“List to last” is a common refrain in the real estate industry, but in order to get that far agents have to win over homesellers and get them to sign on the dotted line.
In a session titled “Nailing Your Listing Presentation” on Wednesday, expert panelists at Inman Connect Las Vegas offered attendees five tips for doing just that.
Yes, really. Do your research on the homesellers and on the house before the listing presentation, panelists said.
“They’re only going to work with you if they know, like and trust you. Make a connection,” said Jackie Soto, broker-owner at Divergent Realty in Chino, California.
This means Googling the sellers and looking them up on social media, including LinkedIn. It also means looking up their tax records to see if they have multiple houses or what their financial situation might be, according to Kimberly Sethavanish, co-founder of Team Modern Agent.
“Do as much research as possible. It’s not creepy anymore,” Sethavanish said.
A connection is important when “people are letting you into their house [for a listing presentation]. You’re in their master [bedroom],” she added.
And sellers respect the effort, Sethavanish noted — after all, cyberstalking is likely how they found you too.
2. Cultivate an online footprint
On that note, “do everything and anything to be found. It’s huge,” Sethavanish said.
While some agents may shun review sites like Yelp, consumers don’t. And it’s no longer acceptable not to have a Zillow profile, said James Colucci, also a co-founder of Team Modern Agent.
He advised attendees to use a different computer than their own to see what their online footprint is and review it from the standpoint of a prospective seller.
“If you don’t market yourself, how are you going to market their home?” Soto said.
3. Personalize the listing presentation
“For me, it’s not a cookie-cutter presentation. I want to hear their story. Where are they now and where do they want to end up,” Soto said.
Then she asks for a tour of the home and sits and talks strategy.
Sethavanish asks for a tour first because she wants to gauge the sellers’ personality type and see what they focus on when talking about the house.
“Do they want an analytical presentation? Do they want fluff? Everybody’s looking for different things so you have to aim it toward them,” she said.
Colucci said he repeats points he really wants to drive home during the presentation, such as “We’re about … selling your home for as much as possible.”
“Everything you say has to have an agenda. Everything you say has to have value,” he said.
Oscar Castaneda, a sales executive and Realtor at Century 21 Americana in Las Vegas, sends the sellers a report in advance showing comparable homes and what he can do for them. That way he can keep his listing presentation to 15-20 minutes, which he says works for his fast-paced market.
“[Castaneda] touched on a key thing: it’s his market,” Soto said. “I work with retirees. They want to sit with you.”
4. Overcome objections
Homesellers’ No. 1 objection during a listing presentation is commissions, Soto said.
How do panelists respond to requests to reduce their commission? “‘No. Any other questions?'” quipped Castaneda.
“They just want to test you, see how strong you’re going to be,” he added.
Colucci stresses the services his team offers and also points out that buyer’s agents are less likely to show a house when the commission the sellers offer is reduced. He’ll tell sellers, “That’s your choice if you want to do that” and that usually works to dissuade them, he said.
Soto said she uses a tool called InfoSparks to show sellers how much houses sell for when they offer particular commission amounts.
Another common objection? Zestimates that say a house is worth more than what the agent thinks the list price should be.
“I say, ‘Well, the Redfin Estimate says your house is worth $100,000 less, so what do you want to do?'” Sethavanish said. She also explains how Zestimates work and that they’re generated by an algorithm.
Soto brings it home by showing the sellers “the ugliest house in their neighborhood” that recently sold and telling them Zillow is using that house to come up with their Zestimate. “They will be so offended by that,” she said.
5. Give the sellers a timeline
A timeline shows the work the agent will do to sell the home, according to Colucci.
If the agent gives the sellers the timeline before they sign a contract, in the back of their mind they’re already listing the house with that agent, Sethavanish said.