Put five minutes on the clock; it’s overtime. You just tied with another real estate agent in a competition fiercer than the NBA’s ever seen: the listing presentation.

  • Make sure a prospective client knows your stats.
  • Express how you're willing make up for any doubts they have with the sweat of hard work and personalized service.
  • Tease out more specifics from an on-the-fence seller: "What does 'seasoned,' or 'experienced' mean to you?" If it's solely time in the business, then there's an opportunity to redirect the conversation.

Put five minutes on the clock; it’s overtime. You just tied with another real estate agent in a competition fiercer than the NBA’s ever seen: the listing presentation.

Agents are used to fighting hard for listings, whether they’re dealing with “my friend is a Realtor” or simply trying to stand out in a hot market saturated with brokerages.

In one case, a Realtor asked a real estate community for advice on Facebook: After slaying the listing presentation for a family friend, she was told the decision was a toss-up between her and another “more seasoned” agent.

So say you’re up against a professional with years of experience, but your impressive (albeit short) track record indicates you’re ready for the job. How do you give it your best shot, or make it a half court buzzer beater?

1. Present your case

Make sure a prospective client knows your stats, even if you only have two years, one year or six months to cite.

How long have you been a full-time agent, and how many deals have you closed? In the past year, how quickly did your listings go under contract?

Be specific: Provide the number of days and present it in a compelling way: “All my listings were under contract in under 10 days, except one, and here’s why.”

What percentage of the listing price did your sellers’ accepted offers come in at? Give a range from highest to lowest. Anything above 100 percent should speak for itself — if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

2. Ask the question: Does tenured mean better for you?

No one is arguing about whether experience is invaluable to any profession, and especially real estate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t push a potential client a little to show why you still qualify — and that you’re willing to make up for any doubts they have with the sweat of hard work and personalized service.

In the Facebook thread, Realtor John Moscillo provided the following script:

“Mrs. Seller, I can appreciate your concern, [however] a more seasoned agent does not always mean a better agent. You do agree my stats are pretty notch right? You do agree that my marketing is top notch right? You do agree my firm has an amazing track record right? You may or may not know this but that seasoned agent may be coasting, where as I am working my tail off for you … If all else is equal, would you rather someone who is coasting or someone working their tail off for you? Great, sign here.”

Realtor Edward Sugden chimed in, adding to the script:

“To a seasoned agent or someone who does a lot of volume you may just be another number to them where as you give personal hands on service to make sure you will negotiate the best price for them while giving the best service.”

3. Be the best at rapport

One of the biggest issues a potential client may have with a newer agent is trust, but that bond can be built organically through conversation.

If creating a comfortable environment based on sound rapport is one of your strong suits, rely on it here. Don’t underestimate the importance of soft skills in a competitive market.

“I often find, with many talented agents in one area competing, it comes down to working with who you know, like, and trust,” commented Realtor Lindsey Brook. “… I wouldn’t discount just being the agent who establishes the most rapport with the client. The story may be they want someone more seasoned but who knows [if] it’s that or just plain likability.”

Agent Will Curtis echoed the importance of self-awareness, and sending the right message to a client: “I can’t master the soft skills, but I can run analysis all day long which is why I am a much better fit with corporate commercial clients. This business comes down to knowing your strengths and weaknesses and improving and capitalizing on them.”

Curtis also differentiated between “selling yourself and what you have done” versus “what you are willing to do for the seller.”

4. Understand the picture of their ideal agent

A key question can help you tease out more specifics from an on-the-fence seller: “What does ‘seasoned,’ or ‘experienced’ mean to you?” If it’s solely time in the business, then there’s an opportunity to redirect the conversation.

“If they struggle with that question then [you’re] off to the races and proceed. If they bring up an objection we need to probe for the truth,” advised agent Bob Maves.

You might ask:

  • What tools does the experienced agent offer?
  • What is their marketing plan?
  • Does the seasoned agent provide a multi-pronged approach?
  • With 92 percent of consumers starting their home search online, are you confident your property will get sufficient digital exposure?

“Plant a seed and let it work on them a little,” Maves added.

“Find out what sets you apart from them and elaborate how you can do it above and beyond without bashing other agent,” recommended Realtor Mai Tang. “Are their listings lacking something? Bad photos? Bad online marketing? Show seller how you shine in these areas.”

5. Join forces

Other agents offered up a couple of options along the lines of, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

1. Two sides of the same coin

You could say: “How about you list with me and the seasoned agent can bring the buyer,” suggested Realtor Mable Washington.

2. Team up

Realtor Porsha Ridl added: “If they are firm about having a seasoned agent, partner with one. You won’t get a full commission but you will still get the listing.”

Final thoughts

Trash talking is always frowned upon

Accusing your competition of being a “dinosaur” or bashing them in any way is not only unprofessional but could backfire in the form of a client walking away, agents agreed.

Know you can’t win ’em all

“Don’t sweat it,” said marketing company co-owner/CEO Michael Aldea. “You don’t want to work with everyone. The moment you commit to that, the more valuable you become.”

If all else fails, you could always sprinkle some basil and paprika into your presentation, as suggested by broker Kevin McGrath. That’s one way to get “seasoned,” and if your seller is a pun-lover, you just might make them laugh.

Feel free to share your ideas and experiences with this objection in the comments. 

Email Caroline Feeney

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