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Blueprint for 100 Deals Part 8: Listings – There’s No Second Place

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By Alan Shafran and Rick Bengson

In the world of listings, the silver medal means absolutely nothing. It pays less than nothing. And, in fact, it actually costs you, because of all those wasted hours (and gas for your car, materials for the listing presentation, etc).

This is why your only goal in the business of getting a real estate listing is first place. Being second carries zero reward–and even a negative balance. Whereas, if there were five REALTORS® competing for the same listing, then the last person actually beat you, because they probably spent less of their time and money on it!

Although, of course, for any agent aiming for the magic number of 100 deals, this drive to first place applies in every area of your business. Essentially, you’ve got to be great at prospecting to get the lead, nurturing the lead, then closing the lead for an appointment, and then closing the appointment against your competition for a listing or a buyer, and then getting them to sell/buy their home, and getting them to escrow to close, too. Meanwhile, if you’re lacking in any of these areas, or missing a single piece of that puzzle, then the whole machine will break down…

Be Number 1
The mindset of the REALTOR® must always be fixated on the concept, “I’ve got to get this or this is a huge waste of my time.” For both of us, this attitude of being first, and second place being unacceptable, has been instrumental in getting to the top and maintaining our position. It takes dedication and concentration, as well as awareness. For years, we listened to our clients when they told us how often a competitor followed up on a lead – this is the kind of intel that we needed to ensure we were out-performing, out-servicing and receiving outstanding results above our competition.

Naturally, it’s one thing to find yourself placed second in your market; for example, if you sold 100 homes and someone else sold 125. Yet, when you’re in the running for a listing, you need to be first in the eyes of the customer. The only way to guarantee this is by leading with a listing presentation that is worthy of that pole position.

Unless the client is referred (otherwise known as a “come list me”), a presentation can be critical to sealing the deal (and then you still have to sell the home!). The key to every presentation is answering one question: “What’s the advantage that sets you head and shoulders above your competitors and how does that formulate to value or more money for the seller?”

You need to pick a path, make a plan, and have it ready for the clients to consider. Whether you’re a one person operation or part of a 20 person team, you need to differentiate yourself and highlight the benefits of going with you versus the other guy or gal.

In a presentation, like a lawyer in a courtroom who is building a case for their client, you are building a case for yourself to ask for the order and represent them in probably the largest transaction of their life to date. As we’ve mentioned, each agent is different – what assets you have to offer will vary from person to person, office to office. Here’s a list of points to consider mentioning in your presentation, if applicable to the case for why they should hire you or your company… today.

• Size and efficiency of a large team vs. intimacy of a small operation
• Years in the business
• Years living in the area
• Number of sales that your team does in a year (100, eventually!)
• Less sales = more time to spend on this listing
• More sales = more experience
• Marketing techniques
• Service
• Availability
• Local statistics

The Price is Right?
Pricing is the single most critical point of the listing… it doesn’t matter what you do for marketing, if the price isn’t right, good luck!

So, why not highlight your pricing strategy during your presentation? But don’t forget that, while a client will want to get top dollar for their house, overpricing can be detrimental to your career, as well as significantly reduce the homeowner’s prospects of a reasonably quick sale.

The Overpriced Pig
There’s an old saying in the Stock Market: “What gets fat? Bears, bulls and pigs – bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered…”

When the home listing is not priced correctly and realistically, based on comparable homes in the neighborhood and the market in general, then you will be spending your time and the expense of your staff’s time by taking an overpriced listing. Moreover, the consumers who see your listing – potential clients who are considering your company for their business – will see that you aren’t able to sell that listing and their estimation of you will lower dramatically.

Let’s say in 120 days, if that listing doesn’t sell, then you might have spent $5000 on marketing. Logically, you’re not buying full page glossy magazine ads for a two bedroom, one bath house, yet it still adds up – not to mention, the cost to your reputation and the ongoing relationship with the current client who will soon be anxious about selling their home.

Although this might seem like an easy task, it actually is quite a challenge to show and convince a seller that the market value of their home is $50,000 less than what they expected, have them agree with you, and sign the listing agreement at the same time. Your presentation skills need to be crystal clear, simple, straight forward, and sincere. The presentation itself needs to make complete logical sense to the extent where the seller can’t argue with you. Good questions to ask sound like this: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, today, you are the seller of this home. But, after it sells, you will become a buyer. Let’s take the buyer’s stance on the current marketplace and your home’s value. I know both of you are quite savvy – what would you pay for this home if you were an actual buyer and why?”

Last but not least, nothing will matter more than the seller’s motivation to sell their home. If they have no motivation, you can be perfect in your presentation, prove all the right points, ask all the right questions, and nothing will matter; they will probably still overprice their home considerably.

Keep things in perspective when judging your results. I have found that it is best to leave an overpriced or unmotivated seller with a great impression and wish them the best of luck with a different REALTOR®. I look to keep communication open so that if they want to hire me in the future, after the first listing agent fails, they will feel comfortable enough to contact me for another appointment. We talk about this more below.

Also in this chapter: Pricing for buyers, different ways to price, multiple offers and closing the deal.

To learn more about or purchase “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income,” visit: http://www.blueprintfor100deals.com/.

Rick Bengson is the CEO and Co-Founder of ShowingSuite, Inc. a leading real estate productivity software company, and Co-Creator of HomeFeedback.com. Alan Shafran is the owner of The Alan Shafran Group, selling up to 175 homes per year. To learn more about “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income,” visit: http://www.blueprintfor100deals.com/.

Editor’s Note: “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income: The exact systems and technology to sell 100+ homes, every year—no matter the market,” is a new book by leading real estate industry executives Alan Shafran and Rick Bengson that outlines how to build your business as well as make more money, please more customers and improve your overall quality of life, whether you are a novice or climbing the ladder in the real estate business. For the next several weeks, RISMedia will be running portions of each chapter every Wednesday or Thursday, highlighting the in-depth information and invaluable resources the authors have compiled in this exciting, new publication.

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