How to market pocket listings
Pocket listings take away an agents #1 marketing tool- the MLS, so they require more work and are more difficult to sell than normal listings. What marketing you can do depends on what your seller wants and is OK with. Marketing a pocket listing is pretty similar to marketing a normal listing except no MLS more or less.
1- Ask the owner for permission to take pictures. Pictures will help you sell the thing! Consider getting a floorplan also.
2- Market the pocket listing to your Sphere of Influence. I always start by trying to sell my pocket listings to my existing clients first. Send out an email blast to your client database, and posting the pocket listing on your website/social media is where I’d start. If you write a monthly newsletter, you could also include it in there.
3- Didn’t sell it yet? Reach out to other brokers in your office, and in the community that you are friendly with. I would print out a flier of the pocket listing and stick it in every agent’s mailbox in my office. You could also go to a few other offices if your company has multiple locations. If your company has a weekly office meeting- pitch it there. If you have an email list of agents you are friendly with, email blast them. Or if you want to add the personal touch, pick up the phone and make a few phone calls.
4- There are places online you can post a listing that are not the MLS- if the seller allows you. Zillow.com is the first place I would put it online under coming soon– although you need to be a premier agent to unlock this function. Many Savvy buyers use Zillow to search for off-market coming soon listings, so you will get some internet exposure there. Craigslist is OK but has really dropped off in recent years. I have experimented with Forsalebyowner.com but found that the only people on there are hungry real estate agents looking for listings. I have posted several pockets on the site and never once got a buyer call, the only calls I received were from prospecting agents so I would avoid that one as a total waste of time.
5- Private listing groups. There are several different private listing groups for real estate agents to share pocket listings with one another. Top Agent Network (They charge a membership fee), The Pocket Listing Service, and this very popular local Pocket Listing Facebook Group, are a few examples.