How to Become a Better Listing Agent in Today’s Market (Part 1)

We aired this episode of MFTV back in April, but we wanted to highlight it again because it is just as relevant today … Welcome and good morning. Welcome back to Mike Ferry TV … the week of April 27th … January, February, March and April gone.

Well, we have some fun times ahead of us … and as we all know, we’ve been dealing with a very, very difficult and challenging time … really since about the 1st of March. It’s interesting that for most agents that we work with very closely, and hopefully you’re part of that group, January and February were pretty strong. We got off to a good start this year. First week or 10 days of March was pretty good and then, of course, when this whole challenge we’re facing today came into our heads in such a big manner … and of course with the changes that the government’s restricted most of us on … it’s been a challenging time.

So, what I want to do this week and next week is work on some thoughts that I presented back in early 2019 on our listing skills … because now we’re doing a good portion of our listing presentations on a virtual basis, meaning whether it be a Zoom or one of those types of devices versus, of course, doing it … say … just live as we’ve been used to doing. I had a great conversation this past week with a great guy down in Texas, Carter Morris and his company, Century 21 … and during our conversation, he had said to me, “Okay … what is the advantage of this type of a presentation virtually versus live?”

I said, “Well, first of all … speed and efficiency … because nobody wants to sit in front of a camera or a video screen for 30-40 minutes as we talk about how pretty your house is and, ‘Oh, I see you have a puppy.’ This type of information that we’re now disseminating to a Seller is going to be coming at them at a much more rapid pace and we’re going to be much more specific because of the time issue that we all face.”

So, I want to look at some of the things that I taught in early 2019 for the next week … probably the next 2 to 3 weeks … on listing property that I think might help you become better at what we’re doing today. I first wrote down what I think is the most important point for each individual in terms of becoming a better Listing Agent than you probably already are. I wrote down … define your belief as to what a listing presentation actually is … with the understanding that if you can’t define what it is, it’s very, very difficult to be very good at doing it.

Think about it this way … any time you’re involved in an activity that you’re not confident and sure of how you should proceed and move forward, there’s hesitation … there’s a little bit of standoffish behavior and probably we’re not very good at what we do. What is the definition of a listing presentation for you? I mean, there’s a thousand ways to look at a listing presentation … an opportunity to help the Seller move and accomplish the goals they’ve set for themselves … an opportunity for us to share with the Seller the steps we take to get a home sold … an opportunity for us to meet the needs the Seller has … answer the questions they have … answer the objections they have so we can proceed and help them get their home sold. You can look at this from a lot of different perspectives, but what I want to make sure you understand is … if you don’t have a specific definition of what it is you’re trying to do, it’s very, very challenging … and at best, very, very difficult to actually do it.

Then I wrote a second thought for you … you’re there at the Seller’s home … or, in this case, you’re there virtually with the Seller on your computer or on your laptop or on your iPad, etc. to help that particular party solve a problem they have and show them how you’re going to solve that problem. If you know that you can’t solve their problem, you shouldn’t be going and doing a presentation of any type.

If you think about the word “motivation,” the word “motivation” is vitally important in any sales process. If you’re motivated to have something, you decide what you’re going to do to go about the process of getting it. If you’ve got something you want to sell and you don’t really want to sell it or you don’t have to sell it … it’s hard to let somebody help you in that process. So, the word “motivation” becomes critical.

I’ll never forget … many, many, many, many, many years ago … I had bought a little … I think it was called a Porsche 914 … when they first came out … and it was the cutest little car. It was a fun car … and, of course, the trouble was I had at that time three little kids, so we had a Volkswagen van that the kids’ mom would put them all in their car seats and drive around … and, of course, I would be with them often, but then, of course, that little car was really pretty stupid for me to have. So, one day, I had this idea … and the idea was I probably should sell this car and get a nice 4-door car for the family. So, I told a friend of mine, “If you know anybody thinking about buying a Porsche 914, I have this beautiful car … it’s only 6 months old … it’s for sale.”

Well, I get a phone call the next day and it’s a man that says, “My name is so-and-so and I’m 65 years old and all my life I’ve dreamed and wanted to have a Porsche. Would you consider selling me your car?”

Well, of course, I smiled and said, “I do want to sell the car. What time can you come by?”

He said, “How much are you asking?” and I gave him the price. Half an hour … this guy comes by … knocks on the door. I open the door … the car’s sitting in the driveway … and he opens his wallet and takes out a stack of cash this high.

I said, “What are you doing?”

He said, “I want that car.”

Well, see … he had the motivation. So, after we completed the transaction, signed the papers … he gave me the money, I gave him a receipt … I gave him the keys … I said to him, “I got to ask … how badly did you want this car?”

He said, “I have dreamed all my life to have a car like this.” Motivation. Motive to action. The man had the motivation to buy and I had the motivation to sell.

You’re there to help a Seller solve a problem. They are motivated to do something. You have a right to ask to find out what they’re trying to accomplish. You have the right to try to discover the problem … and if you can’t discover the problem … really what are you going on for? Why are you on Zoom trying to help a person solve a problem they don’t have?

The third thought I wrote down for you to consider … and you’ve heard me say this over the years if you’ve been with me in the past … every Seller is going to ask probably the same four or five questions … and every Seller is going to consider, depending on the strength of your presentation, giving you the same four or five objections. So why not start now … writing down on a scratch paper … what are the common questions you’ve received in the last 6 months from Sellers when you present. What kind of questions are they asking? Then, why are they asking them?

Then make a second list … what kind of objections are they giving? Then … why are they giving you those objections? See, my belief has always been the same. When you walk in on a listing and you know the motivation of the Seller because you’ve done the prequalifying … and you’re sitting there now on a Zoom conference and you know that they have brought up a couple questions and you confidently have the answer … you have now improved your chances by … what … 80% of getting them to DocuSign a contract and get it back to you. See, the confidence to know what they’re going to say gives you the confidence to do what you have to do. If you know that they’re saying to you, “We’re not sure about the commission … we’re not comfortable with what you’re asking,” and you go into your Zoom presentation prepared to respond and show them the steps you’re going to take and why it’s worth their time to engage you and contract you and pay you a commission … it’s only because you knew what they were going to say. So, we know they’re going to give you questions … we know they’re going to give you objections … and then we also know that you have the opportunity to learn the answers, which is, of course, the name of the game.

Then the last thought I want to give you today … a great Listing Agent knows that they will most likely not list all the Sellers they present to. You know, it’s an ego-based business … there’s no question about it … and the strength of a great Listing Agent is usually based on the fact that they’re very confident in what they say and what they do. Often, their ego gets in the way of the conversation. So, a great Listing Agent knows that no matter how good they are … they’re not going to list all the people they talk to … and they will lose a listing now and then. First, because they get out-bonded. Some agents will spend 30 … 40 … 50 … 60 minutes or more bonding with the Seller. “I love your house. I love what you’ve done. I love your artwork and the carpet and the paint and … oh … the kitchen is so beautiful … and … oh … you have a puppy and I have a puppy.” Well, that’s how a lot of agents work … and you will lose listings because you’re going in as a pro and asking questions instead of bonding.

Or you’ll get outpriced. You know, you do a valid presentation … you do all the homework … you’ve got your comps … you know the market … what’s going on … and you’re saying it’s $425,000 and then they list it for $525,000 … and they have to sell, for goodness sakes, and you know that’s going to sit there for months on end or the agent’s going to start beating them up on a price reduction.

I wrote down … you get out-commissioned. Happens all the time … you do a great job and you show them the list of your sales steps that you’re going to take to get it sold and how the process works and then somebody else comes in and underbids you. It happens all the time. Or, I say, you will lose because you will get out-marketed … meaning … you’re following your plan on how you work to get a listing sold and somebody says, “I’m going to do this page of advertising and that … this … and then I’m going to do that … and then I’m going to put it on a grocery cart in the grocery store.” You’re going to get out-marketed.

I wrote … it’s okay to lose if you know why you lost … and if you’re losing for some of the reasons that you can’t control … you accept that and move on, but generally you’re going to lose for one reason. They did not believe in you and what you were saying. So, developing the belief in yourself is where the practice routine comes in … and now, as I’m telling everybody that listens to me on our webinars we’re doing every day … the real key now … when you’re practice and role-playing, you have to practice and role-play on Zoom. You have to see your face right in front of them. So, you get a partner and you’re going to practice and role-play your scripts the way we’re looking at this video. The only difference is I can’t see you … you can see me. But, see, we’ve got to get used to presenting in a different fashion than we have in the past. We’re going to talk about that more over the next couple weeks.

Okay … the critical time … the critical mass has passed us by on this terrible disease. We’re coming towards the end of April and all the signs are in favor that this is passing us by. My son Matthew has a great statement that he makes all the time … this too shall pass. So, we have to be optimistic … we have to be positive … in spite of some of the tragic things that are taking place around us … because that optimism shows to the Buyers and Sellers that have the need for your service today.

Remember, there are people that have the need for your service today. Be the professional you need to be … be the professional that’s prepared … and go out and do that job. Talk to you next week. Thank you.

Mike Ferry is the global leader in real estate coaching and training. Watch Mike each week as he discusses a variety of topics to help real estate agents and brokers. Grow your real estate business by improving your mindset, developing your skills and creating a plan of action to increase your production!