If you don’t intentionally launch your listings, you’re missing a major opportunity to turn one listing into multiple pieces of business. 

Keep reading to learn exactly how to do that. 

Most agents simply put their listings on the MLS to launch their listings.

There is no advance notice. People don’t know the home is coming to the market, and there is no ramp-up or plan for what happens afterward. 

Most agents have a three-point plan: They put a sign up, they put it on the internet, and they wait for something to happen. That kind of passive approach is not going to cut it in this market. In sports terms, it’s playing defense—not offense.  

Step 1: Know exactly what your MLS rules and regulations say

Every market and every MLS is going to have different rules and regulations you’ve got to follow when launching a listing. 

First and foremost, you need to know exactly what your MLS rules and regulations say. From there, you need a detailed plan that you can communicate to potential sellers. 

We’ve all seen the home with the semi-conscious listing strategy. The photos aren’t ready, it gets listed on a Tuesday, and then all of a sudden it’s sold Wednesday, and most buyers don’t even get out to look at it. Because there’s no plan there. 

That ends up costing the seller money—and it’s something you want to clearly educate potential clients on.

So, with that, there are four additional things aside from knowing the rules and regulations in your MLS, in your market, and in your state about what to do.

Step 2: Have a clear plan with dates—and communicate it

First, you want to have a clear plan with dates that you can explain in a very simple manner: 

  • “Here’s the date the photographer and the videographer come out. 
  • “Before that, we’re going to get our staging and home prep team in to help you with everything. 
  • “We’re going to go on the MLS this date. 
  • “Here’s when open houses are going to be…” 

Your plan should include all the marketing and ramp-up you do before you start showings, when your seller’s home is in “coming soon” status. In the greater Philadelphia area, we’re allowed to do that with the BrightMLS. 

Know exactly how it’s going to go, and let the seller know the exact plan. That will give them clarity. Trust is built with clarity, and most agents don’t explain this stuff—or they rattle some things off and don’t bother making sure the client understands and feels comfortable with the plan. 

If you can’t clearly explain it, you can’t clearly show the value of why that’s going to benefit the seller. You’re missing an opportunity there where another agent could come in and beat you and get the listing. 

Step 3: Plan for ramp-up & pre-marketing

You also need an exact plan about what pre-marketing looks like. 

For example, for Coming Soon listings, which the Bright MLS allows, create a full ramp-up marketing plan that includes:

  • agent-to-agent marketing
  • email marketing
  • social media
  • targeted ads

My team has everything spelled out. It’s very clear, and it shows the seller all the different things we’re doing to get more buyers in their home, to get them a better price and better terms. 

If you can’t explain that and show bullet points, examples, and case studies, you’re missing an opportunity when it comes to signing more listings.

Step 4: Plan for leveraging the open house

Every home should have an open house the first weekend; that’s when you’ll get the most people in. Your neighbors and potential sellers will come in and want to check out the property. 

And if you don’t think neighbors are looking at you and treating that open house as a potential job interview—watching how you show up, how you put up the signs, the prep work, the marketing, everything else—you’re not thinking big enough in today’s climate. 

You should always be ready for a job interview. People are watching and evaluating you even if you don’t know it. 

So if you’re not showing up on time, putting up enough signs, doing the pre-marketing for an open house, there might be other neighbors thinking about selling in the neighborhood who are watching you and saying, “Well, this person doesn’t take things seriously. I’m not using them.” 

That’s a really key thing you want to understand because open houses get you leverage. You get to meet potential buyers. You get to meet neighbors that might be thinking about transacting. And your leverage plan should also involve circle-dialing or door-knocking the neighborhood. 

Because if you don’t let the neighbors know about the listing first, that’s another missed opportunity.

Step 5: Explain who’s doing what

Make sure you know your seller has a clear understanding of who’s doing what and when. 

You don’t want someone coming in and surprising your seller because you didn’t tell them ahead of time who was coming and why. You’ll want to prepare them ahead of time by saying something like— 

“Nick from our team’s going to be coming in on Monday or a Wednesday before we launch to take photos and videos. Here’s the date, let’s schedule a time.”

That’s pretty powerful because it delivers certainty.

“Karen from our home prep team is going to be here on this date. She’s going to confirm the date with you now, and that’s going to happen in [this range].”

That creates certainty. 

“Valerie from our marketing department’s going to be working with you on getting the description together, making sure the brochure is on point.”

That delivers certainty. All these things showcase a couple of things. One, you’ve done this before, and you have a plan. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail, so you’re not going to get that leverage opportunity here. 

Number two, it makes you look like a professional. People will look at you a lot differently when you come in organized and say, “This is what works. Here’s what we’re going to do.…” 

And number three, it’s going to eliminate those calls and concerns from sellers after you sign them complaining they don’t like what’s going on. 

When you have a team, when you have multiple people doing tasks and you clearly communicate it upfront, not only are you going to get more business, it’s also going to allow you to spend your time on income-producing activities, your highest and best use, rather than managing a listing launch. 

When you follow these steps, you can leverage each listing to attract another seller, get another listing, and close another sale, which is what every agent should be focusing on. 

That’s how to launch a listing. If you’re not doing it this way, read this three times. Take notes, develop your own plan, then do yourself a favor and actually implement it.