Take your communication skills to the next level when you stop talking at sellers and start talking with them.

This article last updated February 8, 2022.

To get results in today’s market, you really need to be having more listing conversations. Note that we’re calling it a conversation not a presentation.

To have a listing “presentation” denotes that the agent is there to “present” or put on a show. In my experience, especially with today’s consumers, that’s selling, not serving.

However, when agents come into a seller’s home to have a conversation, this means they’re truly present, engaged and eager to find out what the sellers really want and need to help them accomplish those goals. 

That’s how they’ll not only earn a listing but also the trust and respect of those sellers — and the foundation for creating customers for life.  

The secret to the listing conversation

Now, let’s get to the inside secret for having these conversations without feeling like you’ve just brought a cold can of prepackaged script to your seller’s kitchen table. 

The secret is using metaphors and analogies to communicate your the process, the industry and the value you bring. When you do, the following two things happen.

1. You don’t have to rely on memorized scripts

This is good for you and your clients because you’re more present, more engaged and listening rather than focusing on what to “say next” from your speech. It’s more natural, honest and organic — therefore, it works so much better.

2. You communicate more effectively on many levels

Metaphors and analogies are communication connectors. They help people connect the dots mentally and emotionally during conversations. Let me give you an example.

Imagine you’re working with potential sellers who say they want to use a service that will just put their listing on the internet. To explain why this limited service won’t get the best job done for them, I like to use the hammer analogy. 

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, imagine if instead of selling your home, you decide to build an extension and improve property. So, you go to the local big box store, head over to the tool aisle and buy the biggest, best, most impressive hammer they have, and you bring it home and put it on the kitchen counter.

My question is: Do you think that hammer is going to, of its own volition, build you an extension? No, of course not, right? Because the hammer is just a tool, and one tool in itself is not going to get you the results you want.” 

That’s what putting your home on the MLS is: It’s just a tool. One tool to help get your home sold. One tool is not enough. You also need someone who knows how to use that tool and everything else in the tool chest.

Take that same hammer and put it in the hands of an inexperienced contractor, and sure, you might get that extension built eventually. But at what cost? What will the quality of the result be? Give it to a licensed, bonded, experienced contractor however, and you’ll get an extension that improves the value of your home and creates a space your family will love and trust.

The same is true when selling your home. In this market, to get the best price for your home, a higher return on your investment, protect your family’s interest, especially in multiple offer situations, you need a lot more tools than just an MLS listing (or hammer!). 

Let me show you the tools I have to get your home sold for the most money in the least amount of time with the fewest headaches …”

Can you see how using that analogy can shift the mindset of sellers and get them to look at something differently than they might have if you were “just speaking real estate”? Metaphors and analogies help make sense of even complicated situations by breaking them down into easy-to-relate-to terms. 

Even if you only read the hammer analogy once, you get the concept so you wouldn’t need to memorize it to explain it to a seller. 

That’s the key — find an analogy that works for your most common tools and objections (we’ve got a million of them), and soon enough, they will become a natural part of your conversations. 

Have an attorney who wants to FSBO?

“Mr. Attorney, there’s a reason why savvy attorneys don’t represent themselves in court, right? They’re too close to the problem; it’s hard to be objective. The same is true of selling your home.” 

There has never been a more important time as a real estate professional to take your communication skills to the next level. Competition is high, and buyers and sellers need you more than ever to navigate a complex market. 

Lean into learning metaphors and analogies, and you’ll never have to learn another memorized script in your life. 

Darryl Davis is the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. Connect with him on Facebook or YouTube

home selling
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