When all the sellers really care about is, “What is my house worth and how soon can you sell it?” do you seriously think they want to listen to you drone on about you and your company?

  • Don't promise what you can't deliver and find at least one "wow" factor opportunity to stand out.

Packed with gems, Inman’s Special Report on listing presentation success provided a roadmap to winning over more sellers. Alongside examples of what real estate agents should do to improve their odds, respondents weighed in on the flip-side: those dreaded mistakes that can result in lost deals.

Read the Special Report

What made the top of the list? Neglecting sellers’ preferences and questions, with coming off as too promotional or sales-y following closely behind.

Here’s how to avoid these pitfalls on your next listing appointment.

1. Long listing presentations are so last century

The report opened with a marvelous story about a North Carolina agent who had just wrapped up a two-hour listing presentation when the seller tells him, “I want to think about it.”

The agent went into the living room, sat down and turned on the TV.

What was he thinking? Not with regard to turning on the television, but with staying for a full two hours.

There’s a truism that has been around for decades and still applies today: The longer you stay, the lower the commission and the higher the price.

Today’s sellers and buyers have short attention spans.

If you’re “presenting,” it’s about you, not the seller.

Moreover, do you seriously think sellers want to listen to you brag about yourself and your company when all they really care about is finding out what their house is worth and how fast they can sell it?

By the way, your slick slide decks and cool presentation tools are hurting you for the very same reason — they encourage you to talk at the sellers rather than with them.

The secret to winning the listing is have a conversation and asking questions.

I’ve used the following approach since the 1990s and it’s just as effective now as it has always been. Begin your listing appointment with the following opening:

Mr. and Mrs. Seller, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the marketing of your property.

If it’s okay with you, let’s make a list now of all the things you have enjoyed about living in this house and this neighborhood.

Making a list will help me build a more effective marketing campaign and better highlight your home’s best features.

So, what should I put on my list?

As the seller points out the features and shares what they value most, take notes. When they pause, ask:

Is there anything else I can add to my list now about what you have enjoyed about living here — something about the neighborhood, perhaps?

Can I add anything about improvements you have made or other things about the lifestyle here?

This short script starts a conversation immediately; it gets the sellers talking about what matters to them, and taking notes will show sellers that you really care about what they have to say.

One more thing — did you also catch the embedded listing command that was repeated four times?

2. Reciting your marketing laundry list

The first problem here is that agents tend to over promise and under deliver. The second issue is that your promises are probably the same ones made by most agents.

Everyone delivers on the “Four P’s” — put a sign in the front yard, put it on the MLS, put it on the web and pray that it sells.

Instead, ask another question:

Is it correct to assume that you want to achieve the highest possible price for your property in the shortest amount of time?

Assuming the answer is “yes,” continue:

The way to achieve the highest possible price is through maximum exposure to the marketplace.

As you hand the sellers your 18-point list of all the steps you will take to get their property sold, you will explain the two or three unique steps you take that also have the “wow” factor.

Some suggestions include:

  • The Matterport 3-D virtual reality tour. Be sure to bring a set of 3-D goggles. (See here for 11 other sources that include both VR and traditional 3-D tour visits).
  • A social media marketing plan that includes a Facebook business page, Instagram page and Pinterest page dedicated exclusively to the sellers’ listing. If you really want to impress the sellers, construct these pages prior to your listing appointment and present them at the appointment.
  • Never-miss-a-call chatbot lead conversion from Automabots, Roof.ai or Structurely.

The winning checklist

Display your services in a checklist like this one:

You can use this checklist in two ways: Have the seller place a checkmark beside the services they want, or place a checkmark next to each item you offer and hand it to the sellers.

The beauty of this approach is that if the seller is interviewing other agents, they must match your offerings if they hope to compete.

By the way, if the sellers ask you to reduce your commission, ask: “Which of these services would you like to omit?”

Should you be first or last?

If you have a choice, make sure you’re the first agent the sellers interview.

When the sellers say they still have two more agents to interview, ask:

If you are ready to get your home on the market right now, would you like me to contact those other agents to let them know that you have listed your home with our company?

While most sellers prefer to keep their appointments, those who have hectic schedules or are in a hurry to sell are often relieved to get the process rolling.

If the sellers still want to interview other agents, respond by saying:

Of course — would it be all right with you if I meet you after your last appointment to see if there is anything else that we may need to add to our 18-point marketing plan to get your house sold?

Keep in mind, if the seller wouldn’t cancel the appointment with the other agents, they probably won’t cancel this appointment with you.

If you want to convert more appointments into signed listings, here’s the bottom line: Stop talking at your sellers, ask powerful questions, use an 18-point marketing plan and always be searching for that latest tool, strategy or new technology that will make you stand out from the competition.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/AgentTraining and www.RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.

Email Bernice Ross

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