Do you know how often homeowners move in their community?
According to the National Association of REALTORS, U.S. homeowners become sellers and move once about every 8 years. And a whopping 71 percent of all U.S. sellers remain in the same state in which they purchase their next home.
Early in your real estate career, you may have found that buyers buy more often than sellers sell. But there’s a fundamental difference between finding buyers and finding sellers.
Buyers come to you when you do things to put yourself in their path – most often at open houses, when they visit your Website to look at homes, because they visit your listings, or even because they called when you were handling floor calls at your office.
Sellers, on the hand, tend to be more elusive. You must proactively work to find them. It takes focus, market knowledge, script practice and proactive communication campaigns.
But it’s all worth it! Well-priced listings are a magnet for buyers, buyer agents, and potential sellers in the neighborhood as well. Here are the 4 disciplines of seller-based business:
PREPARE FOR SELLERS
Choose your area of real estate specialization. It might be a geographic area (part of town or certain subdivisions), a property type or a demographic group.
Do your market research. How much inventory is there, and is it rising or falling; how much is selling and how quickly; how are homes getting sold (price reductions, staging, investors, cash buyers.)
Talk like a seller-focused professional. Know your basic market data which might include the number of listings on the market (inventory) and average market time (days on market) that sellers are interested in knowing and practice your scripts for purposeful delivery when you’re in the moment.
Know where to find sellers. As you review MLS data, pay attention to segments of the market where the most sales are happening. Is it in a certain geographic area(s) or perhaps you look within a certain price range.
LEAD GENERATE FOR SELLERS
Accepting the proven premise that seller listings generate your biggest, most-leveraged business opportunity – the question is how best to find them. Focus on these four major sources:
- Your database, especially your Mets.
- Business-to-business leads
- Open Houses
- For Sale by Owners
- Expired Listings
Essential to high-quality professional service is systematic communication. Here are some ways to make that happen with sellers from any group:
Use a Lead Sheet
A lead sheet is a very valuable simple tool. Make it a practice to have one and use it whenever you are having detailed conversation with a prospective seller – it’ll not only help you with you interviewing skills but it’s a HUGE time-saver.
The Lead Sheet
- Has built in interviewing scripts and will prompt you to ask all the important questions about their motivation to sell – and about the property.
- Will save you valuable time later; when it’s time for a listing appointment, you will make god use of the information on your lead sheet – and gather anything that’s missing.
Leverage a CRM to touch seller prospects
Whether you’re using the myMarketing system within eEdge, Keller Williams Realty’s complete lead to close business solution for real estate agents, or your own system, staying in touch through systematic email communications based on their needs is crucial. Try using the 8x8 method: 8 touches over 8 weeks targeted to sellers.
Use blogs, video, social media and Craigslist
Online blogs are part of the repertoire of many top listing agents. Whether it’s a stand-alone site or is incorporated into your main website, writing about seller topics will help position you as a seller expert – and attract sellers to your Website where you may capture them through registration.
Agents have had a lot of success creating video tours of neighborhoods they farm, or of individual listings, to draw attention to the properties and to their expert insights on selling. Post these videos on your blog site or your main Website. Create a YouTube channel. They’re all opportunities to let sellers know you are looking for them, and they you know how to help them.
On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN or Google+ create posts that demonstrate you understand the selling market. Don’t overdo business posts, but make them part of a blend of personal observations and business comments.
Post properties for sale or offer specialized seller services. You must, however, be willing to update your postings at least twice a day to stay at the top of the list.
How do you go big with sellers?
- Try working with different sources of sellers.
- Go big with FSBOs and/or expired listings
- Show interest and involvement in a chosen property type or demographic group.
- Blog to your farm or other top target audiences.
This is just the beginning, agents are getting creative about how they get more real estate listings. We want to know: HOW ARE YOU GENERATING NEW SELLER LEADS?