Of all activities in real estate, listings require the highest skill level. Becoming a successful listing agent is the most challenging, most skill-based, highest-paid part of your job. Not becoming great at this is a liability to your career. Make the commitment to learn the most important part of your job as a real estate professional.
That’s why listing agents make more money and have more solid businesses and more free time than buyer’s agents. The more listings you have, the more security you’ll have mentally, emotionally, and financially.
Now, you won’t have all these listings unless you score a win on your listing presentation – and that seems to be an area where there’s literally such much failure that agents tend to believe that you can expect to list only 50% of what you go on, in terms of listing appointments versus listings taken.
You wouldn’t accept a grade of 50% from your kids, so why do you think it’s acceptable for you? Let’s take a look at the top ten reasons agents don’t walk away with signed paperwork on a listing appointment.
The Top Ten Reasons Agents Don’t Walk Away With Signed Paperwork
1. You assumed it was yours and were lazy in your presentation.
You took the business for granted. This manifests in several major mistakes. You showed up late or you did not give a real presentation. Or maybe it was a lack of prequalifying questions, or not being careful with price. Some other mistakes are things like rescheduling and not looking and sounding your best.
2. You didn’t know you were competing for the listing.
This is a result of not using a prequalification script. If you don’t know whether you’re competing or not, you’re at a disadvantage. You should almost always go last in the line-up because that’s closing position.
3. You didn’t know what price the seller had in mind before you showed up.
This doesn’t mean they’re right about price, but you should know what’s going on in their pricing brain before you present your CMA. Sometimes sellers know about private sales that may effect pricing. They may be a short sale, a relocation, or who knows? If you don’t ask, you’re at a huge disadvantage.
Secret: Don’t ever allow the seller to know more about the comps and stats than you do.
4. You don’t know the competition or the neighborhood well enough to speak with authority.
Secret: Preview the competition! Know the average Days on Market not just for the town or city, but for the actual neighborhood. Know the list to sell price ratio for the latest comparables. Know if that’s going up or down or remaining stable.
5. You were rigid with your commission and/or pricing.
In addition, you didn’t create a game plan so the seller still feels like they’re winning. “No. Any other questions?” is not an effective script, especially if the seller is doing multiple transactions, a repeat client, a referring client, or someone who’s tight on funds to make the move, etc.
Secret: Learn how to use the Unique Selling Propositions our coaches teach so the commission objection won’t even come up.
6. You used a canned presentation instead of asking what the seller needs and presenting that.
Secret: It’s easier and more effective to present based on what the seller actually values, rather than assuming you know already. Show respect by asking questions and addressing their real concerns.
7. You showed up late.
This is a huge mistake. Arriving late shows disrespect and will mean that you are already on bad footing before you even open your mouth.
Secret: It’s not just analytical types that look to see if you’re on time. Show up early and don’t park in their driveway. Call first to confirm! Be the professional if you expect to be paid like one.
8. You didn’t use a pre-listing package.
Without a great, proven Pre-Listing Package, you’re signing yourself up to hear objections at the end of your presentation, instead of closing at the end of your presentation. Handle all objections before you get there so all you have to do is talk about pricing, answer questions, your light presentation and close.
9. You didn’t close at all.
If you find yourself walking out the door saying, “okay, I’ll follow up in a few days…” You’re not closing.
10.You overdid the pre-qualifying and talked yourself out of the listing appointment.
11. You weren’t prepared for any or all of the common objections:
- I’ve never heard of your brokerage/I’m considering bigger name companies.
- I’m going to probably list with the “neighborhood expert/specialist/etc.”
- I’m considering listing with my friend.
- I’m also interviewing the agent who sold me the house.
- I’m not sure I can move since there’s nothing for me to buy.
- Why do I have comps that you don’t have?
Secret: ALWAYS research your competition. Who sold them the house? Who markets their neighborhood? Whom did they say they were interviewing when you used your pre qualification script?
Secret: ALWAYS know the stats on those agents. What’s their expired rate? How long have they been in the business? How many listings do they sell versus buyer sides? Do they have any suspensions to their license?
Of course the biggest mistake of all is not having enough lead generation in place to have many listing opportunities, so you can earn while you learn.
Fact: You don’t have to be perfect at everything to be a successful listing agent but you do have to be perfect about some things.
Start to polish your listing skills by improving the following:
- Generating the lead in the first place
- Following up to close for the appointment
- Using a proven pre-qualification script
- Sending a proven pre-listing package
- Using a proven but flexible listing presentation
- Showing up on time or early
- Asking questions and delivering based on the seller’s needs
- A-B-C (Always Be Closing)
- Follow up relentlessly if you didn’t walk away with the signature
Hire a coach to help you achieve all of this more quickly, more effectively, and to hold you accountable to these skills. Coaches will role-play with you to increase your confidence.
Secret: It’s our goal to turn all of you into powerful listing agents. 100% ratio is the goal. The only reason you shouldn’t take a listing is if you don’t want it for some reason.
Most importantly, recognize that being a great listing agent is an acquired skill. To move beyond random friends, family, and referrals, you must seek out coaching so you can earn while you learn. There’s an income cap to only working friends, family, and referrals!
There’s a reason that not every agent you know has a large number of listings. Develop the skills necessary for you to take your business to the next level.