January 9, 2022


Are you a new real estate agent struggling to get your first listing? You're not alone. You might find it difficult to break into your local real estate market, but with a little hard work, the right marketing, and perseverance, you can start generating leads and landing listings in no time.

This blog post outlines 24 strategies that you can use to get real estate listings as a new or seasoned real estate agent. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, implementing just a few of these strategies will greatly increase your chance of success.

After reading this article, you'll have the tools you need to get more real estate listings. So let's dive in and help you start getting more listings.

What Are Real Estate Listings?

Before we get into the different strategies, let’s be clear on the definition of a real estate listing. This is crucial when it comes to the strategies discussed below.

A real estate listing is a specific property for sale by a particular seller. The seller has decided to move and can sell it independently or pay a real estate professional to sell it for them. A real estate agent charges a commission to list and market their property for sale. The goal is to market the listing so that it will prompt a buyer to make an offer to purchase it.

Real estate agents will post their listings on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Their real estate listing will include images of the property, description of the home's features, location, and price. Companies like Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and other licensed Realtors can take the listing information from the MLS and promote the homes for sale on their websites to generate leads.

The listing agent is the point-of-contact for potential buyers and buyers agents who may want to tour the property. They are also responsible for setting up showings, providing feedback to the sellers, and negotiating offers on behalf of their clients.

Should I Be A Listing Agent?

There are more advantages of being a listing agent versus a buyer's agent. Listing agents have the seller sign a listing agreement that typically lasts between 90-180 days. This gives them the exclusive right to sell the home and collect a commission if it sells. 

Within any industry, the person who owns the product or inventory has the advantage. Most real estate agents who focus on listing spend most of their time in the office or on listing presentations and can quickly scale by hiring an assistant to manage all the paperwork.

If a listing agent has multiple listings in one neighborhood, they are seen as an authority, making it easier to build trust with homeowners within the neighborhood. After you list a home and put your sign in the front yard, it's common that one of the neighbors will contact you to list their home too.

As a buyer's agent, you still have access and can sell listings, but you'll be spending most of your time driving people around showing houses. Your capacity to work with multiple buyers at one time is limited.

What Is Important When Getting Listings?

You might find it difficult to break into your local real estate market at first. With hard work, patience, perseverance, and little luck, you connect with people who will be excited to work with you.

These items are the most important when it comes to getting listings:

  • Find and identify motivated property owners looking to sell their homes.
  • Promote your services effectively.
  • Provide exceptional service every time you work with a client.
  • Ask for referrals from satisfied clients.

Your listing presentation must position you as the best real estate agent for the job. Don't just go down the lazy route and drop your commission at the first sign of trouble. If you cannot prove your value to a homeowner, how can you prove you can negotiate the best price for their home?

General Strategies To Get Listings As A Real Estate Agent

Let’s now have a look at the 24 ways you can get more listings as a real estate agent. 

24. Reach Out To Your Friends, Family, Past Clients, Local Connections

One of the best ways to get more real estate listings is to ask for referrals from friends, family, and past clients. They may know people looking to sell their homes and are looking for a real estate agent.

Tips on how to ask for referrals:

  • Make a list of the people you know and categorize how you know them.
  • Let your friends, family, and past clients know you have a goal to help X number of people sell their homes this year.
  • Ask them to refer you to anyone they know looking to sell their home.
  • Thank them for their referral, and let them know that you appreciate their support.

Make a goal of picking up the phone calling 10 people in your sphere each month. A customer relationship management software (CRM) helps you track who you spoke to and where they are in the selling phase. You can refer to your notes the next time you talk with them. You can set up alerts to contact them regularly or when they have told you they will be ready to sell.

23. Start Sending Out Email Newsletters

A real estate email newsletter is an excellent way to keep in touch with everyone you know. They are easy to put together, and there are even services that will create & send them for you. The main benefit of sending out an email newsletter is that it allows you to stay top-of-mind with your contacts.

Email newsletters should be professional and personal by talking about your services, providing money saving tips for their house, and news affecting the local real estate market. Share a personal note (like a life update or a recent trip you took) to make them feel they are a part of your life. 

Your prospects can easily forward them to anyone asking for an agent referral. These emails give you the advantage when they are ready to sell because they are familiar with you and they know how to contact you.

It is common to send out one newsletter a month, but if you send them more frequently, this could distinguish you from the competition. Just remember whatever content you provide has to offer them value.

22. Start Farming A Neighborhood

When you farm a neighborhood, you establish yourself as the expert in the area and build trust with the homeowners. You can do this by mailing informational newsletters every 4-6 weeks, creating a neighborhood website, or even doing a door-knocking campaign. 

You want to focus on homeowners who are likely to want to sell their homes in the near future. You can identify these homeowners by looking for those who have lived in the house for more than 5 years, recently retired, or inherited property. Your local title company or public records can help you identify the right homeowners.

21. Send Out Just Listed And Just Sold Postcards

Let them know that you are the expert in their area by sending them ‘just listed’ & ‘just sold’ postcards to everyone in the neighborhoods you are farming. You can use this to advertise your services as a real estate agent so people know what you can do for them.

The 'just sold' postcards let your clients know about your other listings and the benefits of working with you. Make sure to mention how quickly the home sold or if it sold above the listed price. If you don't have any listings, you can send postcards out with a list of homes your brokerage currently has for sale in the area

20. Stay Active In Your Local Real Estate Community

When you're active in your local real estate community, you'll be able to build relationships with other professionals and learn about new opportunities that may arise. You'll also be able to establish yourself as an authority on real estate topics.

The more you're involved in the community and focused on helping others succeed, the easier it will be for people to trust you with the sale of their home. You can be active in your community by attending local networking or charity events.

19. Tour FSBO Houses

When you tour FSBO houses, you can feel the neighborhood and observe how motivated a seller is to sell. Always be prepared with a notepad and take pictures of the property.

The majority of FSBOS will end up listing with a real estate agent because the process will become too complicated. FSBOs get discouraged when negotiating with a buyer directly or a buyer's agent. This is because they believe they have the best neighborhood house, and when they receive offers that don't reflect their belief, it causes emotional distress.

A major responsibility of being a real estate agent is managing expectations and emotions. Let the seller know you will be checking on them, and if they ever choose to list their home, remind them to contact you.

18. Contact Withdrawn Listings On MLS

Being proactive is the key to success when getting listings as a real estate agent. Houses are taken off the market because sellers can't sell them for their desired price or their situation changes. As a Realtor, you have access to these listings from previous months to the year before. 

You can reach out to these homeowners and let them know that you're interested in helping them sell their home. These sellers may have gone through a negative experience with their previous listing, so be prepared to answer any questions about how your process is better.

17. Connect With Expired Listings On The MLS

Realtors can also contact owners by searching the MLS for expired listings. No matter how long ago it expired, there is a good chance the homeowners are still interested in selling their homes.

The do-not-call-registry can make it difficult to contact them by phone, but you can be creative and send them a series of postcards or a certified letter stating you are working with a buyer looking to purchase in their neighborhood.

16. Host A VIP Open House

Send out an invite for a particular time for just homeowners to come before the open house starts. You can offer a small gift or prize for attending. A VIP open house will attract the homeowners looking for comparables in their neighborhood because they want to sell their home. Remember to host an open house when people are normally home. This could be in the late afternoon when they come home from work or early morning on Saturday before they head out for the day.

15. Visit Yard Sales And Estate Sales

Yard sales and estate sales are an excellent way of picking up listings because you have an opportunity to talk to the seller and learn about the home. An estate sale gives the impression they might need to be clearing space to list the property for sale. Offer them a free home evaluation, including a report that lets them know how much their home could sell for in the current market.

Dominate Online Real Estate Channels

Create a professional and engaging online presence by utilizing social media, video tours, and real estate websites. It's crucial to be active in your online community because this is where most people start their search for all things real estate-related. 

Let’s explore how you can take advantage of the online sphere to get as many listings as possible.

14. Write A Real Estate Ebook On The Home Selling Process

Writing an ebook about the home selling processes can help you stand out to homeowners looking for information on the subject matter. You could also offer this e-book as a free download in exchange for their contact information.  

The ebook will give you a chance to provide valuable advice and tips on effectively selling a home. Don't be afraid to give out your best selling tactics because once potential home sellers read it, they will realize they don't have the energy or interest to sell on their own, which is when they’ll contact you to sell their house for them.

13. Create Google Local Service Ads

Google Local Service Ads can be a great way to reach potential homeowners. In the ad, make sure to give them a compelling reason to choose you to list their home. The "Google Screened" feature in search results gives more credibility in the eyes of the homeowners.

12. Design A YELP Profile For Your Real Estate Business

Having a presence on Yelp helps potential customers find you online and read reviews from past clients. You can also offer a free home evaluation to homeowners looking to list their homes.

11. Buy Ads On The Nextdoor App

Nextdoor brings together community members and city neighborhoods to create private social networks that help people connect with their neighbors and provide a platform for local businesses to promote themselves.

With millions of active users, Nextdoor connects communities and enables these users to communicate and share information on topics such as local crime, safety, and other critical issues. Buying ads on this website will help you connect with potential homeowners in specific neighborhoods easily.

10. Home Valuation Ads on Facebook

Create a landing page that will give homeowners home valuation. Start by running ads on Facebook offering this free service to your target audience. Facebook lets you filter by age, education, location, and interests.

Make sure your Facebook ad states that it is free and instant. This will help you capture their contact information so you can market your services to them over time. The more your ad spend is, the more listing leads you will potentially generate.

9. Create Real Estate Centric YouTube Videos

By creating helpful and informative real estate videos, you can show potential clients that you're an expert in their city or neighborhood. Seeing your face and how you speak will help you connect with homeowners.

Video topics could include:

  • How many days it takes to sell a home in your market.
  • How to properly stage your home if you want to receive higher offers.
  • Why mortgage interest rates affect the sale of your home.
  • Define real estate terms like escrow, title insurance, and home inspection.

8. Live Stream A Neighborhood On Social Media

Live streaming is the process by which a live video is shown to an audience via social media. Most often Facebook Live streaming has been most popular among agents to document their house tours in real estate. It allows agents to build trust with prospective buyers through "live" communication and personal images from home viewings.

Drop In Your Real Estate Knowledge In Social Situations

Attending events or exhibitions is a great way to network with potential leads. Get involved with the event by being a sponsor, speaker, or exhibitor. You will have the opportunity to build trust with people who own homes.

The following are ways to use your social skills to get more real estate listings.

7. Volunteer At Your Local Charities

Whether it's a food drive, pet adoptions, or a race to raise money for charities, you put your name and profession out there when you volunteer. This is also a good opportunity to meet new people in the community who might be interested in selling their home or know someone looking to sell.

6. Know Your Neighbors

Knowing your neighbors will help you get listings because you will be at the top of mind if one of them wants to sell their home. Establishing a relationship with them makes it more likely they will come to you when they're ready to sell.

5. Join A Group On meetup.com

Meetup also provides a platform for hosting events in your area. The benefits of meeting people on meetup.com include the chance to network with like-minded people, build friendships, and have fun in your spare time.

Don't look at your podcast or hiking meetup groups as just prospects but as genuine people. As you create friendships, people will naturally want to support your business as you support theirs.

4. Connect With Realtors From Other States

Establish relationships with real estate agents out of state, so they trust your expertise and knowledge in the industry. These relationships will almost guarantee they'll be sending referrals your way. You can do this by attending trade events or being part of a large real estate brokerage that holds events all over the country.

The typical referral fee is 25% of your commission, but you can consistently offer more or less depending on the property values in your market. When you receive a referral, be sure to reach out to the agent and thank them for trusting you with their client.

3. Asking For Referrals Is Vital

Most people are uncomfortable selling themselves; however, you need to make it easy for friends and family to refer you out. Make sure your contact information is easy to find on your social media accounts and personal website. People should be able to find you even if they just type your name into Google. Remember to send out a special gift like a $5-15 Target gift card to show appreciation to anyone who referred you.

2. Host Real Estate Workshops

It would help to host workshops for homeowners about what they need to know before selling their homes. This helps them make an informed decision when it is time to list their home. Hosting workshops also improves your chances of getting repeat business from these clients because they see you as knowledgeable and helpful.

It's essential to answer questions and have many tools available so homeowners know where they should do next after attending your workshop. Pick a time and location that is the most convenient for them and consider hosting a virtual seminar over zoom.

Join An Established Real Estate Team

Becoming a part of a team gives you the best chance at increasing your listings. However, there are some things to consider.

1. Become Part Of A Real Estate Team

When you join a well-established real estate team, you instantly have access to a wealth of resources that can help you get more real estate listings.

  • A real estate team will have a large pool of past and potential sellers for you to reach out to.
  • They have already built relationships with these clients, so they are more likely to trust and work with you.
  • The team has probably already developed real estate marketing materials and systems that you can use to get started quickly.

You will have a closer look at how they market and offer ways to improve or add to their process. Just be aware that you will most likely have to give up 50% or more of your commission than if you worked independently. Some teams also require you to be a buyer's agent when you first start.

Get Listings As A Real Estate Agent - FAQ

See the most asked questions

How would you go about starting your real estate career today?

If you're a real estate agent starting today, you need to prepare for a lot of hard work. Not only do you have to convey your expertise during social situations, but you also have to make sure that you're interacting and educating your online community.

Social media and the online space presence are essential for getting new listings. They are where most people's eyes are during the day. Creating educational posts on Instagram, TIK-TOK, Facebook, YouTube, or even your own blog will most likely keep you at the top of your prospects' minds.

What advice do you have for real estate agents looking to become listing agents?

The best way for agents to get listings is by leveraging all marketing avenues until they figure out the one that works the best for them. Get creative when finding and contacting homeowners who are thinking about selling their homes. Be prepared to prove your value by overcoming objections during listing presentations.

Conclusion: Thriving Agents Are Listing Agents

If you’re serious about becoming a listing agent, don't be afraid to ask friends, past clients, or strangers if they know anyone looking to sell their home. Always make sure you are committed to providing excellent service. Start building relationships within your neighborhood. 

Be aware that some homeowners may not take kindly to an unsolicited offer for listings, or they may think you are too pushy. People respond more positively when they feel like a real estate agent's services meet their needs.

Don't get discouraged because there is a homeowner out there who would love to work with someone like you. Remember that your client is looking for someone who will listen to them and show genuine interest. Follow these tips to help you succeed without feeling overwhelmed or discouraged - you deserve it. Good luck!

About the Author

As a native Washingtonian, Carlos Reyes’ journey in the real estate industry began more than 15 years ago when he started an online real estate company. Since then, he’s helped more than 700 individuals and families as a real estate broker achieve their real estate goals across Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Carlos now helps real estate agents grow their business by teaching business fundamentals, execution, and leadership.

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