“How Do I Get Listings?” by Matt Parker

The Real Estate Sales Secret

Matt Parker


A significant number of people ask me:

“How do I find a listing?”

I am going to offer some specific, real, anecdotal ways here.  First, I am going to give you some interesting (I think) personal facts and/or statistics with regard to my experience finding listings.  This is mostly from my experience only, having sold for about ten years since age 24:

  • I HAVE NEVER, in ten years, signed a listing directly from any contact on FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN, or other social media.
  • I have never signed a listing directly from a mailer to a FARM AREA.
  • I have never signed a listing from a lead from ZILLOW or TRULIA.
  • About 1-2 deals per year for me (almost a negligible amount), come from “FRIENDS;” people whom I regularly associate with.
  • In ten years, I have received 1 or fewer listing leads per year from vendors whom I use (Title and Escrow companies, Lenders, Inspectors, Contractors, Etc.).

This is not to say these marketing media do not work; they can and definitely do, for some people.  It is safe to say, however, that too many agents rely on the tools above to “hopefully” fill their pipelines.  It is also safe to say many agents spend way, way too much time with these illusory marketing tools (especially when practiced without intent and consistency).

Here are some (surprising?) ways I actually get listings:

1. DRIVING.  Yes, driving.  The statistically significant majority of sellers still hire someone they like and get along with.  These are interpersonal phenomena that require human contact.  When I am stumped for business, I go on slow drives, talk to people, engage them, and let them know I am looking for sellers.  Consider this: who knows about a listing first? Generally, the people who live around that person know for months, or years, in advance.  These people, neighbors, freely offer great market insider information.  Additionally, and importantly, people see my face in the places I want to sell.  I would say this tactic leads to 20% of my business.

2. LISTING BAD PROPERTIES.  This is a joke, kind of.  No property is a bad property, but, if a seller has a unique/tough situation, even having tried to sell, if you can list, market, and sell that property, you develop a perceived “expertise” for that category of sale.  This expertise is referred more than easy, conforming sales.  An example might be a piece of land with wetlands. It might be a little tougher to sell it, but, when you do, you have a specific competitive advantage over other agents for this type of parcel.  I would say this accounts for about 20% of my business.

3. SPECIFICITY.  Many people just ask for referrals.  I ask for specific referrals: “Jim, do you know anyone with a really bad fixer?  I need listings like that right now, they are selling easily in my market.”  Or: “Samantha, everyone seems to be calling me for lakefront property right now.  Can you please keep an eye out for lakefront for me?”

I haven’t seen a study published on why this might work, but, my hunch is a specific request is more personal, and, requires more thought from the person you are addressing.  As a result, I think it lodges in folks’ minds better than “Know anyone selling?”  This probably accounts for about 15% of my business.

4.  ANGER. I love this one. I look for people whom dislike agents, or, had a bad experience.  If they are upset, they really wanted to sell, but didn’t. I repeatedly call on people whom have shown angst for real estate practitioners, because I know they have energy for the process.  I would say after someone reacts with anger 3-5 times, they say (about 90% of the time, no kidding):  “You really are persistent, aren’t you?”  To which I reply:  “I knew you would come around!”

Ironically, once they come around to trusting you, they generally are the easiest customers to work for.  This is probably only about 5% of my business, but, it’s fun so I do it.

5.  SECONDARY QUESTIONING. If you are talking to someone about selling, and, they clearly aren’t going to be a customer, take advantage of the fact you have someone in person.  Ask them anything, anything, anything (!), about real estate in their locale with respect to real estate:  “Okay, it’s clear you love where you live and are going to stay here for a long time, what’s the other coolest house in your neighborhood?”  They may introduce you to that person, for another conversation.  The idea is to be continuously keeping real estate in the front of your, and their, minds. By doing this, you are cultivating a garden of leads.  This is probably about 10% of my business.

Listings do not grow on trees.

Unless, you plant forests.

Plant a listing forest by talking a little longer, asking a little more, and laughing a little harder.  This insignificant amount of extra energy has made all the difference for me, and many other tenured agents.

Good luck!

Matt Parker


  • Matt Parker
  • Keller Williams
  • Website
  • Matt Parker is a decorated Seattle-based Real Estate Broker having been voted by customers and peers to be a top agent year after year.  He is a 4-time Five Star Professional, a multiple time national top 10% realtor and has been used for national and local television and print media on NBC, KOMO and the Seattle Times.
  • Matt is the Author of the New Book “The Real Estate Sales Secret”




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So, You Wanna Be a Real Estate Agent… How Much Does it Cost to Go Into Real Estate? Part 1

So, You Wanna Be a Real Estate Agent… How Much Does it Cost to Go Into Real Estate? Part 1

Guest Post by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

So, moving on from our earlier cheerful discussion about the income potential of a real estate agent…let’s talk about whether you can AFFORD to go into real estate right now.

Fact is, it costs money to be a real estate agent and chances are that you will not make any money for several months once you officially begin.

Let me say that again and please “listen” with every fiber of your being: “Chances are you will not make any money for several months once you officially begin.”

Many first-year agents do not make a dime until their sixth or seventh month in the business; some take even longer than that. That’s a fact and should not be taken lightly, or dismissed as something that won’t apply to you because you’re special. You very well may be special; in fact, I’m sure you are, but you MUST prepare for this possibility. If you are among the few who begin making money right away, that’s fantastic, but I’m sure you won’t regret having a nice nest-egg socked away for yourself. But PLEASE do not go into this career thinking that you’ll receive your first paycheck in a month or two because it’s likely you won’t. And all the while, you’ll be paying out money for the privilege of having a real estate license.

A few months ago, a first year agent contacted me to ask about one of my training courses. During the conversation, she casually commented that she felt misled by her early advisors because they failed to mention how many nickel and dime expenses there were to being a real estate agent. Of course, she wasn’t referring to actual nickels and dimes; more like $200’s and $400’s! I felt bad for her, but I confess I had to ask myself why on earth she would have gone into business for herself with so little financial commitment that a few unexpected $200 expenses put her at the brink of failure.

Because, my friend, you ARE going into business for yourself, make no mistake. And you need to take that concept seriously.

How seriously? That is – how much money should you have put away before jumping in?

That, of course, depends on you and your personal situation.

Some new agents have saved up a nice nest-egg for their venture into real estate and will be able to pay their start-up costs, ongoing expenses and household bills for a reasonable about of time.

Some new agents have a supportive spouse or partner who is willing to pay all the household bills during the agent’s non-income-producing months.

Some new agents have taken out personal loans to finance their venture into real estate (I don’t recommend this approach).

Some agents have (and intend to keep) a relatively well-paying and flexible job that they feel will accommodate their venture into real estate.

But some agents have a family to support, with no outside or supplemental income, and no discretionary money in the bank.

Before I continue, I’d like you to spend a little time today being honest with yourself about your own personal financial situation. Please do the following assignments by the end of the day today:

  1. Add up how much money you have saved to invest in your real estate career
  2. Figure out how much it takes to run your household on a monthly basis
  3. Calculate how much income would be coming into the household if you become a real estate agent

We’ll return to this discussion soon!

Sell With Soul

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn began her writing career after ten years of selling real estate successfully in Denver, Colorado. She was dismayed at the low level of professionalism she frequently encountered in the real estate industry and, with her “soulful” message, hopes to encourage the real estate community to self correct the negative stereotypes of the profession.

Jennifer’s message to agents is that they should strive to be competent real estate advisers, rather than competent real estate prospectors. She urges agents to respect the intelligence of their clients, rather than attempt to insult that intelligence with aggressive closing techniques. She preaches that agents should appreciate the significant commissions paid by their clients, rather than complain that they, themselves, are not appreciated.

Allan-Hagedorn is the author of seven books about real estate and one of the industry’s most popular bloggers. She is also an avid dog rescuer in the Panhandle of Florida.

To learn more about Selling Real Estate with Soul, visit Jennifer’s website www.SellwithSoul.com









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What are 3 Mistakes Rookie Realtors Make?


3 Rookie Realtor Mistakes


What are 3 Mistakes Rookie Realtors Make?

What Do You Do About Them?

Guest Post by Lee Davenport

Are you new to real estate sales?  Or, are you thinking about getting your feet wet in the housing industry’s most rewarding career?  Then keep reading to watch out for three pitfalls that can derail your profits.

  • Not asking other agents for business

I have heard new agents time-and-time again say they do not understand the need to network with other agents since those agents are their competition.  But anyone experienced in business, and really relationships, understands the value of keeping your friends close but your enemies closer.  Now that is not to say other agents are your enemies but in some respects, they are your competition (i.e. if you are both vying for a particular listing, etc.), which connotes an adversarial relationship.  Networking with other agents will save you as a newbie some of the bumps and bruises those experienced agents got as they have developed burgeoning real estate careers.

Furthermore, top producers that have yet to build a team can be a vital source of referral business. Their client referrals can be a gateway for you to begin selling in a particular hoity-toity subdivision or at an exclusive price point.  The agents that I coach have testimonies of this and so do I.  When I started in real estate sales (after having been an investor), the year was 2008 – yup just when the “The Great Recession” was ensuing.  I networked with other agents and my first year of closings were due to the referrals from other agents I received.  From their referrals, I began receiving client referrals and the next thing I knew, I had referrals coming left and right to the point that I closed personally over 35 transactions in 2009 (also with the help of my social media marketing and blogging but of course) and started to build my own team!  It all started with understanding the power of developing relationships with other real estate agents.

  • Not asking for 5-Star reviews on popular real estate sites – Zillow, Trulia, etc.

I love training real estate agents but especially new agents because there are many basic, free things they can do to grow their sales.  If you are a new agent, are you currently getting reviews on the popular real estate portals like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.?  If your answer is, “no”, I want you to stop what you are doing and make this a priority.  Why?  Because we leave in a world that hinges upon public opinion and online reviews give you an opportunity to showcase why you should be someone’s agent of choice without you have to shamelessly promote yourself.  Others do it for you.  If you have ever decided to not purchase a product or visit a restaurant because of an online review, then you know what I mean.

Why post reviews to real estate portals?  Because those are the site where people that are looking to buy and sell homes go.  You need to have your praises posted where they will see them.  Plus, these sites do not charge (yet) for you to have a profile that features your 5-star reviews so you get free advertising and publicity on the real estate sites with the most traffic.  Thirdly, online reviews can create for you a steady stream of leads from these sites without you paying for ad placement – another win!

Lastly, notice the optimal phase her is 5-star review.  You should of course seek to improve yourself and solicit candid reviews from all of your clients.  But be sure that what goes online will be positive publicity for you by specifically soliciting reviews from clients that are excited about sharing their experience of you with others.

  • Not aggressively ensuring your website has an effective lead capture system

As a new agent, you may be using some of the tried-and-true methods of marketing like sending out postcards and going door-knocking.  Or, you may be a fancy blogger or internet marketer, with ads galore on Facebook.  Regardless, your marketing materials all list your website address.  You encounter curious potential buyers and sellers, who hop on their cell phones and tablets to check the “deets” on your site.  Then they move on to another webpage or log off entirely.  But wait, did your website collect their contact information?  If you have not done any customizations to the website your realty firm or MLS gave you, then your answer is likely, “no”.  This is a faux pas that IS costing you precious leads, diluting the effectiveness of your marketing, and ultimately wasting your advertising dollars.

It is not enough to just have a remote contact form on your website.  You have to mobilize people to leave their information by offering them something of value through a call to action (CTA).  In your neck of the real estate woods, you can offer guides that explain a Shortlist of Being New to the Area, Best Schools, Hot Spots, How to Buy a Home and Sell Real Estate in _______ (name your targeted city/town), Top New Construction Builders and Develops, and the list goes on.  In order for site visitors to get these complimentary downloads, they have to input their bona fide contact information – a win-win.  Such a CTA will typically require customizations to your existing website or an altogether new website, which is worth it to know that the traffic you are driving to your site with ads, postcards, and other publicity is being effectively captured.

If you really want to stretch your advertising dollar, you can also take this a step further and use retargeting.  Retargeting allows your ads to follow site visitors around the web as they visit other webpages, keeping your business top of mind.  Ideally, this will cause them to at some point re-visit your site and hopefully leave their information to receive your sites free offer, putting you on the path to actually creating a new client.

Beyond these 3 tips, you can further transform your real estate sales game plan with the interactive workbook, Plan to Win!, available on Amazon today and at a discount through the FMLS store.  Here’s to your success!


Lee Davenport

Lee Davenport


Armed with degrees in business administration and legal studies, Lee Davenport has been a thought leader in the Atlanta real estate community with article features in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, REALTOR® Magazine, KatieLance.com, South Philly Review, ActiveRain/Trulia, RESAAS and Inman News.

Furthermore, she has served as managing broker and mentor for one of Atlanta’s top RE/MAX franchises, RE/MAX Around Atlanta, home to over 90 of Georgia’s most successful real estate agents (who averaged over $140,000 in sales commissions at a time when the industry average was just around $40,000). At the same time, Lee was honored with a position on the advisory board at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Professional Selling, allowing her to impart into the program and its students during her management tenure with RE/MAX.

Now, Lee coaches and trains real estate agents of ALL BROKERAGES to experience success sooner through Agents Around Atlanta Plus. She truly desires to help agents never again struggle with low sales as a result of interactive training and 1-on-1 coaching that helps agents become savvy resources for buyers and sellers (what we like to call an Agent+).

Outside of Agents Around Atlanta Plus, Lee actively serves with the Atlanta Board of REALTORS(R) as the chair the Leadership Development Academy and sub-chair of the YPN Communications committee. Lee is also a member of the national business leadership organization SCIP (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals).

Personally, Lee is a licensed minister that has served in the ministry for close to twenty years in various capacities, including teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

As you can probably guess, Lee Davenport has a passion for helping people and businesses succeed!

Lee is also the author of the workbook:  Plan to Win!  which has received high praise from real estate agents for its perceptiveness in helping to transform one’s real estate sales game plan.

“Your First Day as a Real Estate Agent” Online Course Available Now for $39.00

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