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The Listing Conversation – Techniques to Win More Listings, Part I

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By Darryl Davis

RISMEDIA, June 27, 2008-You can be good at many things, but if you can’t effectively communicate with the seller, real estate is always going to be frustrating work. The importance of listing presentations can’t be overstated. To succeed, I believe an agent must really master this one area. Now, what I’m about to share with you isn’t the only way to do a listing presentation. I’m sure there are certain techniques that you do really well and I want you to keep doing those things. My objective is not to teach you how to get the listings you’ve already been getting, but how to get the ones you’ve been losing. I want you to read this article and use what works for you. If there are certain things you do differently, by all means keep them – if they work.

davis_darryl.JPGPreparation for Listing

Rather than calling it the “selling process,” we’re going to call it the “coaching process.” I want to take the words “selling” and “close” out of our vocabulary because they have a negative connotation. I believe that we “coach” buyers and sellers into making a decision. They ultimately choose, but we coach them to get there.

Step 1: Build rapport.

In this step, your objective is to be present and to show them that you care. I can’t tell you how important this is. If you can increase your skill of connecting with people, you will increase your closing ratio. You won’t need better dialogue, you won’t need pearls of wisdom, you won’t need better technique, because you will really be there. If you’ve been having difficulty closing listings up until now, listen up. You need to really connect to people, completely clear of the little voices in your head that talk to you constantly, telling you “I’ve got to close this deal” … “He’s going to be tough” … “This house reminds me of when I was a kid” … and so on. These thoughts are completely normal, but they distract you from truly listening. So, become aware of them and really focus on the seller.

Being present with people will enable them to be present with you. They’ll see past you as an agent and view you just as a human being who is committed to making a difference in their lives by helping them move on to a new location. You can do that without uttering a word – just by being present. That is the miracle and the key to my success, so I know it works.

It’s important that you’re communicating to the seller why it’s not about price – that it’s about hiring an agent based on their ability. Just let a seller know what you know, and help them understand what you understand about listing and selling a home. If they understood about multiple listing and yard signs and relocation and everything that we offer – if they really understood that – I believe they would ask you if you would take their listing. Because it just makes sense.

So the first step is to build rapport.

Step 2: Be committed.

It’s imperative that you find out what they’re committed to. In order to do this, you must learn to “listen for what’s possible.” Let me explain. Listening for what’s possible builds on the earlier concept of “being present.” It means that you specifically listen for what can be done to make the seller’s goals come true. Here’s a terrific illustration.

One of my Power Program students went on a presentation. The sellers wanted to buy a house in the same neighborhood for $275K. Their own house was listed for $169K, which was $10K more than it should have listed for. So they’ve got an over-priced listing and the reason they’re selling is to buy a house for $275K. Now, based on this scenario it looked like there was no way they could make all this work. It wasn’t going to happen. And that’s one potential way the agent could have listened to them.

But instead, the agent listened to their commitment and focused on what was possible. He didn’t listen to all the reasons why they couldn’t – the market, not enough money, we can’t, we can’t, we can’t – he listened for what was possible. So he said to the sellers, “If you can buy that house for $239K or $245K, would you drop your list price $10K to make the move?”

The seller said, “Yeah, but there’s no way that’s going to happen.”

The Power agent said, “It doesn’t hurt to ask.” So he called the sellers of the $275K home and made them an offer. They accepted $235K … down from $275K. His seller then dropped his price $10K and now they had a line out the door for the other house. This agent really looked for what was possible, based on the seller’s burning commitment to make this move. He understood that his own thoughts, opinions and feelings – and those of the seller – weren’t important. All that mattered was the commitment. That’s what he listened for, that’s why he acted, and that’s how he achieved success.

Step 3: Coach them.

Based on what they’re committed to, “enroll” them into what’s possible. What’s another word for “enroll” them? “Sell” them. But I don’t like the word “sell;” it’s too manipulative. Here in step three is where we speak about how to best market their home, based on what they’re committed to. We introduce the concepts of multiple listing, yard sign, etc.

Step 4: Invite action.

Here’s where we invite them to move forward and allow us to list their home.

Next week we will break down each step in greater detail and with actual dialogue that you can use with clients.

For over 15 years, Darryl Davis has traveled around the country coaching agents and brokers on how to achieve their Next Level of success. He is the creator of the nationally acclaimed POWER Program, the only yearlong coaching and training course where Power Agents, on average, double their production over their previous year. Darryl is a best-selling author, one of the highest rated speakers at the NAR Convention each year, and has a career-curriculum that brings agents from “Rookies to Retirement”.

For more information, visit www.DarrylDavisSeminars.com or call 1-800-395-3905.

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