Near the end of 2014, I realized my pre-listing package was terrible.

Yes, I had a pre-listing kit. This fact put me ahead of at least half of the other agents. But it was basically the same packet of info that everyone else was likely providing. It was colorful, bound and pretty — but painfully boring.

Often, I’d show up for a listing appointment, and the seller hadn’t even read my packet. I knew this had to change in 2015. I am working toward making my service legendary, and this portion of the listing process was sadly typical.

A little back story

I had experienced a decent level of success in the first seven years of selling real estate. Around the time of my discontent with my listing process, I started faithfully reading Inman.

Many of the contributors such as Dusty Baker, Anne Jones and Marguerite Giguere inspired me to double down on technology and digital. I’m a millennial after all — what was I thinking?

After the overhaul of my listing kit, I nearly tripled production in 2015 and drastically increased my listing side. I would normally be reluctant to share my trade secrets, but I’ve gotten so much from other agents via Inman that perhaps I can now do the same.

The listing kit

During a brainstorming session with a colleague, we discussed the emotion and awe many Apple customers have when they unbox a new Apple device. Every detail of the packaging is thought out. Even the plastic slip that holds the cables together oozes premium.

I wanted to create a similar experience for my potential sellers. The overall concept was a listing presentation on the iPad. It would arrive in a custom box and contain as much of my listing presentation pre-loaded on the iPad as I could manage.

Ideally, this achieves two goals:

  1. Get the listing
  2. Get them talking

So I found a custom clamshell box designer online, bought a 4G capable iPad and went to work. When sellers open the box, they only have to press the main button and the unlock screen asks if they’re ready to sell their home. Then the home screen has been cleared out except for what I want them to view.

Trial and error taught me to include a brief guide of where to click. Under the iPad is a chamber for print materials. I include a handwritten note, a sample calendar for the listing and sample marketing materials.

I’m also in the process of creating a video they can watch on the iPad, which will essentially be a virtual listing presentation. Potential sellers will have a feel for who I am and how I work before I show up in person. I courier the kit to sellers a couple of days before our scheduled appointment and ask them to review the materials before our meeting.

The clients’ reaction

The response has been tremendous. People love it, and I feel it sets me far apart from the rest of the industry.

A funny side story: The first time I used the kit, I showed up to my meeting, and the sellers bashfully explained they hadn’t looked at the iPad.

They were from another generation and said they didn’t know how to use it, so they hadn’t tried. My mind raced as I realized I hadn’t known my customer enough to meet their particular needs.

But then they proceeded to explain that the kit demonstrated I was tech savvy, on-point with my business and willing to go the extra mile — all things they wanted in their agent. I got the business!

I’ve personally found three kits to be a nice number for my business. Sometimes I have all three in my office, and other times I could use three more. It’s an investment, no doubt (but a tax-deductible one).

As agents, we all like to think that we offer first-class service. But when we are busy with business, it’s easy to lose sight of the reality that all too often we settle for normal. Normal is lame.

Although I’m still refining my listing kit, I’m also looking at how I can bring premium experiences to all aspects of my business. Next up? I need to listen better and deliver on client needs before they are verbalized.

This is something I can’t buy at the Apple store, but it’s another component of a premium service experience. Pursuing excellence is hard, but the results are worth it.

Phil Greely is a residential Realtor with Windermere Real Estate. Follow Phil on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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