What’s the biggest problem in real estate right now? What’s the one thing every agent is saying they wish they had more of?

Simple. It’s always, “I need more listings.”

A lot of folks don’t know this secret: even if you’re not a dominant listing agent, there are opportunities to find listings in the wild.

And it happens in your day-to-day activities. If you keep your eyes open and in the back of your mind you’re always thinking, “Where’s my next opportunity to list a house? Where’s the next opportunity to see something that might turn into a new listing?”

Suddenly, you’ll start seeing clear signs around new listings. It happens as long you’re out there in the mindset of “I’m here to do deals. I’m here to sell real estate.”

Know the Visual Cues

No one drives around town more than you. When you are going about your daily activities, whether you are headed to showings, door-knocking, putting up open house signs, or even doing personal errands, keep your eyes peeled. There are always signs when homeowners are getting ready to list their property—and if you know what to look for, it could help you gain a listing. 

Here are some of the visual cues you might see out there in the wild:

  • A home in disrepair and needs work. This might be a sign the homeowner can no longer care for the property and needs to move.  
  • There are moving trucks outside. Due to personal circumstances, some people move before they sell. Other times, you’ll find someone interested in buying the property (who also needs to sell their current home). 
  • Permits posted or renovations underway. If a homeowner is updating their home, there’s a chance they are prepping to sell. 
  • Yard sale or dumpsters in the driveway. Homeowners often purge before moving. 
  • Neighbors approach you while you’re showing homes in the neighborhood. It happens!

All of these are visual cues that there may be a home coming on the market. In short, the more you are out in your local market, having conversations and adding value, the more often you’ll see the visual cues that can lead to listings. 

Identify the Properties Ready to Go to Market

Aside from being fully immersed in your market through day-to-day activities, you can actively search out homes in the neighborhoods where you want to list properties. 

Here are some strategies for finding listings:

  • Talk to current clients and ask them if they know anyone else who is thinking about selling.
  • Talk to the neighbors when you’re putting up open house signs and getting the listing ready. 
  • Circle prospecting—Share information with homeowners whether you are circle dialing, door knocking or sending out mailers. 

Make it part of your daily routine to do some research and find properties that are just waiting to go on the market. 

Deliver Value

So we know what the visual clues are and we know how to identify properties ready to go to the market. But a lot of people get hung up on what to deliver homeowners when calling or door knocking, or even when you are out and about in a neighborhood and run into a neighbor. 

Start by having market data ready. It has to be current and relevant to the area you are in. So if you plan of going to three different neighborhoods throughout your day, take some time in the morning to collect data for those neighborhoods. Same thing if you are circle prospecting.

Include the following data when having conversations:

  • What the last homes in the area were listed for vs. what they sold for.
  • How many days on market for the neighborhood.
  • Specific statistics of sales that you (or your team) have done in the neighborhood, whether it’s a buyer or seller.  

Follow Up

Once you do all of this and have conversations, you must put all the homeowners’ information into your CRM and continue to follow up with them. 

Put them on a seller property drip with sales activity in the neighborhood and what other properties are transacting for, and follow up with helpful phone calls, texts, and emails. 

And the bonus hack here is to send a weekly video to your database. This way, when you do call, you’re the person that comes out as top of mind.  

This is how you find listings in the wild. When you’re out there, showing properties, meeting people, and working hard, more opportunities will come across your desk.

The way to get listings is not to sit at home in front of your computer screen hoping the phone will ring. 

Get in the arena—this is about meeting people and doing things—because activity breeds activity. And the way to win right now is to talk to as many people as possible, have real estate conversations, and see what sticks. 

It’s part skill, part hustle. And in today’s market, you need both to get listings.