I remember my first listing appointment like it was yesterday. I was 18 years old and the seller was a sweet elderly lady who wanted to sell her home in a gated community that I’d never been to before. The day before my appointment, I drove around to every property in her neighborhood that was listed or had sold. While my hands shook during the entire presentation, the seller was impressed by how thorough I was. Little did she know I was brand new to the business.
What if I told you there was a strategy you could use in order to have confidence on every listing appointment you go on (even if you’re new) and feel good even if you don’t get the listing? Well, here it is in seven steps:
1. Remember that the seller asked you to their home.
I’m not sure about you, but I certainly don’t invite just anyone over to my house. Yes, you’re competing with other agents (that’s the business of real estate), but if they didn’t like you they wouldn’t have had you over for a presentation. This means they think you’re good enough to listen to. When you think of it that way, how does that make you feel?
2. Show up as your best self.
You’d never show up to a job interview in shorts and a tank top. The same applies to your listing appointment. The more nicely you dress, the more credible you’ll seem and, typically, the better you feel about yourself. For an additional edge of confidence, don’t be afraid to come up with your “success persona” until you become more comfortable with the flow of listing appointments. Even celebrities like Beyoncé use personas to give them confidence on stage. Being “Kase, the successful Realtor” really helped me. I’m not saying to be disingenuous, but there is nothing wrong with playing the part until you build the natural confidence that comes in time.
3. Make pre-listing phone calls.
Start with a pre-listing phone call to understand who your customer is. The more you know in advance, the more comfortable you’ll feel. For example, if you learn they’re an engineer, it’s safe to assume they are going to be data-oriented. If they are an attorney, they’ll probably want to make sure you know the ins and outs of the listing contract. This preliminary research will help you release a lot of anxiety and help you better serve your customer. Not to mention, some data sources about the home can be inaccurate. If the house really is a four-bedroom, but you base your market analysis off a three-bedroom, that can certainly throw a wrench in your presentation.
4. Become an overnight hyperlocal expert.
Sometimes in real estate, you’re asked to look at a home in a neighborhood you’ve never been to. Just like I did on my first appointment, drive through the neighborhood in advance and study every photo you can find on MLS. Thirteen years later, I still do this even in areas I’m familiar with so I can always be as knowledgeable as possible. Sellers expect you to know the neighborhood. It will help you earn their trust and show them you’re prepared.
5. Establish credibility through collateral.
Every agent can bring a comparative market analysis (CMA), but those who show a variety of marketing materials really have a competitive edge when it comes to getting a signed listing agreement. Consider bringing photography examples of past listings or postcards. Create a custom marketing plan. Outline all the things you would do to list the home — it can be as little as 10 things or as much as my 79-point outline. Recommendations are also a solid credibility source, or bring my favorite, a “proof of sale” piece, which is essentially a document (digital or print) that advertises your recent sales in a particular area.
If you’re reading this and you’re a brand new agent, don’t let this overwhelm you. If you don’t have any sales, ask your office manager to help you compile sales from the office or ask agents you know if you can borrow some of their listings to showcase. If you don’t have the sales, rely on your office’s footprint to help you.
6. Remain in control of the appointment.
From the moment you walk in the door, set the precedent with the potential seller about how your visit will go. Anxiety comes with lack of control. It’s as easy as walking in the door and saying: “Mr. or Mrs. Seller, if it’s OK with you I’d love to have you to first show me around your house. This way I can get acquainted with it and you can tell me everything you love about it. When we’re done, let’s sit down and I’ll briefly discuss my marketing plan and then you can ask me questions about pricing. How does that sound?” By creating a system for how you introduce your listing presentation, you always remain in control of the situation, thus making you feel more confident.
7. Be okay with walking away.
Part of the anxiety before any appointment in real estate is the possibility of getting rejected. It happens! Very early on in the business, I learned that sometimes not getting a deal was a blessing in disguise. No one wants to work with a difficult seller or an overpriced listing. And very often, I still kept in touch with that potential customer even if they listed with another agent because you never know, if the house doesn’t sell, who’ll they’ll call next. Use this affirmation in the event you don’t get a listing: “This customer was not the right customer for my business and I will manifest other abundant opportunities for myself.” I love affirmations, and doesn’t it feel better knowing that you are confident that there are other better opportunities around the corner?
Keep these tools in your arsenal and be a property listing rockstar in no time.