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During the summer months, agents often look for new ways to build their business. According to a 2017 NAR study, FSBO listings made up 8 percent of home sales in the previous year. While this doesn’t seem like a large amount, if you consider that over 90 percent of these properties will eventually be listed through an agent, working this market may be worthwhile.

In previous years, yard signs or a listing on Facebook or Craigslist would be the main advertising options for FSBOs. Now homeowners are able to list through an MLS for a small fee, so it’s important for agents to change their approach for targeting and working with these sellers. Here are three new ways to convert FSBOs into your clients.

  1. Educate the community.
    Most FSBOs don’t fully understand the work it takes to sell a home. As an experienced agent, you, of course, do. Use this wealth of knowledge to help steer sellers in your direction. If you already have social media profiles or a blog, use them to your advantage. The next time you’re hosting an open house, post pictures of the preparation you do to get everything ready, in addition to those you would normally post. Even if FSBOs aren’t following you, many list their properties on social media and may be using or looking at real estate-related hashtags. Use the hashtag #openhouse, #homeforsale or your location to try to get on their radar. Not only could you be drawing in new eyes, but you’ll also be bolstering your social pages for your current followers.

If you’re looking for blog post ideas, consider covering getting a home ready for the market or tips for FSBOs. Go through the checklist you use when you have a new home to list and explain the different steps. A great call-to-action could be “Like what you see? Let me help me list your home.” Again, this is good content for your current followers and can also show FSBOs the kind of time and dedication required to sell a home. It also gives them a sneak peek at the services you provide.

  1. Create a connection.
    Selling a home is stressful. Even when homeowners list with an agent, they manage the stress of cleaning and staging their homes, making it available for showings, finding a new home, and preparing for a major move. Those who try to sell their homes without an agent add finding potential buyers, coordinating showings and open houses, negotiating prices, and completing paperwork when (or if) they find a buyer to their already stressful burdens. Many homeowners end up working with an agent once they realize the work involved; however, the agent they pick can be determined by the relationship they’ve built with someone they trust. It’s important to make sure that someone is you.

Because homeowners can list through an MLS, they have access to more resources. They can do a lot of the frontloading themselves for less than an agent’s commission fee. Even so, this doesn’t mean FSBOs have access to everything they need, including your experience. Rather than sending emails or letters guaranteeing FSBOs that you can sell their home for top dollar, offer a piece of advice to help them move through the process. Share an experience or something you learned through your career that you believe would be beneficial for a seller to know. The key here is not to approach this like a marketing pitch, so don’t include a call-to-action. Focus instead on creating a relationship.

  1. Provide support materials.
    Once you’ve made connections with some FSBOs and have started building a relationship, you can take it to the next level. For this approach, remember that you should still avoid pushing yourself onto the seller, since they’re likely already receiving a number of offers from other agents. It’s important to make yourself stand out by doing something different. Remember, you’re building a relationship rather than pushing a sale.

First, isolate a few FSBOs that you would like to work with and who you think you could help. Then, put together a home-preparation gift basket for these select sellers. The basket could include cleaning supplies, yard waste bags, a gift card to a garden or hardware center, and a list of real estate-related vendors in your area. You could also include a CMA one sheet to show sellers where their home is priced according to your information. As with before, rather than leaving a business card and a promise to sell their home fast, leave a handwritten note that says, “I know how hard selling a home can be. Here are some materials to help you get started. If you need any advice, feel free to call me.” This is a non-threatening way to get your name in front of a potential client while also showing what kind of service they can expect from you.

The most important takeaway is that to work with FSBOs, you need to create a connection and build a relationship. Rather than looking at the listings as an easy sell, take the time and put in the effort to gain the owner’s trust and nurture it into something that can be mutually beneficial. Show your potential sellers how you plan to advertise their home in front of active buyers searching for homes in their area. For more ways to get in front of buyers and sellers in your area, check out Homes.com’s new advertising solutions, call and schedule your advertising consultation today.

Sesso_Joe_60x60Joe Sesso is an author and national speaker for Homes.com. For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

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