Part II: How To Make Money From The Coming Listing Boom
As the real estate marketing mantra says, ‘Control the listings, and you control your market.’
Yet, with so many real estate professionals sitting on the ‘seller sidelines’ having spent years living off online buyer prospects, an incredible window of opportunity has opened for top listing agents.
In the coming 2014 listing tsunami (see Part 1 in this series) aggressive marketing is the secret to beat your competition to a limited supply of listings. Cold calls. Networking. Chasing leads. Reaching out to past clients. Cultivating referrals. Targeting Expireds. Working your known database will help. But to maximize your listings in the coming market your most important move is to revive a pre-bubble marketing technique: Farming…but with a new twist.
Dominate Your 2014 Market With Hyperlocal GeoFarms
Strip away all the busyness and the key to beating your competition to listings in 2014 is to dominate hyperlocal GeoFarms. How? Here are 6 proven principles.
1. Focus On Turnover Above All Else
Don’t select your hyperlocal GeoFarm just because the houses surround where you live. Instead focus on turnover ratios. Do your homework using MLS sold data. Compare the units sold to the total units in an area. What is the average turnover percentage? You’ll immediately see that some areas have higher turnover than others. Pick those high-turnover areas for your GeoFarm. Bottom line: If you pick 500 homes where 10% move every year, compared to 5% (national average), you’ll double your results – and double your money. Homework pays off big time.
2. Work Reverse GeoFarms or ‘Where They Move To’
Once you’ve targeted a high-turnover GeoFarm, survey the recent buyers. Ask them for their former zip code. That way you identify where a large portion of sellers-turned-buyers are coming from. Saturate that second ‘reverse’ GeoFarm with your Just Listed messages. Not only will you generate buyers for your listings…you’ll also generate more listings from that second GeoFarm. Twofers are all good.
3. Target ‘Orphans’ By The File Full
Look around your office. Are there empty desks where agents have left the company? Work their old buyer and sellers (with your broker’s permission, of course). Reach out and touch them with direct mail (the only practical way to ramp up one-on-one listing marketing). Focus on buyers who have been in their homes 4-7 years and find out if they have an itch to move up now that their home’s price has recovered (offering to show them exactly how much their home price has increased will get you in the door). Next, target homes where your company was the listing company in the previous transaction. Assign yourself as the “Marketing Executive” for that home. After all, nobody knows how to list that property better than the company that marketed it successfully last time. Turn those dusty old ‘orphan’ files (where the former agent has abandoned the current owner) into listing gold.
4. Offer Something Of Value Only Serious Sellers Will Respond To Get
Direct response marketers have used this proven technique with legendary success. When you offer something of value only a serious seller would respond to get, you effectively put the right bait on your hook. Fish upstream by shaking the dew off the old “Competitive Market Analysis.” Call it an “Underwater Analysis.” Call it a “Net Proceeds Analysis.” Call it a “Marketability Analysis.” Call it a “Right Price Analysis.” Whatever name you give your offer, make sure it interests sellers. Then only serious sellers will respond. BTW, be prepared to put a sharp-pencil “market data” price to Zillow’s “public data” Zestimate range that the wannabe sellers will have already searched.
5. Constantly Increase Your Customer Database
The only thing better than working 100 prospects in a listing boom is working 200. Marketing is a numbers game. Make the numbers work for you by constantly increasing your GeoFarm. As prices rise higher and inventory stays tight, the player with the most chips in the game takes away the biggest pots (as my Uncle Jake used to say). Once you master one hyperlocal GeoFarm look to add another. Reinvest a solid chunk of your gross commissions back into your listing marketing and soon you’ll be managing a listing machine with a seller pipeline that doesn’t stop.
6. Work FSBOs Like You’re Their Best Friend
Remember For Sale By Owners? FSBOs have been nearly extinct for the past few years. Thanks to the housing bust (and the drumbeat of bad real estate news) sellers were convinced they needed a real estate pro more than ever to sell a home amidst the doom of foreclosures and short sales. But hope springs eternal. With the 2014 spring market expect FSBOs to return. Be ready with a proven “I’ll-help-you-in-return-for-your-extra-buyers” proposition. This spring top listers who have a bullet-proof FSBO follow-up campaign will be plucking these low-hanging listings before the competition.
Fall 2013 is upon us (although it’s hard to tell here in Virginia with “Indian Summer” temperatures) – and we love the buzz across the web of how top agents are gearing up to make the most of their 2014 listing marketing. What we are hearing is that top listers are planning to target hyperlocal GeoFarms and saturate neighborhoods with newsletters, postcards, and other put-it-right-in-their-hands direct marketing materials to grab name recognition as the neighborhood listing expert.
Simply put: Top agents are taking advantage of proven techniques that their competition has abandoned during the bust years.
Dan Gooder Richard is editor of SMART ESSENTIALS, a new series of consumer guidebooks for home buyers and sellers. Don’t miss the first part in this 2-Part series: Part I: The Sellers Are Coming! The Sellers Are Coming! 2014 Listing Boom Imminent As Sellers Rebound
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