Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Tom Toole

Just by getting on the phone, you can generate new leads and build your own listing inventory. The business is that simple. The people who have the most conversations and go on the most appointments sell the most houses

The real estate inventory shortage continues, with countless agents competing for too few listings. So, how will you take charge of your own inventory?

Instead of waiting for sellers to come to you, leverage the listings you already have and build your own inventory. Let potential sellers know about the work you’re doing, and establish yourself as the real estate expert in their neighborhood.

1. Use circle dialing

Reach out to the homeowners in an area where you’re already working and deliver value. Let them know that you’ve listed a home, you’re hosting an open house, you’ve gone under contract or you’ve closed a home, or share general neighborhood sales activity.

If, for example, you sold a home after getting multiple offers, you can use that information to deliver value to the other owners in the neighborhood using a script similar to this one.

Congratulations on the fact that your home’s value just went up. This is Tom Toole with RE/MAX Main Line and the Tom Toole Sales Group, and we just sold the Wolf family’s three-bedroom, two-bath property down the street after receiving four offers on the house. How does your home compare to their house?

Make sure that you use the name of the homeowner in your communication because these owners will likely know your customers, and using a name personalizes your message.

At this point, the person on the phone may tell you that their house is larger or smaller, and then you can continue the conversation.

The buyers who lost out on that home still want to buy in this neighborhood, so I wondered whether you have any interest in selling your home.

Because you’re the agent with the most recent sale in the neighborhood, you can establish yourself as the expert in the area. And now you can work to help the buyers who lost out on the deal, and you can help the existing homeowners begin a conversation about selling their own homes.

From here, you can begin the normal process of qualifying the client and working to build rapport.

2. Leverage your phone’s contact list

Instead of beginning with the first name on the list, scroll all the way down to the bottom because those are often the people we never call. Craft a relevant message that you can share with the people on your list. Here’s an example: 

Hey Nick, it’s Tom Toole. I realize things have been pretty crazy this year, and I wanted to see how you and your family are doing.
Add questions like, “how has the work environment been?” If they have kids, ask about school. Have a human conversation, and do not talk about real estate. (Think FORD script: family, occupation, recreation, dreams.)

Remember, these people know you’re a Realtor, so if they have questions about the market or if they have a need, they will ask you. This is the opportunity to provide value by being the knowledge broker and knowing the market.

They may ask you about the market or something else related to real estate, and you’ll have a great opportunity to provide value in the form of information.

These people in your phone book will include family, friends, past clients and other people in your sphere of influence who already know, like and trust you. The list might also include mortgage brokers, estate attorneys, or accountants, and other people you have helped your clients or with whom you have done business.

Bonus tip: Start at Z in your phone book, and work your way up because everyone always starts at A in the contact list.

3. Take advantage of your CRM

Identify all the long-term leads you haven’t talked to in a while, qualified leads that you’ve previously engaged and past clients who have been in their homes for a while. Send them this simple text:

 Hey Nick. The holiday season is already here and the spring market is just around the corner.  Question: have you had any thoughts about selling during the coming year?

The fact that this has been one of the most seller-friendly markets in history gives you reasons to engage those people who are thinking about selling.

As an agent, it is your job to be the knowledge broker and pass on what is happening in the market. You cannot leave it up to the consumer to know, and when you internalize that mission and come from a place of help, it shines through in your dialogues. It is an easy and effective way to get buyers and sellers off the fence. 
By simply getting on the phone, you can generate new leads and build your own listing inventory. The people who have the most conversations and go on the most appointments sell the most houses. The business is that simple.

Do the work that other agents aren’t willing to do, and you can drive sales now and well into the future, regardless of inventory shortages.

Tom Toole is the founder and team leader at Tom Toole Sales Group. 

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