by Dirk Zeller
A successful seller’s interview or listing presentation starts before you show up at the house. Top-producers have a specific routine they go through before they arrive to obtain a listing. Before you even begin your presentation, follow the five steps below to insure that you will also obtain more of the listings you seek.
1. Solid pre-listing package: This presentation should give the client a brief overview of who you are and what your track record is in sales. It should clearly focus on the benefits of doing business with you rather than with any other agent. This piece should not be the big “Brag Book” that many people used in the 80’s and 90’s. Sellers in the new millennium are busy. They don’t have the time to read 30 pages about how great you are. Give them the highlights and include a section on the importance of pricing. This section will prepare them for the price discussion.
2. Qualify hard before the appointment:
Have a specific set of qualifying questions. The goal is to check their level of motivation to sell. You need to know if their desire to sell is greater than their desire to achieve a certain price. You want to know the where and the why they are moving. You want to know their desired time frame to move. That information is related to price and motivation. Agents need to realize that motivation and price are intertwined. The higher the motivation, the lower the price the seller will accept. The lower the motivation, the higher the price the seller will want.
In my qualifying, I always wanted to know who else they were interviewing. This information really gave me an edge over the other agents. It allowed me to bring or send them MLS data about the agent or firm. It also gave me the ability to compare services. (Please understand that you don’t want to say anything to trash the other agent or company. You do want to point out the differences in your approach and track record compared to theirs.) Most sellers think agents are all alike. I was there to show them that we provide the best opportunity in the marketplace for them to achieve a sale on their home.
If you provide a compelling list of benefits over another agent or firm, sellers will select you almost every time. The only way you will lose a listing is to get out-priced or out-commissioned. It never bothered me to get out-priced or out-commissioned. Those kinds of agents won’t last long in most markets. When a potential client makes a selection based on those two issues, are they a client you want to do business with? My answer was no. They didn’t have enough respect for me, my team, and REALTORS® in general to warrant my investment of time, money, and emotional energy.
3. Develop a pre-appointment routine:
We should prepare for every appointment the same way. We should have at least a mental checklist of things to run through. Let me share with you my pre-appointment routine.
I would first look at the market conditions and price ranges in their area. Then I would review my comps to determine the price I wanted to list it for. I would also determine the maximum I would list the home for. I wanted to clearly know this before I walked into the door. This takes the emotional aspect out of the pricing game. You are making a decision based on the numbers.
I would determine the strategy for showing the seller the benefits of working with my team and myself. I would also review who else was going to be interviewing for the job. I would then create a strategy to insure that I took the listing. Upon final review I would evaluate the likely objections I would receive based on their answers to my pre-qualifying questions.
4. Practice the listing presentation at least once:
I would rehearse my listing presentation one time before leaving the office. This rehearsal would prepare me to emphasize the benefits, services, and reason they should list with me at my price. I would practice the potential objection and getting the listing signed at my price. I focused on practicing success.
5. Leave with plenty of time to get to the appointment:
Nothing will wipe out your preparation more than the death grip on the steering wheel to get there faster. Make sure you arrive calm and relaxed. I would visualize and prepare in the car by working on my closing or tag lines. These phrases would lead me to ask for the order. They were my set of phrases and thoughts that allowed me to solve a problem then ask for the order.
Don’t let success be based on chance. Prepare well before the appointment. Great teams win championships in practice. They win them before the big game is played. Preparation is essential for smooth and successful seller interviews. Start your routine today.
Reprinted with permission of Real Times.
Real Times is an on-line real estate news service for consumers and professionals, at www.realtimes.com.