The 21 fastest ways to get listings in 2021

As we face record low inventory levels, it's more important than ever to be focused on winning more listings. We know that's the goal, but figuring out how to get there is often the hardest part.

If you've ever felt stalled trying to generate more listings, sometimes all it takes is layering in some fresh strategies on top of what you're already doing.

This is exactly what we hope you'll do with these 21 ways to win more listings in 2021.

Let's get to it.

1. 90-Day CMA-a-thon Using Google Earth

This first strategy is inspired by Jimmy Burgess who decided to send unsolicited CMAs to property owners with who he'd built relationships and who had mentioned selling their home in the future. But instead of just sending his contacts to the CMA, he took it a step further.

Jimmy pulled up their home in Google Earth, recorded his screen, and walked them through the comparables. His personalized approach and delivery got him immediate results.

We recommend sending out two to three CMAs per day. BombBomb is an excellent video tool you can easily use for this strategy. BombBomb's analytics lets you see the percentage of people who watched your video, opening the door for follow-up opportunities.

Find out who watched your video, and based on your viewers' interaction, send out a personalized letter, or give them a call, or knock on their door. Use these analytics as an opportunity to go deeper with the people who are most engaged.

According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, only 13% of business leaders say that they are "very effective" in delivering personalized customer experiences today. A unique approach to CMAs is all it takes to step into this gap and win more listings.

2. "What's Your Plan?"

Every consumer knows more than one agent.

But what we don't always consider is that the agent who has the last touch with a homeowner who's ready to sell has a significantly higher chance of winning that business than the most known agent. Executing this "right message at the right time" strategy is really simple.

In your database of past clients and seller leads, how many of them are looking to sell in the next 90 days? 6 months? 12 months? Once you gather that information, you can begin to put your sellers in the right follow-up strategy based on their timeline.

At the beginning of the year, we recommend sending an email asking what their plan is to open the conversation. After a few months, you could send them a similar message with one small tweak, "Have your plans changed?"

Here's a great example from our client, Jessica Evans.  This simple exchange helps build long-term relationships with your past clients and seller leads.

Bonus: "It's Been Too Long"

It's incredibly common to lose touch with past clients, even for the most disciplined and organized teams. Dunbar's Law states that we can only really maintain 150 stable relationships at any given moment. As you've been in business for five or ten years, your network grows beyond your individual capacity to stay in touch with each person at a personalized level.

The goal of this strategy is to re-engage with 25 past clients who you've lost connection with. Here are two ways you can do that:

1. Check out your client's recent activity on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. Then, use that information as a catalyst for connection. Here's an example:

Notice how this example includes a reason for reaching out, and a reason for following up with her in the future. After you send an email like this one, put a reminder in your calendar to contact your client again and send something of value to re-establish the relationship.

PRO TIP: Build your social lists to include hot leads and past clients. Every time you hop on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn, make a conscious effort to connect with the people that matter most to your business.

2. If you don't follow your client on social, or they don't have social, you can send a similar email or text that's a bit more generic with the same essence. Here's an example:

All great real estate businesses are built on the backs of referrals and repeat customers. While 87% of consumers say they'd hire their real estate agent again, only 12-14% actually do. Let's fix that by re-engaging the people who matter most: your past clients who already know, like, and trust you.

3. Branded YouTube Pre-Roll Ads 

By 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will be video. It's no surprise then that 90% of consumers say they've discovered new products and brands on YouTube. This is why we're so passionate about getting this strategy into your hands.

YouTube pre-roll ads are video advertisements that play before a video, or as we like to call them, the advertising of the future. These ads are extremely practical to help increase brand awareness, build your influence, and generate sales. 

If you have a YouTube channel, you can create an ad set that targets the people in the area you want to reach. Typically, these ads are only 15-30 seconds, but they can be up to 2 minutes long. This strategy is extremely effective in establishing your brand as a local authority so that when a buyer or seller needs to find an agent, you're the first to come to mind.

To get started with YouTube advertising, check out our YouTube Playbook.

4. Amy Youngren's Magic Buyer Letter 2.0

Direct mail isn't as quick as sending an email and it's not as easy. But if you have a few frustrated buyers that can't find a home on the market, creating a Magic Buyer Letter 2.0 is worth it.

The strategy is simple. Write a letter to homeowners who live in the neighborhoods where your buyers are looking to live. Be specific in describing who your buyers are and what they're looking for. Encourage these homeowners to contact you if they're interested in selling. 

Here's an excellent example from our client, Amy Youngren:

Going the extra mile to help your buyers find a home in a seller's market is a surefire way to get you more referrals and repeat business.

You could even use this strategy as part of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in a listing presentation to prove how hard you work for your buyers. 

You'll win that listing. Every time.

Bonus Script

Using emails to serve the right message at the right time is key to generating new buyer and seller leads. Here’s another script you can use to help generate serious buyers.  

5. Facebook Live Neighborhood Farming

Maybe one-minute videos are more your thing.

If that's the case, hop on a Facebook Live once a month and give your neighborhood a rundown of the notable sales in the past 30 days, offer a free home valuation, and tell your viewers how they can contact you, just like our client Stephanie Cole did.  We recommend boosting the video to make sure you reach the right people in your target area.

6. Redfin Research Tools 

The big idea here is to use data to create better content for your customers.

Redfin puts out incredible research that can help inform your customers so they can make better decisions. The key is to take the data you find, analyze it, and make it relevant to the consumer.

The reality is that consumers have access to more information than ever before but they're also more frustrated, confused, and overwhelmed than they've ever been. It's our job to interpret the data and communicate it in a clear way so they can make the best decision for their unique situation.

7. Home Value Ads 2.0

Average home value ads aren't cutting it anymore.

If you want to generate quality seller leads, you need to take these ads to the next level. You can do this by using hyperlocal photography, qualifying leads through your copy, putting yourself in the ad, and using relevant market data to engage your audience.

Just look at how our client Jordan Rossman did it.  By going deeper with this strategy than you've gone in the past, you'll get more inbound leads who are ready to work with you.

8. The Gretchen Coley Strategy

The future of real estate is providing consumers the information they need to know so they can make better decisions. Empowering the consumer to choose the option that makes sense for them is exactly what Gretchen Coley does by presenting seller-centric programs on her homepage.

"How much is your fee?" and "How much do you think I can sell my home for?" are loaded questions for any real estate agent. By presenting different seller strategies and breaking down each option, Gretchen is not only disarming her competition, she's building an upfront, transparent connection with the consumer and giving them the choice to make.

The second thing The Coley Group does exceptionally well is their sales video. Selling your services in real estate comes down to three key pillars: differentiation, relevancy, and sustainability.

Before you make your sales video, answer these questions:

1. What makes you different?

2. Is your USP relevant?

3. Is it sustainable?

If you haven't already, the Gretchen Coley strategy is one that you'll want to put on your marketing calendar ASAP.

9.  Zactimate

When we saw the CEO of Zillow sold his personal home for 40% less than the Zillow estimate, we created an email campaign to tap into it.

Here's what it looked like:

Since the article is a few years old, you might want to reference a more recent article, like how Spencer Rascoff paid $1M above Zestimate for his LA home. The angle of this strategy is, "If Zillow can't get it right for their own CEO's home, they might not get it right for yours."

Give your leads better data and accurate information by offering to prepare a "Zactimate" for them.

10. Dani Fleming's Masterclasses

Present potential sellers in your area with a strategy they probably haven't seen done before: live masterclasses.

Dani Fleming and her team offer masterclasses eleven months per year, target two different locations, and mailout monthly postcards with the class information. It establishes the team's credibility, expertise, and reputation as the "go-to" for real estate. After a few years of refining this strategy, Dani estimates 75-80% of their sellers have been to a seller's masterclass at some point.

If you want to scale your business, you need to be willing to make long-term investments. This strategy is an investment that requires commitment and consistency, but if you do the work - as Dani Fleming and her team can attest - the ROI outweighs the cost.

11. Connie Carlson's Seller Strategy

A lot of sellers are concerned about whether they'll be able to find a home to buy if they sell theirs. For many, it's their #1 concern. If you know sellers are feeling stressed about their options, why not bring these conversations to the surface?

Our client Connie Carlson did this well in an email she sent along with a video that addressed the seller's concern, bridged the gap with empathy, and built the connection.

Here's how she did it:

You could address the concern in an email, a blog post, a social post, or a video.  Whatever form you take, the bottom line is the same: people value an honest agent. 

Join the conversation that's already going on in the seller's head and bring them clarity, perspective, and direction.

12. The Heather Buckman Strategy

Whenever we have a marketable moment of success in our business, we tend to put the spotlight directly on us. But if you want to stand out from how most agents market their success, put the spotlight on your clients. Better yet, use storytelling in your emails to humanize your brand and generate more leads.

Our brains are hardwired for stories. By making your client the focal point of your story and sending that story in an email to past clients and leads, you can actually encourage their narrative brain to go in the direction you want them to go.

As you write your stories, write as if you're speaking to one person. This helps make your tone more conversational and compelling.

13. C.A.B.S. Covid Edition

Our marketing team wrote an important blog post addressing sellers' concerns about the pandemic:

A lot of sellers are concerned about people coming into their home and touching things. We know this is a problem they're thinking a lot about, so we decided to talk about it.

What made this blog post even more successful was that it was only sent to people who already opened seller-focused emails in the past. This targeted strategy resulted in a 59% open rate.

14. Answer the Public

Answer the Public is a resource that could be the foundation for your entire content strategy. It helps you find questions that consumers are typing into Google and then visualizes it so you understand the specific content marketing angles you can use.

For example, if you were to type "Selling my home" into the search bar, you'd get a list of all the different questions that consumers are asking Google and other search engines about the process of selling their home. 

At the very least, use this resource to gain inspiration and guide your content plan so that you can create better content.

15. Facebook Fishing

Use Facebook Messenger to initiate a conversation with past clients or leads. Ask permission to give them a call, or pick their brain about a project you're working on. As we've seen with our clients, this level of personalized interaction generates dozens of immediate conversations, even more than email.

Keep in mind that Facebook has limits in place where if you're sending too many messages or sending them too quickly, Messenger will let you know and potentially disable your account temporarily. 

We recommend sending these personalized messages once a month, or every other month to generate more replies and conversations.

16. Go All-in On Google

We recently saw the impact of Zillow changing its rules about reviews and sales history. If all of your reviews are on Zillow, you need to start investing in your Google profile and gathering your reviews there. 

And if it isn't already, it's essential to make requesting reviews part of your workflow and sales process.

If a prospect searches your name on Google and only sees one review, it can actually hurt your brand. You want to make sure that when people Google you, they want to hire you. Invest in building up your Google presence by getting more reviews, completing your local profile, and updating your photos, videos, hours of operation, address, and phone number.

If you want to take it a step further, Google Local Service Ads should also be part of your marketing strategy. These are local ads that show up at the top of search results when a consumer googles "real estate agents" in your area.

Someone searching your name on Google might be rare, but when it happens, it's critical.

Beyond going to Google for reviews, another thing you should explore doing is improving your customer success stories.  

The big idea behind this strategy is to tell stories about what you do every day to help sellers sell (and buyers buy).

An excellent example of this is from our client Scott Hartis who highlighted Addison and Kendra's selling experience on his website with an impressive and personal client success story. What makes this success story even more powerful than the average story is that Addison and Kendra's experience is told in their own words.

17.  Google Screened Ads

Google recently introduced Google Screened Ads to their Service Ads. If a consumer searches "best real estate agents in Boston" the first three results are "Google Screened". This feature is Google's way of giving real estate agents more credibility and it's incredibly powerful.

We're actively researching Google Screened Ads to understand how this could fit into our strategy and services for our clients. 

18.  Revamp Your Retargeting

Customers who see retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website in the future. 

Essentially, retargeting is a marketing strategy that serves relevant ads to people who have already visited your website.

Actively running retargeting ads is a huge opportunity that most real estate agents aren't taking advantage of. When they do, most agents only focus on listings. 

What we mean by "revamping your retargeting" is creating ads that focus on you. Sellers need to know who you are, not just what homes you're listing. By highlighting your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), your services, and your happy customers, and putting these ads in front of people who have already visited your website, you position yourself as the local expert and you win more listings.

19. Short-form Education

82% of all internet traffic in 2022 and beyond will be video. Of that, more than 25% will be short-form video.

While there's a place for repurposing content, with short-form video (Instagram Reels, Instagram or Facebook Stories, TikTok), you need to shoot for the medium. That means that every second of your 30-second clip needs to have a clear purpose with a specific message.

Actionable content and practical advice is what your audience wants. If you want to see a few examples of this done well, check out Jimmy Mackin or Chris Smith's Instagram.

20. Annette's Content Calendar

Think of this final strategy as taking all the previous strategies and putting them into a plan.

The ability to put out consistent content doesn't just happen. We know you don't have the time to spend all day every day on marketing, which is why a content calendar is crucial.

Creating a monthly content calendar not only helps you stay consistent, but it gives you the space to be creative and thoughtfully plan out how you want to show up on your social. What do your customers want to learn from you? What are the outcomes they want to achieve? Your answers to these questions will help inform the content you put out.

Most real estate teams aren't in a position to hire a full-time social media strategist. We're not saying you have to. But we do encourage you to be open to the idea of taking part of your budget and putting it towards hiring a videographer or a remote editor to do post-production. Because your organizational structure dictates your output, if you have more creative people on staff, you will naturally produce more creative work. 

Be proactive and sit down with your team to map out a strategy with specific content. Here's a template to use to get you started.

21. Launch Your Listings 

In a low-inventory market, agents tend to undermarket their listings because homes are selling so quickly. The problem here is mindset; if you perceive marketing your listings as a cost, you will always try to minimize the expense. But if you treat marketing your listings as an investment, you will look to try to maximize your return. 

Smart agents understand that how you promote your listings is an audition for future sellers. Your next customer will see how you market and advertise your current listings and say, “I want that for my house!” There is no better marketing strategy than creating a comprehensive marketing strategy designed around helping your customers maximize their exposure. This is how you attract business so you don’t have to chase it.

Bonus Tip:  Market Your Marketing

Every marketing activity that works becomes an opportunity to do more marketing.

It could be a successful video, an email campaign, or an ad campaign that launches another piece of marketing content. Look at how our client Connie Carlson used this strategy:

Her email is specific and compelling. 

Every instant offer or multiple offers you get on a listing is an opportunity to put that event in an ad campaign, email, or video.

Tell stories about what you do every day to help sellers sell (and buyers buy).

PRO TIP: Ever wonder what ads local real estate agents, teams, or brokerages are running? Go to their Facebook page and scroll down to "Page Transparency" → "This Page is Currently Running Ads" → "Go to Ad Library" to see their active ads. 

We know that being introduced to 21 different lead generation strategies can feel overwhelming. Where do you start?

First, pay attention to which strategies resonated strongest with you. You most likely have a natural inclination toward either video or writing, Instagram Reels or email. Let that be your guide.

Second, be willing to go through this list and cross off the strategies you know you'll never do. Don't be afraid to get rid of some ideas so you can really focus on what matters to you and your business.

And finally, give yourself time to get it right. You won't nail these strategies the first time around and that's OK. Developing a realistic plan with your team that allows you to layer in these strategies one at a time is wise and will get you the best results.

Let's get to work!

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