Wondering how to get real estate listings? Here’s the secret: You have to know how to draw sellers out.

Many homeowners want to sell but aren’t yet motivated to do so because, for example, they’re concerned that prices are still on the rise. That’s where homeowner education from a friendly and qualified local agent comes in. Talking about trends and numbers and providing a comparative market analysis (CMA) can get homeowners thinking more seriously about their next steps.

Seller engagement might be the fastest way to get real estate listings. But what about when you’re not hearing from anyone? Agents are often unsure about how to keep the gears moving when sellers aren’t making themselves known. Strategies can help.

Here are 12 tips that will put you on the fast track to discovering how to get more real estate listings.

Plant the Seeds for Real Estate Listings

1. Use Postcards to Let Homeowners Know That Opportunity Is Knocking in the Housing Market

In general, people are too busy to keep up with market trends. Few could tell you what the current value of their home is. In fact, it’s very common for a person to perceive of their home’s value as the price they paid for it when they bought it. Some might be shocked to know how much the homes in their neighborhoods are actually selling for right now. This is where leveraging your recent seller activity — and showcasing it on a postcard — can shine like gold.

Your recent wins are marketing assets. And yes, even though it might seem cliché, postcards are still one of the tried-and-true ways real estate agents get listings.

Print between 200 and 800 postcards featuring a recent sale that really showcases the potential of the market. Highlight what made the sale a success by talking up how quickly a home sold, how much over asking-price the home sold for, or some other shiny detail. And be sure to include contact information and invite homeowners to contact you for a home valuation.

2. Host the Best Party in the Neighborhood…That Just Happens to Be an Open House

An open house can be just as important for attracting future sellers as it can be for attracting today’s buyers. Invite the whole street to the next open house you host in a neighborhood that you’d like to have as your territory. As neighbors show up out of curiosity, they’ll be impressed by the professional and polished way you’re hosting the open house. They may even be pleasantly surprised by all of the potential you were able to pull from a house that’s just like theirs. And a moment like this presents perfect opportunities to start conversations with the surrounding neighbors about their future real estate plans.

Find the People Who Are Already Planning to Move

3. Set Google Alerts for Local Tag Sales

Tag sales aren’t just potential goldmines for precious heirlooms and antiques. Tag sales are the calling cards of people who are about to move. Why does that matter? Because you can be the one real estate agent there to make lead-capturing connections.

The easiest way to stay on top of who’s clearing out their garages in a rush in your territory is to set Google alerts for keywords like “garage sale” or “tag sale” with the name of your town attached. You can also join local Facebook groups (or other online groups) to stay in the know. Some towns even have organic “tag sale” pages.

4. Build Relationships With Local Retailers That Sell Moving or Storage Supplies

Consider catching the attention of soon-to-be movers by asking some local businesses that sell moving and storage supplies if you can hang ads in their aisles. Consider hanging posters or “take one” bulletins near essential moving supplies. While some retailers might ask you to purchase ad space, others might be happy to enter into a referral relationship.

5. Start Conversations With Local Rental Owners

It’s not uncommon for rental owners to be eager to sell. Especially now. The stress of trying to be a landlord during COVID-19 is causing many landlords to want to cut their investments loose. The simplest way to reach out to landlords in your town or city is to target multifamily homes that are likely to be rental homes. Showing up with information on how much a rental owner stands to gain by selling instead of sinking costs into trying to get monthly income could be all the convincing that’s necessary.

Use the Digital Space to Move Real-World Real Estate

6. Create Facebook, Instagram, and Internet Ads That Offer Home Valuations

Drive engagement with ads that offer home valuations. Use headlines that drum up curiosity about what a person’s home could be worth. But keep in mind, ads should focus on your dedicated expertise and familiarity with local market trends… not sensationalism.

7. Create a Facebook Page That Operates as a “Resource” So You Can Get Organic Home Seller Leads

Don’t just create a Facebook page that talks “at” potential sellers. Create a page that acts as a resource by offering opportunities for followers to send you questions. Consider giving weekly market updates. Compelling, useful content is how real estate agents get listings from people in their communities.

8. Share a Monthly “Key Handover” Roundup

People enjoy the storytelling aspect of the home-selling journey. After closing, invite your clients to pose for a “key handover” photo. Tag them on Facebook and Instagram and curate them together so that you’ll eventually have a whole collection full of new homeowners who are beaming with ear-to-ear smiles. Naturally, each buyer will share the posts with their friends and family members who will view, comment, and offer congratulations — all of which will drum up activity on your page. Creating yet more opportunities for sellers to find you.

9. Ask Your Happy Clients to Leave Google Reviews

Ask your clients to leave Google reviews for you during the afterglow of the closing. You can even provide a special card with instructions for how to review your Google Business page. These reviews may actually become the first things that show up in a search for seller’s agents in your city or town. But keep in mind, your name might get overlooked by listing leads if you only have one review. So work toward making sure there’s “buzz” waiting on the page for your future prospects.

Rescue Stuck Sellers

10. Browse Direct-Selling Websites

Cruise for-sale-by-owner sites to find potential clients. When you notice that a home has been sitting for a while, reach out to the owner to ask if they could use any resources. Always keep things casual, friendly, and free of pressure. For example, simply asking the owner if they want to discuss the three biggest challenges they are facing while trying to sell their home can be a great segue. There’s a high chance that a frustrated seller simply wants to vent, which would put you in a great position to offer your services. In fact, if the seller feels comfortable enough with you, they might make that pivot for you!

11. Hunt for Expired MLS Listings

You can find expired MLS listings by city or town using the MLS dashboard and entering a date range. Homes are often taken off the market because the seller was unable to get their desired price. There are two ways to approach this. The first is to search for dates that go back a few years. It’s possible that sellers who removed their homes from the market two to the three years ago have no idea how much things have changed. Another option is to look for recently expired listings to target homeowners who have home-selling fresh on their minds.

Consider Past Clients Your Future Clients

12. Turn “Buying Anniversaries” into Upgrade Reminders

According to the National Association of Homeowners, the median duration of homeownership in the United States is 13 years. But if every homeowner was always aware of their home’s current value, perhaps that stat might be a bit lower.

One way you can make sure your clients are aware of their home-selling potential is to send them a warm “buying anniversary” card each year that also includes an estimate of their home’s current value. If the moment’s right, that simple figure may be enough to prompt a conversation about their next home purchase.