2014 Listing Presentation Guide: It Starts Before the Meeting

These four tips will help you build affinity with potential clients prior to your first in-person meeting.

September 26, 2014

You just landed a meeting with a new referral, FSBO, or owner of an expired listing. Great! Now it’s time to prepare for your big listing presentation, right?

Nope. At this point, your presentation has already begun.

The listing presentation starts the moment you set the appointment with your potential clients, says Kevin Ward, REALTOR® and founder of YESMasters Real Estate Success Training.

Once you’ve got a meeting, it’s time to start growing rapport with your potential sellers, while educating them and showing your value. Here are four tips for making the time between setting the appointment and the in-person meeting as useful as possible.

Get Some Face Time

After setting your initial appointment, shoot a video over to your potential clients immediately, Ward suggests. You can record it on your webcam or smartphone, and thank them for their time, give your contact information once again, and let them know if you’ll be sending any links or market analysis documents before the meeting. This is an opportunity to show your enthusiasm, start the education process, and help the potential sellers become more comfortable with you.

Load your video into YouTube and paste a screenshot and link in your message, or use a video e-mail marketing platform such as the National Association of REALTORS®’ REach partner BombBomb that lets you upload, brand, send, and track videos.

“Now you’re a person to them, and you’re separating yourself from other agents,” Ward says.

Robert B. Cialdini, a Regents’ professor emeritus of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University, wrote the book Influence (Quill, 1985) on persuasion and marketing. In the book, he says people like things familiar to them — including other people. The more your soon-to-be customers see your face, the more familiar you become to them, says Ward. “[This concept] changed my mind about pictures on business cards,” he says. “You’re positioning yourself as their agent of choice.”

Send Them Your CMA Beforehand

Ideally, through initial Q&As, you already know a few of the home owners’ goals. If you don’t know their motivation, you’ll want to prepare more probing questions for your meeting. The following are a good start:

  • Why are you selling?
  • Where do you plan to move?
  • Do you have a timeline for when you want to be there?
  • How important is it that you move to your destination?
  • How much do you owe on your mortgage?
  • Do you have any concerns about the condition of your house?

“I like to interview clients as much as they interview me,” says Seth Price, vice president of sales and marketing at Placester, which provides online marketing services to real estate pros. “When you think about how to serve them, you have to find out what’s really motivating them. Once you realize the motivation of the individual, then it’s much easier to align with their needs and find out if you’re a good fit.”

If it turns out the home owners are looking to refinance or file a property tax appeal, and they need a comparative market analysis and appraisal, take it as an opportunity to build a relationship, says Price. Create “how-to” blog posts on your website about preparing for sale, preparing to refinance, and appealing property taxes. You can send these posts to potential clients at this phase of your relationship. “You’re establishing subject matter expertise before you even get there,” Price says.

If your potential clients are motivated to sell, then arm them with a complete CMA on their house. Pull all the public records and MLS data, find out what’s turned over in their neighborhood, and reference information that only an insider would know about their community, says Price. Send it to them before your meeting so they can review it at their leisure, but be prepared to present it in full at your meeting as well.

“The agent is creating content that is useful to the seller at this stage,” says Price. “If it were my agency or brokerage, I’d also have a small guide on that to think about when evaluating your house for the market.”

Show Them Who You Are

You have to assume your potential clients have already Googled you — so Google yourself and find out what they’re seeing about you. Make sure any websites, blogs, bios, or social media profiles that come up are up-to-date with relevant information about you. Send your sellers links that they’ll find useful, but don’t flood their inbox with too many resources either. If you’re not providing useful content on Twitter, for example, you might not want to draw attention to that profile. But if you regularly blog about your market, be sure you send them to your site.

Ward suggests creating client testimonials and uploading them to YouTube. You can include testimonial video links in your correspondence with potential clients. Provide your company information and personal sales record or company sales record as well; that way you can focus on the home owners in the meeting rather than yourself.

Practice and Prepare

In the listing presentation, most objections center around pricing and you as an agent — especially commission, says Ward. “Know going in what the objections are going to be. Have an idea of what’s going to be an issue for them. Never get surprised by an objection,” he says.

If the sellers are asking for a commission reduction, Ward offers this script: If you’re looking for the cheapest agent, I’m not your guy. I don’t deliver discount results. But if you want to get the most money for your house in this market, then I’m the agent for you.

Stick to the data and the price you decide to present to the sellers after you tour their home. If you waver at all, they’ll begin to doubt you, Ward says. “Make your case in absolute certainty. Have the data to back it up.” Also, be clear that it’s not you determining the price, but the market.

“I teach our agents to sell every listing they take,” Ward says. “Don’t take it if you can’t sell it.”

Honesty is also a sure way to build trust and depict your value. Sometimes you’ll find the sellers are upside-down on their mortgage, or maybe it’s not the best market for them to sell. It’s your duty to explain that, Price says.

What’s more, when it comes to tech tools in a listing presentation, the salesperson should know how to use them with confidence. “If technology is in your way as an agent and you’re uncomfortable, it’s going to show in your presentation,” says Price. The salesperson should be proficient in any apps or software used in the in-person meeting. And don’t forget to bring a paper backup in case of technical difficulties.

Erica Christoffer
Product Manager

Erica Christoffer is the product manager for REALTOR® Magazine, driving growth and helping make data-driven decisions for the editorial products and programs that fall under the publication's umbrella. Erica also co-manages the magazine's 30 Under 30 program. During her tenure as an editor, she wrote and edited hundreds of articles for the magazine and launched the Broker to Broker section. Connect with Erica via email: echristoffer@nar.realtor.