• Agents should feel comfortable approaching their brokers for listing presentation advice and criticism, and brokers should make sure their feedback is constructive and practical.

In this monthly column, Anthony Askowitz explores a hypothetical Miami real estate situation from both sides of the broker/agent dynamic.

A veteran Miami real estate agent is struggling with her recent listing presentations. What can her broker do to support her?

Agent perspective

Summer is baseball season, and it is definitely fair to say that I am stuck in a slump. I have done hundreds of listing presentations over my career, but my last few have been awkward and uncomfortable. Needless to say, I have not gotten those listings, and I can’t even blame the sellers — I wouldn’t have picked me either!

The worst part of this slump is that I can’t even put my finger on the real problem. Is it my discomfort with technology? (I have been trying out a new tablet.)

Have I lost my ability to “read” what sellers want? Am I not demonstrating my high level of knowledge and expertise?

Of course, all this self-examination and failure have shot my confidence, and I could really use a pep talk from my batting coach/broker.

Broker perspective

This can happen to even the best agents at some point in their careers. Many factors beyond an agent’s control (relationships, commission structures, etc.) can impact a seller’s decision, so the agent needs to be able to shake off these “failures” and move on to the next opportunity.

The most important thing to understand is that a listing presentation is all about being prepared. If the agent takes the time to put together a killer listing package and then practices the presentation until he or she has it down cold, stress and doubt quickly become non-factors.

I believe the following should be in every listing package. (These documents can be assembled on a laptop/tablet or on quality paper in a binder):

  • The agent’s resume
  • A one-pager about the company
  • An explanation of the company’s international, national and local resources and why it is best for the client. (This is especially true in a city like Miami, which has so many global buyers.)
  • A page with dos and don’ts for getting the home ready for sale
  • A customized marketing plan, outlining what will be done to sell this particular property
  • Testimonials/letters of recommendation
  • An analysis showing the home’s fair market value and the agent’s pricing recommendations
  • An explanation of how the agent’s showings will proceed
  • An explanation of the procedure when offers are made
  • Seller’s disclosure
  • Listing agreement

I also believe strongly in practicing the presentation over and over, like an actor in a play, until the words come smoothly and confidently. Using a smartphone or tablet, agents can easily record themselves doing the presentation and then take careful notes on areas in which they can improve.

Finally, in cases where my agents do not get listings, I encourage them to call the seller for feedback, so they can learn and improve for the future. 

How to meet halfway

Agents who are struggling with their listing presentation process should feel comfortable about approaching their brokers for help, but they should also be open to constructive criticism.

Brokers can invite their agents to rehearse their presentations in one-on-one sessions, until they have reached a high level of comfort.

Some brokers will even join their agents on big-ticket listing presentations, which can add an extra layer of comfort for the agent — and demonstrate to the seller how committed the agent’s office is to their satisfaction.

 Anthony Askowitz is the broker-owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty in South Miami and Kendall, leading the activities of more than 165 agents. He is also a working Realtor who sells more than 150 homes a year.

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