Lead Generation / Listings

How to Get Listings in Any Market (Without Spending a Fortune)1 min read

If you’re a buyer’s agent still struggling to make the leap to listing agent, blaming the market is perfectly reasonable. We get it. It’s rough out there. But excuses won’t fill your CRM with leads. If you want to build a sustainable real estate career, you need to learn how to get listings no matter what the market is doing. The process is simple, but not easy: Target homeowners with a compelling offer, then convince them you can get them the best price in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of stress.

Luckily, I am here to help. I used my real estate sales and marketing experience to put together our best strategies to get listings in any market. Even better, many of our tips are 100% free so you won’t have to spend a fortune on ads to get leads. I also talked to friends at other brokerages to learn how they got their first listings, and included links to my deep-dive strategy guides, checklists, and scripts so you can get started today. However, bear in mind this list only helps you get started; it is impossible to scale to 7-figure commissions (more on that later).

Here are our best strategies to get listings this year and beyond:

1. Schedule Weekly Calls With Your Sphere

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Weeks-months
  • Agent Skill Level: New agents

Whether the ink is still wet on your license or you’ve been a Realtor for decades, there is one proven way to get listings that is easy, predictable, duplicatable, and efficient: weekly calls to your sphere of influence. This works especially well if you’re a newer agent, because the people in your sphere are the most likely to know,  like, and trust you enough with the biggest and most important financial transaction of their lives. It really is that simple.

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you give your Aunt Tina the hard sell over the phone at dinnertime. All you need to do is call people in your sphere and talk about your shared interests and connections. Then add one simple script at the end of your call:

“If you know anyone who might be interested in selling their home, I would love to walk them through how I can sell it faster and for a better price.”

How to Get Started Today

If you haven’t already, add everyone in your personal contact list to your CRM database and tag them as your sphere. Then segment them by how well you know them, and create tasks to call at least one person you know well every week.

After your calls, add notes to your CRM and consider segmenting them further if they mention anything about themselves or a friend making a life change that might lead to a transaction. Are they retiring? Getting divorced? Looking for a new job? Take notes and schedule a follow-up.

2. Run Facebook & Display Network Ads Targeting Homeowners

  • Cost: $20-$100 per lead
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Days-weeks
  • Agent Skill Level: New agents-experienced brokers

If you want to speed up the process and quickly find leads that might turn into listings, then spending the time, effort, and money to learn how to run effective Facebook and Google Display Network ads is your best bet. Yes, running and optimizing ads can be expensive and dominate a lot of your time, but the potential reward here is massive. Why? Well, the more ads you run, the more chances you have to optimize them and learn what works and what doesn’t. 

You might be surprised to learn that pretty much every single lead generation service that agents pay for uses the exact same strategies to generate seller leads online.

How to Get Started Today

Here’s a quick rundown of how it works.

  1. Create something of value to offer homeowners in your ads. This can be as simple as an e-book on selling in today’s market for top dollar, top renovations that add value to homes, or an offer for an automated or personalized home valuation.
  2. Design an ad to attract homeowners, choose an audience to display it to, and decide on a budget.
  3. Follow up with your new lead and try to book a listing appointment.
  4. Continue to optimize your ads and lead magnets until you’re getting high-quality leads at the lowest price.

Want to get affordable buyer leads to work while you wait for listings? Try Top Producer’s new Social Connect program. They do all the work for you and even give you automated nurturing tools so you never have to spend time nurturing cold leads. The best part? Social Connect leads only cost around $14 each.

Visit Top Producer


3. Learn How to Find Hidden Listing Inventory Other Agents Ignore

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Weeks-months
  • Agent Skill Level: Mid-level agents-experienced brokers

When inventory is low, smart listing agents get creative. Instead of just downloading REDX and calling the same 20 FSBOs that every other agent is calling, they dig a little deeper and look for new, creative ways to get listings. Believe me, there is hidden listing inventory out there. You just need to find it and learn how you can help the owners sell it.

How to Get Started Today

Ready to start your search for hidden listing inventory? Check out my article below. If you’re pressed for time, here are three of the most overlooked property types to get you started today:

1. Preforeclosures: While this strategy works best during economic downturns, there will always be homeowners who fall behind on their payments and might need your help to sell their home.

2. Probate listings: Working probate listings can be stressful, but this actually works in your favor. If you learn the process in your state, you will only be competing with a handful of other agents.

3. Rentals: Even though the rental market is booming, the viral popularity of real estate investing we saw over the past few years means there are a ton of over-leveraged newbies out there who might need to sell.

4. ‘Skip the Line’ for Exclusive Seller Leads

  • Cost: $189 per month plus $25+ per lead
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Instantly
  • Agent Skill Level: Mid-level agents-experienced brokers

If you don’t have time to implement your own strategy for getting yourself in front of homeowners, you might consider outsourcing your lead generation strategy. One easy way to do this is to buy exclusive seller leads and conversion training from Market Leader. One flat monthly rate gets you a guaranteed number of leads to work every month.

Visit Market Leader

5. Learn How to Prospect FSBOs (the Right Way)

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Weeks-months
  • Agent Skill Level: Mid-level agents-experienced brokers

No matter what’s happening in the market, there will always be people who think they can get a better deal by listing their home without an agent. Even though a 30-second Google search or a chat with literally anyone even remotely familiar with real estate will tell them this isn’t true, people are stubborn. That makes FSBOs a great source for listings in any market—even in a recession.

How to Get Started Today

While of course more agents will try cold calling FSBOs in slow markets, the truth is that you only need to be a little better than them to get the listing. Here are two easy ways to beat the competition that rely on simple psychological principles to convince FSBOs to meet with you:

1. Practice the right FSBO scripts, then practice some more: If you don’t want to get hung up on, then having the right scripts is not enough. You need to be able to deliver them with confidence and conviction. There is no way to do this without practice and lots of it. Period.

2. Leverage FOMO when writing copy for flyers, postcards, and letters: The fear of missing out is one of the most convincing motivations for stubborn FSBOs. Show them that they are leaving money on the table. While you need to be subtle and avoid trying to scare FSBOs into listing with you over the phone, FOMO should be the primary strategy you use when writing flyers, postcards, and letters.

Here is an example of a FSBO flyer that leverages FOMO from our own Jodie Cordell that you can use for inspiration:

6. Join a Team as a Junior Agent or Find a Mentor

  • Cost: Free-25% of your commission
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Weeks-months
  • Agent Skill Level: New agents

Look, I get it. Becoming a “junior” agent working for someone else isn’t why you became a Realtor. Other new agents are out there building their personal brands and crushing it alone, so why should you work for someone else? Because you’ll learn more about getting seller clients in a month working under a successful listing agent than in six months of $5,000 coaching courses. You’ll also learn more than you can from this or any other article.

The difference? Hyperlocal market knowledge. The best listing agents know your area better than anyone. Perhaps more importantly, they are almost always extremely confident about what they know. Confidence closes deals.

If you’re not sold on joining a team, consider finding a mentor. That’s how Leilani Serrao-Baker, a California listing agent and team leader in the top 11% of Douglas Elliman agents nationwide, got her first listing. Here’s Leilana:

“I interviewed extremely seasoned agents and brokers and found an incredible mentor who taught me how to be a listing agent who puts clients’ needs first and who implements strong, productive techniques to achieve the best possible results for clients. That gave me the confidence to go after listings.”

Her advice for newer agents struggling to get their first listing:

“Don’t settle. Find a mentor who is passionate about teaching and guiding you. Don’t give up. Most people give up right before they hit gold.”

How to Get Started Today

Finding a team and finding a mentor require slightly different strategies. Here is how to approach both:

How to find a team to join: In most brokerages, top-producing teams actively recruit new agents so you might not have to look very far to find one. Your managing broker should know which teams are hiring. You will have to give up a portion of your commissions to the team leader, but part of a deal is better than none at all.

If there are no strong teams at your brokerage, consider expanding your search. You can look on job boards like Indeed for junior agent positions, or look for top-producing teams in your MLS and send them a cold email. Better yet, give them a call!

How to find a mentor: Most team leaders will be happy to mentor you if, and only if, you join their team as a junior agent. Since most top-producing listings agents eventually start their own teams, finding a solo agent to mentor you is harder, but not impossible. Ask your managing broker or find a few solo listing agents on your own and offer to buy them a cup of coffee.

7. Knock Doors in Neighborhoods You Want Listings In

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Instantly
  • Agent Skill Level: New agents-experienced brokers

Whenever I even mention the phrase “door knocking” to new agents, their eyes light up with fear and they quickly change the subject. Others tell me they’ll do it, but when Sunday afternoon rolls around, they find excuses to stay hunched over their laptops, trying to figure out how to go viral on Instagram.

This is a huge mistake. Door knocking is one of the best ways to show homeowners you are confident and market-savvy enough to get them the best price for their home. So if you want to get listings, then you need to get over your fear of door knocking.

How to Get Started Today

Get inspired by door knocking success stories: Sometimes just hearing about another agent’s success can inspire you to get started. Here are my two favorite examples:

  • Beverly Hills ultra-luxury agent Ben Bacal got his start knocking on doors of celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Keanu Reeves, and even Grant Cardone.
  • Alan Taylor, estates director for Alan Taylor Real Estate Group at Compass, knocked on the door of the same house more than 10 times before eventually winning the listing.

Learn tips and scripts to knock doors the right way: Learning the right language will 10x the odds of getting a listing appointment. You can’t go wrong with Sean’s simple door knocking script below.

“Hello, sorry to bother you. My name is [your name] and I am the listing agent for the property down the street [point in the direction of the property]. We received multiple offers and, of course, we could only accept one. The home sold well above asking price and these other buyers are still looking for a home in [neighborhood]. Who do you know who would like to sell their home in this hot market?”

For more examples, check out my article below.

8. Focus on Your Mission, Vision & Values First

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Weeks-months
  • Agent Skill Level: New agents-experienced brokers

If you’re a regular Close reader, you’re probably sick of me saying this. But focusing on your mission, vision, and values (MVV) should be your first priority before even thinking about trying to get listings.

Even if you’ve done this work already, it might be time to revisit your MVV if you want more listings. Take a step back and really think through how you are uniquely positioned to help sellers before trying to become a listing agent. Matching with buyers is relatively easy—they just want someone they like to open doors and walk them through the transaction. Working with homeowners is much more complicated.

A homeowner’s choice of agent is driven more by what you offer and how it benefits them. But you can’t be everything to everyone. That’s why focusing on your own mission, vision, and values is a crucial first step to getting the right sellers to resonate with you and hire you.

How to Get Started Today

Like most goals in real estate, creating your mission, vision, and values is simple, but not easy. To get started, read Sean’s strategy guide below and carve out at least a few hours this weekend to really think through what unique value you can offer sellers.

9. Send Out Just Sold Postcards

  • Cost: 50 cents-77 cents per postcard
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Weeks-months
  • Agent Skill Level: New agents-experienced brokers

They may not get you many likes on Instagram, but sending out good old-fashioned just sold postcards is a fantastic way to get or stay top of mind in your farm area. After all, they prove to homeowners that, unlike some agents, you actually get deals done.

While not every demographic responds well to postcards, there is one key demographic who does: senior citizens who have tons of equity in their homes. It gets better. National Association of Realtors statistics show that the average age of homesellers rose again in 2022 to an incredible 60 years old. That means the average person who is ready to sell their home is much more likely to respond to your postcards.

Tina Van Den Hurk, senior director of luxury sales at Douglas Elliman, got her first listing from a just sold postcard from a deal she worked as a buyer’s agent. If you want to try this strategy, just make sure to ask the listing agent for permission first, especially if you want to use pictures of the home.

“I got my first listing from a just sold postcard, as a result of my first-ever sale in real estate in 2014 in a condo building on the Galt Mile. The owners kept my just sold postcard for three months, as they were here seasonally, and then proceeded to call me three months later.”

How to Get Started Today

First, create a geographic farm area to target around your just sold listing. Next, check out my strategy guide below to find a just sold postcard that will work in your market. Once you have your geographic farm and postcards designed, use a direct mail company like Wise Pelican or ProspectsPlus! to mail out your cards.

📌   Pro Tip

Share your knowledge with your farm area with handwritten cards from Addressable. Real estate is about forming relationships. There’s no better way to stand out and get listings than by sending a handwritten card to your farm area. Addressable uses artificial intelligence technology to handwrite each card you send, saving you tons of time while also making you look like the rock star agent in your community.

Send Personal Handwritten Cards With Addressable

10. Convert Open House Visitors (Yes, Really)

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Weeks-months
  • Agent Skill Level: New agents-mid-level agents

If there is one lead generation strategy agents love to hate, it’s open houses. Many listing agents don’t even bother with them, and even some brand-new agents think they’re a waste of time. But there is one group of people who adores open houses: nosy neighbors who own nearby homes.

OK, I know what you’re thinking. The odds of a neighbor who needs to sell her house tomorrow showing up to your open house are slim to none. But this strategy means you get to meet homeowners in the neighborhood with the perfect excuse to talk about real estate. And remember that many buyers need to sell their homes before they purchase a new one, so house hunters are a potential source of listings too.

Still not convinced open houses can be a fantastic way to get listings? Well, what if I told you that Los Angeles Realtor and star of CNBC’s “Listing Impossible” Yawar Charlie wishes he spent more time trying to find sellers at open houses?

“I always looked at open houses as an opportunity to pick up a buyer but never to pick up a listing. I wish that I had thought about it in a different way and considered that this was an opportunity for me to meet neighbors, tell them about what I could do for them, and potentially pick up additional listings in the area.”

How to Get Started Today

Luckily, running open houses that attract eager buyers and nosy neighbors is relatively easy. Create a welcoming environment, serve trendy food and drinks, and promote it on social media and with postcards, flyers, or better yet, door knocking.

Before the big day, learn a few basic open house scripts so you can smoothly steer conversations with homeowners away from local gossip and onto real estate. Check out my strategy guides below for more open house ideas and scripts.


11. Use Our Listing Appointment Checklist & Scripts to Seal the Deal

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to Generate a Listing: Days
  • Agent Skill Level: New agents-experienced brokers

Even if you’re the LeBron James of generating seller leads, they’re not much use to you if you can’t close them and list the house. That’s why learning the art and science of running a listing presentation that can actually persuade them to hire you is essential.

How to Get Started Today

Here are five tips for delivering a persuasive listing presentation:

  1. Make sure you know as much as you can about the listing and the comps in the neighborhood.
  2. Create a listing marketing plan that sets you apart from the competition.
  3. Rehearse your presentation until you can deliver it smoothly and confidently.
  4. Learn the most common objections sellers have to new agents and use my objection handlers to address them confidently.
  5. Ask your team leader or mentor to let you shadow them on as many listing appointments as possible.


Why These Methods Do Not Scale?

Here's a secret  other gurus won't tell you.

Hard work is risky. Hustling only works to a point.

Cold prospecting works, but only to a point.

After that point, such methods end up hurting your ability to grow and places your ability to remain profitable in danger. Chasing clients for business does in fact get you clients, but they’re rarely the really really good ones; the ones who will pay a premium because they chased you, rather than you chasing them. Posting to social media daily works, but not if you ever want to live a life outside of hustling for clients. Organic is risky, more riskier than you think. Much more than most are willing to admit.

Sure, you can use these to get started, but don't make the mistake of sticking with them. Run paid ads to scale to 7 figures and hire a team.

Over to You

How are you changing your prospecting and marketing strategies to get listings in 2023? Let us know in the comments.

Learn How To Get More Real Estate Leads, Get More Listings, Close More Sales, with Less Resistance AND still have a LIFE!

Get more exclusive real estate agent training here 👉 https://www.yasserkhan.sg/👈



Author, Coach & Trainer

Yasser Khan earned less than $1,000 in his first year as a full time property agent. With no money for the $2 train fare to his Broker's office, he was forced to walk 25 kilometers on foot. Worse, he got evicted at midnight with his wife and baby son by the roadside. Desperate, he bought a $16 Sales book and took massive action. That single investment in himself gave him an OBSCENE ROI of $160,000 in just 11 months. Today, Yasser is on a mission to make the real estate great career again and helps ambitious agents quadruple their commission income within 90 days.

Yasser Khan is a real estate coach at YasserKhan.SG, trainer at PropertyAgentUniversity.com and the author of Property Agent Secrets Book who teaches Realtors how to make more Money, have more Time and enjoy more Freedom without all the B.S. plaguing the industry today.  

Yasser Khan’s approach to coaching is highly personalised, holistic, no B.S., and for “PROS ONLY… amateurs not allowed.” He believes that true success means winning in every single area of your life (like Financial, Family, Social, Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Fun).

When Yasser isn’t coaching, he loves playing GOTY PC Games with top-of-the-line Razer products and being a kid again with his 3 naughty children (actually, boss babies...), traveling to and across scenic Pakistan, enjoying hot & spicy food, taking pictures of the Milky Way with his favourite Canon DSLR and reading up all about Dinosaurs (especially T. Rex)


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