By: Tim and Julie Harris
Fact: Of all activities in real estate, listings require the highest level of skill. Working with buyers is physical labor; working with listings is mental labor.
Myth: In terms of listing appointments versus listings taken it’s okay to expect to list 50% of what comes your way.
Fact: That’s NOT ok. You wouldn’t accept a grade of 50% from your kids, so why do you think it’s acceptable for you?
Fact: Listing agents make more money and have more solid businesses, as well as more free time, than buyer’s agents do. The more listings you have, the more security you’ll have mentally, emotionally and financially.
Fact: Becoming a successful listing agent is the most challenging, skill-based, highest-paid part of your job. Not becoming great at this is a liability to your career. Make the commitment to learn the most important part of your job as a real estate professional.
Top Ten Reasons Agents Don’t Walk Away with Signed Paperwork
You assumed it was yours and were lazy.
You took the business for granted. This manifests in several major mistakes, and when we assume we have something, we don’t necessarily put forward our best work. Maybe showed up late or you did not give a real presentation. Or maybe it was a lack of prequalifying questions or not being careful when determining price. Did you reschedule with little notice or not show up as professionally as possible? An agent once told me she thought the only reason she lost the listing opportunity was that she was wearing a very uncomfortable outfit, which made her unfocused, scattered and less professional than she would normally be.
You didn’t know you were competing for the listing.
This is a result of not using a prequalification script. You’re at a disadvantage if you don’t know whether you’re competing or not. You should almost always go last in the line-up because that’s the closing position. Wouldn’t you rather know before you go, so you can be ultra-prepared? Don’t you present differently when you know you’re up against another, a commission-cutter, or maybe the seller is thinking about doing a For Sale By Owner?
You didn’t know what price the seller had in mind before you showed up.
This doesn’t mean they’re right about the price, but you want to know what page the seller is on before you present your comparative market analysis. There are several reasons a seller picks their price, and you need to know the context. Maybe the home is in probate. Maybe it’s a second home. They could be privy to private sales in the market that are influencing their pricing decisions. Perhaps they just had it appraised If you don’t ask, you’re at a huge disadvantage. To get the conversation going, you can always say, “That’s interesting…how did you arrive at that price?”
Secret: You always want to come to the table with as much knowledge about comparables as possible. You present yourself as the expert when you do this.
You don’t know the competition or the neighborhood well enough to speak with authority.
Preview the competition! Know the average days on the market not just for the town or city, but for the actual neighborhood. Know the list-to-sell price ratio for the latest comparable. Know if that’s going up or down or remaining stable. And then, make sure you know how to communicate these things well.
You were overly rigid with your commission and/or pricing.
You want to create a game plan that makes the seller feel like they’re winning in the transaction. Rigidity can be a deterrent for many people. Your potential client wants to feel like you’re on their team. Shutting them down with, “No. Any other questions?” is not an effective script, especially if the seller is doing multiple transactions, is a repeat client, is a referring client, or is someone who’s tight on funds to make the move, etc.
Secret: Learn how to use the Unique Selling Propositions our coaches teach so the commission objection won’t even come up.
You used a canned presentation instead of asking what the seller needs and presenting that.
It’s easier and more effective to present based on what the seller actually values, rather than assuming you know already. Show respect to your potential client by asking questions and addressing their real concerns. Then, cater your presentation to their needs.
You showed up late.
Being late is a huge mistake. Arriving late equates to disrespecting of your potential client’s time. It immediately puts you on bad footing before you even open your mouth. Early is on time, on time is late and when you’re late, you lose.
Secret: It’s not just analytical types that look to see if you’re on time. Show up early and don’t park in their driveway. Call first to confirm! Be a professional if you expect to be treated like one.
You didn’t use a pre-listing package, or your pre-listing package looks like everyone else’s.
Without a great, proven pre-listing package, you’re signing yourself up to hear objections at the end of your presentation, rather than closing. You want to handle all objections before the end of the presentation. That way, all you have to do is talk about pricing, answer questions and close.
Maybe you overdid the pre-qualifying and talked yourself out of the listing appointment.
Were you looking for reasons NOT to go to the appointment or looking for how you can meet the seller’s needs? Pre-qualification is important, but be careful not to talk yourself out of a viable sale.
You weren’t prepared for any or all of the common objections:
“I’ve never heard of your brokerage/I’m considering bigger name companies.”
“I’m probably going to list it with the “neighborhood expert/specialist/etc.”
“I’m considering listing with my friend”.
“I’m also interviewing the agent who sold me the house”.
“I’m not sure I can move since there’s nothing for me to buy.”
“Why do I have comparable sales data that you don’t have?”
Secret: Always research your competition. Who sold them the house? Who markets their neighborhood? Whom did they say they were interviewing when you used your pre-qualification script? You did use a pre-qualification script, right?
Secret: Always know the stats on those agents. What’s their expired rate? How long have they been in the business? How many listings do they sell versus buyer sides? Do they have any suspensions to their license?
Fact: You don’t have to be perfect at everything to be a successful listing agent but you do have to be perfect about some things.
Start to polish your listing skills by improving the following:
1. Generating the lead in the first place.
2. Following your furiously fast lead follow-up system.
3. Use a proven pre-qualification script every time.
4. Send a proven pre-listing package every time.
5. Use our proven, 7-step listing process.
6. Always show up 5 minutes early.
7. Ask questions and deliver your presentation based on what’s important to them!
8. Follow up relentlessly if you didn’t get the listing at the appointment.
9. Join Premier Coaching to help you achieve all of this more quickly, more effectively, and become accountable for building these skills. TimAndJulieHarris.com
Secret: It’s our goal to turn all of you into powerful listing agents. A ratio of 100% is the goal. You shouldn’t take a listing only if you don’t want it for some reason.
Most importantly, recognize that being a great listing agent is an acquired skill. To move beyond random friends, family and referrals, you must seek out coaching so you can earn while you learn. Otherwise, there’s an income cap! There’s a reason that not every agent you know has a large number of listings, or perhaps any listings. Develop the skills necessary to take your business to the next level.
Tim and Julie Harris are best-selling authors of Harris Rules, A Real Estate Agent’s Practical, No-BS, Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Rich and Free. Tim and Julie host the nation’s #1 Podcast for real estate professionals, www.RealEstateCoachingRadio.com with new episodes daily. They are highly sought-after real estate coaches. Find them at www.TimAndJulieHarris.com.