By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
It’s a cut-throat market out there. Inventory seems to become increasingly scarce by the day, and sellers continue to hold tight to their reign as the power players of the real estate world. With agents scrambling to find a competitive edge, it’s no surprise that some of the tactics being used are stirring up serious controversy within the industry.
Enter: pocket listings. The actual usage of the term “pocket listing” can be somewhat confusing, as it is often used to describe multiple types of property listings that agents have different intentions for. Put simply, a pocket listing is a signed property that an agent has acquired but hasn’t listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). In some cases, the agent intends to list it but simply hasn’t yet, however, for the most part it means that they have a property and intend to sell it to someone in their sphere without ever even placing it on the MLS at all. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to put this method on your radar because the secrets out – and clients are asking about it.
The topic of pocket listings is a fiery one among agents because it tends to walk on a fine line between tactical and, arguably, unethical. Agents are, in compliance with the Code of Ethics, required to do everything in their power to ensure that they get the best offer for their client. Those against the practice claim that withholding a pocket listing from the MLS presents the risk of missing out on higher offers that could result from making it accessible to the general public, therefore failing to act in the best interest of the client. Transactions for pocket listings also generally remain in the hands of the listing agent, as they often represent the both the seller and the buyer. Some opposed to the practice also express concern that some agents are too biased in favor of it due to the potentially higher commission in it for them, and fear that clients might not always be well educated on the ramifications associated with the practice.
Although these risks likely account for why pocket listings are usually not considered to be the standard practice in real estate, sellers occasionally prefer it and it has the potential to give agents a notable advantage. Not only can the limited exposure component of the method offer a more private experience for the seller, but it can also simplify the offer process all together and speed up the transaction time. For sellers who are wanting a quick sell, this aspect can be a major incentive to sell their home as a pocket listing. By avoiding listing a property on the MLS you lower the amount of wide spread interest and walk-throughs but, in the right situation, you can also increase the quality and seriousness of the interest received. This brings it back to the agent- because pocket listings take the MLS exposure out of the equation, the quality and health of your CRM and overall sphere plays a major role in how successful you can actually be with this strategy. Not sure if your sphere is up to par? Take a look at this piece we wrote to help you gauge where you stand.
Buyers also occasionally prefer to make offers on pocket properties because less competition means that they are more likely to avoid the grueling bidding war process. Again, depending on the situation this can be negative for both buyers and sellers, but some continue to prefer its more simplistic approach and pursue it anyway. For the sake of transparency, some in the industry feel as though agents should always present pocket listings as an option on the table for their clients. This could be risky for both the client and the agent if handled improperly. As the agent, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re practicing within the laws, which vary among states, and making the pros and cons associated with the method abundantly clear so that sellers can make informed decisions and you can cover yourself against any potential violations.
Like I said, this topic is complex, and people are all over the board in relation to how they feel about it. The practice is very unregulated, meaning there aren’t reliable statistics reflecting how many agents are actually engaging in it. It does, however, seem safe to say that it’s usage is significant considering tech companies, like this one, are viewing it as an opportunity to create a structured platform for it. Regardless of whether you believe this approach to be an epidemic or a tool, it’s important to analyze its effect on the market from all angles because let’s face it- you’re bound to run into it eventually, and you’re going to want backup.
By Tiana Baur
Moxi Insights is a prospect tool sitting in your CRM that instantly supplies you with helpful information and prompts agents when to take action. With the help of this aggregated data, it’s easy to know when people are getting ready to sell and how to best conquer your precious sphere.
We’ve even made a list of 100 ways to use public data to better market to your sphere! Here’s a sneak peek at the first 20:
1. Send investment opportunities to investors.
2. Invite all your sports fans to a night out at the ballpark. Buy ’em a ticket, a beer and a hotdog.
3. Send all the highly-likely-to-sell people your “How to list your home” guide. Moxi Insights lets you know when someone is highly-likely-to-sell.
4. Send about to be empty nesters your “Downsizing tips from the pros” guide. Moxi Insights informs you when people are probably thinking of downsizing.
5. Send invitations to the local gallery walk night to all the art fans. Do a meetup with them. Offer to buy them a glass of vino.
6. Got a boat and a bunch of boating fans? Invite them to a meet up on the lake. Have everyone tie up together and do a barbeque on your boat.
7. Quickly and easily learn more info about the internet leads you receive.
8. Learn the interests of your client or almost-client to buy them the perfect “thank you”, “happy birthday”, or closing gift.
9. Got a bunch of literature fans? Invite ’em to a local bookstore with a cafe and offer to buy ’em coffee and a scone.
10. If anyone has a Moxi Insights badge, send an unsolicited CMA, a handwritten note, text or Facebook message them for a coffee date just to chat and catch up. Spend extra time with them – not necessarily talking about anything on the Insights report, but reconnecting with them at the perfect time.
11. Save some money by taking them to a minor-league game (which are typically very fun and engaging BTW).
12. Invite them to join your team for charitable runs, walks, etc.
13. Do they have children? Get them tickets to the state fair
14. A weekend of free dog boarding at a reputable place
15. Invite car lovers to a car show/new car unveiling
16. If they’re into a healthly lifestyle, get them a free month at the local gym
17. Host an outdoor movie night for those film lovers
18. Those that enjoy international travel, get them a customized passport holder with their name on it and your logo
19. Impress your seller by incorporating information from Moxi Insights to impress your seller on how you’re going to market their home to your sphere
20. Better relate to ALL of your clients with new found information you wouldn’t necessarily know otherwise
Download the full eBook here & find out 100 ways to segment, market, and master your sphere!
As a real estate agent, you’re always looking for lead generation tips that produce high-quality leads while remaining cost-effective. Staying relevant and reaching new audiences can be challenging. It’s easy to get caught up using the same methods, even if they aren’t working for you. So, why not mix it up and try something new?
Try this: Put together a thorough neighborhood recap and promote it via your go-to channels.
Create a neighborhood recap of the transactions in a given area over the past quarter or year to date. The best part? This can all be done quickly and easily for those agents using Moxi Present. All you need to do is create a new presentation, fill in the parameters, and the MLS data will auto-fill. Select a handful of home sales that happened within your chosen area and timeframe to give a market snapshot, comparing properties and showing trends. This ease is what makes neighborhood recaps possible as an efficient lead generation source.
Check out this neighborhood recap presentation to get an idea of what you could include for your local area.
Be strategic about the area you choose as this recap positions you as an expert. Homeowners appreciate the feeling that their realtor knows their aimed neighborhood like the back of their hand. It’s a token of comfort in a taxing process.
Once you’ve created a robust neighborhood recap, it’s time to promote it through multiple channels for lead generation. The presentation can serve as its own landing page using Moxi Present, or you can post it to a blog post. Then drive traffic to it through social media (both organic and paid), paid search ads, and email marketing. Different agents prefer different channels, so select which ones work for you and your audience. Find where your strengths are and where you generate leads most effectively, and leverage those channels with the valuable piece of content you’ve created. If you like more traditional marketing methods, you could also choose a local printer to print a handful of presentations onto fine paper and mail out hard copies.
If someone looking for a home in an area sees your neighborhood recap online, finds it valuable, and learns from it, you instantly become a trusted advisor. You are then someone who can guide them through a thoughtful, educated decision making process because you’ve already proven that you have the know-how and expertise that they need.
It’s a perfect scenario: they’ve been thinking about making a move, are entering a new stage in life, or have been chatting with their spouse about moving, you present the information they need to move the conversation forward. Who should they contact if they want more information? You, of course. So, you meet up with them to discuss the market, the neighborhood, and ultimately, the opportunity for you to find them their dream home.