For the past couple of weeks we’ve been talking about how to get listing leads. Now that you’ve got a listing appointment (or two or three), how can you be sure to get the actual listing?
First, make a positive impression by being on time for your listing appointment.
In fact, get to the neighborhood several minutes early. Park down the street for a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Then proceed, feeling calm and collected when you knock on the door.
Rushing in at the last minute, looking frazzled and being apologetic won’t earn you any points.
Be courteous and say something complimentary.
Part of being courteous is addressing people as they wish to be addressed – so begin with Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc. This is especially important if you are meeting with older people. Many resent being addressed by their first names if they haven’t given such permission.
Say something nice about the house, even if you’re going to have to recommend some changes as you go forward.
A friend of mine told me a story about listing her house. The first agent came in and told her what was wrong with it. The bedrooms were small. She could hear traffic noise from the freeway. The second agent (who listed and sold the house) admired the view from the living room windows and remarked about the ease of commuting since it was near the freeway.
Be ready with your listing presentation.
Do your homework before you go, take along information about the house that you’ve been able to gather on line. If it’s been listed before, know the details. Know the current assessment, zoning, etc.
Since you probably haven’t seen the house before, you can’t do a true market analysis, but you can provide an overview of homes of a similar size, number of bedrooms, etc. Include properties that have sold, and don’t forget those that are currently pending.
When markets are changing rapidly, the pending sales might give you and the homeowners a better picture than sales that went under contract several months ago. Pay special attention to days on the market.
Include a market report for the neighborhood. Be able to show how prices have fluctuated over the past several months (or years). Again, pay attention to pending sales.
Present your marketing plan at your listing appointment…
- Do include the fact that you use MLS and that their listing will be sent out to numerous real estate portals across the web. But don’t stop there!
- Do you use professional photography? How many photos will you post on line? Do you use virtual tours? Give them a link to a sample – or better yet, show an example on your laptop. How about drones?
- Do you advise on staging? Some agents pay for an initial staging consultation. If you do so, say so!
- What do you do on social media to promote your listings? Tell them about it.
- Do you send just listed cards? Do you contact selected buyers agents to urge them to see your listings? Do you mail to a list of potential buyers?
- Do you have a marketing schedule you follow?
- Do you create materials or do something most other agents don’t do?
Whatever you do, tell them about it.
BUT… Here’s a word of caution. If your prospects start saying “Yes, I understand” and looking at their watches, or if their eyes have started to glaze over, shorten your presentation. Don’t ever make people feel like they’ve become trapped listening to you drone on and on.
I mention this because it happened to me when I was searching for a listing agent a few years ago. I finally interrupted to say I had another appointment and had to leave. Boy was I glad to see them drive away!
Use the listing appointment to show who YOU are…
Hopefully you’ll make such a great impression that you’ll either get the listing on the spot or get a second listing appointment to present your detailed market analysis and price recommendation.
However, even with a fantastic first impression, some homeowners will want to interview several agents before making a decision.
So that they won’t forget you, prepare a packet of materials to leave behind after the listing appointment.
If you’d done a preliminary (or complete) market analysis, you may not want to leave that, as it might be shared with other agents. However, do leave:
- Your agent bio
- Information about your residency in the neighborhood, if applicable
- Your statistics regarding days on the market, and list price/selling price ratios – if they’re impressive!
- Some of your best testimonials
- Information about any specialized marketing you do
After the listing appointment…
Send a thank you card – the same day if possible, otherwise the next day. What it will say will depend upon the outcome of your appointment, so don’t try to use a “one size fits all” note! If you aren’t sure what to say, you’ll find three “after the listing appointment” notes in my set of Thank you notes.
Sending a thank you note will make you stand out among other agents, so don’t skip it even if you now have the listing. Your note will impress the owners and could prompt them to tell friends and family about the wonderful agent they chose.
After you have the listing…
Each listing you have can and should lead to more listings. To make sure that happens, do all in your power to make those homeowners glad they chose you.
- Respond to every phone call, text, or email just as soon as possible.
- If you’re going to out of touch for a day or two, tell them in advance and give them someone else to call if they really need help.
- Keep all of your promises.
- Answer every question clearly and completely.
- Tell them what they need to know – not what they want to hear.
- Keep them informed throughout the transaction.
- Be there for them all the way through to closing – and beyond.
After your listing has sold and closed…
Stay in touch. Let those sellers know that you’ll still be there for them, to answer questions about the market, help them find a new home in your community, refer them to an agent in a new community, or just to chat.
These past clients can become important referral sources – even if they have moved clear across the country. Don’t ever let them forget you – or forget that they liked you.
“On time” and “blah, blah” courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net