To successfully get your next listing, and every listing after that, you need to have two primary steps as part of your strategy: listing preparation and listing presentation.

Many brokers don’t prepare enough or take the time with the potential seller to fully pave the way to ensure they get the listing. If you are not ready, your close rate of getting the listing will not be impressive. By qualifying your knowledge and displaying your capabilities, the choice will be much easier for the seller, and they will agree that you’re the right person for the job.

1. Listing preparation

You’ve received a call and someone is interested in having you list their property. While some brokers will rush out to sign the deal as fast as possible, a better plan is to prepare yourself properly with the information about the area. By creating the right information package, you will set a higher standard than others and better position yourself to sign the deal. There are three phases to your listing presentation.

Phase 1: Deliver your information package

Your information kit introduces yourself to the client, as well as details your qualifications. This introduction is important because should you make it to the listing presentation you won’t have to sell your experience and suitability again.

Included in this package, besides your qualifications, should be your recent sold listings, your local real estate board’s housing report, feature sheets and your marketing plan. There are other items that you might want to include such as testimonials and other personal brand information that sets you apart.

Ideally you will deliver this information package to the client’s home or workplace, so the client has it available to read through at their leisure and before your first meeting.

I highly recommended that after you drop off the package you visit the property and tour the immediate area. Visiting the area is helpful so you have a visual of neighboring properties when you prepare your comparative market analysis (CMA) for your presentation.

You should also include a personal note stating what time you will call them to go over the package and answer any immediate questions they have.

Phase 2: Prequalify the client

At the predetermined time (as your note stated in the information package), call the client and ask the questions that will help you to better understand the property, why they are selling, and other details that will make up part of your listing presentation.

Additional questions you should ask are:

  • Are you the only owner of the property?
  • What changes or renovations have you made since you purchased the property in the past few years?
  • What do you feel is the fair selling price of the property?

The most important question, which you need to ask and get a positive response for, is: “When we get together and what we discuss makes sense to you, will you be ready to sign the listing agreement?”

Now you will set the time for the listing presentation appointment. Be certain to request that the seller has these documents on hand for the meeting: property survey, mortgage statement, tax bill and floor plan (if they have one).

Phase 3: Prepare yourself

“To be prepared is half the victory,” Miguel de Cervantes said.

You need to be ready, in a variety of ways, to win the confidence and the listing that the seller is offering.

Be sure to have your toolkit that contains: clipboard for note-taking, calculator, tape measure, seller’s net sheet, prefilled-out listing agreement and your CMA.

Also I’d recommend having a tip sheet for preparing the home for showings, a step-by-step guide on the process of property sales and a small gift to leave with them (notepad, pen, fridge magnet, calendar, etc.).

About the CMA

The most important item contained in the CMA is the period you use for comparative pricing. Too old and the data is unreliable; too new and market fluctuations are not accounted for properly.

Be prudent on the side of cautious optimism with the pricing so the seller will be comfortable with your pricing suggestions. Also, take into account neighboring properties, give latitude to the seller’s particulars without skipping on the most important value-based points such as: condition, size, location, amenities, supply and financial options.

By investing your time into a professionally prepared CMA, you will gain the client’s confidence in your abilities and their willingness to sign you as their broker.

Remember to dress and act professionally. You want to impress the client not only with your qualifications, but your personal presentation, too. Dress appropriately, carry a briefcase and be prepared as if this were a high-paying job interview — because it is.

Stay tuned tomorrow for “The right way to get the property listing: Part 2,” which will cover listing preparation, making your exit and beyond the listing.

James Hussaini is the founder and president of Realty Point.

Email James Hussaini.

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