3:42 Minute Read.
If you thought greeting a client was simply saying “Hi”! – you’d be wrong. Listing property is both art and science. A successful greeting will set the stage for a signed listing agreement later. There is plenty of relational science going on here, so don’t miss it.
It has been many years since my broker, Jon Stout (Stout Group in Cedar Springs) accompanied me on my first listing appointment. I stuttered and stammered through the presentation and was shocked when they called the next day asking me to list their house. The success I’ve had listing properties since then has been the result of making plenty of mistakes and learning each time. Sometimes finding out what doesn’t work is almost as important as learning what does.
“Tweek, test, analyze, evaluate and fine tune each part of your presentation until your listing success rate exceeds 90%”
You can divide your listing presentation into 4 distinct sections: The Greeting, The Answer, The Plan and The Closing. Each section has an objective. Before proceeding to the next segment, take a moment to mentally assess how well you’ve met the goal. Winning small victories throughout your presentation will earn the listing. The opposite is also true: Failure to answer questions, resolve problems or clear objections in each section will prevent your seller from moving forward on listing with you.
Here are a couple pointers: Be on time. If you’re going to be more than five minutes late, call ahead. Ask about your shoes. 50% of Michigan homeowners prefer that you remove your shoes when entering a home. Asking them is a courteous gesture that only makes you look considerate and professional.
Set the stage. When entering the home, decide where you want to make your presentation. Steer the owner to that location. Don’t let them seat you anywhere you cannot make a presentation or complete your listing documents. They instinctively will direct you to where they entertain company – but you’re not there to socialize. Choose a place where you can spread out your papers and make it easy to fill out your forms - most likely the kitchen or dining room table.
Tour the home. Before siting down, tour the home completely. I am surprised by how many agents just sit down and start talking. You cannot make a judgment or offer professional advice about a house you have not seen yet. Open every door. Look over the furnace, AC and electrical panels. Take notes throughout the tour of items you’ll need to remember when listing the property. Look for repair or improvement issues that need to be addressed.
Get chatty. Use the walking tour to talk, gather information and build rapport. Ask about the history of the home, what they like about the neighborhood, their moving plans and what they think the value of their home is. Use this time as an opportunity to evaluate your seller’s decision-making style. Knowing this information about your client will guide your pathway through a successful listing appointment. Most folks fall into 3 categories: Interpersonal, Objective or Introverted. Each style will receive, interpret and act on the information you provide differently. So, use the walking tour to decide the best plan to tailor the remaining listing appointment.
How do you do that? Talk a little and listen a lot. If a person warms up to your chattiness and responds in the same way, they’re most likely have an interpersonal style of relating. Interpersonals have a need to know YOU. They will list with you if they like you and feel friendly towards you. So, keep talking and build rapport. Some people don’t like chattiness. If they respond to your chattiness with “data” about the house rather than personal stories, these folks probably have an objective style of relating. Objectives have a need to know you’re a PROFESSIONAL – you know your stuff. They will appreciate the fact you took the time to open every closet door, the electrical panel and flashed your cellphone’s light over the furnace. Those actions say you’re interested in the details. That will build trust with them. But, what if they’re mostly silent during your walk through? If they offer neither personal stories or much information about the house, they likely have an introverted style of relating. Introverts need to know you RESPECT THEIR OPINION and will not try to “SELL” THEM. They appreciate statements that indicate they are in charge of all the decisions ahead. Phrases like, “If you decide to list your home with me…” remind them of this.
Get personal. As you’re sitting down, make a personal connection with the client. Look for family photos, wall decorations, books on a table, sporting equipment, etc. Asking about these items and connecting them with your own story helps build personal bridges with your client. Manage the table. Don’t split a couple by sitting between them. Position yourself to see all decision makers at the same time so you can be aware of any silent communication and body language going on between them.
OK, you’re finally seated at the table. Before opening your listing presentation material, ask yourself the following questions before moving forward. If you’re not confident you have the answers, moving forward with the listing appointment is a waste of time. Take whatever time is necessary to know what you need to know to win the listing.
You have met The Greeting objectives by answering these questions:
Can I identify safety issues that need repair in this house? Can I identify cleanup/improvements/staging issues? Do I understand the seller’s moving plan & timeframe? Do I understand the seller’s valuation of their home? After touring the house, is my CMA accurate? Have I built a friendly rapport with the sellers? Can I predict the decision-making style of each decision-maker? Am I dealing with a maven? Mavens are special people. Read more about mavens in our networking material.
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