Real estate agents get listing agreements in a variety of different ways depending on their markets. A real estate agent in an expensive area of a city such as Manhattan – trying to win the listings of New York's elite – must entertain potential clients with dinners and outings. Other agents might make a name for themselves by adopting online strategies for obtaining listings, building up an invaluable personal network of warm leads, and becoming an expert in a particular area or region.

Getting Listings Through a Strong Network

In order to get listings in the top markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and New York, a real estate agent utilizes a strong network, reputation, the promise of mass-marketing to the right people and a series of opulent perks. Real estate agents working on amassing listings in smaller areas that are more affected by the economic downturn may decrease commissions and leverage the high visibility of the Internet to help attract cash-strapped sellers. Agents may also use personal contacts and business networks to create new clients and attract listings.

New agents use the methods of warm calling and cold calling to drum up leads for listings. Offering to do a market analysis on local properties is one-way real estate agents find sellers ready to talk about options.

Sending out a regular newsletter, sharing updates on social media, as well as contacting friends and associates regularly through the phone and email to talk about the possibility of doing business, is a strategy for maximizing warm leads. Real estate agents create strong relationships with buyers by representing listings in an honest way and helping them find a property suitable for their needs.