The listing presentation is your first chance to make a great impression on a prospective client, so you want to use everything you have at your disposal.
Every agent has their own way of doing things, how they chase leads, how they win listings, and how they secure results. In my time as CEO of Realbase (Campaigntrack + Realhub), I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate and learn from some of the country’s best agents, finding out what makes them tick and how they stay ahead of the pack in such a competitive industry. All these fascinating insights played a huge role in the development of Engage – a digital platform for building proposals and presentations.
Since we launched the Engage product, I’ve still enjoyed sitting down with top agents and seeing how they tackle the listing process. Together with real estate coach Tom Panos, we’ve even started a webinar series diving into the finer points of proposals, but I thought I’d take this chance to share some of my favourite words of wisdom with you.
The best place to start is probably with Tom, who summed things up nicely in saying: “Listing presentations are not about you. Leave your ego at the front door. Forget about everything else and focus on why you’re there.” Sure, that might sound obvious, but it doesn’t matter how slick your presentation is or how competitive your commission is – if you can’t build a genuine relationship with the vendor, you’re in trouble.
Just as selling (or buying) a home is a hugely emotional decision, so too is choosing an agent for that process. You know how important your pitch is, but there’s work to do on either side of that as well. The actual presentation is 40 per cent of the whole picture, and what you do before and after that meeting are another crucial 30 per cent each. “People will forget what you say but will never forget the feeling you leave them with.”
Tim Heavyside of Fletchers Real Estate agrees. “People pick up on your energy straight away,” he said, “but it’s important for you to pick up on the vibe in the household as well … you might think you’re meeting with vendors that are keen to sell, but at the meeting, they may not be engaged, or they may seem distracted, which tells you they’re not really ready. You need to pick up on what’s happening with body language so that you know how and when to move forward”.
We all know that winning listings is sometimes about the long game and that keeping in contact is crucial, but according to Nick Duchatel of Belle Property Dee Why, that first impression is still key. “I 100 per cent believe it’s more about the initial experience than the later touchpoints,” he said. Even if there are five years between your first encounter with a vendor and an actual listing presentation, they’ll still remember you by that initial meeting.
A common insight that usually comes up during these webinars is the emphasis on building rapport and trust among clients. It’s really important to have knowledge about who and what you’re working with and how they want to best approach selling (or buying) a home. Essentially, it’s all about building a genuine connection with your clients. There’s no point in trying to engage with them about something you’re not familiar with.
Another great way to build rapport is simply by listening. Stone Real Estate’s #1 agent, Maria Cassarino, said she tries to spend an hour with potential clients looking through their property. “I try to keep my mouth shut and listen and take in what they want to tell me because that’s then going to help me put together what I think is a listing presentation that will suit them and what they’re after.” Engage is integrated with market leaders in property data to create bespoke reports for each vendor. Things like recent sales, biographies and suburb data can all be automatically brought into the next presentation, and marketing quotes can also be pulled directly from other platforms.
Leading northern beaches sales agent Cherie Humel of Clarke & Humel also left a brilliant tip about maintaining a connection to make sure your clients feel supported even after meeting them. “I always ask their permission to stay in touch, and most of the time, I do get a yes. For the follow-up call, I’ll see if they have more questions, and I might give them some extra information or insights.” A follow-up call is a great way to let the vendor know you’re there for them and that you’re proactive. One of the Engage platform’s simplest features is also one of the most useful. Engage proposals feature instant view notifications, delivered by SMS, which take the guesswork out of follow-up communication. You’ll receive a text once a proposal is opened – either immediately or in six months’ time – so you can get back in touch with a vendor at exactly the right time.
There are a lot of really valuable insights on offer if you listen to the industry’s best performers. In summary, having the right mindset and attitude towards your clients is a must to build long-lasting relationships. In addition, being prepared to deliver a winning listing presentation is just as important – which is why we built Engage in the first place. In the modern real estate world, speed is everything. And having an all-in-one closing tool that agents can take anywhere, on any device, would give them the flexibility to build and maintain more relationships with their clients.
Cherie has another piece of great advice, which I think is perfect to finish up on: “Be authentic and be professional. Our best agents are always working exceptionally hard, doing their research before each presentation and building their property knowledge.”
If you’d like to dive deeper into some of the talks I’ve had with these agents, you can find links to all our webinars here. Or, if you want to find out a bit more about how Engage could help you win more listings, you can request a free demo and see our new website here.
Frank Greeff is the CEO of Campaigntrack + Realhub.