Steve Stewart Seminars

Steve Stewart Seminars

SYNOPSIS: Ariticle argues for several advantages of working on listings rather than home buyers.

859 Words.

Where's the Money in Real Estate?
By Steve Stewart

The market never sits still. Demand is always rising or retreating. Interest rates are forever climbing or falling. Where were all those home sellers when you had too many home buyers and nothing to show them? Yet when you had listings galore, purchasers all seem to live in Buyer Ghost Town.

Consider the market in which I am now writing this. In Las Vegas NV, homes are selling at 40% of replacement cost. That is, beautiful homes just two to four years old, can be purchaed for only 40% of what it would cost to build them brand new. You might even buy a home between two empty lots since construction there was never started. So why would anyone build a new home in the Las Vegas metro area? They wouldn't, and Vegas pawn shops will no longer accept construction tools from customers needing loans. Pawn shops already have too many construction tools no one needs or buys.

A fair question today for the general U.S. residential market may be: With so many listings sitting on a US market flooded with foreclosures, and with market time so stretched and drawn out, why take another listing? Aren't there plenty listings already on the market? Aren't home buyers what we really need?

Answer: Not necessarily. Sure, we always need actual home buyers. And there is never a need for just another listing. Saleable listings are always what you need, not another committed bargain hunter willing to ride around in your car being treated like a king/queen for the day.

To those so-called buyers who are simply looking for a steal, you can say with a smile, "I can't blame you for that. Let me be sure I have your phone number so I can call you. Then if I find such a "steal," I'm going to steal it and call you later so you can attend my house warming party. Really, if any Realtor knew of that sort of deal, why call someone else and give away the bargain?"

Consider a few of the many advantages of focusing on listings rather than buyers.

1. Yard signs get you noticed. There is more promotional value in having hundreds of people see your yard sign than from buyers who may tell just five people about you - if they remember your name at all. The sign rider on your yard sign always gets your name right, and sits there 24/7.

2. By working listings, you can earn more money in less time. Your earning opportunity with a buyer is only present when you are together. Stay face-to-face with buyers five days a week and you can potentially earn a living five days a week. But with a seller, you earn whenever anyone buys your listing, even on your day off. That means you can work five days a week and earn an income on all seven.

This is an important distinction: If you can only make money while you are at your job, then a job is all you have. But if your efforts make you money even when you are asleep or otherwise absent, you have a business. Listings represent a BUSINESS while buyers are just a job.

3. Listing is the only way to control a geographic area. If half the listings in an area are yours, 50% of the time when anyone buys, it's in your favor no who buys or sells. Whatever percentage of the time you would like to win - that's the percentage of the listings you need to control.

It is also true that 30 listings concentrated within a two-mile radius of your office are much more valuable than 30 listings with a ten mile radius. 30 listings in a ten mile radius are so spread out no one who sees one sign will connect it - and you - to another sign of yours. But 30 signs in one neighborhood will have people tripping all over you. At the same time, 30 buyers working with you won't tell anyone they are working with you. Pity.

4. In any market area, you can work with more sellers at once than with buyers. Ask yourself two questions.

  • How many serious buyers can you handle at one time without shorting someone on the quality of your service? Said another way, how many serious buyers can you work with at once before you would have to turn the next one down?
  • How many listings can you service in your inventory at one time before you would have to turn the next listing down for lack of time?

The numbers for each of these questions will depend on your threshold for pain and sleep depravation. It mainly is the difference between the two numbers that counts. Suppose you were capable of handling four buyers simultaneously and 20 listings simultaneously. That means you are good for four transactions either way. But listings are worth sixteen more closings in a given period of time.

Obviously, with listings you can keep more irons in the fire at once.

So, really, what are you doing what that bargain hunting buyer in your car? Seriously?


Steve Stewart is a popular writer/speaker from Southern Calif. This article is excerpted from one of his 13 published books, A Home Run Every Time, which is wait-listed for re-publication toward the end of 2012. © Steve Stewart Seminars, 2012.

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© Steve Stewart Seminars. Excerpted from "A Home Run Every Time: The 200 Best Sales Ideas You Ever Heard!" Steve Stewart has published thirteen books and audio series on real estate sales and sales mgt since 1986, including the best selling "Real Estate Book of Letters!" which includes all letters on computer diskette. Best known for his signature presentation, "Buy From Me, or Get Out of My Car!" he often speaks to Realtor groups on sales and management. He can be reached through his Southern CA office at
(760) 298-8146.


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276 N. El Camino Real, #184
Oceanside CA 92058



(760) 298-8146
(760) 216-1353

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