How to Get Your Very First Real Estate Listing

Listing Tips for New Real Estate Agents

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Looking for tips on how to get your first listing as a real estate agent? You’ve come to the right place.

When you finally score your first listing, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. However, it can take a while to find a client who’s willing to list with you. For some agents, it may even take a year or longer. But don’t let that stop you. Every agent starts somewhere. And the good thing about a career in real estate is that it builds momentum. Once you get your first listing, it’ll be much easier to get the second, and so on.

In this guide, we’re starting with square one. Here’s how you can set yourself up for success and decrease the amount of time it takes for you to earn your first listing.

Build Your Network

Your real estate business will be built on relationships, so it’s crucial that you meet as many people as you can as quickly as you can. Start with the people that you already know. They may not know that you’ve become a real estate agent. Your new career is the perfect reason to reach out to your friends and family. Let them know that you’re open for business and you’d appreciate it if they’d share any referrals with you.

It’s also a good idea to transform into a social butterfly. Attend local events, such as business mixers and charity events. Come ready to distribute your business cards (an oldie but a goodie that works a lot better than rattling off your cell phone number and hoping that they typed the number correctly).

The more people you meet, the better your odds of meeting someone who needs your services right away.

Here’s how to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Reach Out to Your Network Regularly

After you’ve started making connections, don’t let them grow stale. Stay in touch with your contacts regularly so that they remember who you are. People are very forgetful. And even if you made a positive impression on them, it can be difficult for them to remember your meeting from a year ago when they’re finally ready to list.

So, don’t rely on their memory. Instead, stay top of mind by continuing to reach out to those in your network.

But don’t be annoying. In other words, don’t just sell, sell, sell. That can come across as inauthentic and smarmy.

Instead, look for ways to offer value to your connections. If you find some interesting real estate news, such as the groundbreaking of a new housing community, you can share that news with your contacts. Also, celebrate events, such as holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. These moments give you another opportunity to reach out to your prospective clients and remind them that you’re available when they need you.

Send out emails, greeting cards, and text messages. Also, pick up the phone and call your contacts every now and then to stay connected to them. And don’t be afraid to drop off gift baskets to people in your network who’ve referred leads your way. This can incentivize them to continue sending more leads—eventually one may become your first real estate listing client.

Check out these must-know tips for following up with real estate leads.

Become a Local Real Estate Expert


Congratulations on becoming a real estate agent, but if you want to find true and lasting success in your new career, you must take the next step: Become a local expert.

As you know, there are a lot of real estate agents out there. When you’re first starting out, you must find a way to separate yourself from the pack. And the easiest way to do that is to deep-dive into your local market. Strive to become an expert in your area. Learn your inventory. Understand what sells and at what price. All of your hard work will pay off when you’re able to market yourself as a neighborhood expert and gain the trust of your prospective clients.

You can start by creating a neighborhood page for your website. Here’s how to do that.

Farm Your Area

Identify which area you’d like to concentrate on, and then saturate that area with your marketing materials. For example, you can send out direct mail postcards to advertise your service, or you could go door-to-door to introduce yourself. But don’t go empty-handed. Hand over a marketing report. This will demonstrate that you’re an expert in the area and also that you’re providing a valuable service. Plus, it will give you something to talk about once the prospect answers the door.

Check out these tips on how to become better at real estate prospecting.

Create a Website

Don’t rely on your broker’s website to promote your real estate business. While you may work under a broker, you’re self-employed, and it’s up to you to market your own real estate business. Your broker may share your photo and contact details, but that alone won’t be enough to score your first real estate listing.

To achieve that, you’ll need to create your own website that allows you to generate traffic and potential leads. You can also use your website to build your email list, which we’ll talk about next.

Don’t worry. Your real estate website doesn’t need to be large or complicated to be successful. It simply needs to be valuable to your target audience. For example, you can share advice targeted to home sellers, like how to prepare their property for listing. Be sure to use these tips to optimize your website for local search (known as local SEO).

Also, check out these elements of a successful real estate website.

Level Up Your Email Marketing

One of the most important things you can do to generate new estate listing leads is to build an email list. An email list is a list of people who’ve decided to sign up for your marketing-related emails. You can build this list easily by offering a free digital gift in exchange for the prospect’s email. This digital gift is known as a lead magnet.

Popular real estate lead magnets include Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) reports, home repair checklists, and listing tips aimed at for sale by owners (FSBOs). Yes, you should target FSBOs because you can eventually convert them into clients after proving that you’re an expert in your local real estate market.

Email marketing is not as difficult as you may think. It simply requires consistency so that you can build a relationship with your network through their inboxes. Aim to educate and not only market yourself.

Here’s the new real estate agent’s guide to email marketing.

Offer to Do an Annual CMA

We mentioned CMAs earlier, but let's discuss why you should use these reports to generate listing clients.

CMA stands for comparative market analysis and is a tool that can help you and your client estimate the value of their home based on what other, comparable homes have sold for recently. CMAs typically include between 3 to 5 comparable properties.

It's relatively simple to generate CMAs, but the impact is huge.

Prospective clients can see how much they potentially stand to earn from a sale, which can become a powerful motivator for them to list with you. Offering a CMA as a free report shows that you're willing to go above and beyond other agents, and it also positions you as a real estate expert.

Consider offering annual CMAs to everyone in your local network.

Check out the new agent’s guide to preparing a real estate CMA.

Create a Winning Real Estate Listing Presentation


All of your hard work culminates with the listing presentation. Whether you win a client over or lose them forever will depend on your ability to deliver a convincing listing presentation. No pressure.

Here's what you need to know in order to succeed with your listing presentation:

Send a pre-listing package to your prospective client that includes a questionnaire about the property they're selling, information about you, and information about your approach to selling homes. Since you're new to selling, you don't have any previous experience, but you do have skills, such as marketing or negotiation skills. This is your chance to promote those skills.

Research the property. Check out the property and the neighborhood to identify its top-selling points. Also, look at comparable homes in the area to understand the composition.

Prepare a listing price based on your local market data. Be prepared to back up your recommendation with hard facts about what's sold. Don't simply rely on your hopefulness, especially if you've never listed before.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare an effective real estate listing presentation.

Set Expectations

People value honesty and transparency. Sometimes, the easiest way to win over a new client is by simply explaining what they can expect when working with you. Tell your client what you’ll need from them to create a successful experience. And explain the steps they’ll need to take to go from selling to sold. Also share the best ways and times to reach you, so that your client feels secure.

Here’s your guide to working with unrealistic seller clients.

Final Thoughts

Every successful agent was once where you are now—hungry for that first listing. Use the above tips to generate leads that turn into clients.

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