Fish Upstream! Find next year’s sellers today


As the face of our industry changes, from technology, from competition – and most notably in the past few months, from regulation –  we need to identify and connect with next year’s sellers before they even consider reaching out to other Realtors. How do you start building your pipeline with potential listings for 2025?


That’s right. Door-knocking, one of the oldest lead-generation techniques, has made a powerful comeback. While it may generate anxiety at first, it quickly becomes an enjoyable and highly effective way to connect with future sellers in your community. Here’s how you can leverage this strategy to identify your 2025 listing opportunities now, even before the peak season kicks off.

The Strategy: Fishing Upstream

To identify and connect with future sellers before other agents do, we need to “fish upstream,” by identifying potential sellers before they’re bombarded by competition. The goal is to connect with homeowners considering selling in the foreseeable future but who haven’t yet initiated the process of finding a Realtor. This approach allows you to establish a rapport and trust early on, greatly increasing your chances of securing their listing when they’re ready to sell.

Implementing the Door-Knocking Approach

The best door-knocking strategy involves leveraging the success of your recent sales, particularly those that garnered multiple offers. Even if you haven’t personally closed such sales, collaborate with colleagues in your brokerage or sales team who have. This tactic provides a compelling reason to knock on doors and start conversations about the real estate market in their neighborhood.

When you approach a homeowner, introduce yourself and briefly mention a recent nearby sale that attracted multiple offers. Highlight that you can identify several interested buyers who missed out on that property and are eager to move into the neighborhood. Be sure to watch the video above to see this language modeled for you. The conversation will spark curiosity with people thinking of selling in the future and can open the door to further dialogue about their move.

For those who express a future interest in selling, offer your expertise in helping them prepare their home for the market without over-improving. Schedule a follow-up meeting to provide personalized advice on maximizing their home’s value with minimal investment. This meeting isn’t about listing the home immediately but about laying the groundwork for a strong relationship and securing their future business.

Timing and Tact

Optimal times for door-knocking are during the fall and winter months. Homeowners are beginning to consider selling in the upcoming year but haven’t yet engaged with a Realtor. This timing allows you to make a memorable impression and ensure they think of you first when they’re ready to take the next step. That being said, multiple offers and high demand happen more frequently in the Spring, and people sell every month of the year, so there is no need to wait until the Fall to start building your listing pipeline for next year!

Final Thoughts

Embracing door-knocking as part of your lead-generation strategy requires stepping out of your comfort zone. However, the reward – building your future listings pipeline – is well worth the effort. This technique empowers you to connect directly with potential sellers, and can also demonstrate your proactive approach and commitment to serving your local community’s real estate needs. Neighbors talk, and they will be talking about you being a proactive, hungry agent. And that’s exactly who sellers want to represent them!