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The Most Crucial Mistake You Can Make When Listings Are Low

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By Scott Dixon, CEO of NewPoint Media Group

When listings are low, competition for listings is high. Why do some agents thrive in this environment while others see their business dwindle? Many make a crucial mistake.

They assume that since their listing inventory is low, they should reduce their advertising. After all, they have less to advertise. This is because they assume that the goal of their advertising is to reach buyers and sell their current inventory.

They forget that a major goal of their advertising is to gain and retain listings.

Referral and repeat clients cannot sustain an agent’s business. The 2011 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers study indicates that, on average, 39 percent of seller clients were referrals, down from 41 percent in 2010. Repeat seller business was about 22 percent. That means about 40 percent of sellers found their agent through advertising—and those agents who are advertising can take 40 percent of your business.

One of the downfalls of relying only on the Web for your leads is that exposure is driven by listing content. The more listings you have on the Web, the more likely a consumer is to stumble across you while searching, or on a listing aggregate site. For many agents, this is their total marketing plan and, as their listings sell, they have fewer and fewer listings to use in their advertising, and so begins a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Consider this: How are you advertising to gain listings? Here are six steps to shifting your advertising to help you win and keep listings.

1. Know what kind of listings you want. In what area of town? What type of property? What’s your specialty? Focusing your efforts will help you achieve focused results.

2. Advertise the listings you have so that they (and you) stand out. Take good photography and spread it around—on the Web, in a local magazine, on flyers, postcards and emails. Make your advertising an example of what you will and can do for the home seller.

3. Advertise for the type of listings you’d like to get. This is where local print can really help you stand out. Running photos of popular subdivision signs, golf courses, waterfront locations, farmland or urban skylines will generate interest from both buyers and sellers who have property in these areas. If they perceive that you are a specialist in the type of property they have to sell, they are more likely to call you—over just about anyone else.

4. Put your advertising plan in your listing plan. Your listing presentation is your chance to differentiate yourself from other agents. The agent who promises to advertise the seller’s home in print, on the Web, via direct mail and through mobile tools like text and QR codes will win every time over the agent with a minimal advertising plan for the home.

5. Find an advertising partner that offers a comprehensive advertising package and don’t be afraid to disclose your budget. Many assume that the type of advertising described here would be incredibly expensive—and you may think it’s outside your budget. Talk to a multi-media provider like The Real Estate Book about your budget and your goals. You’ll be surprised at how affordable multi-media advertising can be. The Real Estate Book multi-media packages include an interactive, local print ad, premium Web exposure, single property websites, agent mobile website, text code lead generation, QR codes and social integration—all inclusive with no additional charges—and there are packages for any budget.

6. Gain marketshare. While competing agents in your market hide and wait for buyers and sellers to stumble upon them while searching online, your advertising will reach out and find sellers and buyers for you.

For more information, visit www.Newpointmediagroup.com.

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