If I Only Had One Listing

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 1975 issue of the Real Estate News Observer.

I would make sure it was a winner: If I had only one listing, I certainly would not have any excuse for not having all the home¬work, research and data pertaining to the listing and the area where the listing is located.

THE 80% AND 20% RULE
It is a fact, 80% of the work in converting a listing to a closed transaction is in the area of counseling. However, more transactions are lost due to a lack of facts than any other single factor. Thus, it does not take any assumption to recognize the importance of doing the homework on a listing.

Attorney Malcolm Misuraca said, “Most court cases are not won due to the fact one attorney is more clever than the other, but court cases are won because one attorney has superior knowledge of the facts in the case.”

“In Real Estate,” said San Luis Obispo Realtor, Bill Broadbent, “a listing worth accepting is a list¬ing worth doing the homework on.”

Why is it important to do the very best work in the research on a listing? The answer to this ques-tion is simple but carries a high level responsibility for the listing agent; it gives the client facts to base a responsible decision on rather than a hunch.

It is not the purpose of this article to detail the homework re¬quired in various listings. The in¬tent of this report is to detail what would be done to market the list¬ing if the Broker had completed the preliminary counseling and actually done a responsible job in securing the necessary homework prior to entering the marketplace.

The following, not necessarily in order, are offered as a suggestion:

  1.  The listing agent should take an hour of uninterrupted time to establish a marketing plan. This plan would be written and detail what work the agent should do to best market the listing.
  2. Each person in your office should be personally informed about the listing, the owner’s objectives, and the type of terms the owner would accept. This will allow those within your own office to have the benefit of knowing the total details on what your SELLER is attempting to accomplish in the sale. This will also allow those within your office a better chance to FIELD calls from “Ads” or “Sign Calls.”
    NOTE: The objective is to make sure your sales associates are very familiar with your client’s objectives as well as the comprehensive facts gathered on the property.
  3. Should the owners adjoining your listing be contacted? YES! And, contrary to a lot of opinions, so should owners within a reasonable radius of the subject property. Of course, you will not only have the benefit of a chance at a “one on one” sale, but also you’ll have the benefit of the input of facts gathered from the neighbors. This input might give you the extra edge of superior facts when dealing with the ultimate client. A side benefit is the fact you are again “eyeball to eyeball” with other buyers and sellers of real estate.
  4. The listing agent should con¬tact at least ten brokers who specialize in selling listings of the same type as you have listed. Don’t just mail the data to these agents. Personal contact with these specialists will allow you a greater chance to have these specialists work on your listing. Again, their comments, ideas and suggestions will benefit you on the marketing of the listing.
  5. A trip to the title company or abstract company will give you a list of recent comparables. Don’t stop there: comparables are important as far as justifying your listed price. However, perhaps more importantly, the names of the BUYERS and SELLERS don’t have to be sold on the area as they have already expressed an interest in the area via equity ownership. Again, if you want to lose, mail the data to these clients. How¬ever, if you want to be a winner, it’s “eyeball to eyeball.” Again the listing will have the benefit of data input from those who have owned or own property in the area of the listing.
  6. It is now time to compile a list of the type of buyers who would be interested in the listing. Do not, at this point, list the names of BUYERS but at¬tempt to list the types of BUYERS (i.e.: if you had a parcel of land, list builder, developer, corporate investor, land broker, R.E.I.T. institutional lender, etc.).

After you have completed the list of types of owners, list all of the names of people or corporations under each category (i.e., with the same land example: Builders – ABC Construction; XYZ Development Company; The MNO Trust; John Caldwell, A.I.A.; Fred Bigwig, Land Engineer; Norm Pencil, Investor). Now you have a list of potential clients to contact.

Think about who calls on the type of client who would buy your listing. By thinking about who calls on the type of buyer who would purchase your list¬ing, you now can compile a list of further individuals to con¬tact. Let’s assume you listed a professionally zoned lot. Think about who calls on profession¬als. These people should be contacted and given data on your offering. These people contact professionals on a daily basis. If you establish a contact with the person who calls on professionals on a regular basis, you’ll soon find out what pro¬fessionals are looking for a new location. This fact is based on the knowledge every beer and liquor distributor or sales rep-resentative knows what bars and liquor stores are for sale. Do you think the person calling on doctors and dentists knows what doctors or dentists are thinking of relocating?

People love to help! Recognize that people love to help solve a problem. Don’t be afraid to give everyone a chance to help solve the problem. A brief talk with a banker, a title officer, lawyer, a C.P.A., as well as a fellow realtor will cause many to spend a few moments trying to find a buyer for your listing.

Certainly, there is no end to the list detailed above. The idea is to make a plan prior to jumping into action. This plan can make a lot of sense when put into action. However, the choice is up to you. Do the work (and it’s work) or flip the listing on the multiple listing service, slip an ad in the paper, pop a sign on the property and hope and pray.

One Comment »

  1. Great article. Certainly made me think!