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The phrase “listing presentation” may bring to mind images of practicing scripts in front of the mirror and presenting a 10-page PowerPoint to clients while they sit quietly and listen.

While you absolutely should practice how you present yourself to prospective clients to earn their listings, putting them through a one-sided presentation likely won’t get to you to the results you’re hoping for.

In fact, as crazy as it may sound, a well-rehearsed listing presentation may be the reason you don’t walk away with your prospect’s business. In a space where clients expect the best and are willing to pay for the best, you need a better real estate marketing strategy.

Instead, the Institute teaches what we call a “Marketing Consultation.” Unlike a listing presentation, this is a two-sided conversation that happens as openly and honestly as possible between agent and prospect.

Some of the other key differences between a marketing consultation and a listing presentation?

– You set yourself apart as a truly knowledgeable advisor rather than a “salesperson”
– You’re in a better position to justify your fees without having to overtly justify them
– You let your prospect take the lead and figure out the best ways to communicate with them

And, most importantly, you establish more trust and openness right from the start.

Let’s look at the three most important tips for conducting successful marketing consultations to set you apart from other luxury real estate professionals:

1. Always Think ‘Input’ Before ‘Output’

Traditionally in sales, we think it’s our job to present our offer then ask for feedback.

The truth? It’s the other way around.

Letting your prospects guide the conversation is the best way to know how, what, and when to sell.

Assuming you know your client’s desires and expectations can hurt your chances of earning their business early on. Even though it may feel uncomfortable to let them take the lead, doing more listening than speaking is key.

While you’re listening, you can pick up on more than just what your client is saying.

Does their tone change when their spouse enters the room? Does their posture change when they talk about money? Do they speak casually or are they more formal with their delivery?

Paying attention to these cues tells you a lot about what your prospect may or may not want or be open to, so letting the focus stay more on them is actually a simple way for you to provide a better consultation.

2. Come with a Plan, But Be Prepared for Anything

Even though a marketing consultation feels more natural and collaborative than a listing presentation, you still want to come prepared.

As always, your potential sellers want to know if you know their neighborhood. You should know about the local economy, the community, the quality of life the area can afford new potential owners, and what other homes in the area are selling for.

At the same time, a marketing consultation is less of an “information dump” and more of a way to help potential sellers understand what matters most in their position.

That means you could rattle off the prices at which other homes have sold over the last few months, not recognizing these sellers may have already done their research. Or you could ask questions, listen and understand their unique position before you dive deep into topics they may or may not be ready for.

3. Sell Yourself First

The one caveat to letting clients take the lead? If you can, try to sell yourself first before you talk Market Reports and numbers. Ultimately, if a prospect isn’t sold on you first, the numbers won’t matter.

You may have clients wanting to talk about professional fees up front, but it does both you and your prospect a disservice to go there before you’ve had a chance to demonstrate your value.

If the conversation starts to lean towards numbers before it feels right? Ask more questions.

You may not have really figured out what the seller actually wants, or maybe there wasn’t a good enough connection. Whatever it is, if you can gently steer the conversation back to digging into their main wants and concerns before getting technical, you’ll have a better chance of leaving with their business.

Want to Boost Your Confidence When Working With Luxury Clients?

Becoming a Member of the Institute gives you access to some of the top producers in the industry and done-for-you marketing tools that give you an unfair advantage.

The Institute also offers a wide range of resources for you to invest in yourself at any stage in your luxury real estate career—even if it hasn’t begun yet.

– Subscribe to our Estate of Mind podcast and/or Estate of Mind video series on YouTube for monthly deep-dives into specialized luxury real estate topics with industry experts;

– Take our Luxury Livestream or Luxury Online training to qualify for Institute Membership and its many Member Benefits;

– Visit your Membership Portal for brand new training sessions, as well as our book, Rich Buyer Rich Seller: The Real Estate Agents’ Guide to Marketing Luxury Homes, which is available for free to all Institute Members and also available on Amazon.

Diane Hartley is the president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of the Institute.

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