What to do before, during, and after your first listing appointment
- Many new businesses spend time identifying their value proposition. Real estate should be no different.
- There is more skill to listing a property than putting a sign in the yard and taking a few pictures.
- Practice objections often to gain more confidence and be a better listener.
Many new real estate agents are often thrown into the middle of the real estate ocean, left to sink or swim in a sea of competition.
And many, therefore, do not have a plan or idea of where to begin when their first few listing appointments fall in their lap.
Here are eight tips new agents can use to prepare for that listing appointment.
When preparing for your appointment
New agents need to identify their unique value proposition.
Even a brand new agent has a unique skill set that will benefit his or her budding real estate business.
Many new businesses spend time identifying their value proposition. Real estate should be no different.
New agents should spend time identifying what makes them better or different from their competition. Once agents have identified their value, they should figure out how to incorporate it into their business model.
When possible, agents should quantify their value proposition.
Agents need to quantify their efforts and value in order for a seller to understand how it will benefit them and the sale of their home.
I have told many new agents, “sellers do not care about how awesome you are unless they know how it is going to benefit them.”
With that said, which statement is more valuable to a seller?
- “My average days on market is 30 days.”
- “I reduce my sellers’ carrying costs because my listings sell in an average of 30 days.”
A seller is more likely to see the value in an agent’s average days on market data if the agent can show the seller that less time on market will save them money.
Study the neighborhood before the listing appointment.
There is more skill to listing a property than putting a sign in the yard and taking a few pictures.
New agents should spend time studying their potential listing clients’ neighborhoods. If it means that an agent needs to spend an afternoon looking at homes in the area before the listing appointment, he or she should do it.
This is beneficial to agents because it will help them become familiar with not only the immediate neighborhood of their potential listing but also with the details of their city’s hyperlocal markets.
Prepare a marketing plan.
In addition to a value proposition, the foundation of any listing presentation is the marketing plan.
This plan details how the home will be marketed in order to get it sold. Tools like Find, RPR or even local U.S. Census data can be helpful when researching a subject area.
A property marketing plan may include things like:
- Demographics of the subject neighborhood
- Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the market area and how each could impact the sale of the subject property
- The most likely buyer and how the agent intends to reach him or her
- Comparable sold and competing properties
- Benchmark net-out figures
Research the seller.
A listing appointment is no different than a job interview. Someone looking for a job would be well-advised to research the company they are interviewing with; agents should research prospective sellers.
This does not mean stalking a seller online, becoming immediate Facebook friends or being a creep. It does mean a quick Google, Facebook or LinkedIn search to help an agent gain an understanding of their potential client’s interests or background before the appointment.
During the appointment
Get to know the house.
Agents should note the details of the house they will be listing.
Don’t be afraid to take notes or pictures of specific features of the subject property. Walking the home with the seller will also allow an agent to build rapport with the seller, discuss staging needs and address any listing concerns.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the seller. Getting to know a seller’s motivation will allow you to make any adjustments to your marketing plan, if necessary. Consider a few questions like:
- Why are they moving?
- When would they like to have their property sold?
- Are there any maintenance items that need to be addressed before listing the property?
- Who are the decision makers?
Remember: Objections are only unanswered questions.
Many sellers have similar concerns when listing their home. New agents should practice seller objections often.
The practice may feel uncomfortable or robotic, but it helps agents become better listeners and gain more confidence in their listing abilities.
After you get the listing
Don’t abandon the seller
New agents should make a commitment to openly communicate with their clients. Consumers often complain that their agent did not communicate with them through the listing process.
A signed listing contract is not an excuse to abandon the seller or to fail to follow through on services that were part of the proposed marketing plan.
If an agent’s marketing plan includes calling or emailing a seller one time a week, do it. If it means that every 30 days, an agent needs to revisit comparables and make any marketing changes, do it.
At the end of the day, the focus of the appointment should be about the seller, not the agent. Practice makes better — not perfect — and listing presentations are always a work in progress.