It’s so important for agents to really master this. It’s arguably one of the most fundamental, if not the most fundamental skills in real estate brokerage, and that is this: How to really structure an effective agenda and outline for your listing presentations.
The reason why this is so important and a quick side story, my first year in real estate, if you know anything about my story was challenging. I went 12 months no income, no sales and $40,000 in debt. Marketing, advertising, training expenses. I almost left the business. I was pulling my hair out. My family was like, you might need to get a real job, it’s not working out. But here’s the key thing by all outward measures, right? You might look at my first year and say what a wild failure.
But in fact it was actually probably the biggest success as I started, you know, the foray into this industry and business for this reason. I learned the most important skill that first year, which was how to get in front of high-end, particularly luxury high-end homeowners and convince them to list with a kid that had no prior track record, no sales, no comps, nothing to point to.
And I did so by mastering the art of marketing, creating my own personal brand that was different, that offered an alternative in the market, but also more importantly, the sales side, meaning when I got those appointments, when I got in front of a seller, when I got somebody to give me a chance, I converted them. I built rapport and trust. I created mutual buy-in and a vision for the marketing plan for their property, for what we were going to do together.
And then I pitched and went for the close and created that bond, asked for the business and walked away with a listing. I want to break down a few things that I think are really critical and instrumental to that, to learning that skill. Particularly as how do you structure a really effective agenda and outline and go through a world-class listing presentation to make sure you walk away with a new listing client.
Having an agenda and outline to utilize
There’s a flow and a process to these meetings that I have found to be really important and effective. You’re going to be obviously having some nuance and going to need flexibility. Meaning some sellers you’re going to pull certain things out. You might not say certain things as you would with others. So a lot of this is, emotional intelligence, being aware of who you’re talking to.
A lot of it is understanding the person, the other side of the table or the other side of the zoom camera, right, in this world. And it’s being able to tailor on the fly, your approach, leave certain things in, take some things out, adapt and be changeable on the fly is really important.
But a general framework and agenda for all listing appointments is important. I think it’s can really help you be more effective and close more deals. So that agenda typically looks like this, and this is what we recommend to do.
This is what we’ve done with great success and really counsel and teach our clients to do, which is start with a discovery phase. Discovery portion of the meeting before we even get anywhere near your pitch or listing presentation. And even let me actually back up a second before we even get to the discovery, your first part of this meeting should be rapport building.
Should be breaking the ice, should be finding common ground. So that could be anything from finding activities, background, people or other things you might have in common with this homeowner. Right? Maybe something to do with, if you have kids, you see something in the house you could comment on and “Oh, do your kids play sports? So do mine, blah, blah, blah.” It could be, “how long have you lived in the house or where did you come from?” “What do you guys enjoy doing?” “What are some of the fondest memories you’ve had here at this house since you’ve owned it.”
Find common ground
Break the ice, create a level of comfort and rapport before you really start, then we’re going to dive into this discovery portion of the listing presentation. That is going to be where you do a lot of question asking and not a lot of talking.
You should have a series of questions prepared that you should be asking most all homeowners when you meet with them. Questions such as:
- “How long have you owned the home?”
- “What is your reason for wanting to sell here potentially?”
- “What are some of the favorite things that you really enjoyed about owning this home?”
- “What are some of the least favorite things about the home?”
- “Where are you going to go next?”
- “Where do you go in this home sells?”
- “Are you staying local or are you staying regionally?”
- “Moving out of state?”
- “What is your ideal timeline in your ideal situation here?”
- “And walk me through that. What does that look like?”
- “When does this sell, you know, what are some of your expectations and valuation?”
- “Do you have much of a mortgage left?”
We have a standard template where there’s at least, I think 8 or 12 questions. This should take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes, maybe 30 at most. And the point is for one, we’re demonstrating empathy and concern. We’re demonstrating the ability to listen. We’re demonstrating the ability to probe and discover and not just come in and pitch and sell. And we’re actually most importantly getting information, important intelligence that will help inform our marketing pitch and our plan for the actual pitch part of the listing presentation later.
Position yourself as the expert
So that’s really, really key. Then we want to transition the conversation and ask for their permission to tell them a little bit about ourselves in our company, right? So here, we’re going to position ourselves as the expert. Remember, if you’re a new agent, you can lean into this and you can leverage the results and numbers and stats of something bigger than you.
If you don’t have those to point to yet, that could be your brokerage or your larger national brand, if you’re a part of one. So we’re going to really position ourselves as the expert. Now, here, if you’re not comfortable, you’re going to have to get comfortable talking about yourself a little bit right? Some of your strengths, the things that you really enjoy doing, how you love working with clients and sellers, what sellers and clients really love about working with you.
It’s important to say if you have any awards, credentials, designations, time in the business, you know, all of these things are going to be in probably less than five minutes where you, what we call expert positioning, right? That’s where you’re going to position yourself as the expert and the best choice for them.
Then we’re going to want to transition from there. From there into the actual pitch, the listing presentation. That’s where going to have, you know, collateral from, you know, listing sheets and stats to our marketing plan layout to the distribution channel and exposure strategy we have, to how we create great visual assets to really tell a story of their home and market it effectively on the different websites, to the different things that we do, that others don’t, to some of the points of differentiation that our brokerage and company has to offer sellers that maybe other brokerages don’t right. That’s where we’re going to really go into the actual pitch. And that’s the value add of working with us in our firm to list, expose and sell your property for the highest possible amount, because it’s getting the most exposure in the marketplace.
And we’re also in a very targeted way, getting in front of the right people, the decision-makers that would really have the highest propensity to make a decision to move forward and submit an offer on your home. So I’m not going to get into the granularity of the actual listing pitch, even though it’s an entirely different call and video I could do. We’ve done, you know, training videos of over an hour on this. Because every brokerage is a little different in terms of what they train you on, what they want you to really do, focus on, et cetera.
There is some personal nuance to this, like I’ll say, and there’s going to be some need to learn where they experience what to pull out of this and what to include, right? So if you’re meeting virtually, obviously this is going to be done through a screen share over zoom in this unprecedented extraordinary time.
We’re having to use technology increasingly to convert prospects to clients. But if you’re in person you’re going to want to have all of this, your arsenal in your folder, and you just decide what to pull out when to support what you’re saying.
Sometimes less is more
With the right personality, especially if it’s somebody a little bit older, that’s a little bit more focused on the relationship, the trust, the rapport there and less so on the numbers, less data-driven, we’re not going to pull everything out. It could be overwhelming and actually counterproductive and hurt us. So I won’t go into the details much of what should be in the pitch part, that segment of your listing presentation, but know that it should be no more than 20 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes. It should really highlight the benefits of the things that you offer, not just the features.
It should be results-focused, future pacing in terms of what do these benefits actually accrue or mean for the seller. If they were to choose, you would go with you and your firm. And it’s really telling the story of how you’re different, right? How you, your personal brand and the brokerage or company you’re with are different from the sea of choices out there, right? You got to stand out. So find a way to craft this in a compelling way.
That’s part scientific, that’s part art, and it’s nuanced, compelling, attractive and novel. That’s going to be really. And then the last portion of this listing appointment agenda and outline is the close, right? This is when we’re going to ask them if they have any questions about anything that we’ve gone over about the ways in which we’re going to expose, how are we going to market this effectively?
How are we going to find qualified buyers and take them through, how are we going to manage the process end to end with a white glove experience to you, Mr. And Mrs. Homeowner with no stress, lower the anxiety and produce a great result and an offer that you can accept on terms at a price that you’re comfortable with. After we answer those questions, handle some objections, we’re going to go for the close.
And the close generally is what I like to recommend is not a hard close, but it’s a kind of a soft close, and almost an ask for the business, meaning, you know, really asking them for the chance, the opportunity to serve them, to really dive into this. You’re excited about this project, that you have a great marketing plan. That’s customized for them and their home. As you can see that you’ve just gone over, and this is what you love.
Express your passion
You know, you love to work with homeowners with unique and distinctive homes like this one. And you’d love to get started. This is how we can get started. We can get our crews out here to do photos in the next couple of days. We can get you live within, you know, whatever it is, 48, 72 hours. We can be out there and execute and implement our marketing plan as soon as possible. And I would love for the opportunity to do that, to be your trusted advisor and to get started. So what do you say? Something like that, right?
Obviously it could be a little bit different, but it’s going to be something that asking for the business and the opportunity to serve them and be their listing agent. Not like an old school, hard, aggressive close. So that’s what I would recommend. This is where we’ve seen a lot of success.
That’s where a lot of our clients have as well on structuring a listing appointment agenda, an outline to be really effective. Remember listing appointments just like anything in real estate in life is part art, part science. There’s certain things we want to have in there, certain things we might want to pull out. There’s emotional intelligence. There’s an understanding and judging who’s on the other side of the table or the camera. And there’s weaving that all into a really artful presentation that focuses on benefits and value add. On rapport and trust and expertise and counsel, on diligence and discernment, these things will help you be a more effective listing agent and help you close more deals, make more sales and grow your income.
So I hope that this was a value. I hope it helped you in some way. If it did, please let me know, drop a line here and a comment share with somebody else who could benefit from it. An agent broker investor, somebody that might be helped by this as well, and as always to your success, your happiness and your freedom. I’ll talk to you soon.