Caruso’s Techniques to Build Inventory!



1. Advertise a Free Phone Appraisal:

There are potential sellers in you market that are curious about how much their home is worth, but they won’t call an agent because they fear the hard sell. With the free phone appraisal approach, you create an ad encouraging homeowners to call for a market analysis over the phone. The ad says there’s no obligation and, in fact, there isn’t. During the phone call, you could get a general property description and offer a wide range of possible selling prices, depending upon certain factors. Of course, if the seller would like a more specific estimate of his or her home’s value, you would be more than happy to drop by for a visit.


2. Offer Free Special Reports:

If you do offer free special reports, then you will capture them when they call. I know of a company that provides special reports of interest to sellers. Titles such as How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes When Selling Your Home or How to Prepare Your House for Sale can save the seller thousands of dollars. Advertise for these, and leave an 800 number with an extension. When callers reach your line, they leave their name, address and phone number. But, even if they don’t, your 800 number captures their identity, allowing you to see the details of who made the call – whether or not they choose to volunteer their information. Make sure your 800 service provides this call-capture feature.


3. Pursue Old FSBOs:

There are people who were trying to sell their home a few months ago, were unsuccessful and then stopped advertising it in the paper. You can locate them by going to the library, reading through old newspapers and making photocopies. Then call and introduce yourself and your service.


4. Adopt an Orphan:

These are folks who already bought or sold a home through your company, but the agent who was involved in the sale is no longer around. You can Aadopt these orphans by calling them, introducing yourself as the appointed agent with your company and letting them know that if they need anything, they can call on you. You may find some people who bought four to seven years ago who might be thinking of selling within the next 30 days.


5. Visit Current FSBOs and Expired:

I’ve always been a proponent of calling FSBOs and Expired listings rather than knocking on their door. But some have been more successful by going face to face. The key is, when you knock on their door, tell the owner that you have a new marketing plan that can get them more money that what they were expecting. Or, pick something else that you feel is unique about what you would do for them and focus on that.


6. Practice Cause-Related Marketing:

Get involved in your community; participate in career days at local schools and tell children what you do for a living. Hand out pencils, magnets or other goodies for kids to take to their parents. In addition, you could promote good will by volunteering at local hospitals, speaking before Rotary Clubs, sponsoring charity events to raise money for breast cancer awareness, and so forth. Whatever you decide to do, don’t be ashamed to have a photo taken of yourself and send it to the local paper, along with a caption, to publicize your good deeds.


7. Go After Rental Owners:

Homeowners who are presently renting their property may want to stop being landlords. Call them; tell them you’ve noticed that they’re trying to rent their home.


8. Don’t Neglect Past Clients:

Any six-figure producers I’ve met drive 75% of their business from referrals. Plain and simple, you need some kind of system to stay in touch with your past clients at least four times a year. Get a database such as Top Producer and create a consistent follow-up program. Whether it’s a newsletter, postcard, flyer or a simple letter, it’s imperative that you keep your name (and face, when possible) visible.


9. Create a Web Presence:

There are a lot of savvy sellers today who make decisions in part based on an agent’s technological know-how. With this in mind, show potential sellers that you can promote their property on the Web. It’s an impressive tool and it works. Use the office web site as a tool.


10. Become a Specialist:

As is in most any field, specialists make more money. Therefore, you should develop a niche in which you want to concentrate and keep working it. For instance, one possible specialty is waterfront properties. Let’s say you enjoy selling these homes and develop a good reputation. Well, you can stay in touch with past customers and future prospects by sending them mailings that would be of interest to them. If your niche is older Colonials and Tudors, you can forward articles to those customers about doing home improvements. How about golf course properties or equestrian areas?   


And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards,


Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900



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