show them that you’ll give them the attention and guidance to make theirs a stress-free sale.