How Do You Find More Clients? Double-Down on Your Latest Listing

If you want to dominate your marketplace and be the real estate professional people think of first, then you need to employ the 10-10-20 Prospecting Strategy: Upon getting a listing, you personally visit the 10 homes to the right of the listing, the 10 homes to the left of the listing, and the 20 homes across the street from the listing. With this strategy, you visit each of the 40 homes three times.

While many agents know about this strategy, few actually do it. The reasons why vary from “I don’t have time” to “I don’t know what to say” to “I’m afraid to knock on doors.” So even though they may send hundreds of “just listed” mailers to the neighboring communities, they don’t make the personal contacts needed to attain new clients.

Building and maintaining a sizable inventory of listings is the most important thing a real estate professional can do. You’ve heard the old adage: If you don’t list, you won’t last. That is truer today than at any other time in the history of our industry. That’s why you need to use the 10-10-20 Prospecting strategy to promote every one of your existing listings to the neighbors of that home—face-to-face. Here’s how (and why) the 10-10-20 Prospecting strategy works:

Step 1: Tell the Neighbors About Your New Listing

Whether you’ve been in real estate for 2 years or 20 years, chances are you get excited when you get a listing, and you want to share the news with everyone in your office. When you’re on this “high,” rather than tell your fellow agents about your success, tell the neighbors: 10 houses to the right of the listing, 10 houses to the left of the listing, and 20 houses across the street from the listing. Harness your excitement to not only promote your new listing, but also to prospect for future clients.

History tells us that when a house goes on the market, within six months another home on that same street gets listed. This Keeping up with the Joneses mentality is prevalent in all aspects of life, from the cars people drive to the clothes they wear to the homes they live in. So if someone is selling their house in order to move into a larger home, one or more of the neighbors will think, “Betty and Joe are moving to a bigger place. We should too.” It’s your job to find those people rather than have them list with someone else.

When you talk with the neighbors, introduce yourself, tell them that the neighbor’s house is for sale and you wanted them to know in case they have a friend or family member looking for a home, and then leave them with your business card. The majority of the people you talk to will be extremely receptive to you. Why? Because people are nosey by nature. They’ll ask you what the home is listed for, whether the interior is updated, and many other questions about the house. They may even reveal that someone they know is planning to move soon, or they may say, “I’ve been thinking of listing my home too.” Typically the only time you’ll get resistance is if a tenant lives in the house you’re prospecting.

Now you have very easily and in a non-aggressive manner told 40 people that you’re in real estate. You also demonstrated to them that you work hard. Those are great things to communicate, especially when you know that in the next six months at least one of them will likely list their home.

Tip: Bring information about the listing and also a ‘Buyer’s Packet’ in case you find someone thinking about purchasing a home.

Step 2: Invite the Neighbors to the Open House

When it’s time to conduct the listing’s open house, invite those same 40 neighbors to a “special screening” of the home. Visit them a second time and say, “The open house for your neighbor is on Sunday between two and four. However we’re going to open it up an hour before, between one and two, just for the neighbors to give you an exclusive showing. If you have any interest or if you know someone who is looking for a new home, please stop by.” You can even give them a printed invitation so they remember the details.

Granted, many of the neighbors will come just because they’re nosey, and that’s okay. From a sales perspective, these 40 neighbors know other people—some of whom have a desire to move. By exposing the home to as many people as possible, you’re helping your seller. From a prospecting perspective, you just made another “touch” to a group of 40 people in a very short period of time and have reinforced your earlier messages of “I’m in real estate” and “I work hard.” You’re making it so that when these 40 people need a real estate agent, they think of you first.

Tip: Make the invitation to the “special screening” something that will “wow” the neighbors.

Step 3: Visit the Neighbors Post-Sale

When the house sells, go back to those same 40 neighbors and tell them the good news. You could say, “I want to let you know that we just sold the house down the block. I was wondering if you knew anyone else in the neighborhood who might be interested in selling, especially since that home had so much interest.”

Remember, you have already met these neighbors twice. This is your third interaction with them. This time you’re again reinforcing your earlier messages of “I’m in real estate” and “I work hard,” but now you’re adding a very important third message: “I sold the house. I’m successful.”

With this “win” under your belt and with the neighbors’ familiarity with you, who do you think they’ll feel comfortable listing with when they want to sell their home? YOU! In fact, you’ll have attained top-of-mind awareness and started a relationship with them, which means they’ll think of you first for all their real estate needs.

Tip: Bring a “Seller’s Packet” in case you find someone ready to sell their home.

Your Next Listing is Just a Knock Away

Knocking on 40 doors is quick and doable (it only takes about 90 minutes). If you have a listing assistant, you can assign this task to them. The key is to get those face-to-face contacts when prospecting. When you employ the 10-10-20 Prospecting Strategy, you will get more listings, which results in more sales.