Tom Panos: The secrets of million-dollar agents

Leading industry coach Tom Panos shares the secrets of Australia’s top agents, and explores everything from handling rejections to scripts and dialogues.

Mr Panos says the true secret to real estate lies in the fact that those who want success the most are the ones who end up the most successful.

“The trick is, if you want it more, you actually see more people and the agent that generates the most appointments wins in real estate – end of story,” he says.

Mr Panos adds that successful agents are comfortable with rejection and use it as a motivation to regularly prospect potential clients.

“Establish yourself in the market, not in the office. Other agents in your office do not pay your mortgage, vendors pay your mortgage. Let go of the addiction to being liked by everyone.”

Learn from everywhere and everyone

While working his first job out of high school, Mr Panos sold barbeques in shopping centres where he learned how to handle rejection and close deals.

“If I built rapport, if the people liked me, if I answered their questions and I felt an energy there then I said, ‘Would you like a red one or a green one?’ and shut up and they bought one,” he explains.

“So the secret was to make it easy for people to say yes, but not be pushy – that’s what closing is.”

According to Mr Panos, the best way to improve performance is by regularly monitoring progress and adjusting where necessary.

“Whenever you see a bodybuilder at a gym, they write everything down – how many reps they do, what weight they’re lifting, what exercises they’re doing. What you measure, you manage.”

Mr Panos says agents should act like doctors and try to make a diagnosis at their listing presentations by asking the right questions in order to determine the right path forward with clients.

“Million-dollar agents ask questions, rookies make statements. And when I ask million-dollar agents about their biggest source for new listing opportunities, they say open houses.”

“Every buyer that you speak to must be asked this question, ‘Is this your first purchase in the area or your second?’ because if it’s their second purchase then they’re a potential vendor,” he says.

Agents should also be looking at every listing within their market by attending open for inspections and seeing what their competitors are doing differently.

Create case studies

Every agent should have a couple of properties that they’ve sold with all the relevant information such as days on market, sales price, marketing investment and where the buyer came from, in order to present these case studies to potential vendors.

“You need to have three or four properties as case studies because stories sell, facts tell. So pick a couple properties that are most relevant, have a photo and have all the information on hand.”

Mr Panos says agents should also be targeting about 50 properties surrounding each property they sell by knocking on doors and offering free evaluations to anyone nearby and interested.

Scripts and dialogues

According to Mr Panos, agents should be well-versed in their scripts and dialogues to the extent where they become so familiar that they don’t sound scripted.

Agents should remind vendors that it is the process, not the promise of a price, that is going to help the sale achieve the best result, he says.

“Mr and Mrs Vendor, the value of your home is dependent on four things – location, presentation, the agent you pick and the strategy you use.”

“The good news is, out of the four, you control three of those things. While we can’t control the location, we can control everything else, so let me explain to you and show you how we’re going to get you the extra 10 per cent.”

Mr Panos says agents should assure vendors that marketing and home improvements are simple investments that help ensure their properties fetch top dollar.

“Mr and Mrs Vendor, I’ve seen heaps of vendors lose tens of thousands of dollars at the time of sale because they tried to save $1,000 at the time of listing. Let me show you how to avoid that mistake.”

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