Congratulations! You’ve received your license and are well on your way to a successful real estate career. One of the first moves you’ll make as a fledgling realtor is to land your first listing—an exciting step, but an extremely important one that may set the tone for the rest of your career. Consequently, it is vital that you make a great first impression, appearing professional, enthusiastic and like a realtor future clients would be clamoring to hire.
Your first listing is like a cotillion ball, and you are the debutante launching herself into society’s eye. It’s a dramatic and silly comparison, but is actually very fitting. This listing will be your first mark within the real estate industry—what fellow realtors and clients alike will look at to determine what kind of a professional you are. So while you may still be giddy from passing the exam, this is the time to buck up, get your head in the game and nail your first listing. Here’s how:
1. Optimize your listing audience using social media. Social media is your best friend. Gone are the days when “word-of-mouth” marketing actually required the spoken word and a physical human presence. Create a Facebook Business page. Here, not only are you able to digitally share your listings and invite your clients to see them, but this is also a phnomenal opportunity to humanize yourself and make more personal connections. Present your personality and paint yourself as someone others can trust—not just another photo on a “For Sale” sign. You can also use Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. These are fun platforms that contrast with each other, allowing you to create content tailored to each profile – they add onto the formalness of official listing sites. Use these to your advantage, include blog posts and other additions that may spark discussions and keep your audience interested.
2. Target the individual. It’s not a stretch to infer that potential clients will be more likely to respond if you directly send material their way. Continuing down the digital route, be sure to send email leads to those on your mailing list. Email is probably one of your strongest tools, considering that most people check their email accounts at least a few times daily. However, ensure that you include a short introduction directly addressing the recipient, as personalization is key! It shows that you not only respect them, but that you are in tune with your clientele. Show that you are willing to put in the extra effort and go the extra mile in all that you do.
3. Brand your listing and yourself. Rest assured that no one expects you to completely know yourself as a professional—this is your first listing after all! However, it is imperative that you take at least the preliminary steps to develop yourself and to find your niche. Ask yourself who you’d like to be in the real estate world or, perhaps more importantly, who your target audience is or who you’d like them to be. After establishing what kind of client you’ll be reaching out to, you can start marketing and preparing your listing as best you can. When identifying your target buyer, identify the demographics, budgets and deal breakers that may come along with them. That way, you can choose to highlight and frame your listing in a way that is most attractive to them. Find the “it” factor that your listing has and feature it as a unique selling point. Understanding these subtle but important factors is paramount to creating a cohesive story for your listing.
4. Utilize and grow your networks. Don’t think of other real estate agents as direct competition; view them as like-minded individuals with knowledge and opportunities to share. Therefore, it could be beneficial for you to trade listing information with other agents. They are working just as hard as you are searching and selling properties for their clients and may have buyers who could be potentially interested in your listing. Expanding your network will lead to digital growth too. As you become close with other agents, you both can trade social media information—perhaps sharing a tweet here or ‘liking’ a Facebook post there. Consequently, their audience will get to know you, widening your potential clientele circle twofold.
5. Deliver at your open house. This is where things get a little more serious and where you’re actually interacting face-to-face with a host of interested buyers. First and foremost, ensure that the home is in a sellable state. Clear the area of any unnecessary clutter and hide anything that detracts from the home’s inviting aura. Use this opportunity to show buyers what the property could be and the potential that could be realized if the home were theirs. In addition, be sure to continue to market offline as well as online. We discussed how useful social media can be, but more “old school” methods should not be neglected. Send out mailers and newspaper announcements and set up “Open House” signs strategically about the neighborhood. Lastly, think about printing brochures with information about the listing, your contact information as well as leaving sign-in sheets about the home during the open house.
Embarking on your real estate career as a newly licensed realtor is both a scary and exciting time. But armed with these pearls of wisdom, you’ll be sure to conquer any listing that comes your way.