7 Things to Do After Taking a New Listing

While there are many important things you should do every time you list a property, these seven steps will help you shine.

December 1, 2010

In speaking with a top-producing friend of mine, he reminded me of one key ingredient that all sales associates need to have if they want to achieve stellar results in real estate: action plans! He told me that his business didn’t take off until he set up these step-based strategies.

Action plans can help keep you on track and ensure that you’re covering all of your bases. One such action plan should revolve around new listings. What do you do right now when you take on new listings? Is there a series of steps you follow to make sure all of your tasks for this listing are fulfilled? What are the essential steps to perform when you take a new listing?

Here are seven key things you should do each time you take a new listing. While there are many important steps you take every time you list a property, the following seven will help you shine:

1. Send a handwritten “thank-you note”

After you return to the office, take the time to send a handwritten thank-you note to your new clients. Unfortunately, this is a dying art, and many sales associates don’t bother to use personal handwritten correspondence. But a simple, handwritten card can make a great impression and set you apart from the competition.

2. Organize and verify your forms

As a real estate broker and the designated licensee responsible to the state real estate commission for the activities of personnel at my brokerage, I know that completed and properly filled-out forms from my associates are important and appreciated. If there are corrections or missing documents, a quick review of your packet and organization of the file can normally catch these errors. Taking the time to double-check all your information and putting the file in proper order is an excellent way to make certain everything is error-free and ready to be audited by the licensing authorities.

3. Write several advertisements

One of the most important duties of a real estate pro is to write several good advertisements for new listings. Many practitioners don’t spend the proper amount of time preparing and writing good advertisements. I would encourage you to devote time early on to writing more than one advertisement description for your new listing. Also, track the calls and feedback you receive on your property so that you can begin getting a good feel for which descriptions are working.

4. Take good photographs

Visuals and photos play a huge part in real estate marketing. Take plenty of pictures, and try various angles when getting both interior and exterior shots of your new listing. Figure out which photos you want to use with your marketing efforts on your Web site and in print advertising. Organize your photos into separate folders on your computer for easy access, and try posting them to online portals such as Flickr. Good photographs are important for your listing to be visually appealing to the consumer. Make certain your photos are current with the season of the year. You might take a new listing in late September when the grass and trees are still green, and in 30 days, your photo will look old and dated.

5. Post to online classified sites

With consumers flocking to the Web to look for homes, having a presence on the Internet is important. There are many interesting and time-saving sites that will help you posting your new listing to popular online listing publishers such as Postlets and RealBird. All you have to do is input your listing information and upload photos, and your listing will then be forwarded to many of the sites where consumers search for houses.

As important as it is to publish listings on Web sites like Postlets, BackPage, and YouTube, it is just as important to make certain that your listings are removed after the expiration, termination, or selling dates. One good way to keep track of your online marketing activities is to make a checklist of all the sites that have info on your listings. Keep this in your file, and when each listing terminates, go through your checklist and remove your property from all those sites. Note: With sites such as Postlets and RealBird, your listing will be removed on the expiration date you enter.

6. Send a sample flyer to your clients and a link to the listing Web site

Take the time to send your client a copy of the finished listing flyer after you list their home. You might also consider e-mailing a Web link to their listing on your company or personal Web site. Frequently, the seller can help provide good input on items you may have missed when preparing the property flyer.

7. Set-up a 30-, 60-, or 90-day follow-up plan

Finally, develop a road map for the next 30, 60, or 90 days to lay out how you will correspond with and update your seller. Many practitioners start out with the intention of keeping their clients in the loop over the course of a listing agreement, but their daily business tasks can become overwhelming. It’s all too easy to have two, three, or four weeks go by without contacting your seller. You have to keep the client posted on the marketing efforts: Besides being professionally sound, it will show sellers your attention to detail and concern about their listings.

John D. Mayfield, ABR, CRB, e-PRO, GRI, is a sales coach, author, and broker/owner of Mayfield Real Estate in Farmington, Mo. You can contact Mayfield through his Web site, www.BusinessTechGuy.com.