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    No matter where you are in the country, odds are that inventory is tight right now. Unfortunately, that fact can leave real estate agents scrambling to come up with new business. In order to try and make that process easier, we came up with four ways to build up your real estate inventory.

    Read over these tips and do your best to incorporate them into your marketing strategy. With a little hard work and more than a little persistence, you should be able to use these methods to create an ongoing stream of leads.

    1. Partner up with a builder

    Put simply, when you’re looking for more inventory, partnering up with a builder is a great choice. On the one hand, representing a new construction project will offer a steady stream of business. On the other, you may have the option to turn prospects who don’t end up buying the new construction into buyers of your own.

    However, in order to make that happen, you need to do your homework. Often, getting connected with a builder is about making yourself stand out from the crowd. Start by researching all the builders and developers in your area, as well as their current projects. Get to know their brands and products so that you can pitch yourself effectively the next time they’re looking for available agents.

    In most areas, the builder community is relatively small and word of mouth travels fast. If you can get your foot in the door with one builder and make a good impression, you could set yourself up to be a sought after commodity.

    2. Offer a broker price opinion (BPO)

    If working for a builder isn’t for you, another route to try and find inventory is through offering a broker price opinion (BPO). A broker price opinion is similar to a comparative market analysis (CMA) in that you’re offering your opinion of the home’s value as an industry professional. However, rather than being a tool to help you market the listing, it can be a good way to zero in on new clients.

    The best way to offer this service is via a mailing or your social media. While not everyone on your mailing list will take you up on your offer, this can help you stand out as a resource to people who are thinking of selling their home. Especially if you market it as a free service, it can be an effective way for you to find more listings.

    As for what should be included in your offer, you’re essentially giving them a CMA. In your package, include at least three similar properties that have recently sold in the area, your opinion on the price, and your contact information. If you’d like, you can also offer to set up a time to go over your findings with them.

    3. Reach out to past clients

    Particularly, when they’ve had a good experience with you, past clients can be a great source of ongoing business. Put simply, if they’ve used you once, they’re more likely to call you when they’re ready to move again. To that end, make sure you stay in touch with your past clients and don’t hesitate to let them know that you’re open for business.

    These days, there are many ways that you can make sure you stay in the back of you’re clients’ minds. You could put them on a mailing list, send them the occasional small gift (sometimes called a “pop-by”), or host a client appreciation event. Alternatively, you could choose to follow all three of these paths.

    The key is to be consistent about your follow-up without going overboard. After all, few people want to work with someone they consider to be over-the-top. But, that said, if your clients get reminders from you every so often, they’re more likely to think of you in their time of need.

    4. Ask for referrals

    One strategy for building inventory that gets consistently overlooked is asking for referrals and it’s not hard to see why. It can be uncomfortable to ask someone to recommend your services or to help you generate more business. However, if you can force yourself to get past that initial discomfort, referrals can end up becoming an ongoing source of leads.

    With asking for referrals, it’s all in how you present the information. Keep your ask as simple as possible. Let the other person know that you’re in the business and that you would appreciate if they would keep you in mind if they know anyone who is looking to make a move. That said, be sure to let them know there is no obligation.

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