As if listing presentations weren't already challenging enough, now we've thrown Zoom and digital brochures into the mix. Instead of sitting down with a prospective client at their kitchen table and shaking their hand, we're now miles away behind a computer screen, waving hello and crossing our fingers that the video doesn't freeze.
Ah, the joys of real estate in 2020.
To help you overcome these challenges and ace your next listing presentation, we brought in two powerhouse real estate agents and asked them to share all of their best tips and strategies. Realvolve + Firepoint's Valeria Garcia hosted the interview, and her guests were:
Livia Monteforte, a broker/owner with Compass in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Phil Faranda, broker and owner at J. Philip Real Estate in the northern suburbs of New York City
The full webinar recording is available on our website (watch the webinar here). But if you're short on time, continue reading below for key takeaways from the webinar—and learn how to ace your next listing presentation!
Both Livia and Phil agree—the most important thing you can do to prepare for your presentation is to reach out and ask questions. Here's what they suggest you ask prior to your presentation:
Phil: You should always ask, ahead of time, why they're selling. Because this is going to be the voice you speak to throughout the process. Get in their head early.
Livia: Ask them what they hope to accomplish in the listing meeting. The pre-listing package, if you're sending it, should outline what you intend to do, and you want to make it match their expectations.
Livia: One of my favorite things to ask at a listing presentation is what are you looking for in terms of a listing agent? The last two listing presentations I went on, totally different things they wanted from a realtor. One older couple, all they cared about is that we keep them safe and maintain good communication. Price wasn't even a factor. The other gentleman—brand-new, gorgeous waterfront spec house—all he cared about what how much exposure he was getting and how quickly I could get him an offer. "Do we price low, do we price high, how soon can you get this done?" If I went in talking about my communication and my COVID protocol and all of this, he'd be like, "Yeah, okay. Great. How do you get it done?"
Livia also suggests making sure you know your "why"—why you're in this business, and why they should hire you. But rather than throwing all of that information at them, use your "why" to guide the types of questions you ask.
Livia: Just have that in your head, so when you do have to start asking questions, you're asking questions that will direct the conversation to help them realize you'll be an amazing benefit to them.
Here's a good trick to help break the ice and get the client talking:
Phil: Prior to meeting with them, simply ask them what improvements or additions they've made since they bought the home. It gets them talking, and it also gets you ahead of things like, oh, they never got a permit for the deck.
And one more important question to ask: paper or digital? You might assume everyone wants digital these days, but what about your 75-year-old client who doesn't have an email address?
Add a personal touch.
Because, right now, people really miss face-to-face interaction.
Livia: Before the listing presentation, after you've booked it, do a quick intro video and just say, "Hi, it's me. I'm so excited we're going to be meeting up. I just wanted to send over a little bit of info on my company before I come, so we don't have to take your time going over that. If you have any questions you want me to handle when I'm in front of you, let me know." Shoot that video, and you will already differentiate yourself from the competition with that really quick little personal touch.
Do your homework and be ready with data.
The client doesn't want to hear how many homes you've sold this year. They want to hear about the market.
Livia: Everyone is saying it's a crazy real estate market. They can find that anywhere they go. Prove to them you're an expert by knowing the actual stats that make it that. You want to always know what the current inventory is, what's the average days on market, what's the percent of list to sell, and how does it compare to the year before? It doesn't have to be a crazy amount of stats that you can blurt out, but you should have it at your disposal when you're talking to someone. I keep it under a clear sheet on my desk, so when I'm on the phone, I can reference it.
Phil points out that you should also do your homework on things that seem counterintuitive.
Phil: Quick story. We have a sex offender registry in our community. Did my zip code and it just went on and on and on and on and on. I wanted to lock my windows. Then, I realized Ossining, New York, where I live, has Sing Sing Prison. They were all behind the wall.
Phil: You have to know a little bit about what's going on locally. What is the Zestimate? Is your Zestimate a hundred-thousand-dollars under what your market value is, and can we do something about that? Are their taxes over assessed? Are buyers going to be repelled because they've never grieved their taxes? Do the homework as much as you can specific to the available information on their address
Come prepared with pricing strategies.
Both Livia and Phil provide their clients with a suggested price range and allow the client to decide where they'll price the home.
Phil: It is important that we control that range because there is a tendency in some people's minds to get a little too greedy—a little too exuberant—because they've read good things on the news and online about the market.
They stressed the importance of doing a deep dive and researching the nuances of your unique market:
Livia: It's important to know the nuances of your market because, in our entry level market right now, underpricing will create a hysteria bidding war. Middle tier market, if you price it right on the money, you're still going to get a bidding war and buyers will determine the price. Upper tier market, do not try for a bidding war, price it right. Price it right because that's what's going to get it done.
Phil: We are in a market where there's very varied housing stock. I mean, you can have a beautiful mansard roof right next to a raised ranch in my community. It's very varied housing stock, so you can't just do a price per square foot, you can't just do square footage, you really have to... There's a deep dive that has to be made. If the client knows you've done your homework, they can appreciate your recommendations more. You always have to have data to back up your recommendations.
When you explain your pricing strategy—what you anticipate will happen if you price it high vs. low— be sure to use the right language:
Livia: Hesitate from saying, “This is what’s going to happen. Instead, say, "This is what the market’s doing.” That way, your client won’t be upset at YOU when they don’t see a bidding war after their first open house.
If you're having trouble getting the pricing right in this wild 2020 market, talk to an appraiser:
Livia: In your individual market, talk to an appraiser and say, "Listen, we're having a challenge here. I want to go in with professional expertise. What are you seeing in the market?" A good appraiser is not going to tell you what a specific home is worth without actually appraising it, but they'll tell you overall what they're seeing and how they're having this challenge, too.
Use the right tools.
Livia uses FlippingBook to create each competitive market analysis (CMA). She presents it during the Zoom call with the client, but she can also publish it to her website and send it via email so clients can flip through it themselves.
Livia: I think we're all kind of dissatisfied with the disconnect we have to feel because of 2020 and there's something that just feels a little nostalgic about pretend flipping a book.
Phil advocates for RealScout, which provides incredible buyer data insights. He notes that this type of AI really impresses prospective sellers during listing presentations.
Phil: Then, once we've blown their mind, the only thing we need to tell them is that the automation doesn't work unless there's a human touch behind it. So not only will we have groovy, shiny stuff that has ESP, but I'll still pick up the phone and talk to you. With that kind of marriage, we have a pretty good closing ratio.
Livia also recommends Ylopo for scouting for potential buyers, and Phil shared Revaluate—"a great database tool and very inexpensive."
If you're looking for a great website and lead generation tools, and the ability to direct dial those leads and sort those leads by activity on your website, check out Firepoint. You can sign up for a free demo and we'll walk you through all of it.
When asked to share their best piece of advice for agents going into listing presentations this week, they encouraged confidence.
Livia: Go in with confidence. You've got this, you are skilled. Sell yourself in a non-salesy way. I would take a few minutes, I would center on what makes you different and incredible, and then I would make sure that you ask the seller what they're hoping to accomplish from the appointment, are they interviewing other folks, and what is most important to them in a realtor? It will change your world when you don't think you have to cover all the bases, when you let them tell you what matters.
Phil: Yeah. I mean, to the agent who's a little nervous about the competition and there's a feeding frenzy and they really hope they get the listing—breathe. It's really basic, but confidence is magic. If you are confident, you are going to be far more optimized to perform at your full potential then if you're nervous, so it doesn't pay to be nervous unless you're channeling it somehow. Just breathe. You'll get plenty, you'll lose some, nobody bats a thousand, and just fail forward when you don't get it. And when you do get it, keep your promises.
Free Download: Sample Listing Presentations
Could your current presentation use a facelift? Or maybe you're still mostly on paper and need to make the switch to digital? Check out these two sample listing presentations. One uses FlippingBook, so you can see the page-flip effect in action, and the other was created on Canva. Click the link below to access these downloads—it will also take you to the page where you can watch the full webinar and learn more about Realvolve + Firepoint!
Click here to download the guide: The Rule of Three
About Sammy Harper
Sammy Harper is a content writer at Firepoint & Realvolve. Her nine years of digital marketing experience include SEO, email marketing, social media, and blogging. Fascinated by the real estate indust...