You’ve prepped your listing presentation, aced the delivery and got the paperwork signed — but what exactly was it that hooked your new seller clients? It’s hard to figure that out unless you ask them, but most real estate agents don’t bother because, well, they got the job (or they don’t care because they didn’t get the job). For this reason, few agents ever change anything about their listing presentation apart from the data each year.
Winning business comes down to price, commission and rapport — and you’d be surprised by how far a strong rapport will go. It really becomes a race to see who can build a relationship the fastest — and whichever agent wins at building the relationship stands the best chance of winning the listing.
If you are in need of a listing presentation overhaul, these are some edgy, savvy and effective ways to shake things up a bit.
1. Prepare to listen
We get really excited during listing presentations because they give us a chance to talk about one of our favorite subjects — ourselves! It’s unlikely that a one-sided conversation will create rapport or impress a potential client; truth be told, they know all about you before you arrive. They have stalked your Facebook page and looked you up on Zillow, Linkedin, Twitter and Google. What can you possibly tell them that they don’t know from those sources?
The best path to success is to listen. Keep clients talking about what they need and want, engaging their memories and desires. This is achieved by asking great questions.
Dale Carnegie put forth in How to Win Friends and Influence People that you should “ask questions the other person will enjoy answering.” You can see where this strategy would create a great tone in conversation. Try these questions:
- What is your fondest memory of living here?
- How many meals do you think you ate at this table?
Sounds easy enough and very reasonable. However, this is a listing presentation, not a pot luck supper. That’s why it’s also important to ask the hard questions:
- Why do you have to move?
- What happens if the house doesn’t sell?
Here’s your chance to dig deep. Everyone involved is making a business decision. Hard questions will arise and the person who gets the answers to those will make the best choice. Think of it less like a listing presentation and more like a business proposal where both sides have a say.
And remember: Simply asking more questions is not the answer — asking better questions is what you want to strive for.
2. Change the environment
Everything is on purpose — from the font to the pictures to the showcased data — to make sure we are seen in the best light possible. Everything in a listing presentation is on purpose, and all of that is fine, but changing up your pattern can be a very intentional tool.
In typical fashion, the living room and kitchen are the go-to rooms for listing presentations. It is very much an “everyone gather around and see what type of year this agent had” vibe. Break this pattern. Change the expected.
Asking to sit outside on the porch, in another room or even something as simple as changing chairs with a seller can create enough disruption to make you more memorable. It is a strategy that, when used politely and well, can lead to new and better conversations.
Once you disrupt the expected environment, disrupt the overall expectations. Ask if they mind if you record the conversation as opposed to taking notes so that you can give them your full eye contact and attention. Using the voice memo function on most smart phones is a great way to recall what was discussed, and it also creates the sense that this is an official conversation.
You might think this would make sellers uncomfortable — and you might be right. At least for the first few minutes. That is why you have to be good at asking questions they enjoy answering. You control the environment, which means any discomfort in the air is up to you to extinguish. In less than three questions, a potential client will forget your phone is recording the conversation.
3. Know the answers
We all know the guaranteed questions are around price, commission and time frame. One hundred percent of the listing appointments will have to address two or more of these. Knowing how you are going to answer these questions ahead of time is, well, expected. But what other questions might be asked?
The purpose is to get business while you are there. Anticipating questions and avoiding the dreaded, “I’ll have to get back to you on that” phrase can help you prove yourself as an expert. (Never call yourself an expert, by the way.)
The goal is to know the answer to all of their questions and to follow your answers with a question for the potential client. It’s like a verbal tennis match. Everything is premeditated and serves a purpose. The purpose is to get the sellers to make a decision (choose you!) while you are there.
We all know the fortune is in the follow-up, but we often fail to recognize that our follow-up method should make a statement — it shouldn’t be an email like everyone else.
When you leave a listing presentation, whether you got the business or not, shoot a quick video in front of the property thanking them. Text that video to them immediately. If you got the job, thank them for trusting you and show them you are going to do what you said you would. If you didn’t get the job, thank them and open the door for the possibility of bringing them a buyer. Either way, a short video in front of their house will make an impression.
If video is not your strong suit, take a selfie and just send a picture and a text. The point is to get them something personal immediately. So many agents wait a day and send an email that has the sincerity of a grizzly bear and the warmth of an ice cube. The goal is to be different.
If we change the way we think about the listing presentation, we can create some relationship building intention that can be a lot of fun. Reverse the purpose: Don’t think of it as a chance to present yourself to the sellers; think of it as a chance to receive the seller’s presentation. This is a key mindset hack in the whole process.
It would be arrogant of us to think that sellers don’t know what’s coming their way during a listing presentation. Ask yourself: What can I tell them that they can’t find on the internet?