- Keep your explanation of the home marketing and selling process simple.
- Get your presentation into the hands of as many homeowners as possible.
- Never underestimate the persuasive power of well-written client testimonials.
Would you like to convert more leads to signed, salable listings?
Of course you would.
Then stop giving in-person listing presentations.
A pre-listing presentation is more effective than giving an in-person listing presentation. Here’s how to create one that will attract and convert more leads.
Why this pre-listing presentation works so well
Let’s think about the results of the research the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducts in its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
What they have discovered is that, year after year, the number of homeowners who interview only one or two real estate agents increases.
The most recent survey revealed that 70 percent of homeowners only interview one agent before listing their home, and 87 percent of homeowners will interview two agents before selecting someone to work with.
What does that mean to you?
If you’re not no. 1 or no. 2 in the minds of homeowners in your target market, you might as well be out of business!
Your job is to get in front of as many homeowners as possible, as often as possible, so that they remember your name when they are ready to sell.
Here’s why thousands of agents have used a pre-listing presentation with great results:
- A pre-listing presentation enables you to get your proven approach to marketing homes into the hands of homeowners before they are ready to talk with agents. This places you ahead of the competition.
- You are able to communicate your unique value proposition, or why sellers should hire you over the competition.
- The pre-listing presentation enables you to present sensitive information about price and condition before meeting the seller face-to-face, allowing the seller to fully absorb the information.
- A pre-listing presentation shortens the amount of time required for the in-person appointment.
- A pre-listing presentation makes converting the appointment to a signed, salable listing much easier.
How my pre-listing presentation came to be
As much as I’d like to be able to take credit for the idea of this pre-listing presentation, I can’t.
Many years ago, I met a guy named Jim Nelms at a cocktail party.
We started talking and the conversation led to our work. When he asked what I did, I responded that I had just sold a company and was starting a real estate brokerage.
His questions probed further, asking if I’d ever considered doing any research on what motivates homeowners to choose one agent over another. I politely told him that I had a pretty good idea, but his next comment hit me like a lightning bolt!
He said, “What if I could help you determine what content and layout of your listing presentation would result in the most signed listings?”
Now he had my attention.
I was sold. Well, until I heard the price.
But after a few days, I realized it would be a smart investment; I bit the bullet and wrote the check.
What you’ll see below is the result of $18,000 in research.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
I used the resulting presentation to not only generate leads, but to convert well over 90 percent of those leads to signed listings.
Here’s what veteran agent, Anna Kilinski Brent of Keller Williams in Atlanta, Georgia has to say about using my presentation:
“When I go on listing appointments, the only discussion is about price — not marketing, what I do or my commission,” she explains. “I’m seeing better conversion rates and faster appointments.”
Start with a catchy name
Naming your pre-listing presentation is one of the most important aspects of its design.
If you want people to become interested in your services, you have to focus on their needs — not your own.
There’s an old saying in marketing that goes, “To sell Jane Brown what Jane Brown buys, you have to see the world through Jane Brown’s eyes.”
So, calling my presentation “Greg Lyles’ Listing Presentation” probably won’t generate much interest.
Think like the homeowners think. What do they want? What’s important to them?
Once I had selected my niche market and identified what was important to them, I knew they wanted results.
So, I named my presentation, “Preparing for a Successful Home Sale.”
Write a brief introduction letter
Your introductory letter should briefly state your appreciation for the opportunity to present your proven approach to marketing homes.
Additionally, you should use the letter to address the four or five primary services, or results, your target audience demands most, such as:
- Helping them prepare their home for sale
- Determining an accurate list price
- Providing additional services, such as staging or professional photography
- Attentive one-on-one service
The letter is used to frame the remainder of the presentation. It lets homeowners know that you understand what is important to them, and it reassures them, upfront, that they can expect these services and results if they hire you.
Include a short personal biography
Your personal biography should be short and informative. A well-written biography lets homeowners know:
- Who you are
- Why you got into the real estate business. (Remember, people don’t care as much about what you do as they care about why you do it. To learn more about this, check out Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk.)
- What sets you apart from the other agents in a way that matters to homeowners
- Benefits homeowners can expect when working with you
Also, spring for a decent photo of yourself.
I really recommend getting a great lifestyle photographer to take a photo of you. Something that looks approachable and reflects your personality is always preferable to stiff, formal head shots or pictures of agents holding their dog or cat. The image above is a great example of the kind of personable, warm photo you want in your pre-listing presentation.
Present your track record of results
Your track record of results, along with your client testimonials, will do more to establish your credibility and expertise than anything else you can communicate to the seller.
When presenting your personal statistics, limit them to a single item per page. Following this design will strengthen the impact of each statistic and eliminate the confusion of multiple charts or graphs on a single page.
By selecting an appropriate chart style to communicate your results and summarizing what the graph means in your subhead, you ensure the reader will understand what you are sharing.
Always provide the source for your statistics. This could be your local multiple listing service (MLS).
If you don’t have a track record yet, talk with your broker about using the office’s track record of results in your selected market until you can develop a track record of your own.
Just be completely transparent by stating that the statistics represent what your office has accomplished compared to the market averages.
Some of the statistics you may want to present include:
- Total days on market
- The percentage discount from the original list price to the final sales price
- Your percentage of successful sales compared to the market averages — (By successful sale, I am referring to the number of sales that sold during the initial listing period and did not require re-listing after the listing expired.)
- Your percentage of direct sales — (This communicates your ability to sell your listings through your own marketing efforts instead of relying on another agent to bring the buyer.)
- Your career sales volume compared to the typical agent in your market
Always compare your track record to that of the “typical agent” in your market. This creates doubt in the mind of homeowners about any other agent they may be considering. Plus, nobody wants typical results and service — they want superior results and service.
Present your client testimonials
Never underestimate the persuasive power of well-written client testimonials.
Also called “social proof,” testimonials provide potential clients with the assurance that other homeowners have hired you and have realized excellent results.
Author of “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” Dr. Robert Cialdini says, “We view behavior as more correct to the extent that we see others performing it. As a rule, we will make fewer mistakes by acting in accordance with social evidence (testimonials) than in contrary to it.”
This means the more well-written testimonials you can provide, the easier it will be for you to turn appointments into signed listings and obtain higher commissions! Just remember to use those testimonials to demonstrate how your services helped other sellers realize their goals.
Explain how buyers search for, and evaluate, homes
As agents, we have a tendency to believe everyone understands how buyers evaluate homes and how homes are sold.
They do not.
I sold homes for some really smart and successful people, but they were smart and successful in fields other than real estate.
Through the research that was conducted on my pre-listing presentation, the design feature that generated the most positive response was first explaining how buyers will evaluate homes and then by explaining how I would help the seller position their home to stand out from the competition.
It is very important to keep your explanation of the home marketing and selling process as simple as possible.
Anyone can make the process sound overwhelming and complex and present himself or herself as the only agent capable of understanding how to navigate the homeowner through the sale.
Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Listen to Leonardo.
The research revealed that when the process was described in very simple terms, sellers understood it more completely and were more receptive to my approach.
Here’s how I explained it:
The marketing I will do to promote your home has only one purpose — to increase awareness among potential buyers and their agents, driving traffic to your door.
Once the buyer reaches your door, the job of marketing is over.
Now your home has to compete with other available homes on the balance of two items: features and price.
If your home has more features that appeal to buyers or if it is priced lower than comparable homes, your home will stand out as the better value.
Conversely, if your home lacks the features that potential buyers desire, your only option is to compete on price.
To be effective, your home should stand out as one of the top two to three best values in your immediate marketplace.
Then, explain what influences price and how you will help them arrive at an accurate asking price for their home.
Additionally, explain that when buyers arrive at the front door, roughly 80 percent of their criteria has been met. They already know:
- The price of the house
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- The school districts
- The architectural style
- The features and amenities
What the buyer is looking for now is validation: “Could this be the right house for me?”
Explain how, through staging and repairs, you will help present the home to its best advantage.
Briefly explain how you will generate interest and showings
One of the biggest mistakes I see agents make is providing too much detail about how they plan to market the homes they list.
What I found, through the research that helped to shape my pre-listing presentation and my experience using it for over a decade, was that if you present your track record and testimonials correctly, you don’t have to explain how you will accomplish the end results.
Think about it this way: When you go to a doctor for surgery, do you ask who makes the equipment they will be using? Do you inquire about the software they’ll use to process your insurance claim?
No, you don’t.
You trust the doctor based on his or her track record and maybe because you were referred by someone you know and trust.
Simply let the homeowner know that the listing will be promoted aggressively for maximum results, and provide a few examples.
Using your presentation to generate leads
Taking the time to create an effective pre-listing presentation won’t just help you convert leads to appointments and signed listings.
It can be used very effectively to generate leads.
Think about it.
What if you could get your presentation into the hands of hundreds, if not thousands, of homeowners every few weeks?
What would that do for your business?
If you want to become a top-producing agent, your goal should be to get your presentation into the hands of as many homeowners as possible.
It always seemes to me that most agents approach this backwards.
They advertise so they could get leads. Then they attempt to convince the homeowner to meet with them so they could give their listing presentation.
How would that work in other businesses?
What if famous novelist John Grisham called you at home and asked if he could come over and read part of his newest book to you in hopes you would buy it?
So, I found a way to get homeowners to request my presentation, and they started calling me when they were ready to sell.
Once they called, they were already sold on hiring me. They had everything they needed to understand the process, they knew how I would position them for a successful sale and they knew my track record and testimonials.
I never had to cold call or door knock, yet I had a constant flow of well-qualified leads.
You’ll stand out from the competition and win more listings if you take the time to identify the unique wants and needs of your target audience and create a pre-listing presentation that addresses how you are uniquely positioned to help them achieve their goals.
Get your free copy of “The Ultimate Guide to Pre-Listing Presentations” here.
Greg Lyles is a real estate coach and trainer in Atlanta with 30 years of experience in real estate. He is the owner of a regional development company and a boutique brokerage, where he sold over $440 million on his own by focusing on two niche markets.