By Toby Welch
Before knocking on the door at a listing presentation, take a moment to put yourself in your potential client’s shoes. Selling a house is a nerve-wracking experience for most people. Be prepared when you show up for the interview.
Mike Shannon, a Realtor with Royal LePage Sunshine Coast in Gibsons, B.C., has done about 500 listing presentations and evaluations since 2000. Regardless of whether he is in competition with other sales reps or is the only Realtor vying for a listing, he does the same thing. “I believe more than anything else that the seller must hear the truth. I refuse to increase the evaluation amount just to win the listing (‘buying a listing’). The three words that I always have in my head are ‘honesty, integrity and professionalism.’ I base my ads around these words. As a result I have likely lost a lot of listings to Realtors who don’t.”
Wayne Paradis of Re/Max River City in Edmonton guesses that he has attended 400 to 500 listing presentations in his 26 years in the industry.
“I make sure I am prepared and in the right state of mind before entering the home. I know what I want to say and am ready to adjust if I can’t direct the conversation in the format I intended,” he says. “Demonstrating knowledge and neighbourhood expertise goes a long way in winning the confidence of a seller and a half hour review before that appointment can make the difference if you get questioned during the appointment. If the seller will tell me, I like to know who I am competing against and try as often as I can to be the last Realtor to be seen. Don’t ever knock your competition but don’t be afraid to outshine them. You only have one chance at making a good impression and these are the most important appointments you have as a Realtor, so don’t take them lightly.”
To increase your chances of landing the listing, know the answers to the following questions so you’ll be prepared when interviewees ask them:
* How long have you been selling real estate?
* How many homes did you sell last year?
* Are you a full-time agent?
* Is it the right time to sell?
* Do you work solo or as part of a team?
* How do you price a home?
* For the homes you listed in the past year, what was the average number of days they spent on the market?
* For the just mentioned list of homes, what was the average difference between the listing price and the selling price?
* How do you market the homes you list?
* Do you do any social media marketing?
* How do you use the Internet?
* Do you offer virtual tours of listed homes?
* What websites will you use to advertise the home?
* Do you have a website?
* Do you have a feedback system for potential buyers and their Realtors?
* Before you list a house, do you give clients ideas on how to make their home more marketable?
* When you’ve listed a home, how do you report back to your sellers regarding activity on the property?
* Do you have access to other professionals that clients need during the selling process?
* How do you handle negotiations?
* Do you attend inspections and appraisals after an offer is in place?
* How much do you charge?
* Will I have to pay any hidden costs?
* How accessible are you?
* How does it benefit a client if he uses you to sell?
* Why should someone list with you over other Realtors in the area?
* How much professional training do you get every year?
* If a client is unhappy with your service, can he terminate your contract and the listing?
* Do you have a list of references for potential clients?
* What are your thoughts on the real estate market today?
* What else should a client ask you that he hasn’t already asked?
People will forget most of the information you provide them with verbally, so consider taking a listing presentation packet that answers all the questions you anticipate will be asked. Tailor each packet to the home’s neighbourhood. The potential clients will appreciate having it to look over when they are making their decision. Spend some time working on the layout (or hire someone to do it) so the pride in your work comes through. Use more visuals than words.
Shannon offers advice for a Realtor who is nervous about a listing presentation: “Just be yourself. Tell the truth. Be prepared and study the past comparable sales and the current available listings. Know the current market conditions. Relax and be friendly. What goes around comes around.”
Paradis adds: “New Realtors have far more tools from the get-go than most of us had when we started a few decades ago, starting with their education in real estate and the technology available to us. There is no excuse not to be knowledgeable, so if I were to emphasize anything it would be to come prepared and to polish your presentation materials and verbiage with the intention of impressing that seller. Rehearse what you want to say in front of a mirror if that helps. In time you will be able to adapt to any situation and answer objections with ease. Experience isn’t always the deciding factor.
“Sometimes eagerness and likability is just as important to a seller and you can win over a seller who is concerned with your being new if they know you are committed to getting the job done for them. This is a people business and your goal should be to win their confidence by being yourself as well as a professional. Each time it gets easier and don’t be discouraged with the losses; learn from them and use those experiences to polish yourself,” says Paradis.