Prospecting A Neighborhood In A Hot Market

Written by Posted On Thursday, 10 February 2005 16:00

Last weekend my son-in-law , Kevin, and daughter Kara bought a home from a for-sale-by-owner for six percent over appraised price, and could not be happier.

The home had been on the market for 30 minutes when they found about it. That night when the contract was signed, there was one party pulling out of the driveway and another inside the house asking for permission to write a back-up contract.

It was the only home like it for sale in the neighborhood. The joy of the purchase was not in the price, but in the fact they were able to buy in the location at all.

There was no sign in the yard.

The seller, a Realtor, was walking her dog, and was asked if she knew anyone in the neighborhood who might want to sell their home. Had she not been walking her dog, she might not have put her house on the market, and the deal would have never been done.

By 6:00 p.m., there had been four parties through the house, but the seller had been emailed the specifics of a full price offer.

In hot markets, its not location, it's timing as well. But it's also about prospecting.

If a buyer can prospect, you can, too.

You know what I would do if I was an active agent today?

I would focus on getting listings like there is no tomorrow. I know the market is tight. I have seen the MLS book.

It’s not so much that I would get listings, it would be more about my learning who is thinking of selling on their own and see if they are willing to co-broke if I brought them a buyer.

In other words, my letters would say two things: "If you want to list your home, I'm your guy. If you plan to “try it yourself” for a while (which many do, especially in today’s market) I’m still your guy."

The fact is in some markets the sellers do not need Realtors to attract traffic. They still need them to help them provide all the services they provide beyond just finding a buyer.

I would find prospects by “walking around” and “driving around” and use the oldest script in the business to find both sellers and buyers.

Prospect by walking around. If you live in a cold climate (the northeast comes to mind), this script works in shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants, doctor offices, and any other place that gives you a chance to interact with people:

“I was wondering if you might know of someone who might be thinking of buying or selling a home?”

Don’t tell me this does not work. Recently, a training class of 10 brand new agents was challenged to try it and brought in 49 referred prospects in three days.

In warmer climates, drive to a neighborhood you like, dressed casually, and go for a walk. Look for people walking their dogs. Wave to people sitting in their yards. This is called ‘prospecting by walking around.” Ask them if they know anyone in the neighborhood who may be thinking or selling their home.

Obviously, you need to let people know you are a real estate associate right off the bat. If you are dressed professionally, your name tag will do it. If you aren’t, your business card will.

This is called Prospecting 101. It is not as ego-safe as mailings or running through the do-not-call lists for reasons not to call people, but it’s free, effective and you can start today.

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David Fletcher, NHCB

David Fletcher is a co-founder and CEO of New Home Co-broker Academy LLC., an online e-commerce business. Visit David's website to take his famous 3-hour online course, How To Build  A New Homes Niche, to become a certified New Home Co-broker (NHCB). More than 5,000 graduates. Content is based on his long career and onsite sales success working with both builders and Realtors to list and sell more than $3 billion in new construction. If you are a broker who wants to offer your agents a way to add new homes to their resale inventory and home shoppers, this is your solution. 

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