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A hands-on future: That’s what RISMedia’s “Real Estate’s Rocking in the New Year” was all about. The all-day virtual event, co-presented by the National Association of REALTORS® on Jan. 7, provided both agents and brokers with actionable tips for finding success in 2021. Amid a nationwide inventory shortage, listing business has become more competitive, and it’s more important than ever to stand out, as discussed during the session, “Level-Up Your Listing Presentations.”

Moderator David Knox, president of David Knox Productions, began by segmenting the listings side of the business into five parts: Listing Fundamentals, Pre-List Activities, The First Five Minutes, Seller Counseling Interviews and Listing Presentations. Each part should have its own set of activities, he specified.

RISMedia is making a limited number of “Real Estate’s Rocking in the New Year” sessions accessible to the public. Readers may view this dynamic session in the video below.

As part of Listing Fundamentals, panelist Bryan Karp, associate broker at Coach REALTORS®, said one of the biggest takeaways is about energy and excitement.

“We are salesmen and women. Nobody wants to buy something from somebody who is not passionate about what they are selling and what they are doing,” said Karp.

Panelist Venus Morris, an agent with Venus Morris Griffin, added that building trust should be a top priority as well.

“Make the first interaction [with your clients] very personal,” said Morris. “I develop trust and that seals the deal.”

In terms of what to do before a listing appointment, part of the Pre-List Activities section, panelist Vicki Westapher, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Properties, Inc., said it’s about being as prepared as you possibly can.

“We send a customized Google form and ask deeper questions about their motivations and what they are concerned about,” said Westapher—a good way to prepare for the Seller Counseling Interviews. “This gives me a good feel for their state of mind.”

Aside from getting information in order to prepare, panelist Pam Matthews, a broker and REALTOR® with Allen Tate REALTORS®, said there are various small actions that can have a big impact on whether a consumer signs a listing contract, especially within the First Five Minutes part of the process.

“I always confirm my appointment and always show up on time,” said Matthews. “I also always bring a marketing plan so I can show them what I’m going to do.”

Knox agreed that those small steps leading up to the listing contract are incredibly important.

“From the time you get the phone call to the time you get to their front door, it’s an important set of activities,” said Knox.

At the Listing Presentation itself, it should be about building a comfort level with clients. Panelists said agents can do this by asking personal questions, listening to clients and repeating back to them what they’ve told you, providing value-adds such as professional videography, and dressing for success.

To purchase a ticket to view all the event replays, click

Be sure to mark your calendars for April 8, 2021, when RISMedia and the National Association of REALTORS® present ‘”Spring Into Action,” a full-day virtual event packed with strategies to help you maximize the spring and summer markets.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to