Here's what you need to do to wow your prospective client during your listing presentation.
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
You're new to the real estate game, but you're not new to life. You know that you only have one chance to make a solid first impression. So, when you're given the opportunity to wow a prospective client, you've got to do your best. You can't hide behind inexperience, because the only way you're going to enjoy longevity as a real estate agent is to impress prospective clients. That positive impression starts with your listing presentation. You've got to kill it (no pressure).
Fortunately, you don't have to do it all alone. We're here to help. In this post, we'll tackle the top tips you need to know to impress prospective clients who are looking to sell their homes. Let's get started.
When your prospective client calls you with the salivating offer to list their home, you need to jump into question mode. Not only should you have this list of questions sitting on your desk, you should commit them to memory in the very likely case that you receive an incoming call on the go.
Among the top questions you should ask are:
The more information that you can learn, the better position you'll be in to win them over.
After they’ve accepted your invitation to meet, make this risky proposal to the prospective client: If you’re interviewing multiple agents, I’d love to be the last agent on the list.
Here’s why it’s risky: Another agent may have asked the same question. But, if not, here’s why this proposal is genius: Being the last agent they see automatically grants you top of mind status. Your listing presentation will be freshest in their mind.
Of course, there is no guarantee that you’ll be granted this request. Even if you are, they may decide to go with someone else anyway. However, you have a better chance of making a lasting impression if you do try this tip.
After you’ve hung up the phone, it’s time to get your pre-listing package together. You’ll send this package to your prospective client so that both of you come into the interview prepared. This package includes:
You can send this packet via snail mail if you have the time, but you can always email it, too.
If possible, check out the home before meeting with the prospective client. You’re in the car anyway, so take a quick drive by the home to see it in person. This step alone can set you apart from other agents, which is especially helpful when you’re new and need all of the advantages you can get. For bonus points, take a picture and include it with your listing presentation. The homeowner is likely to be impressed by your extra footwork.
Also, don’t just study the house, look at the neighborhood, too. You can use what you’ve learned about the neighborhood to show the prospective client that you’re familiar with the neighborhood. This simple gesture can convince the homeowner to choose you. It also can help you when educating house hunters about the benefits of moving to the neighborhood.
Remember that even if you don't get this particular listing, you'll at least be more familiar with that area for the future.
In addition to driving by the physical property, look up its history online. Plug in the address to the MLS or the county public records and find out if it’s sold in the past and for how much. Also check out previous pricing trends when and if the home sold. Don’t forget to look for tax records, especially any liens that could affect pricing.
Research the homeowner before your meeting. Fortunately, almost everyone in North America has a social media account (i.e. Facebook or LinkedIn) which you can use to your advantage. Find out what interests the homeowner may have that you can use in the listing presentation. Everything you learn can forge a stronger connection between you and the prospective client.
Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty of what to do when delivering your listing presentation. Here’s a rough outline:
Start off with an introduction - Briefly introduce yourself and explain what to expect during your listing presentation. This is helpful for first time sellers.
Ask to tour the home (if you haven’t toured it before) - This is your opportunity to find out more about the home. You’ll use this information to choose an appropriate listing price. Be sure to ask questions about the home when taking the tour.
Present the CMA - If you’ve actually toured the home before your listing presentation, be sure to come prepared with a comparative market analysis (CMA). Your CMA should show homes that are currently listed and those that have recently sold. You’ll use the information presented in the CMA to back up your proposed listing price.
Present information about the local market data - While you won’t be able to complete a detailed CMA unless you’ve toured the home previously, you can discuss local market data, such as current pricing trends or the average listing vs. final sales price for homes in the area.
Discuss your unique value proposition - Why should the prospective client choose you? List your awards or areas that you specialize in.
Explain your marketing strategy - How will you market their home to prospective buyers? Will you use a website? Will you stage? Will you hire photographers, plant yard signs, send out snail mail postcards, host open houses, and/or market through Facebook?
Discuss pricing - If you’ve prepared a CMA, explain how you arrived at your recommended listing price. If you haven’t, discuss how you’ll use the CMA and other factors such as comparable homes and average neighborhood income to arrive at an accurate property valuation for the current marketing.
Why should a homeowner work with you and not some other agent? This is the most important question you’ll answer throughout your listing presentation. The prospective client is considering you, and it’s time to wow them with your strongest asset. Be honest here.
Are you a good negotiator? Are you a neighborhood expert?
If you’re new to real estate, do you have complimentary previous work experience that could benefit the homeowner? (Perhaps you’re a photographer, too.) You can also highlight and rely on your brokerage’s combined experience. Hey, that’s one of the perks.
To further bolster your claim, consider sharing social proof in the form of quotes from former satisfied sellers. Once again, you can also use quotes that praise your brokerage in general, if you’re still lacking in experience.
Body language is crucial when convincing a homeowner to choose you. The most important body language is eye contact.
When shaking a prospective client’s hand or listening to their concerns, connect with their eyes. Don’t look down or around the room. This can express uncertainty, lack of confidence, deception, or disinterest-- all bad cues, especially when you’re trying to convince them of the total opposite.
However, don’t be that person who stares into their eyes non-stop and without flinching. That’s creepy. If you think it’s time to look away, it probably is.
Another thing to consider is your smile. Don’t come across overly serious by refusing to smile. To communicate a sense of friendliness and concern, smile often.
As with most things in life, the more practice you can get, the better. Even if you spend 10 years delivering a listing presentation, you’ll find that there’s always room for improvement.
But if you’re completely new to real estate, you don’t have any “real life” practice. That’s okay. You have at least one of the following:
Use one or more of the above as a practice audience for your listing presentation. Get comfortable delivering your sales presentation so that when it’s time to actually wow your prospective client, you sound confident and dependable.
After your presentation, it’s a waiting game. Some clients will immediately decide that you’re the person for the job. Others will make you wait in limbo before delivering the good news. And others still will completely cease to exist. But don’t spend the next few days in hand-wringing anxiety. Do something about it. Here’s what you can do:
First, give the clients a chance to think. A respectable amount of time to wait is two days, or 48 hours. This allows the client to mull over your offer and compare your presentation to that of other agents they’ve interviewed. After time’s up, phone your prospective client to inquire about their decision. If the answer is in your favor, immediately set up a time to sign your listing agreement.
If the answer is no (or no answer), it’s not the end of the word. You can always send a personal note to thank the prospective client for meeting with you. In real estate, you never know when your paths will cross again. Even if the answer is no now, the homeowner may decide to go with you later once they realize that their home isn’t selling with their first choice agent. It’s okay to be a second choice, as long as you’re the final choice!