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Good to Great: Tips for a 'Wow' Listing Presentation

by Tracey C. Velt

listing presentation articleToday's homebuyers and sellers typically have a pretty good idea of who you are before you step foot in their house to vie for a listing. Times are changing, and your listing presentation should change along with it.

Sure, some things will remain the same. However, you should be prepared to make some adjustments to your listing presentation to keep up with the times.

"The beauty of a listing presentation, particularly in this day and age of non-face-to-face technology, is that it is indeed a face-to-face setting—a setting where you can bring to bear a whole host of persuasive tools," says Bob Corcoran, a coach and founder of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching in the greater St. Louis area.

Bob Corcoran"Being in front of a prospective client is a hundred times better than e-mailing, talking or texting on the phone or conversing via Facebook (or the many other social networking tools), because it gives you a chance to truly win over a client with much more: an actual handshake and genuine smile."

That's why it's so important to prepare a listing presentation that gives prospective sellers the information they need to make an informed decision. Be careful about turning your prospect off. There are several mistakes agents make with listing presentations, according to Corcoran.

"First, it's not okay to wing it. Your presentation must come from the heart but be practiced," he says. In addition, presentations that go for too long (anything more than 30 minutes) and those that aren't personalized can turn off prospects.

Carrie Bey-Little ThumbnailCarrie J. Bey-Little, a REALTOR® with Baird & Warner in Glen Ellyn, IL, agrees. "It's obvious when an agent didn't do their research and even read the presentation. If you know the market, and you have more info than you need, you'll be able to present well."

Another huge mistake, says Donna Thigpen, ABR, PMN, broker/owner of Five Star Real Estate in McCalla, AL, is a lack of knowledge about the area, which impacts the suggested pricing of the home.

Donna Thigpen"You must understand the neighborhood. Also, avoid just telling the seller what you think he or she wants to hear with regards to pricing," Thigpen says. "You must be honest with them."

Here are some practical tips for producing a powerful listing presentation:

1. Research the property. Bey-Little, who converts about 85 percent of her listing presentation into signed agreements, has a two-step process that she completes before presenting to the prospective seller.

"I gather all the details that I can about the property and use reverse prospecting, which, through our MLS, allows us to determine potential buyers based on price," she says. Then, through her company's program, Pitchbuilder, she can tell how many potential buyers the property may have. "I tell the prospect, 'I don't have a buyer for your home; however there are X number of people who are working with an agent and are looking for a house just like yours,'" she says.

Thigpen pulls tax records to see what the current homeowner paid for the home. "I'll estimate how much they owe on it ahead of time by creating an amortization chart based on a guess of what they owe."

Want to get the listing every time? Then, take the time to do your research, dress and speak professionally and know your market and the neighborhood. Above all, Corcoran says, "Let your passion for real estate shine through by smiling and engaging."

2. Be professional. "Do a professional job on your listing presentation, whether printed, emailed or otherwise," Thigpen says. "Make sure it's not handwritten; make it stand out."

3. Know your prospect. If you can find out about your prospect ahead of time, you can better personalize your presentation. Bey-Little searches LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to get a sense of the personality of the seller. For example, "if the seller is an engineer, I put a few more facts in the presentation," she says.

4. Pay attention. It's so important to pay attention to the body language of the prospect and your body language, Corcoran says. "Smile. Smiling shows warmth and enthusiasm instantly. Make lots of eye contact. Be an active and engaged listener."

Based on how well she knows the prospective seller, Thigpen spends less time on certain sections of her presentation and focuses more on others. For example, if the seller is a big researcher, she doesn't spend as much time talking about herself and her accomplishments. "If I sense they already know a lot about me, I get right down to market statistics, what my marketing plan is and pricing," she says.

According to Bey-Little, "Know when to stop talking and when to close. You can tell when a seller isn't focused because they fidget or cut you off," she says.

5. Send a pre-listing package. "A prelisting package is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to show your professionalism, your marketing skills and your knowledge of the neighborhood before you even meet the seller in person. It sets the stage for the event," Corcoran says. He recommends you include recent market conditions, photos of the property and testimonials in the package.

6. Vary your presentation. "I have a short sale, traditional and relocation presentation," Bey-Little says. For example, her goal for her short sale presentation is to make sure the seller understands the process and their options. Her relocation presentation is always in paper form. "The relocation companies don’t always have time for me to present in a digital format."

7. Be the first appointment. "Never be the second or third appointment of the day," Corcoran recommends. "After your presentation, ask this simple question: 'What is keeping you from listing your house with me today?' The typical answer will be that they have two more agents coming to do presentations. Here is your reply, 'I understand that you set up those appointments and you feel obligated to fulfill your promise. Would it make you feel better if I called those agents and told them that you just listed your property with me and cancelled the appointments for you?'" Done and done.

Want to get the listing every time? Then, take the time to do your research, dress and speak professionally and know your market and the neighborhood. Above all, Corcoran says, "Let your passion for real estate shine through by smiling and engaging."

Tracey Velt

Tracey C. Velt is an Orlando based freelance writer who specializes in business and real estate.




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