Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Strong Listing Presentation is Key!

Components of a Listing Presentation
The following are the 6 parts that should be included in EVERY listing presentation. Remember, the more scripted you are the better job you do and the easier it is to stay on track. When you establish to the Seller that you are prepared and have pre-planned questions, you stay better in control of the conversation and they appreciate you saving their time. Whatever script you decide to use, make sure it has all 6 parts.
1. Thank them for the appointment and their time. This is done as soon as you arrive. This is also a fantastic time to use an assumptive close. For example:
“Thank you so much for having me over, I appreciate the opportunity. I am very excited about getting your home on the market and getting it SOLD quickly for you.”
2. View the home by yourself. This saves time and since they won’t be showing the home anyway, you want to see it the way the buyer would see it. If there are special features that need to be seen, have the seller show them to you after they’ve signed the paperwork. There’s no point spending an hour looking at the home with the seller if they aren’t going to list it with you.

“I’m going to take a quick look through the home. I’d like to see it from the eyes of the buyer and if there are any special features you’d like me to know about, we can take a look at them once the paperwork is done. While I do this, if you could go ahead and start filling out this MLS feature sheet so nothing is missed.”

The benefit of doing this is twofold. First, it gives them something to do and second, it increases the commitment level as they are already filling out paperwork for you!

3. Review the motivation, loan balance, next plans, etc. Basically as you start your presentation you want to review the Pre-Qualification questions you asked them over the phone when you set the appointment. (Hopefully you are asking Pre-Qualification questions.) There are two major reasons for this. First is to bring up the motivation before you start so they can be reminded of why they are doing this. Second, because you likely only spoke to one person while setting the appt and the spouse needs to confirm the motivation and add anything the other one didn’t. You may also find out more about the motivation at this time as their trust level is most likely higher now that you are in the home than it was during the appointment setting.

4. Explain and review the condition of the market. Use as many questions as you can during this process to ensure they are following what you’re saying. Just spouting out statistics to them will only confuse them and they will be less likely to take your pricing suggestion. Also remember to be sure to bring some positive news. Reality is reality and has to be presented, as well as giving them hope you can get the job done. Have easy to read charts and stats so that if you ask a question they can easily identify the answer and follow along. Simplify it. Make sure they fully understand this part before you move on.

5. CMA and Pricing Presentation. Remember, you study the market every day, they don’t. The seller will likely have a skewed perspective of what’s actually happening. Consumers get conflicting information daily. Keep in mind, your price and what’s actually happening will probably surprise them. Help them understand the market is not your fault. You are the messenger. It may be helpful to let them know you have two choices…to tell them the truth, which may hurt for a moment, and get results…or, tell them what they want to hear and have the property on the market for a long period of time. Which would they prefer?

Also keep in mind that “active” comps can often be more helpful than “sold” comps. A buyer cannot purchase a home that has already sold. They can only buy what’s currently for sale. So where does the pricing put them in relationship to the competition. Buyers today are looking for the best value. We create value by having more for the same or less price. Pricing ahead of the competition is the best way to ensure buyers will see the value. Sold comps in a declining market can sometimes paint the wrong picture. A home that sold 4 months ago in a market with .5% to 1% depreciation per month isn’t going to help your seller see TODAY’S pricing.

6. Now it’s time to close for the signature. The biggest mistake agents make is not being strong on closing. If you receive an objection here, it’s most likely because they still don’t understand something you’ve said, not necessarily because they won’t sign. The strength of you presentation will determine the number of objections you get. The stronger you are, the less or no objections you will receive. Be sure to ask questions here if they are not willing to sign. You need to know what part of the presentation you have to go over again to answer their question. The key is to keep them talking, keep questioning the motivation, keep reinforcing the statistics and asking them to take action. If need be, move to your Active Marketing Plan to create value to them about what you’re planning to do to get the home sold, once you’ve priced it correctly of course!
A few other thoughts…
1. Create a weekly system to communicate with your sellers. One week email, one week phone. More communication strengthens the trust and allows you to get price reductions faster than not talking to them at all or sporadically.
2. During the listing, refer to the Active Marketing Plan so they know you are working. There’s nothing worse than making a promise and not following through.
3. The price is not your fault. Don’t let the seller blame you for the pricing. Market value is simply based on what a Seller is willing to sell for and a Buyer is willing to pay. With so much competition, Buyers are more selective than ever.
4. If you’re not strong on objections or pricing, consider using a FAQ sheet. Write out the most common objections you hear, list the answer to it and give it to them as a Frequently Asked Questions worksheet. The great thing about bringing up the objection first is it loses all of its power.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lead Follow Up

Here are some thoughts on this very important topic.

1. What is the definition of a lead?
a. How do you determine that definition?
b. My definition is someone who is going to buy or sell in the next 30 days.
c. Buyers and Sellers are making decisions slower in this market so our job is to educate them faster.
2. The amount of time you spend with a lead is directly proportionate to the amount of deals you will do each year.
a. The longer you hang on chasing a lead, the less deals you will do.
b. How much lead follow up does a highly motivated, highly qualified lead actually need anyway? None! Why aren’t we looking for more of these instead of messing around with the others?
c. At what point should you let a lead go?
d. You have to determine if this is someone who moves into your COI list or you remove them completely.
3. Studies show that 70% - 80% of your appts should come from lead follow up and not from your first contact.
a. Does this fact make a difference in your lead follow up habits?
b. Do you lose more business by over-calling or under-calling your leads?
c. Do you actually have time scheduled each day to do lead follow up so you can capture these appts?
d. It’s best to schedule it right before or right after your prospecting since you’re in the zone!
4. The hard truth is, a lead has no value as long as it remains a lead. Only when it turns into a contract will it bring you income.
a. Having a lot of dead leads is no different than having Monopoly money. It’s fun to have it but it’s got no value.
b. We have to quickly accept the fact that we cannot turn an unmotivated or unqualified Buyer or Seller into a client that earns you money simply because you kept them for years.
c. Train your mindset to think rather than what if I let this lead go and they buy or sell, to what if I keep this lead on and waste time? What other “qualified” leads will I be missing?
d. If you consistently bring in new leads, you don’t have to keep the bad ones.
5. Remember, doing 75 transactions a year only requires 75 REALLY GOOD leads.
a. Because sales is a numbers game, we have to accept that we will cycle through a large number of leads.
b. Having bad leads diminishes our desire and urgency to do good lead follow up.
c. Don’t over-protect your leads by putting them into the computer and fancy systems – just call them! If they are motivated, they will appreciate it. After all, what is the number one complaint about agents from consumers?
6. Remember the purpose of the call is to SET THE APPOINTMENT!
a. “Managing” your leads gets you nowhere. Set the appointment or move on.
b. What’s the script? Since most of lead follow up is about qualifying and handling the objection so you can close for the appt, that makes each call very different.
c. Hi, this is blank from blank, how are you? Great, I’m calling to find out if you still need to buy or sell a home? Let’s set an appointment this week.
d. If they give you an objection to the appointment – Ideally when would you like to be in your new home or have your home sold? Whatever the answer you say, great, that’s exactly why we need to meet!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Last of the Basics

#5 Basic Skill is Close!
Closing is the skill I find agents fight the hardest. We tend to let them take their time when that isn't always the best choice for them. If we learn to close and get clients to act sooner, we avoid conversations with them that contain "woulda" "coulda" and "shoulda."
So, how many times do you ask for a commitment before giving up? Do you ask at all or wait for them to decide? Could you commit this week to asking at least one more time than you normally do?

#6 is Negotiate with them.
What side of the negotiation should you always be on? Most people will answer, "On the side of the client, of course." While that seems to make sense, we sometimes have to remember their side may not be in their best interests. Especially if their side is based on emotion and not logic. So, my standard answer to this question is, be on the side that accomplishes the clients goal the best. That way we stay with logic and get the job done.
How do statistics play in the negotiation? Are you equipped to show numbers to support your argument?
Can you take not so good information and present it in a positive way so the client doesn't react emotionally? We know from years of study that emotional decisions are typically very costly. Can you help your clients avoid them?

Skill #7 - Do 1 - 6, Make it happen and Start all over again by telling everyone about it!
Enough said on this skill.

So, which of these 7 Skills do you need the most help with? Email me with your questions, I'm happy to help!