Tuesday, November 22, 2011

15 Ways to Ace a Listing Presentation

By Deborah Ball Kearns, RE/MAX Editor
Posted 11/8/11


Want to ensure that you’ll walk away with a signed listing agreement at your next seller presentation? Three top RE/MAX producers share their best tips for you to seal the deal and earn more business.

The panel:
Jennifer Kibler, a 100 Percent Club member with RE/MAX Patriots in York, Pa.
Mark Linder, a Hall of Fame member with RE/MAX Select in Greenwood, Ind.
Linda van den Broek, a Lifetime Achievement Award winner and Chairman’s Club member with RE/MAX Executives Realty in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Here are their tips for perfecting your listing presentation:

First of all, how do you get your foot in the door to schedule a listing presentation?
KIBLER: Most of my listing leads come from referrals and from staying in touch with past clients. But when I’m at an open house or get a call on a listing appointment, I do a softer sell and try to get to know the client by asking a lot of questions; people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.

LINDER: Up front, I offer to walk through the home and make a list of things that need to be done in order to list the home and sell it quickly for top dollar. 

VAN DEN BROEK: Always start with a personal phone chat, and ask how long a seller has been in the home, what the neighborhood is like, time frame for moving, family situation, and other details that will help you get information as to why you’re going to the presentation. Keep it friendly and informative, and establish up front what you plan to bring with you. Here's a link to my in-depth seller's guide, which I give to all of my sellers.

What should agents show during a listing presentation?
KIBLER: I still use a book-style presentation. I always beginwith the latest statistics, and I also include copies of my marketing brochures, in-home information and a full-color market analysis report. I just got an iPad and I'm looking to incorporate it into my presentations so they're more appealing and memorable.

LINDER: Clients don't like to HEAR; they want to SEE what we have done so I bring in fliers, color brochures and other marketing pieces in a branded RE/MAX folder for sellers to keep. When other agents show up with just a business card, you’ll stand out if you have high-quality, printed marketing materials. Remember that you have only one chance to make a great first impression.

VAN DEN BROEK: My listing presentations are two hours long; I chat as we go on a walk-through tour. When we sit down for the actual presentation, I share press releases, market trends and graphs illustrating that I’m the No. 1 RE/MAX agent in the office. High-end color brochures, professional photography for high-end listings (depends on the state of home), visual tours on 80 percent of properties are a given in my list of services.

What are key points agents should make?
KIBLER: Your initial phone call must establish what’s important to sellers from the get-go. Are they techies who will want an Internet driven presentation? Do they come from a math or science background that makes them more receptive to a detailed statistical analysis? Be prepared and have pre-tailored presentations ready to appeal to different personalities. Make your presentation more about them, not you.

LINDER: My team is known for the one-stop listing appointment, and we use this to our advantage. We put it all out there in that initial meeting: we do a walk-through, present a customized marketing plan, and provide a price on the spot. Our philosophy: If agents refuse to provide a price at a listing appointment then they don't know the market well enough, or they’re not confident in estimating home values.

VAN DEN BROEK: Talk about how to deal with multiple offers and bidding wars; they do happen. If you want to walk out of there with a signed agreement, you have to be genuine. Stop looking at clients with dollar signs on their foreheads. Give them the impression that they are your only clients. Be attentive and do not rush through the presentation.

How can agents set themselves apart in such a brief amount of time?
KIBLER: Sellers want to see tangible items you use that will sell their homes. I put brochure boxes in front of all my listings, something I’ve always done during my 20-plus years as a Realtor. Driving by a sign is still a great way to capture a lead and put information in their hands. I also encourage certain clients to use staging services if the property needs it. Sometimes I will even include a consult as a part of my service; it’s less than the cost of an ad and can save me advertising expenses in the long run.

LINDER: Find out who the top agents are in your MLS and send them direct-mail marketing for some of your standout properties. Another unique thing we do is to find out from sellers who they have left to interview. If they decide to list with us, we offer to call the other agents to cancel those appointments. It makes for a smooth, gentle close that usually works.

VAN DEN BROEK: I strongly believe that all clients should get the same quality of service, whether the property is $100,000 or $1 million. Mention that you will follow-up after every showing, as well as handle all calls and direct contact. Never ever bash your competition. I always encourage sellers to interview several agents to ensure they’re working with someone they’ll be comfortable with. Never pressure potential clients; be informative without being aggressive or pushy. Give them the good, the bad and the ugly but be constructive about your advice.

If a seller doesn't sign with you that day, what steps do you take to secure the business down the road?
KIBLER: I follow up with a personal note and add them to my mailing list. I also try to send them updates on the market monthly by email. If the client doesn’t list right away, I’ll stay in touch so they remember me when they are ready to sell.

LINDER: We have a system for this very thing called the "Lucky Bamboo System." We send a lucky bamboo in a small vase (professionally delivered) with a note that reads, "The Linder Team wishes you luck in choosing the right agent. We know you will make the right decision!" This token shows our confidence and professionalism and, so far, we have acquired seven out of the last eight clients we have used this technique with. 

VAN DEN BROEK: Follow up three to four days after a presentation to ask when you can contact the seller again. It’s important to me to find out why I wasn’t chosen. Sometimes, it’s because agents cut their commission lower to get the business; I refuse to do that. If that conversation comes up, I provide valid reasons for what I charge (5 percent across the board). I explain that if I can't negotiate my commission, why hire me to negotiate the price of their home? After all, anyone can show a house, but not everyone can sell one, and there's a difference.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ever wondered whether a team is for you.  Click below for a few pointers.

To Team or Not To Team - That is the Question