After talking with several real estate brokers over the years, I’ve noticed that most of them don’t have an actual listing presentation. Of course, they go in with their comparative market analysis (CMA) that all of us have, but that’s it!

I have tried to figure out why on earth you wouldn’t have something else, something that made you stand out from the crowd. I’ve asked them if they bring in examples of their marketing material or their past sales. They just bring themselves. I found out a shocking statistic the other day that stated only 12 percent of brokers use something other than the traditional CMA for their listing presentations.

If a 12 percent broker interviews with a homeowner and then an 88 percent broker comes in, who do you think is going to win that listing? 

This became even more clear to me the other day when I went on a listing presentation for a home. I have created a plan and a presentation that I give to each and every one of my homeowners. Part of the reason I came up with this was to ensure that I stayed on track and that I was the one who was running the meeting. If you don’t have a plan, you leave yourself open for the homeowner to steamroll over you during the meeting. You want to stay in control and keep the meeting on your pace. I left the meeting and within an hour I noticed I had a notification on Facebook — this is what it said:

“I’ve bought and sold homes in multiple states dealing with many real estate professionals; Stacia recently delivered the best market analysis and pre-listing presentation I’ve ever experienced. She’s on top of the latest trends and is dedicated to customer service. Give her a call.”

Not only did this make me feel very proud of myself, but it really sunk in that what I do isn’t the norm. She had told me that she had sold nine different homes in previous years in different states and every single time used a different broker. As an industry I think we owe it to ourselves to make what we do better. One way of doing this is to have a plan for your listing presentations. There is no cookie-cutter method behind this either. In order for this to work for you, you must come up with something that puts your personality stamp on it, but I have included a few guidelines for you to get started.

1) Have a plan. I don’t care what that plan is, but you must have one! Sit down and make a list of what you want to achieve with your presentation. What are your strengths and how are you going to use them to your advantage? This is the first step in making sure your listing presentation goes off without a hitch.

You can’t just go in with your CMA and think that you will get the listing every time anymore. You can create a presentation on your iPad or hand-deliver your marketing plan right to their door. Find what works for you and feels natural. Your CMA may have been working for you in the past, but brokers are getting very smart these days and it will catch up to you.

2) Master that plan. The last thing you want to do is to go in there without rehearsing. You don’t want to stumble through this before you go in. Going to a listing appointment is like being an actor onstage. You must stay in character while memorizing your lines. Going into a potential client’s living room is no different.

Practice with your friends and family — even practice with your dog if you have to, but make sure you master that plan. When you master your plan it shows that you are comfortable and confident. You will be able to portray your message a lot better when you feel comfortable. Make it feel like to the client that you are “winging” it. This is when you know you have mastered your plan.

3) Make an impression. This means that you must find something that sets you apart from any other broker in your market. Dig deep into your personality, purpose and your creative side. If you need help figuring this all out, try hiring a business coach or a mentor. It’s time to go in with your “A” game.

If you don’t know what others are doing, then start with the brokers in your office. If that doesn’t give you anything, then ask a competitor from another area to lunch and pick her brain. She won’t decline for two reasons: one, you aren’t in direct competition; and two, no one turns down a free lunch. You must find this info out and you must find something that fits you and your personality. If it doesn’t, you will come off as fake, and no one likes that either.

Our industry has been evolving at record speed. We are coming into an era where being distinctive is a valuable commodity. I am always willing to help with this; if any of you would like to take me to lunch, I would be happy to share what I do … only vegan places, though … tee-hee.

Stacia Whatley is managing broker at Hawkins-Poe Inc. in Gig Harbor, Wash., and has a passion for marketing and new technologies.

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