Fill Your Bookshelves

by Peter Thomas Ricci

When you own a bookstore, you want your shelves to be filled with good books – just like agents should always have good listings, explains Craig Witt of EXIT Realty.


I want you to pretend you are in small town U.S., and you just purchased a quaint little boutique retail space in a pedestrian-friendly village.

You are embarking on a new business, one that is quickly being replaced by the Nook, the Kindle and the iPad…or is it? Your dream of opening a destination book store with comfy lounging furniture, soft music, coffee and gelato is taking shape. You are only missing one thing – books.

If you believe in the premise “if you build it, they will come,” you better make sure that if and when they do, you have what they came for. In this case, books! It is the basic principal of supply and demand, and those with the greatest supply of what the consumer wants will get the most demand and the most customers knocking down their door.

Could you imagine any retail store opening up with no inventory, such as a Wal-Mart or Target store with nothing on the shelves? There obviously would be no reason to visit the store.

How does this relate to real estate? There is an old adage known as “List to last.” Those who control the listings control the business. You see, if you have no listings (no books on your shelf), you have no reason for the customer to contact you. They want to see inventory; they want to see a lot of it; and they want to see it now. The real estate agents that have figured out this simple secret typically are the ones that do the majority of the business. Now, I am not suggesting that buyer’s agents are not important; I am simply saying that if you have books on your shelf, you have a reason for customers to call you.

When new agents get into the business, the single most important thing we can teach them is to create their circle of influence and start getting listings to build inventory. The methods in which to do this are many ranging, from the most basic to the most advanced that technology can offer. The spin business that can come to you from having a nice listing inventory is endless, and the advertising you can get out of having signs in yards can build your brand nicely.

Most real estate coaches will say to carry a minimum of 12 well-priced, saleable listings at any given time, and continually be adding to that number, because when they sell, you need to replace them with more. Become a master at taking listings and perfect your listing presentation; also, embrace technology and be the trusted advisor to your customer that they expect. Know your market, know your business, and build inventory.

The ultimate goal is to build a solid referral base where business comes to you from treating your customers well and having solid systems to keep in touch. Specialize and always be looking to stand out in everything you do; it will pay off. And, when you are out and about gathering listings, try not to notice the EXIT signs.

Have a great month!

Craig-W-EXIT-Corp-Photo-Resized-SmallCraig Witt is the president of the North Central Division of EXIT Realty Corp., which includes Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

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