FSBOs Are Out: Why They're No Longer a Viable Prospecting Strategy


Bad news: you’re going to have to change up your prospecting strategy.

Prospecting has always been the main staple that has led other REALTORs® to believe this leads to new leads all the time, without fail. It has its place, certainly. But when prospecting becomes a major part of anyone’s marketing strategy, there’s a huge difference between being smart about it and wasting your time.

In a recent article from The Washington Post, the lifeblood of most prospecting tactics has been labeled as a dying vein. Calling or visiting those FSBOs used to be a great way to stimulate the pipeline and in turn create more sales after creating opportunities. Well, those days may be numbered.

Washington Post quoted the latest numbers from NAR, remarking that now FSBO opportunities have decreased to only 7% of those homes marked for sale. That’s a stranglehold on an old-school tactic that is becoming less and less viable – “…FSBOs mainly don’t fit this traditional pattern anymore”.

This means that you have to change your lead generation strategy. There is simply no room to be practicing this sort of tactic when there are many other avenues a REALTOR® could take that would benefit them much more. Yet many of these people still say that knocking on FSBO doors is the best way to generate leads. Well, sorry, but that’s no longer true. So, what’s an agent to do then for prospecting?

Here are some ideas that any agent can do that don’t require this dying strategy:

  • Expireds and Withdrawals
    • Those are still on the table. Although a small margin of the market, it doesn’t hurt to ask the homeowner about what their past agent didn’t do. And capitalize on it.
  • Remember those who know you
    • This goes deeper than just asking your friends to refer you to someone who might be selling their house. Be present in your community and become a resource. You can do this through volunteer work, networking events, and other ways (e.g. garage sales, buying goods and services through local providers (not Amazon), etc.) to increase your presence.
    • Don’t forget about social media and the internet. Those are where most people are heading when looking for a new agent. Use Yelp, Quora, Reddit, and Facebook Groups to increase your visibility and keep your ears (and everyone else’s ears!) to the ground. Email marketing will be a plus here as well, and services like Mailchimp make it easier than ever to get started.
  • Practice some of the old ways to mix it up
    • When a home sells in a neighborhood, go old school and print out some “Just Sold” postcards to disperse in a 2 (or so) mile radius of the home. The more mature population favors these kinds of advertisements.

Sure, these are more marketing strategies than prospecting and finding opportunities, but agents are going to have to play the long game here instead of just thinking about the closing. That will eventually happen, but best to be patient. And this is coming from a millennial.

Develop your own strategy and let us know how it works!

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