The biggest mistake you can make in real estate sales is overlooking the ripest fruit.
Where is the ripest fruit in real estate sales?
Here is the list of the easiest targets for your quality, professional real estate brokerage services:
In order of COLD TO HOT prospects:
9. People hiding under random targets (cold calling, door knocking)
8. People you know (your “sphere”) (just slightly better than random)
7. People who have listed property with a competing real estate broker
6. People who promise someone they will list their property
5. People who promise you they will list their property soon
4. People who have listed, and are currently dissatisfied with their broker
3. People who, today, will drop their current broker and might look for a new one
2. People who promised to give you the listing
And the NUMBER ONE HOT PROSPECT is sort of almost a client already:
1. People who signed a listing agreement with you that is post-dated for the day their current listing agreement expires
I am sure this list could be fortified in many ways. In some of my writings on my website I let you know about some more prospects and how to get them. But for right now I want to let you in on a little-known secret.
This secret is information that most real estate salespeople would pay a lot of money to get, and I will give it to you free here.
The way to get this information is to log into the MLS system of your choice (Rappatoni, MLX, e.g.) and search the database for listings which expire within two weeks. NOT EXPIRING TODAY. That is too late.
Then, contact those sellers with a very plainly stated letter which says in BOLD CAPS: this is not a solicitation to list your property during the present time, but in the future, when NO OTHER LISTING MIGHT EXIST on your property.
Include a statement a listing agreement. Why? Because your sellers may be interested in selling their property still, if their current broker does not hold up.
Make sure you POSTDATE the listing agreement and put it in the envelope.
OK, the big question is….
…Is this ethical? Absolutely. Here is why.
From the REALTOR® Code of Ethics : Standard of Practice 16-4: REALTORS® shall not solicit a listing which is currently listed exclusively with another broker. However, if the listing broker, when asked by the REALTOR®, refuses to disclose the expiration date and nature of such listing; i.e., an exclusive right to sell, an exclusive agency, open listing, or other form of contractual agreement between the listing broker and the client, the REALTOR® may contact the owner to secure such information and may discuss the terms upon which the REALTOR® might take a future listing or, alternatively, may take a listing to become effective upon expiration of any existing exclusive listing…. – Emphasis mine
This practice is known as the Postdated Listing. It is a real contract, but its effective date is after the expiration of the current exclusive listing.
Now, there may be a problem with exclusive listings broker in this case. The broker may say, “You found my listing through the MLS and that is unethical.” You tell that broker, “The unethical thing is for you to take a listing which is not selling. I am not protruding into your listing agreement. You may sign another, postdated listing or get the listing extended. I am not prohibiting you to do that. And if you have done a good job, your client will sign again. But let’s let the seller decide.”
Be professional, be polite, be a business person. But be competitive. Don’t sit back and wait for the expiration of the listing, or you may find that one of your competitors had the same idea but took action, and that seller will put a new sign up the very next day after the active listing expires…. And you would be too late.
Enjoy this sales tactic, and think through it properly. Also beware that you may make some enemies using this technique. But the only competitor that everyone likes is the one who lays on the ground and does nothing to challenge your business.