How to Become a Better Listing Agent in Today’s Market (Part 2)

Welcome back to Mike Ferry TV … the week of May 4th. It’s hard to believe that this home isolation has passed us by so quickly … and I know it’s been very difficult for many, many, many people … and I want to share one thought with you. For those of you that are still at some level of this home isolation, which a lot of people are, of course, I get asked the question frequently, “You know, Mike, what is the best schedule to keep in this circumstance?”

You know … it’s a tough thing because we have a Real Estate company … we have a physical location … we used to go into it … although it’s been most of March and April now where we haven’t, in most cases, been involved in the physical aspect of being in an office. So, how do we manage our time? For many, many people … this is going to continue for a while.

So, I tell everybody to go into what I call “1 hour and 15 minute segments” … meaning … if you’re by yourself, you set your timer that you’re going to work 1 hour and 15 minutes with as much energy as you can put out … on the phone, working on your transactions, following up on your leads, etc. … then take a 30 minute break. You’ll walk around the house, walk out on the patio, walk around the yard, have some juice … have a glass of water … do whatever you want to do, then work 1 hour and 15 minutes.

If you have a family, explain to your spouse or your kids that you have 1 hour and 15 minutes to devote to creating the revenue and the income and the transactions you need to create … and I think in most cases your family can understand that … and then you work 1 hour and 15 minutes … take a half an hour break … and you do that 2 or 3 times a day.

Last week, we spent some time talking about this listing presentation and the virtual aspects of making it work and I want to continue that, as I told you I would … because the truth is … when you really look at a professional salesperson like yourself, it always comes down to the issue of how good are you at presenting, not only yourself … physically, mentally and emotionally, but presenting in a fashion that allows the Seller to understand what you’re doing and make the decision to choose you over the population of agents that are out there working.

Now, the greatest advantage we have today … and I say this all the time … I’ve done now probably 100 webinars since mid-March for the great Brokers around the country and their salespeople … I keep saying the same thing … as the number of transactions decline a little bit, which it’s doing in most cases, the number of agents participating is declining at 10 times the rate. The average nonprofessional agent can’t deal with the stress of what’s taking place, so therefore, those of you that are willing to work … those of you that are willing to do your job … you’re going to see there’s plenty of opportunities to take listings.

So, I want to continue on last week’s conversation. I want to start with this point … the goal is to be at a 70% closing ratio on listing presentations … and what an opportunity to close a higher percentage today than 2 months ago. Everybody says, “Why?” I said, “Well, the reason you close a higher percentage today than in the past is because when you walk into a house and you get into conversations that you really probably should not be in … and you get into conversations that last 10 … 12 … 15 … 20 minutes … you’re losing all the momentum you have when you start of being a professional salesperson and doing a great job for the Seller.” So, therefore, the longer you’re in the house, the less chance you have of getting the listing … or, as you’ve heard me say, the more you talk … the less chance you have in getting a listing.

So, our goal is to have all of our clients … for every 10 you go on, to get 7 listing contracts signed. If you want to take … for example … 24 listings in the next 12 months from May 1st of 2020 to May 1st of 2021 … then you’re going to have to go on 34 presentations. What I want you to think about is this … honestly, let’s take January, February, March, April … and even though that was a tough time … we know that … I mean you don’t have to tell anybody it was a tough time … if you take a look at January, February, Marcy, April … honestly, how many listing presentations did you go on? Did you go on 5 … 3 … 8 … 10 … 15? And then how many of those did you actually get a contract signed? Whether it be January … February … first weeks of March … live … or the second half through Dotloop … DocuSign … etc. … because that gives us your closing percentage.

With that being said … we know that NAR has stated for many, many years … the national average for agents that go on 10 is to get 2 to 2.5 contracts signed. Our average Coaching client gets 7 out of 10 signed … and I’m not saying it’s because we’re smarter … it’s because we have a better system in place for how to make that happen.

So, here’s what I want you to think about … if you are at 20% to 30% … you’re probably not as strong in the most vital step of listing property, which is the prequalifying segment, as you need to be. Strengthen your prequalifying … and it’s all done virtually anyhow, which is by phone. Strengthen your prequalifying to determine the motivation of the Seller … to determine the key questions that need to be answered for the Seller … so you can be … and do a better job for the Seller when you’re on a virtual presentation.

Obviously, if you’re doing 20% to 30%, there’s a big percentage that is escaping. Those are commission checks left on the table because of a lack of quality of what we’ve presented. So, it’s always going to either be the prequalifying or … think about this … the listing presentation itself. How much time are you spending preparing a listing presentation? How much time are you practicing? How good are you at the presentation? How good are you at getting your points across? How good are you at asking the questions that have to be asked? If the presentation is weak, they’re either going to list with somebody else, list at a higher price or cut your commission. It’s really not that complicated.

But then also, if you’re doing 20% to 30% … is there any chance that they’re giving you objections … or questions? Remember last week … if they’re asking any questions that you couldn’t answer … are they giving you any objections that you hesitated on? That caught you off guard? Because if they are … then, of course, you’re not going to have the success rate you want. So, if you track your numbers … and if you’re honest and you’re willing to look at the black and white numbers that are in front of you and then you share those with your coach, if you have one, with your Broker or with somebody like myself, we can help you improve the numbers by improving either the prequalifying, the presentation or the handling objections you’re dealing with.

So, I wrote down this thought … a listing presentation is an exact sales process. Since selling revolves around asking questions, not telling people what you believe or think … mastering asking questions is the key to a masterful presentation. So, how good are you at asking questions? You know, I always think back to my childhood days when I was considered by my mom and dad to be very nosy. My first thoughts when I was young … 10 … 12 … 14 … was I thought I wanted to be an attorney … because your mom and dad would watch TV and they would watch legal shows and the attorney would be asking all those questions and I thought, “Gosh … what a great way to make a living.”

So … actually my freshman year, I took one law class and boy did I decide not to become an attorney because it was way too complicated for my simple mind. But, what I loved about the attorneys was their ability to ask questions. So, I’ve been very curious … as my mom said, “I was too nosy,” but I’ve always been very curious, so therefore I’ve always asked a lot of questions naturally. What I didn’t know was that asking questions naturally is not very natural. So, what we have to think about is how are we going to help you improve the quality of asking questions.

I want to share a thought with you. I wrote down … since a listing presentation is simply a series of engaging, thought-provoking questions, why do we have to ask so many questions? So, here’s four thoughts … I wrote down first … questions allow you to stay in control of the presentation. In a selling situation, either the salesperson’s in charge or the customer prospect is. Now, if the customer prospect’s in charge of the presentation, you’re not going to get a contract signed the way you want. So, questions allow us to stay in control.

Then I wrote second … questions keep the prospect involved and keep them communicating with us. We want their feedback … we want their answers … we want their concerns … we want their questions brought up. How do we find out? We ask them questions, which cause them to think about bring thoughts back to us. Then, of course, I wrote … questions keep you on your script because if you look at the scripts, they’re all question-based scripts.

I get criticized all the time … “Where’s all the fillers supposed to be?”

I go … “I didn’t know there was supposed to be filler.”

“Where’s all those things you fill in?” No, no, no … that’s not what selling is all about.

Then I wrote down last … questions bring you to an end result, which, in this case, is DocuSign and a signature. So, see, what we have to do is we have to start retraining our minds. How do we retrain our minds? And, of course, the answer to that is very simple … we have to practice. Of course, when I mention the word “practice” to Real Estate people, that’s when, of course, everybody backs up and walks away.

Professionals practice. Amateurs do not.

Professionals walk in to a listing presentation … do anything they’re doing at a high level … fully prepared to deal with the circumstances that they know are coming. Amateurs are hoping that nothing happens that throws them off track.

So, the key to that learning how to be a great salesperson … the key to the questioning process, then, of course, would be the ability to ask questions.

I hope this month of May is a much better month for you. We hope that the month of May starts to allow some opening of doors. We hope the month of May brings you a higher level of success … and most importantly … we’re glad you’re still participating in the best industry we can be involved in, which is the industry of selling Real Estate.

I’ll look forward to seeing you next week. Thanks for today.


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!