On average, fewer than three listings per agent in this country will hit the market this year. That’s according to a study from Realtor.com Chief Economist, Danielle Hale—and it’s a data point that has a lot of ramifications for you and your career.
Three listings per agent is not a lot. But based on the data for 2022 and 2023, selling three listings a year would actually put you close to the top 50% of listing agents, if not in the top 50%.
And yes, I know one listing every four months is a low bar. Every agent I talk to wants more listings.
So you’ve really got to look at—
- How you handle every listing opportunity you receive, and
- What you’re doing to generate those opportunities.
I’m sharing strategies on both so you can understand the listing game in more detail.
You need to be a hunter
Listings aren’t going to just show up. The average number of listings per agent per year was four in 2019. So it’s down a little over 25% just in a four-year period.
April listings are going to start signing listing contracts now. If you’re not actively going out looking for those opportunities, you’re making a mistake in your business. They’re not going to just fall into your lap.
You have to be willing to hunt for the listing. You can’t be a passive gatherer. Obviously, when it comes in organically, it’s great. But even then, you have to go out and work the leads you have.
Just because you have a relationship with a person doesn’t mean they’re going to list with you.
So here are five things you can do right now to generate more listing opportunities with what you have in front of you.
#1—Call everyone you’ve sold a home to
Call every single person you’ve sold a home to and make a connection call. See how they’re doing. Build the relationship.
We know 68% of sellers list because of proximity. If you’re not calling your clients and they are ready to sell, they’re going to list with someone else.
Staying in communication with them is the easiest thing you can do right now to work your database more effectively.
If calling everyone in your database is too overwhelming, start with five a day—a great number to start with.
These are people you’ve transacted with, so you already know more about them than you’d know if you were calling a cold lead. Think of what you can share with them that they might find helpful or at least interesting. Always look for ways to deliver value.
#2—Build your network & communicate with them
Start with people you already know. Maybe you went to high school with them, maybe you’ve got a connection with their parents. It’s a third cousin once removed, you used to work with them in a previous career, or your spouse works with them.
However you know them, your network will also provide listings that fall into that 68% category.
Make sure you’re sending regular marketing campaigns to them:
- Weekly emails with videos
- Quarterly phone calls
- Invitations to client events
In order to have more listing opportunities, you need to have a bigger pool to pull from.
And to anyone who says, “I don’t know people,” that’s an excuse you’re telling yourself. You buy your clothes somewhere, you get your hair done somewhere, You’ve got doctors, you’ve got accountants you use to do your taxes. The list goes on.
There are people you see all the time. If they don’t know what you do, it’s time to stop being a “secret agent” and start building out your network and having regular marketing campaigns.
#3—Leverage every single sale
Every single sale you make should be leveraged. Every single piece of business could be turned into another two sales if you really work it properly.
Are you calling the neighborhood? Are you doing mega open houses?
All these opportunities are there, and if you’re not aggressively going after them and saying, “Hey, I just sold your neighbor’s home,” and you’re not the first person to announce that to the rest of the neighbors, you’re missing an opportunity.
This is all sitting right in front of you—because you already sold this house, you did the work, you got the job done. You’re the one that handled it.
You’re now the neighborhood expert. That’s a great place to get listings because we know that when one home lists, there’s usually another one or two in the neighborhood that sell as well.
#4—Focus on the person more than the property
A lot of people use online leads, and 41% of those online leads have a home to sell.
In many cases, agents don’t ask the right questions to determine if a potential client has a home to sell.
And I’m not talking about straight-up asking, “Hey, do you have a home to sell?” That’s one of the worst questions you can ask somebody.
I’m talking about the questions you can ask after you’ve set up the appointment.
“Hey, just one more thing. A lot of our clients appreciate a home equity review so they know how much money they’re working with. When the time comes to buy a home, would you like one?”
“Hey, tell me what got you excited about this home and where are you coming from right now?”
These are simple questions to ask about the person—not the property and not the sale—that can help them make a better decision.
Forty-one percent of online leads have a home to sell. And way too many agents just give up on them because they hear one objection.
We know that all the conversion happens after six-plus attempts. Yet, the average agent follows up 2.7 times according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
If you’re only calling through these people once or twice or three times, you’re missing out on opportunities.
#5—Treat everyone like a client
How are you showing up to the appointment?
- Are you doing the proper pre-appointment prep?
- Are you doing the right post-appointment follow-up?
- Have you practiced your presentation?
There’s a skill-based component here on top of how to go out and hunt. If you’re not prepped for all this, when the opportunity does come up, you might blow it and not perform well.
You need a plan
Implementing these five strategies will help take more than three listings this year.
But here’s the spoiler alert: you’ve got to be consistent with them. You need a daily number—a plan—in place.
I know my week’s already planned. I know exactly what I’m going to be doing every day during my lead generation and call time.
That’s what separates the people who are consistently taking more than three listings.
Some people are taking 10 or 15 listings a month. That’s what separates them—the people taking a lot of listings—from the folks that are maybe getting one, two, or three for the calendar year.