The 7 Elements of Your Killer Listing Presentation
With home inventory dropping to dangerously low levels, it is more important than ever to give your potential clients a rock solid listing presentation to secure the sale. They want to know that you are the one for the job and that you have a few aces up your sleeve when it comes to selling something of their's that costs more than a Ferrari.
Home sellers trust (and expect) Realtors to have more to offer than just a few photos and a listing on the MLS. That's all discount brokers have to offer so you have a great opportunity to toot your own horn. Just do it in a way that isn't like a slimy used car salesman.
A listing presentation is supposed to be a conversation, not a monologue. This is likely the first opportunity you have to sit down and have a meaningful and valuable discussion with your clients. It is not the time to talk about how great your brokerage did in Q3 of 2016 or that you've got 10 acronyms after your name which don't mean anything to your clients. This is the opportune time to build trust and really wow them.
Today let's talk about 7 things you can do to make sure your next listing presentation will be helpful and memorable. These aren't going to just be 7 things you need to talk about but rather some things that can go into your preparation of a listing presentation. Since I can't speak from my experience as a Realtor, I'll be talking from a marketing perspective and my experience giving presentations at international conferences.
1. Comprehensive CMA
When it comes to deciding to sell a house, people are afraid they won't get top dollar. They'll list it too high or too low and they'll totally miss the mark. Traditionally, agents provide a 3 house CMA which isn't nearly enough in my opinion. Sellers want to see how their home compares to the market on a neighborhood level, a city level, and a county level. Our agent pulled comps with 30 or so houses so we could see how the market was performing for our price range and house size. This gave us a great place to start figuring out a price. The added bonus to this is that our agent pulled the details from these listings and showed us which ones sold quickly and which ones were on the market for weeks or months. We could then check out the pictures online and see their condition, paint colors, yard, and more. This helped us decided if we needed to paint the living room or replace the carpet in this bedroom, or do anything else to spruce up our house.
2. Ask lots of questions
If you want to get to know someone, ask them questions! Not just questions about where they want to move to but questions about their family, their history, where they met, what their kids do. Show real interest in their life. The more you talk to them the more you can build a foundation of communication and trust. This also helps you understand several key factors in their journey to sell their home:
I heard about a study done with salesman at an electronics store to find out what qualities the good salesmen had that the others didn't. At one particular store it was the 80/20 rule where 20% of the salesman handled 80% of the business. What the study found out was that the high performing salesmen asked no less than 25 questions to their customers. Questions ranging from their wants and needs, their TV habits, what room they watch TV in, what they watched on TV, what kind of movies they watched, and so forth. Then they pulled together all the responses and said something like, "Well Mr. Jones, you've told me you like to watch Sunday football, James Bond movies, and that your kids play Xbox regularly and that this TV will be in your den along an adjacent wall to a large window and your couch is about 8 feet from the TV. With all these reasons in mind, I recommend this model of TV because it has this feature that will give you great pictures, this feature that will give you crisp blacks, this refresh rate that makes your sports looks great, this interface that makes it easy for your wife to find her favorite shows, etc."
The study wasn't about proving that the salesmen knew the exact specifications of every TV and could custom match a TV to their customers wants and needs. Rather, it was about showing your clients that you've been paying attention. These salesmen built up that trust when they directly applied what their customer wanted to a feature on a TV.
As a real estate agent, it's super important to know what your client expects and then manage those expectations. If they expect to sell their house the first day it's listed, you need to know that. That way, when it doesn't sell on day 1, you've already talked to them about realistic timelines and you've talked them away from the ledge, so to speak.
3. Don't give a speech
People want to be spoken to, not spoken at. Remember, a listing presentation should be a conversation where you get to know your clients and the show them why you are the Realtor for the job. Memorize important facts but don't spew off an entire presentation from memory. Be flexible. You aren't giving a presentation to an auditorium full of people, you are talking to one or two people face to face. You could even say something like, "Mr. and Mrs. Jones, these are the main points I hope to talk about with you today [list out 5 things] but I want to be sensitive to your needs and questions. I am more interested in making sure I answer all your questions than I am about spewing numbers and graphs at you."
4. Put the iPad away
Seriously. The biggest marketing mistake most agents make is putting up a digital wall between them and their clients. When you prop up an iPad on the table to show off your slick slide deck, your clients are groaning on the inside. The worst part is they won't remember anything from your carefully crafted presentation 2 seconds after you move to the next slide. The only time it is acceptable to use an iPad is when showing them a video you did for a previous listing (if you plan on using the same type of video for their listing). Remember what I said about memorizing key talking points? Do that instead of using your iPad as a crutch. And I hear you saying "But what if I want to show them some of my previous listings?" We'll cover that next.
5. Leave them with tangible takeaways
There is a funny trick that happens in our brains to remember things. The more senses you involve during the learning process, the easier it is to remember that event, person, place, or thing. I remember reading another study that showed that math students who chewed a specific flavor of gum while doing their homework did better on tests when chewing that same flavor of gum.
If you want to be remembered, give your clients actual things to hold onto. You could use:
The more variety you use in the size, texture, and color of the paper for these things, the more interested they will be in looking at and reading each one. If you just handed them a packed of Xerox paper with a crappy staple in the top left corner along with your business card, chances are they aren't going to ever read through it. Use heavy weight matte and glossy paper, 100% cotton fiber, and or satin finishes. Give them a listing packet that won't end up in the trash 2 minutes after you leave. My wife and I got a 40 page listing packet from one agent. It turned into coloring paper for our 3 year old.
I hear you saying, "That sure sounds pretty expensive, I can't afford to print off packets like that all the time." And you're right, something like this can be pretty expensive depending on how you do it. It is my (somewhat uneducated) opinion that your broker should be the one footing the bill for all this, though. I've heard broker fees range between 20 and 50% of your commission and many agents complain their broker doesn't do enough to deserve it. The broker has the most to gain and the most to lose from it's agents getting sales so they should be fronting the bill for high quality office supplies. Talk to your broker and see if they would be willing to purchase paper stock specifically for listing presentations.
If they tell you no, bite the bullet and design some good packets yourself. Printing off 20 or 30 will cost a few hundred bucks but that's a one time expense you'll have completely paid off for your next 30 listing presentations.
6. Share the best parts of your marketing strategy
I've heard of agents who have lost listings to other agents simply because they didn't talk about something they typically do that the seller were really wanting to see. In cases like this, I recommended printing off the full list of your marketing plan and the highlighting the best or most valuable parts of it. If you think you have the best real estate photos in Salt Lake City, print off some images and talk about what makes them great photos. Have some bad photos to compare them too.
If you are really proud of the video services you offer, show a recent you've done and why you did it. Same goes for flyers, door knocking, and other marketing strategies you use. It's also important to talk about why you do these things, not just that you do them. Talk about the benefits your clients get from you posting ads in Facebook groups or putting nice flyers in the "take one" box on the yard sign. Talk about what why this sets you apart from other agents.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you have your presentation put together you'll need to practice, practice, practice. But don't practice in front of a mirror. Practice in front of a camera in different situations. Get some friends and family to play the part of a client who keeps checking his phone, or someone who looks bored, or someone who argues with you about your facts. Practice with some family or friends who have little kids that are running around everywhere.
You never know what kind of situation you'll find yourself in during a listing presentation so it's important to build up your defenses against some undesirable circumstances. This way, when you do find yourself talking to someone who keeps checking her phone, you know how to maintain your confidence and your patience.
When giving your presentation it is important to be clear and direct. This builds trust with your clients and shows them you aren't trying to blow smoke just to get their signature. If there is something that you mentioned in your marketing plan that you realize you don't actually do, take it out. You never want to say that you do something and then not follow through with it.
Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know" if they ask you a question you don't know the answer to. But always follow up with, "But I will find out for you." Don't make up answers. Just like a job interview, it will be worse for you to stumble through a response in an attempt to sound smart. There is no shame in saying, "You know, this is the first time I've been asked that questions, I'll find out the answer for you."
Lastly, we move to the close. Every listing presentation should end with an opportunity to sign some paperwork. Being direct can be scary and a little awkward. It's much easier for them to say, "We love you! Please sell our house!" But usually, if they don't have the opportunity to sign, they won't bring it up. An example of what you can say goes like this:
"I've loved talking with you today and I really think there are so many things I will do that will give you an amazing experience. I hope you feel the same way. To wrap up I'd like to explain the standard listing agreement: [describe listing agreement]. Do you have any questions about this? If everything sounds good to you, I'd love to get your signature on this and be the Realtor you want to sell your home."
This doesn't guarantee a signature right then and there, but it creates the opportunity. Many people interview multiple agents before they sign with one, that's why it's important to be the agent that stands out in their mind the most after they've talked to 2 or 3 more. Leaving them with a nice listing packet and other tangible goods helps keep you front and center in their mind. The best goal to shoot for is to be the agent who sets the bar that all other agents have to beat. If you set the bar high, chances are other agents won't come close.
Contact us here to talk more about how great marketing will make you stand out from the crowd.
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