01Try to Be the Last Agent
If a seller has made six listing presentation appointments with competing real estate agents, number six on the list is in the best position. The seller is probably thinking he might get better information or hear a new approach from one or more who are arriving after you if you're third or fourth in line. You're better able to address any remaining concerns if you're last because the seller may be more prone to divulge them when he knows there's nobody left to ask.
Try asking, "Could I please be your last appointment? I'm a bit different from most agents and I want to be able to address any questions or concerns you have after you've talked to others."
02Be on Time
This seems obvious, but too many real estate agents underestimate traffic or spend too long on a phone call then arrive late for the appointment. Your seller can only assume that your marketing and other listing functions might be late in delivery, too.
Showing up early isn't good either. The seller may be bustling around at the last minute, trying to make his home as presentable as possible. Arriving early can add pressure to the meeting process. Even if you have to drive around the neighborhood for 10 minutes, arrive at the appointed time.
03Be a Personable Businessperson
We all want to be liked and many of us believe we gain business by being as friendly and personable as possible. That may be true, but your seller is meeting with you to choose a real estate professional who will help him with perhaps the largest financial transaction in his life.
You're a businessperson, and hopefully, you're an expert in your profession. Present that image in a personable way. You're not there to "puff up" your prospect or his home. You're there to give him an honest and expert assessment of the marketability of his property.
Be the professional who knows what it will take to sell the property within the seller's time frame for the best possible price. If something negative must be said, say it. It's a timing thing, but you must tell the seller what he needs to know.
04Use the Consulting Approach—Ask Questions
Too many real estate agents think a listing presentation is mostly about the seller asking questions and the agent "showing her wares." Think about your last visit to a doctor, attorney or accountant. They probably did most of the questioning. They probably didn't roll out a show of all their services.
Think of the seller as your client with a problem. His problem is that he has a home he wants or needs to sell. Ask questions to find out:
• His reasons and urgency for selling
• What he expects from you and your company
• Concerns about property condition and required enhancements
• Concerns about the cost of the process
• His fear of disclosure of negative facts
By all means, let the seller ask questions, too. But go in with a script of what you need to ask so you can serve him well. It's usually best to get the facts at the beginning. You can take control this way and he'll usually get all his questions answered anyway.
Remember you told him you were different—now is your chance to show how.
05Don't Talk Listing Price Until the End
In our preparation for the listing presentation discussion, we talked about going into the first listing meeting with a CMA with a price range. If you've arrived with a CMA, you can probably refine it on the spot after you ask your questions. You'll get to a recommendation with which you're comfortable.
Withhold discussion of the listing price until all your questions are answered. If the seller is pressing for it, you can stress that you don't want to provide a hurried or inaccurate number. Tell him you came into the meeting with a range and that after gathering some more information, you should be able to get to a number in this meeting.
You've tried to position yourself as a consultant from the first phone call. Don't fold now and revert to a salesperson. The seller will appreciate your approach and your professionalism, and you'll probably get the listing.
06NOW Tell Him What You Do as Service Solutions for His Needs
You've seen the home, asked a lot of questions, written down the seller's responses, and now you're ready to address his needs. Go down your list and address each of his concerns and questions with the services you can provide to solve those problems. Then you can give him materials that explain your company and all your services. Bring along an iPad or Android tablet that has presentation apps and doesn't need an Internet connection so you can show your website and online services you offer.
Ask if the seller has questions about these things and if you've addressed all his concerns or if he has any more questions. Silence at this point is definitely a virtue. Shut up for a minute and let him think. If he held something back, it might come out now.
This might also be a good time to give your seller some insight into the selling process.
07You've Done it All—Now Ask for the Listing
You should have accomplished the following by the end of the meeting:
• You've gotten the property information and seen the premises
• You've asked questions and pulled out needs/concerns/questions
• You've shown how specific services will address certain needs and concerns
All that's left now is to ask the seller to list with you. If you managed to get in last, this should be a slam dunk. Otherwise, you might still have shown that you are indeed different and he'll say yes without taking the other meetings. Either way, it won't happen unless you ask. By the way, if you don't get him to list on this visit, don't leave the CMA with them.