Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess
If you control the listings, you control the market. If the majority of your business is coming from buyers, you are a real estate salesperson. But, if the majority of your business is coming from listings, you are running a real estate business. Huge difference!
After 27 years in real estate, I can confidently say that generating more listings comes down to these seven steps. Follow these steps, and you’ll never be listing-poor.
1. Build a real estate database filled with homeowners
Whatever we focus on expands. Are you focused on growing your database with homeowners? If so, then you now have the foundation for generating more listings.
You should fill your database with friends and family members who own homes in the areas you service. You should include:
• Your past buyers.
• Owners you’ve met at open houses.
• Past expired listing homeowners.
• Homeowners in your farm area that you have communicated with.
The way I think about a homeowner database is very systematic. Although we have not been in a typical market environment for more than 18 months, the National Association of Realtors says 10 years is the average length of time a homeowner stays in a house in a normal market.
On average, 10 percent of your homeowner database will sell each year. No one gets 100 percent of the listings from the potential listings in their database, but following the steps in this article should allow you to convert 50 percent of the homeowners in your database into listings when they decide to sell.
Your database should provide an average of five listings per 100 homeowners per year using this formula. If your goal is to list 20 homes this year, your goal should be to build a database of 400 homeowners.
The more homeowners you add to your real estate database, the better. This group of homeowners provides the opportunity to communicate and add value to them consistently. Communicate consistently to generate new and future listings.
2. Automate the process of sending them comparable home sales activity
We live in the information age. The more pertinent information you provide homeowners, the more top-of-mind you will be when their time to sell arrives.
Because the market is constantly changing, providing real-time information about homes, like the homeowners’, that come on the market and sell is an ideal way to provide them with relevant details about their home’s value.
Your MLS provider and most websites provide automated systems that will email someone properties meeting the criteria you set. These automated property details are a systematic way to add value to the homeowners and keep your face and name in front of them. Every homeowner in your database should have this consistent communication piece in place.
3. Email the homeowners in your database a monthly newsletter
Stay top-of-mind by consistently sending a monthly real estate newsletter to your database. Ask yourself what information the recipient of your newsletter would find educational or entertaining.
It should be a mix of real estate information and community highlights. Identify the areas you want in each month’s edition, and build an email template that is easily utilized each month. The ideal email newsletter for me includes three parts.
The top of the email includes a video of me reviewing the market developments from the previous month. This allows me to speak directly to everyone in my database. It shows my understanding of the market and gives me the ability to connect with the readers more deeply through the video.
In the second portion of the email, I highlight an upcoming local event or a “my favorites” list. Highlighting the local event usually involves a short paragraph introducing the upcoming event linked to the event’s website. The “my favorites” list is very popular with the people in my database.
A few examples of these lists include:
• My 5 favorite date-night restaurants in (your city)
• My 3 favorite coffee shops in (your city)
• My 6 favorite lunch spots (your city)
• My 7 favorite things to do on a rainy day in (your city)
• My 4 favorite places for meeting friends in (your city)
The third portion of the email allows me to highlight properties and any new listings taken that month. This allows me to expose the new listings to the buyers in my database and show the homeowners in my database that other sellers are choosing me to list their homes for sale.
Monthly email newsletters are a great way to add value to your database consistently.
4. Leverage the tool Homebot
One of the best ways to provide valuable insight to homeowners is by giving them a detailed financial breakdown of their home as an asset. Homebot uses advanced analytics to provide a monthly breakdown of the home’s valuation, the amount of equity the homeowner has, options on refinancing and many other insightful details.
This is the most complete asset evaluation tool I have ever seen for homeowners and a key tool for adding value to homeowners.
This monthly report is uniquely insightful for the homeowner, and it comes branded from you. Homebot is another way to add professional and consistent value to the homeowners in your database.
5. Send an unsolicited CMA every 6 months
I mentioned Homebot above, but providing a personalized CMA every six months personalizes your service to the homeowner and makes a tremendous difference.
The most personal way to really connect with the seller is to utilize a tool like BombBomb or Zoom to record your screen, with your face visible in a smaller box on the screen, and go through the numbers on video with the homeowner — the most effective way I know to generate listings in today’s market environment.
I sent one unsolicited video CMA each day I worked in the fourth quarter of 2018. I did 72 of these during the quarter. Within six months, I generated more than $11M in listings directly from these CMAs I emailed to past buyers, homeowners who had indicated they might sell in the next few years, or homeowners in the neighborhoods I farmed.
Sending unsolicited CMAs is a way to exceed the homeowner’s expectations and generate more listings.
6. Make personalized phone calls every 3-6 months
People do business with people. Email or mail will never replace personal conversations. Depending on how close they are to selling, build relationships that will lead to listings by calling the homeowner every three to six months.
Make check-in calls to generate conversations and build relationships. Start by asking about family, but always ask about their home at some point during the call.
The scripts I used when asking about their home were fairly straightforward.
Here are a few examples:
• “It has been a few months since I checked-in. Are you all still loving your house?”
• “You mentioned six months ago that you all might be considering a move in a couple years. I just wanted to check-in to see if anything has changed.”
• “With everything we’ve been through over the past 18 months, a lot of people are reevaluating what they want in a home. Have you all considered repositioning to a home that might better fit your family?”
Nothing ever happens until there is a conversation. Phone calls are a crucial part of the process for generating more listings.
7. Utilize an Adwerx sphere of influence campaign
The best way to stay top-of-mind for the homeowners in your database is to be everywhere they look. Adwerx provides that opportunity with their sphere of influence campaign.
Here’s how it works:
• Go to the Adwerx website and begin a sphere of influence campaign.
• Configure your ad with the template they provide, including your name, photo, branding, tagline and phone number.
• Upload the names and email addresses of the homeowners in your database.
Adwerx will then retarget the homeowners and follow them wherever they go online, from CNN to Fox News. Whether they visit sites like ESPN or The Wall Street Journal, Adwerx will place your ad on almost any site they visit.
The retargeting campaign is not that expensive compared to the potential return through just one listing a year.
By executing these seven steps, you’ll be top-of-mind for your targeted homeowners, and you will generate more listings.
Jimmy Burgess is the Chief Growth Officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida.