Win More Listings by Becoming a Polished Listing Agent
Have you noticed the housing shortage in your marketplace? If you haven’t, you will soon! We have the same housing inventory available today as we had back in 1994. Why is that an issue for the real estate community? Because today we have 63 million more people living here in the U.S. The demand for housing has grown, but the supply has not.
Based on statistics, the housing market forecast is crystal clear: Lack of inventory will be the major issue agents face for the next five years. You’ve heard me say this many times: “The crown jewel in all of real estate is the listing opportunity. Everything else is a distant second.” This statement has never rung truer than it does today.
If you want to not only survive but also thrive during these inventory shortage years, you’ll need to focus on listing opportunities. Throughout my real estate career, I have made the extra effort to intentionally develop my listing skill. This skill has allowed me to set myself apart from other agents, both professionally and financially. I’ve sat at my share of kitchen tables and, with each listing, learned a little more about mastering the art of listing. Next time you schedule a listing appointment, consider embracing these tried-and-true tips.
Share what to expect on the listing appointment
If you’ve ever sold your home, you know it can conjure up a variety of emotions—from anxiousness to excitement. Before you ever enter a seller’s home, make sure they know what to expect during the listing appointment. This’ll not only establish you as an expert, it’ll assure the seller and position you to lead the appointment.
Gain insight into what your clients want
Every potential seller is attracted to different selling styles. Some sellers like a more assertive agent. Others like an agent who’s more laid back. Discovering what style appeals to your seller will increase your chances of obtaining the listing. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about the seller.
Ask a lot of questions and record the details on paper
A homeowner knows you’re fully engaged and excited about listing their home when you show a genuine interest in their property. One of the best ways I’ve found to communicate interest is to ask lots of questions during the listing walkthrough and write down the answers.
Now, I know the housing stock in my market pretty well. I don’t really need to write down notes. Before the appointment even begins, I usually know the room sizes, age and square footage of the home. However, this home is special and unique to my seller. But, by asking authentic questions and recording information, I communicate to my potential clients that I’m all-in and the right agent for the job without even having to say a word.
Delay commission conversation till the kitchen table
During a listing appointment, homeowners are anxious. They’re searching for someone to trust with their largest asset, their home. Many times, while sellers are still giving a tour of the home, they’ll jump to the topic of commission. An unskilled agent would be unprepared for this question and engage in an intense commission discussion while walking through the master bedroom; this isn’t good for the seller or the agent.
It’s best to delay the commission conversation until later in the appointment when you sit down at the kitchen table. For the best result, “lead” the listing appointment by letting the seller know the appointment flow as soon as you greet them.
Gain insight into the listing price
Pricing a home can be tricky. Often, homeowners are unrealistic about the market value of their home. Remember, their home is their castle and they hold it in high esteem. Don’t be caught off guard—before you offer your seller a listing price, know where they stand.
Here’s my strategy: I show the seller comparable homes that are actively for sale and pending. I leave the closed transactions for last. While viewing the closed comparables, I ask the homeowner, “Which of these homes do you feel is most like your home?” Their response will give you great insight into their realistic or unrealistic perception of the home. Knowing where your seller stands will give you an advantage as you present your listing price recommendation.
Give a price range instead of a flat price
When an agent gives the homeowner a suggested price, they immediately become vulnerable to dissenting opinion. I advise suggesting a price range. This both allows the seller to visualize their home selling at the higher price and presents the potential reality of a lower priced sale. Once a property is listed, that initial price range focuses the seller on a scale of possibilities and often helps if it’s necessary to adjust because the initial on-the-market price was too high.
“Thank” for the opportunity— not the listing!
Upon a listing agreement, many agents will thank the seller for giving them the listing. This may seem like a gracious gesture, but when analyzed it’s a statement of weakness: Did the seller do the agent a favor by listing their home with them? Thanking the seller for the opportunity is a stronger position from which to begin a professional relationship.
These tips just scratch the surface of what it takes to become a listing master. However, just these seven will greatly improve your chances of acquiring a listing when on an appointment. With the housing shortage upon us, listing skills are of paramount importance. Embrace these tips … and list!Joe