Listings are the foundation of any great real estate business. Win with sellers every time by putting this expert advice to work at your next listing appointment.
Start with Pre-Qualification
Should you even take the appointment? As important as listings are, it might be best to pass on a lead if the seller isn’t serious or has expectations that you won’t be able to meet – or ideally, exceed – straight from the get-go. That’s why motivation is the first of the four goals of pre-qualification:
- Determine Competition
To find a seller’s motivation, especially when speaking to owners of FSBO or expired listings, KW agent Dan Grieb asks questions in order to bring down barriers:
Can you tell me a little bit more about your home?
Regardless of the answer:
Sounds like a great house. Why are you selling it?
Ideally, how much would you like to sell your home for?
Now, what price won’t you go below?
As he moves through the script, Grieb is listening for clues to the seller’s motivation. Words such as “I want to” vs. “I have to” sell this home. The answer to these questions determines if Grieb takes the appointment. And, if he does, they help him determine what his unique selling proposition should be when he arrives at the home.
Impress Before the Presentation
While many agents make it standard practice to send out a pre-listing presentation – a professionally designed and printed brochure showcasing your professionalism and preparedness – agent and KW MAPS Coach Amber Rutherford takes it a step further. Her team never sets same-day appointments, because their strategy for wowing potential clients includes a special delivery. Each day, a runner comes to their office and delivers to new prospects a branded bag containing:
- Swag with her team name printed on it
- A résumé
- A document outlining her unique selling proposition
- Client testimonials (you can pick and choose the best ones as opposed to the client going to search for them!)
- An introduction to the team with member profiles
- Property disclosure form
- Listing paperwork (highlighted with the most pertinent information)
- A checklist of things to have ready when they meet
- Candy, if the clients have kids
- A list of tips that will help them sell their home faster. Here are simple staging techniques they can employ!
According to Rutherford, when she arrives at the home, “It’s a five-minute appointment because people have the paperwork done and ready.” The strategy works because potential clients are wowed from the onset. “They think it’s a present for them, when in reality, it’s a present for you!”
Flawlessly Navigate the Appointment
Grieb doesn’t stress about going in for the close at his listing appointments. He views the closing as simply the natural ending to a great presentation. “Assume they invited you over for this very reason. It’s not a big event, it’s just what’s supposed to happen.”
And, if you’re still anxious, just relax and remember that an appointment can only have three different outcomes:
- They list with you
- They don’t list with you
- They have a need that you won’t be able to meet or exceed, and thus, you need to protect your reputation and let them down that day. Not after you’re in a relationship.
When you arrive at the house, do a walk-through with the seller. Not just because you want to see what you’re working with, but because it’s a casual way to build rapport. Do they have kids? Love dogs? Like fishing? In Grieb’s opinion, “You can’t tell them a bunch of numbers, how great you are, and then say, ‘Now go ahead and sign on the dotted line.’”
Another great use of this time is to teach the seller about the process. They may have bought their current home 30 years ago, and at that time they were on the other side of the transaction. Education goes a long way in calming nerves and building trust.
So, too, is the ability to skillfully answer objections without breaking a sweat. Again, Grieb takes a laid-back approach to objections: “An objection is simply a question in the mind of the seller. I’m a consultant whose job it is to answer them.”
And if questions about pricing and commission are asked, be sure to use them as an opportunity to have a conversation about the importance of pricing their home right the first time. There might be other agents who are willing to tell them what they want to hear, and you can make it clear just how concerning that is.
Rutherford has a simple strategy for when potential clients begin backtracking and cycling through multiple excuses for why they might not be ready to sell. She says the skill you must learn is how to isolate the objection. “Be the fireman; know what to shoot the water at.”
Use the script below to close the question-and-answer portion of the appointment:
Other than X, (listing your home at 4 percent), is there any other reason you wouldn’t list with me tonight?
No, that’s it.
Okay, Mr. Seller, are you ready to put me to work?!