From what I’ve come to learn being an agent for the past 9 years, most listing appointments with agents consist of a tour of the home, a brief chat about what the seller wants and what the agent can offer, followed by the spreading of Listing Detail sheets of comparable properties on the table to determine the home’s approximate value. By using the strategy of “it’s nicer than this one but not as nice as that one”, agents tend to work with the seller to pick a price.
The agent comes to the appointment with not much more than a folder, listing paperwork and a company brochure and expects to leave with a signed contract. This type of listing appointment can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending upon the personality type of the seller. For some sellers, this listing appointment strategy is actually enough to win you the listing, particularly when you have a previous relationship to the seller. But when it comes to going after higher priced listings or meeting with complete strangers, you need to up your game to be successful. Here are 5 of the best tips I can offer for killing that next listing appointment and winning every future listing..
Tip 1 – Define your listing appointment process. It’s important that you control the meeting. The more you appear to know what you’re doing, the more the sellers will believe you actually do. Here is how mine works. First, I immediately tour the home. It opens up the conversation and I get to know about the owners as well as the house. I gather intel about their family life/interests and identify things we have in common. I don’t just ask about the home but I ask them about who they are as people. Part of winning the listing is being likable, so give a seller a reason to like you by building repoir and identifying any common ground you may share. Inject information about your personal life so they see you as a real person, not a sleazy salesman. Next, we sit down at the kitchen table and I open up the dialogue by asking what they are looking for in an agent and their expectations with the upcoming sale of the home. By identifying their concerns, I can be sure to address them during my pitch. Lastly, we review market and neighborhood sales data and I review my process for selling homes. It ends with a soft close.
Tip 2 – Always review your team makeup and listing/selling process. I made the mistake years ago of failing to share information about my company, selling process and stats to a close friend who wanted to discuss selling their home. I thought it was a slam dunk listing and I failed to prepare properly. At the end of the appointment, they told me they were talking to another agent. My heart sunk as I realized my lazy approach to this listing appointment would come back to bite me. Moving forward, every appointment I go on is approached as if it’s a complete stranger. The secondary benefit to this is that you want to ensure that the client is fully aware of who might be involved in the selling of their home (assisting, coordinator, sign runner, etc) as well as what to expect along the way. By answering all of their questions up front and setting their expectations, there is very little confusion or drama throughout the selling process. Lastly, you’re awesome and the client should know that. Give them a reason to refer you to their friends and family by “wow-ing” them during your initial meeting. Don’t skimp on all that you offer.
Tip 3 – Put your presentation on paper/ipad. Putting your presentation into some kind of slide deck or flip book will give you structure and a roadmap to follow. It’s easy to go off on a tangent for 30 minutes. By putting your presentation into an ordered format, every aspect is discussed and your appointments remain efficient.
Tip 4 – Leave them with materials. I once had some buyers who had looked at 20 homes with me before choosing to go with another agent. One of the reasons they liked using this other agent was because she provided them with a lot of information in a folder about the home buying process. They felt like she was doing more to educate them up front on the buying process. I now give all of my buyers and sellers folders full of information about me, my company, the buying/selling process, recommended service providers, etc. You name it, it’s in there. I also do this since I frequently meet with a single spouse to discuss buying or selling a home. In order to win over the absent spouse, I want to ensure a packet of information is available for them to review so that they can approve of me as well.
Tip 5 – Don’t provide a list price at the initial appointment. This is a huge mistake that I see agents making so frequently. Unless this is a condo or you are super familiar with the house/street, don’t prepare a value in advance of the appointment. So often I “think” I know the value but when I arrive in person, I realize instantly that my expectations were way off. Sometimes I would be too high and other times too low. I always explain that I can’t properly value a home without seeing it in person and any agent who DOES provide a value this early on is lazy and doesn’t want to dedicate the time to properly create an analysis up front. You see, I spend about 2-3 hours doing market research and preparing an appraisal-style market analysis for my clients. To assume that an agent can properly price a home after a brief tour is both risky (as you could be wrong) and gives the seller the impression that your analytical abilities lack depth. Always be sure to ask the seller what their opinion of value is so that you can be sure to address their estimate with your data. In other words, for those sellers who feel their home is worth $100,000 more than my value, I know to come overly prepared and be extremely convincing. Over 80% of my listings do not result in a price reduction, which is a testament to putting forth the effort up front in determining the list price. We will save the pros and cons of walking out of a listing without a signed listing agreement for a later post…
Bonus Tip – Practice your scripts and dialogues. Real estate is a sales process and successful salespeople follow the components of a script. I put very little preparation into a listing appointment because I have a process that I follow when I physically visit the home. The better you become at overcoming objections and the more value you can show you bring to the transaction, the more listings you win and the less you need to justify your commission.
Any more tips you want to add to ensure you win every appointment? Feel free to leave them below.
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