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RISMEDIA, July 10, 2010—Having a firm grasp on the real estate market is no longer good enough as real estate professionals work to gain the attention of today’s buyers and sellers. Being able to recite facts and statistics may have been enough in the past, but today, consumers need more than that. Jay Papasan, Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor, Keller Williams Realty, Inc. offers five simple ways to power up your buyer and seller presentations.

Jay Papasan
Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor
Keller Williams Realty Inc.

At a recent Keller Williams University gathering, comedian Les McGehee shared an icebreaker in which three volunteers tell a story about their lives. The twist: two are instructed to lie. Attendees then try to sort out who is actually telling the truth. Here’s the strange thing: audiences almost always fall for a bogus story. Why? Because when we share facts, we tend to believe the facts will speak for themselves—we don’t put any energy into the presentation.

This got me thinking about buyer and seller presentations. Even though we have a firm grasp on the market, reciting the facts will not be enough to empower our clients to make the best decisions. Don’t get me wrong—this isn’t a license to mislead. On the contrary, we need to power up our presentations. Here are five proven ways to do so:

1. Make it Real
Instead of telling your buyers and sellers that home prices are down 11.4%, say that the average home price has dropped $32,000. That’s a number they can feel, viscerally. Buyers might just get off the fence and sellers may think twice about shooting for the moon.

2. Avoid Jargon
Many people make the mistake of employing industry jargon and acronyms to appear more knowledgeable, but most jargon tends to be unintelligible to anyone outside the industry. So avoid jumping into discussions about absorption rates or cap rates and take a moment to make sure your client will understand you. Simply put, never use a 50-cent word when a 5-cent word will do.

3. Use Visuals
Research shows that as many as six out of 10 adults are visual learners. So, instead of telling your buyers and sellers about how overpricing can lead to chasing the market down, grab a pencil and paper and show them. In fact, many of the visuals in our book, SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times, began as simple objection handlers sketched out on the back of a proverbial napkin.

4. Ask Questions
If you are presenting market trends on a graph, ask the seller, “So when you look at this trend, what does it tell you about how we should price your house?” When we ask questions, our buyers and sellers get a chance at self-discovery. How much more powerful would your presentations be if your sellers really understood how the market works?

5. Tell a Story
So we come full circle to stories. Not the fabricated kind, but rather true stories that help us make better decisions. This is why we role play. This is why we trumpet our success stories. This is why the best agents weave past buyer and seller experiences into their presentations.