Real Estate Marketing
Advice On How To Get the Best Listings
This is a how-to blog post. It outlines a step-by-step process which will help you – the real estate agent – move through the process of the initial call to having the listing agreement. This approach will help any home owner to feel comfortable listing their property with you.
Trust – to some extent you have leverage with the home owner by having listings. This becomes a form of social proof. The number of listings you and your company have directly correlates to the number of new listings you can obtain. It is natural – success breeds success.
Here is an approach which will help you to gain more and better listings.
The Initial Call
When you first call a prospective seller or they call you, it is important to listen to every detail. It’s the little things that often tell you what matters most to them and these little items can help you to build a nice working relationship and to build trust. If they love their pets then you can make the home owner feel more comfortable with you by showing affection to their pets.
Another detail to pay very close attention to is when or if they comment on the neighbor’s house. If they tell you what their neighbor’s house sold for but that they think their own home is worth more because of reason X then you need to make them feel good about reason X during the walk-through. Again, make the home owner feel comfortable with you.
When I was looking for a home in the area where I now live the real estate agent explained that the kitchen of a particular home he was showing us was a vintage kitchen. He explained that it would be very difficult to duplicate the appliances and the look and feel of this kitchen. He made me feel comfortable with the dated kitchen in a humorous but not condescending (to the kitchen) way. He had a way of making people feel comfortable and he was one of the top real estate agents in the area.
Selling a house is a stressful time in a person’s life, so the effort you put into the small details will make them feel more comfortable to work with you.
Don’t get off the phone with a prospect until you’ve given them an assignment. Explain that you’ll be sending an e-mail with a bio, testimonials and key information about your services. Let them know that you need them to send you some important information before you meet in person.
Ask them to send you:
- The three top selling points of their house.
- The three top objections a potential buyer may have.
- Who they think the ideal buyer is.
The assignment will allow you to be in a better position to guide the transaction. The assignment will make sense to the seller and will provide valuable information but it accomplishes more than this. The assignment helps you to build trust with the seller. It helps to create a team approach and this reduces anxiety and fear.
To give the home owner an assignment and then to use the information they provide to customize and personalize your listing plan specifically for them and their property is the best approach for everyone. A one size fits all listing listing presentation and marketing plan will not work well for most. A customized approach is powerful niche-focused marketing.
Get the seller to agree to not list with someone else before you get a chance to show them your marketing plan for their house.
Some agents think about discounting their commission at the listing appointment if the seller signs an agreement right then and there. If this happens, you don’t even get a chance to present what you have to offer.
Before you hang up the phone use these words or something similar.
“Some salespeople drop their commission on the spot if you sign with them right away because they do not have the confidence that we have about marketing your property. We always think about ways to add more perceived value for the potential buyer by how we market your property.
It may not be in your best interest to list with an agent that will take the listing at any cost. This means that they are willing to give up their own money. That’s probably not the type of negotiator you want representing your property. Now, I’m not asking you to guarantee that you will list with me; all I’m requesting is that you at least promise me that you won’t sign any contracts with anyone else before you allow me to show you what I do differently to market your property.”
Most people will agree to this because they have no intention of signing with anyone on the spot anyway. But now they have a moral obligation to hear you out because they promised to.
At some point when you arrive at the seller’s home, say, “So who’s going to show me around this beautiful home?” It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this simple line will reveal to you who the decision maker is. The decision maker is almost always the one to jump up and take control. Now you know who to focus on and who needs to be convinced.
The walk-through is also the time to talk about the notes you took during the initial call. Look for the items — both large and small — they mentioned about their house, whether it’s the color of a room or a bathroom remodel.
Don’t ever tell them what you think (as if an opinion) adds value or takes away value. Do not make it a discussion about your opinion. A better way to educate them is to say, “Research tells us that…” This will change everything. Research tells us that leaving the dogs loose for showings makes buyers uncomfortable and decreases the odds of them making an offer. Just remember “research tells us” is your best friend as an agent. It makes you more of an authority and helps to build trust.
The Sit-Down at the Table
Frame the conversation and set the expectation. Do not act like a customer service rep. Be confident and authoritative. When you sit down, start the conversation by saying, “On a scale of one to 10, what has to happen today in order to leave you with no doubt that I am the agent you should hire?” Their original intention may have been to interview you and compare you to other agents, but this question reframes their intention and plants the seed that if you hit the points they mention, they’ll hire you.
Don’t ever compete on price. Compete on process and the value you add to create more perceived value for their home and more exposure for the property.
To drop your commission is not in anyone’s best interest. You want to be motivated. The seller wants you to be motivated. You want to bring into play your best tools (dedicated home showcasing website, video or a special blog post). Let the seller know that you have the tools, knowledge and experience to do the best job for them.
Also, make the seller aware that you will define the ideal buyer and then niche-focus market specifically for this buyer. Show the seller something different – that they will lose – if they will not list with you. Have the best and most significant marketing tools.
Getting the Contract
- Summarize the marketing plan for the home owner.
- Have the listing paperwork ready.
Let the home owner know that you believe you are the best one to list their property. Ask them if they are ready to take advantage of your proven process and allow you to help them get the best price for their home and in the shortest amount of time. Follow this approach to help you get more and better listings.
To see a wonderful example of the use of a Dedicated Home Showcasing Website as part of the marketing mix for an outstanding property click on this link to Little Creek Farm. This is an example of a bringing into play high level marketing tools that can only help convince a home owner to list with you.