Five Top Agents and Brokers Share Their Listing Secrets

You read tips from top coaches and strategists all the time, but what about advice from top-producing agents and brokers? We’ve often found that the best practitioners are often too busy closing deals to share best practices, so we did the work for you. Below, check out what some of our smartest and savviest clients are doing to stay ahead of the curve.

Find your own style

Have you ever read a script and thought it was too aggressive, not aggressive enough…or maybe just plain wrong? That’s okay! In fact, it’s a great sign that you know yourself and your follow-up style. Recently, we heard from two top-producing agents about how they nurture expired listings. Take a peek:

James Sanson, a go-getter Sonoran Properties agent from Maricopa, Arizona, suggested being the first agent to call after the home expires.

“You want to be dialing by 8 a.m. and to be the first agent they hear from. Tell them to ignore their phone today because it is going to be ringing off the hook. From there, I like to send one postcard per week after the cancellation for a total of eight weeks. This removes most of the ones who have relisted. From there, I decrease it to monthly touches.”

Meanwhile, RE/MAX Results Brandon Doyle of Minnesota, had a different take.

“My new theory on expired listings is that the homeowner is so frustrated that the home didn’t sell, and now they’re getting blown up by agents who were nowhere to be found in the past. My approach is to revisit them a month after expiration and continue to mail postcards until they tell me to stop or better yet, list with us!”

The trick is that there’s no best way to follow up, there’s only the best way for you to follow up. By knowing your nurture style, you’re more likely to land business because you’ll appear authentically helpful to your prospects.

Narrow your farm efforts

It may seem counter-intuitive but by having a smaller group to target, you’ll form deeper relationships that make you more likely to land business and garner referrals. Jim Beggins, broker for Century 21 Beggins Enterprises in St. Pete Beach in Florida has very specific ideas about limiting the size of a farm.

“Agents want larger farms because they think a bigger farm will drive in more money. But you can only get to know so many people. By focusing on a small farm, you make more real-life connections and land more business.”

In fact, Beggins suggests that his agents work a farm of no more than 200 people. Why?

“In this area, people move on average every 5 years so 20% of your farm will move per year. In a farm of 200 people, that’s 40 homes that will turn over, or a total of 80 potential commissions. Killer agents can have up to 30% of business in any given area, which would be about 24 total deals. In my market, 24 deals will earn an agent $150,000—and that’s before additional referrals from the 200-person farm start rolling in.”

We know what you’re thinking right now. If 200 homes can land you $150,000 then surely 400 homes can earn you $300,000. It doesn’t work that way, says Beggins.

“You can only form so many relationships and follow up with so many people. So don’t get greedy! Focus on your farm of 200 to get peak commission and referral potential. Your business will expand from there.”

Be strategic about farming new areas

Brenda Burk, an agent with Schneidmiller Realty in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, says that there are more than 300 agents representing the 3,000 properties in her market. With that kind of competition, Brenda knew she had to find a new strategy for landing listings.

“Instead of focusing on a farm with higher-priced homes, my new strategy is to focus on a territory with lower prices and much higher turnover than my usual farm. Even though we have to sell more houses to earn my goal commission, I know we’ll see a more consistent business due to the higher turnover rate.”

Of course, that kind of strategy isn’t for everyone. Alison Saunders, a RE/MAX agent in Fort Wayne, Pennsylvania, began mailing to a higher-end private development just off her usual farm area. She wasn’t confident she’d have any success with these multi-million dollar homes because her usual listings sell for around $300,000. But after landing a listing appointment for a property worth $1.5 million, and telling the homeowner that they would be her flagship client, she secured the listing.

“Now, I get to send a ‘Just listed’ card to the whole neighborhood, announcing that I’m an agent who works this gated community. I’ve already received another lead from the neighborhood, and I’m hoping I can parlay this into a much bigger and more lucrative business over time.”

The short lesson here? If your current farming strategy isn’t working, it’s best to look at new ways to increase your commission potential. Don’t be afraid to go for listings that are outside your usual market area, or that sell for more or less than what you are used to.