How Do Realtors Get Listings?

Whether you are a new real estate agent or you are a seasoned realtor, getting listings for your business should be a priority. Without listings, you simply don

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Whether you are a new real estate agent or you are a seasoned realtor, getting listings for your business should be a priority. Without listings, you simply don't have a business.

But with millions of properties being sold every day, getting listings should not be a problem right? Well, it's not as easy as it sounds, considering that you are competing for the same listings, with thousands of other agents.

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How do realtors get listings?

There are several available strategies, which you can use to get listings for your real estate business. Here are some tried and tested methods that you can use to get real estate listings.

Door Knocking

Door knocking is a great means of acquiring real estate listings. But it's not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it's not for those who are shy or faint at heart. If you intend to use this strategy, then you will need to develop a thick skin.

Most people are quite unwelcoming to strangers who knock on their doors - regardless of the reason. And to be honest, some will not even listen to what you are trying to sell or offer, meaning the rejection rates will be high.

But this shouldn't discourage you from giving it a try. Some people will appreciate your courage and even send you some referrals. You may even come across a homeowner who is willing to use your services right away.

So, pick approximately 100 to 200 homes that you can knock, and then design some postcards or flyers. Visit those homes, knock on the doors, introduce yourself and drop the marketing postcards. Building awareness and face-to-face rapport will take some time and effort. But, it will be worth it.

Real Estate Websites

If you don't have the confidence or courage to go door-knocking, then you can just use the advertising services offered by real estate websites like Zillow. Zillow offers two main advertising packages, designed for real estate agents looking for leads and listings. They are the Zillow Seller Boost and the Zillow Premier Agent.

  • Zillow Seller Boost: This advertising package is similar to what was previously offered on Trulia. It connects homeowners who are looking to sell with local real estate agents. So, if you participate in this program, Zillow will be constantly sending leads your way, which you can then follow up.
  • Zillow Premier Agent: This is a new service that is designed to connect real estate agents with active sellers. When you join the Zillow Premier Agent service, you will receive exclusive branding and wide exposure, which translates to more listings for your business. Advertising fees will depend on the zip codes you are operating in as well as the number of impressions. On average, you will spend approximately $20 to $60 per 1000 impressions.

You may be probably asking yourself whether Zillow's advertising services are worth it. Well, if you want to make money in the real estate industry, then you must also be willing to spend. So, if you are a real estate agent who is struggling to get listings, Zillow's advertising services may be ideal for your situation.

Prospect Vacant Homes

According to a report published by the U.S Department of Urban and Housing Development, there were approximately 1.1 million vacant homes for sale, in the last quarter of 2019. And that number had dropped to approximately 930,000, by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

As you can see, there many transactions that took place within that time-frame. As a realtor who is looking for listings, you should pay attention to vacant homes. And you don't have to spend all your time there. You can pay a freelancer, a college student or any other person to prospect such homes for you.

You can be paying them through a commission-based arrangement, depending on the number of properties they can find. This way, you can spend your time looking for listings elsewhere, while still being among the first agents to find vacant homes or properties.

Once you identify these vacant homes, you can then look for the home's owner and request to list the property on their behalf. You will be saving the homeowner's time while building your listing. It's more of a win-win situation.

Target Divorcees

In 2018, there were approximately 780,000 divorces in the U.S. And whenever there is a divorce, the property is usually sold or divided among the partners, including the home. Therefore, a significant number of your homes are going to be sold, whenever there is a divorce.

If you feel that you have the capacity to handle the stress and drama that comes with divorce transactions, then you can go after these properties. However, it's important to note that you will have to please the different parties involved so that you can get the listing and close the deal.

So, where do you get divorce clients? First, you can visit your local divorce attorney and take them out to lunch. You can then discuss with them the nature of your business and come to an agreement. If you create a good rapport with the divorce attorney, they may start sending you clients who are looking to sell quickly.

Second, you can set up a website landing page or Facebook page, and establish yourself as a divorce listing expert. From there, you will start getting some potential leads, which you can then convert into listings.

Cold Calling

With the growth and advancement of digital marketing platforms, cold calling seems like a forgotten art. Also, it's no longer as popular as it used to be, due to various reasons.

First, only a couple of people own landlines. Second, most people consider cold calling an intrusion of their privacy. And third, there are stricter laws currently that control phone sales.

But despite all these challenges, cold calling is still an effective method for getting listings for your real estate business. If done right, phone calls have the intimacy and urgency that are almost impossible to duplicate by emails, social media or texts.

You can use services such as REDX to compile a list of FSBO leads, who you can then call. So, if you've tried all the above methods and you still can't manage to land a single listing, then it's time to consider cold calling.

Create a Home Valuation Website

Most home sellers visit home valuation websites first, before contacting an agent. They normally use these services to evaluate their property's worth, so that they can price it accordingly.

Most of them will start with a Google search, where they will then be directed to platforms like Zillow and From Zillow, they will visit two or 3 more websites and then compare the estimates. And this is where your home valuation website or landing page comes in.

After setting up a home valuation website, you need to position it strategically, so that it can attract potential sellers. And you can do this through several strategies. First, you can leverage the power of SEO so that your home valuation website can rank in the first page of Google search results.

Second, you can use Google Ads or Facebook Ads and target certain keywords. You want to make sure that whenever a user searches those keywords, your website will appear on the first page of search results. However, it's important to note that keywords in this niche are quite expensive. So, be ready to spend.

You can also use lead generation companies like RealGeeks, Home Value Leads, Boomtown or Zurple to create a site and run some ads. You will spend approximately $350 to $1,500 per month for your ads to generate sizable traffic.


According to real estate statistics released by the National Association of Realtors, 39% of the sellers surveyed sold their properties via an agent referred to them by a friend, family or colleague. So, it goes without saying that referrals are your best friend when it comes to getting listings for your real estate company.

But to get referrals, you will first need to establish good working relationships with your former clients. If your dealings with them were smooth, above board and you maintained good communication throughout the transaction, then they will recommend you to their friends or family, whenever they need an agent.

Inherited Homes

Every year, millions of people inherit homes from their parents, guardians, relatives, friends and associates. However, most of the people who inherit these properties end up selling them.

For instance, the property may be located in another location, and the inheritor doesn't have plans to shift at the moment. Also, the home may need repairs, which may cost thousands of dollars. And if the inheritor doesn't have the money to repair the home, they will try to sell it as fast as possible.

Your county clerk's website has records of all the homes that are up for inheritance. On those records, you will see the name of the previous homeowner, and use that information to find the name and address of the inheritor. With that information, you can then reach out to them either via call or email and ask if they would be willing to list their property with you.

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