Unlocking Inventory: Creative Strategies for REALTORS in a Tight Housing Market

As a REALTOR, you know that inventory is the lifeblood of your business. However, in a tight housing market, it can be a real challenge to find the properties that your clients are looking for. The good news is that with a bit of creativity and a willingness to try new approaches, there are ways to unlock hidden inventory and win more deals. In this article, we’ll explore strategies that successful REALTORS have used to find housing inventory in a tight market. 

Tapping into Niche Markets

One way to find inventory in a tight market is to look beyond the usual listings and tap into niche markets. For example, if you specialize in working with first-time homebuyers, you could reach out to apartment building owners and property managers to see if they have any units that are coming up for sale. Similarly, if you work with investors, you could attend foreclosure auctions or look for properties that are in pre-foreclosure. Also work closely with the REALTORS in your office and network to see if they have any off-market or coming soon inventory. By doing more of this you can develop relationships with key players in that market and be the first to know about new opportunities. 

Building Relationships with FSBO’s, Expired, or Withdrawn

Another way to find inventory in a tight market is to build relationships with For Sale by Owner (FSBO) sellers. While FSBOs can be challenging to work with, they often represent a significant source of inventory that is not listed on the MLS. By reaching out to FSBO sellers and offering your expertise and guidance, you can help them navigate the complex process of selling their home and position yourself as a trusted advisor. Also Expired and Withdrawn properties were listed for sale but did not sell for various reasons, such as a poor listing price, poor property condition, or an uninterested seller. Reach out to the sellers of these listings and offer your expertise and a fresh approach to sell their home. By building rapport and staying in touch, you can be the first person they call when ready to list or list again. 

Proactively Reaching Out to Homeowners

A third strategy for finding inventory in a tight market is to proactively reach out to homeowners who are not currently on the market. By leveraging your network and using targeted marketing campaigns, you can identify homeowners who may be thinking about selling and position yourself as the go-to agent for their needs. This approach requires a bit more effort and patience but can lead to long-term relationships with clients who may not have considered selling otherwise. You could send letters or postcards to certain neighborhoods where your buyer clients want to be and ask if they are willing to entertain the idea of selling if you had a buyer for their property.  


Connect and network with big agents in your desired areas to discover upcoming opportunities, spark conversations with colleagues during office meetings, and attend association events to increase your chances of finding new inventory. Being proactive is essential, but what’s even more critical is building a solid rapport with agents. Cultivate positive relationships with agents who may have listings coming up, as their endorsement can speak volumes to potential sellers and colleagues alike. Invest in building connections that will propel your real estate career forward. 

Utilizing Social Media

One effective approach for discovering available homes is through social media. By joining ‘coming soon’ groups, if they are permitted in your region, and following agents who post about photographers capturing new listings, you can easily access the latest home listings. 

In a tight housing market, finding inventory can be a challenge, but by thinking creatively and trying new approaches, you can uncover hidden opportunities and win more deals. Whether you tap into niche markets, build relationships with FSBOs, or proactively reach out to homeowners, there are many ways to unlock inventory and grow your business.