Unless you live where residents are fleeing from riots, it’s likely that your real estate market is hot.
Listings come on the market and within a few days have multiple offers. It’s a tough time for buyers and an equally tough time for real estate agents. Either you’re scrambling to get listings or you’re struggling to get your buyers’ offers accepted.
Agents are telling me that their sales are down this year, simply because there haven’t been enough listings to sell. The agents who DO have the (good) listings are the winners in 2020.
What can you do to get more listings when the real estate market is hot?
- Market like you mean it (to borrow a phrase from my friend Barbara Todaro)
- Differentiate yourself
- Give a good listing presentation
- Be the best, hardest working agent your clients have ever met
How can you market like you mean it?
First, do mean it. When things get tough, many agents pull back on marketing. They’re afraid to spend money. Like the restaurants that cut their hours when business is slow, they cut back on promotion until they have no more customers and clients.
Double down on prospecting to your niche and your territory. Use letters, postcards, and email. Don’t let anyone forget that you’re there and ready to serve.
Stay in touch with past clients and your sphere. Send letters and emails, and pick up the phone to check in now and then. When they send you a referral, let them know how much you appreciate it. Then be generous in your thanks. (If you send gifts, do stay within the legal limits.)
When you do get a new listing, go all out with photos, virtual tours, and well-written property descriptions. Yes, it may sell within hours, but your online presentations are advertisements for your service, so don’t skimp.
What can you do to differentiate yourself when the real estate market is hot?
Use your social media accounts, your blog, your website, and your prospecting letters to give clients information they want and need, while you promote your expertise in your chosen niche or territory.
Fill those pages with:
- Market reports
- Community profiles for each city or neighborhood you serve
- Community or niche photos
- Community and school information and links to useful websites
- Information about employment opportunities – in your territory or related to your niche
- Regulations regarding properties in your territory or niche. Think, zoning, building restrictions, probate regulations, 1031 rules, short sale procedures, etc.
- Volunteer opportunities – and stories about local non-profits
Promote your full service – the fact that you’ll be there for them from start to finish.
Let prospects know that you’ll help them choose which offer to pursue, help with negotiations, make sure every deadline is met, assist with understanding the inspection report, and deal with any issues that come up on the way to closing.
Be visible, and be part of the community, not just a sales person.
Being visible was easier before the pandemic came along, but do your best. Volunteer where you can, attend meetings when it’s safe to do so, volunteer to speak – perhaps in Zoom meetings.
Instead of pushing your business at every turn, just be a real person – interested in other people. When you have the opportunity to help someone else’s business, do it.
Be consistent in your marketing efforts.
This is always important, and when the real estate market is hot, it is even more important. You’re competing for listings, and if you’re out of sight, you’ll be out of mind.
As for the listing presentation…
Everyone has his or her own idea about what and how much to present. It’s a whole separate and long topic. I’ll just add …
Be on time. Get there early and park down the street for a few minutes, so you can be calm and collected when you knock on the door.
Don’t overdo it. I’m speaking from experience because I was once the victim of a real estate listing presentation that the agents probably thought was wonderful. It wasn’t. They droned on and on with detailed explanations about every aspect of their marketing – and of course, with telling me how wonderful they were.
All I could think was “How can I get rid of these people??” I finally interrupted to say they’d have to leave because I had to leave. I had another appointment. That was almost true. I had an appointment with myself to go buy groceries.
So my advice is to keep it concise. Don’t go into details unless the prospect asks for them. And for heaven’s sake, if you see them fidgeting or checking the time every few minutes, wind it up!
How can you be the best agent your clients have ever met?
Respond to your clients promptly. Unless they contact you after hours, don’t make anyone wait until the next day to get a response.
Set them up with the right expectations. For instance, let them know your working hours so they aren’t trying to reach you at 11 p.m. and feeling angry when they can’t. Give them realistic expectations about how long it takes to have an inspection or an appraisal scheduled – and to get the results.
Give them honest advice. If they really need to do some house cleaning before they list, tell them. Don’t let them think that just because the market is hot, their dirty house will sell quickly.
Stay on top of your transactions, deal with issues as soon as they appear, and keep your sellers informed.
Keep learning, so you know more this year than you did last year.