Much of Canada is experiencing a strong sellers’ market, and if you aren’t on the listing end of this business, you are likely finding it challenging.

The sellers have the power advantage in this market, which means that agents who earn the right to represent them have that advantage.

In many cases, there are multiple offers on homes offered for sale. There is one seller and many buyers, and only two agents are going away with a successful sale and a commission. One of them is always the listing agent.

If you want to build a great real estate business, you want to be a strong listing agent. This is true in all markets, but it is critical in these markets that strongly favour the sellers.

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Imagine a business where you are consistently taking great listings with sellers who like and trust you. Your income will be much more consistent, your work schedule much more predictable and you will be significantly saner, healthier and happier. And you’ll make more money.

Sellers are pickier about whom they hire than buyers are. They know that their agents’ brand will be attached to their home, they recognize that negotiation skills will be essential, and they appreciate that highly skilled agents are going to get them a better outcome.

The secret to being a successful listing agent isn’t getting more leads. It’s being a better agent. When you gain the skills to deliver better results to your clients, your business will grow quickly and organically.

Here are the top three things you’ll need to master to be a sought-after listing agent:

1. In-depth market knowledge. This includes both macro and micro market information. You need to know the information that isn’t available online: details about the similar homes that have sold, nuances about previous offer situations, changes in market activity as they are occurring and other important nuances.

2. High-level negotiation skills. Agents are paid professional negotiators and most sellers will expect their agent to be a master at protecting their interests. While it’s easy to get offers in a seller’s market, highly skilled negotiators work those offers to their client’s advantage.

3. Building a strategic marketing plan. This is a complex relationship between pricing, timing, home preparation and marketing. This isn’t doing what everyone else is doing or doing the opposite. It’s about figuring out how to get the best outcome with the most current information and then executing that strategy flawlessly.

Of course, there is more to it but these are the most critical skills to master.