Low inventory doesn’t mean NO inventory: A guide for finding real estate listings in a super tight market

— Weichert Franchise

If low housing stock is causing high levels of stress around your office –– fear not. We’ve got plenty of tried-and-true tips, plus some creative new tactics, to help your agents stand out from the crowd, find hidden real estate listings, and sell more homes.

But first, some good news: The listings are coming. According to Edelman, 23 percent of homeowners are considering selling. They just haven’t taken the plunge. More encouraging, 55 percent of this group would be more likely to list their home if they had a trusted real estate advisor to turn to.

Here’s how to become that trusted advisor:

  • Be seen! There’s a reason our branding is bright yellow. It’s hard to miss. Your agents should be highly visible everywhere potential clients are (which is everywhere, by the way.) Think sale signs, business cards, banners, open houses, direct mail, door hangers, and more. Your brand should speak volumes wherever you are (and especially where you’re not.)
  • Go all in on tech. Using tech to the fullest has never been easier. Are you using your CRM to create smart campaigns, squeeze pages, landing pages? To gain behavioral insights? To launch social media blitzes that educate, inspire, and build your database? It takes patience and training, but getting your team to embrace technology is a time- and money-saving way to nurture non-stop lead generation.
  • Polish your presentations. Having a customized listing presentation shows your worth and your investment in your client. What’s often overlooked is the buyer’s presentation. We invest time up front with every buyer, collecting data to ensure that the properties we’re showing actually meet their needs. We also let buyers know how we can help with everything from inspection to insurance to negotiating price, terms, closing date, and anything that serves their best interest.
  • Trust in open houses. Whether virtual or in-person, open houses attract a wide range of people who can lead you to hidden real estate listings. In fact, 76 percent of visitors end up buying a house within six months and 77 percent have a house to sell.
    • A newly licensed agent in our franchised office in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, held an open house and met a woman who was ready to downsize. Just a few hours of hosting led to two closings just two months into his career.
    • An experienced agent in Winter Park, Florida, held an open house for an FSBO. Before the big day, he handed out 100 flyers and ended up meeting a buyer and a seller in the neighborhood. (By the way, the FSBO allowed him to list the home as well, which sold for cash.)
  • Take it outside. In 2021, it’s easy to overlook the power of out-of-home advertising. But as Inman reminds us, products advertised on billboards can see a 497 percent return on investment. Incorporated into a campaign, they perform even better. From billboards to busses to subway cars, OOH ads are hard to overlook, which is why this is one of our go-to mediums.
  • Do good. Garnering positive PR should be a year-round endeavor that connects your team to causes they really care about. During the pandemic, our agents stepped up to help frontline workers, support food banks, and help clients through tough real estate decisions. Investing in your community is good for everyone.

A special guest

To build on the best practices we’ve been circulating, we recently invited industry expert Jared James to share some wisdom with our affiliates across the country. As a national speaker and real estate trainer with his finger on the pulse of emerging technology, his key takeaways touched upon:

Post-transaction engagement. Everyone’s getting into the real estate game, including Silicon Valley, with investors pouring billions into iBuyers  and other new technologies. Jared’s not worried and neither are we because we know that real relationship building starts after the sale. From sending holiday gift cards to offering a yearly home value assessment, treating people like they’re part of our loyalty program is how to keep the real estate listings coming.

Creative marketing. It goes without saying that consistent marketing is essential, but so is creativity. While your CRM can do a lot of heavy lifting, an unexpected message can go a long way in standing out from the crowd. How about sending your prospect a Google earth image of their home including nearby property values? Or mailing a letter to 50 homes in the neighborhood where your buyer would love to live? Or shooting a quick iPhone video letting your social contacts know what your buyer is searching for?

Self care. Always one to think holistically, Jared also reminded us to make room for family, friends, and downtime. We don’t get better by adding more and more (and more) to our plates. We grow and improve by focusing on strategies that work best while prioritizing wellness and work-life balance. More than most careers, real estate can feel like a 24/7 endeavor. It’s up to all of us to make time for what matters most.

Whatever the state of the market, one truism remains: Top producers don’t wing it. They’re disciplined, deliberate, and highly adaptive. With 50+ years in the industry, we know that helping affiliates and their agents combine daily structure with creative experimentation ensures that we’re ready for whatever the market brings.

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