Here’s How to Win Your Next Real Estate Listing
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Are you anxious about making your first listing presentation? Or are you bracing for your 50th and still on the verge of panic? The truth is that listing presentations are always nerve wracking. Most agents go into every listing presentation on edge because they're not sure if their prospective client is going to say “yes” or “no.” And while you can't win them all, no one wants to lose.
In this post, we share tips on how you can increase your chances of winning the listing from a home seller. Below are the do's and don'ts to abide by when making your pitch to prospective sellers.
Let’s start with what you should definitely do before, during, and after your real estate listing presentation.
Whether you're meeting the client in person or via a video chat, dress to impress. The way that you dress instantly communicates who you are to your prospective client. You want them to regard you as a consummate professional who holds themselves to a high standard.
Before you show up to do a listing presentation, you need to do your research. It's important that you know everything there is to know about a property. You should know just as much as the prospective client knows about their prospective property, such as:
While you may be able to find this information on the MLS or from tax records, you can also simply ask the homeowner during your initial interview call.
You'll need this information in order to make a comparative market analysis.
Before your listing presentation, create a comparative market analysis (CMA). This is a report that will show your prospective client the estimated value of their home. Without this document, a homeowner may think you're pulling a number out of the sky randomly. But when you show them a list of comparable homes in their area and how much they sold for, it's harder for the seller to push back.
Yes, creating a CMA makes it harder for sellers to argue about your recommended list price, but not impossible. No matter how many comparables you show, some sellers will be dead set on listing at their own price. If you feel confident in your pricing, stand firm and explain why. Perhaps you should lean into your knowledge of the market or your comparative analysis.
If this isn't your first listing, and you have successfully helped a client sell their home, be sure to tell your prospective seller about it. Now's the time to toot your horn. But also, bring with you actual marketing materials you used to promote your other listings. This will give your prospective client a glimpse into what type of marketing you'll likely do for their listing. Also, tell the story of how you helped your previous client sell their property. People love stories, and this is one story that they'll want to hear because it's relevant to what they'd like to accomplish.
You may be focused on listing the property, but in addition to selling the property, you're also selling yourself. Your prospective client needs to know that you're the right person for the job. Show that you’re qualified by providing a list of references, sharing customer testimonials, and giving them data on homes that you’ve recently sold.
If you don’t have experience on your side, you can highlight what makes you a valuable partner instead. For example, perhaps you’ll use innovative marketing strategies, such as 3D home tours, to market the property. Show your prospective client how you’ll use your unique talents to get their home sold quickly and for top dollar.
At the end of the listing presentation, ask the prospective client when you can follow up with them about their decision. This puts them in the mindset of making a decision quickly instead of delaying.
One way to immediately show your value as an agent is by giving them a list of suggestions on how they can increase their property's value. From painting to landscaping, there are dozens of things that any homeowner can do to add potentially thousands of dollars to their listing. This prepared list of suggestions will show the prospective client that you've done your homework and you're a thorough and motivated agent.
One way to stand out from other agents is to hire a professional photographer to take an exterior image of their home. This will instantly personalize your listing presentation and it will also wow your client to see a professional photo of their home. This gives them a chance to see how you may market their home. And because they will definitely be impressed by this move, you'll be more likely to win them over.
And now that we’ve discussed what you should do, let’s talk about what you should definitely avoid doing before, during, and after your listing presentation.
Every seller is different, so every listing presentation should be different. For example, not all homeowners are selling for the same reason. Some are selling as part of a divorce. Others are selling because they've hit a financial crisis in their life and have no other choice. And some simply cannot wait to leave their old home and start on their new adventure.
Because every client is different, you can't approach every presentation with the same tone. Some require more sensitivity than exuberance. During your listing presentation, you may use what you know about the client’s reason for selling to highlight why they should choose you. Perhaps you have relevant experience working with others in the same circumstance. If so, share it to help you gain the confidence of your prospective client.
One of the most unprofessional things you can do during your listing presentation is to pause and answer your cell phone. Not only does this ruin your forward momentum, but it also communicates a negative message to your prospective client that they're not your top priority. In that moment, a prospective client wants to know that you're all in and willing to do whatever you can to sell their home. But if you demonstrate that your focus can be divided, your prospective client can form a negative opinion about you and your abilities.
Most salespeople are talkers. But good salespeople are also listeners. If you ask questions and let your prospective client do most of the talking, you'll be able to discover what's most important to your client. Clients want to be heard, and they want to know that you’re listening to their needs and not just trying to make a sale.
Be mindful that you're probably presenting to an average person who has no idea what an MLS is. If you spend the day with other industry professionals, you probably use a lot of abbreviations or jargon because the other person knows what you're referring to.
However, your prospective client probably doesn't know the difference between equity and escrow. Take your time to educate your prospective client about these concepts instead of assuming that they know what you're talking about.
While you may think using industry jargon makes you sound more authoritative, it may come across as intimidating to your client. They'll likely nod politely even though they don't understand a word you're saying and end up choosing another agent who is less intimidating.
One thing you don't want to do is come across as unprofessional. And the quickest way to do that is by saying something negative about another agent. While you may disagree with someone else's prices or tactics, you don't need to share that with your prospective client. Instead of focusing on the other person, defend why you chose a particular price or marketing approach. Bring it back to you instead of making it a bashing session.
Here’s one more do: Exude confidence. This will end your presentation on a high note.
Even if this is your very first listing presentation, your prospective client doesn't need to know that. We all start somewhere. You may still be new to real estate, but that doesn't mean that you don't know what you're talking about. You're a licensed professional. You know real estate. Remember that your client won't pay you for what you've done for others, but rather what you can do for them. If you're confident in your numbers and your ability to sell, let your client know it during your listing presentation.