The Fundamentals of Selling within Real Estate


Welcome and good morning to Mike Ferry TV. It is the week of March 2nd … 2 months down … 10 to go … however you’ve done in your first 2 months … are you tracking your numbers? Are you tracking what you’re doing? Are you learning from the experiences?

This past week, I had the good fortune of speaking at a great convention in Los Angeles … and I had a conversation with three or four of my customers who were there. We were talking about the difference between the agents that seem to do the most production and make the most money and the rest … and of course, you know, I’ve said this to you before, but for many, many, many years, the industry was kind of divided into three categories.

We had that top 10-15% that … in any industry … are always very productive … the bottom 10-15% … newer people … people that were not doing well … the turnover was pretty high … and then in the middle … 60-70% of people that made a good living in Real Estate. That’s changed. That has changed dramatically. Today, instead of three categories, we have two. We have that handful of people that really are marketing, managing, producing and earning most of the money in this industry … and then we have the rest. We just don’t want you to be one of the rest.

Now, if your goal is to do 4 … 5 … 8 … 10 transactions a year … that’s fine, but if your goal is to be anywhere as near or above 10 … 15 … 20 … 50 … whatever that number is … there’s probably some serious thoughts you have to give to how you’re going to do your business. The business is changing, but the business is the same.

During this conference, my son Tom and I had a lot of fun because, before he spoke in the morning, we did a short little interview … and I’m not sure what Tom did with it … I’m sure he posted it on social media … and he said to me, “Okay, dad, you’ve been doing this 45 years … how have you lasted 45 years doing the work that you do?”

I said, “Tom, it’s very simple … and you know this. In every business there are certain fundamentals that have to be done to make the business operate. If you’re going to run a hotel, you better have beds in the rooms. That’s pretty fundamental. If you’re going to have a restaurant, you better have a menu for people to order from. That’s a fundamental. If you’re going to own an airline, you better go to more than one city if you’re going to make any money. That’s a fundamental. In selling, there’s certain fundamentals.”

I said, “Tom, you and I both know … because we both teach … you better prospect … you better manage your time … you better do good lead follow-up … you better prequalify … you better go on a lot of strong presentations, Buyers and Sellers … you better handle objections … you better ask them to sign.”

We both nodded and smiled … and I said, “That’s the fundamentals. Everything outside of that is different than the fundamentals.”

So, I’m going to talk to you about something that I talked to four or five Top Producers about a couple hours after Tom and I spent that time together. The question one of them said is, “What is the difference between a good agent that goes on 10 listing presentations in the course of 60 days?”

For some of you, you’d say, “10 presentations in 60 days? I haven’t done 10 presentations in 6 months.” Well, that’s because you’re not prospecting. It’s not complicated. It also means you’re spending all your time with Buyers, which takes up all your time.

But, let’s assume the goal is to go on 10 listing presentations in the course of 60 days … or basically you’re going on 4 to 5 a month. What’s the difference between a man or woman that takes 4 listings out of 10 presentations and a person that takes 7 listings out of 10 presentations? And in today’s society with the shortage of inventory we all experience, probably most of them will sell. Now, if they’re as close to reasonably priced, they’re going to sell.

Now, obviously the difference between 4 and 7 is 3 and that’s a lot of money, which we know, but I want to go a step further. Let’s say that your average commission … just for number’s sake … $7,000 per transaction … and you get 4 listings in 60 days and they sell … you’re going to make $28,000 or so off those 4 transactions. However, if you take 7 in that same time … you make $49,000. Now, what’s interesting is … you’re going to make $21,000 or more income and all it’s a matter of doing is changing how you choose to operate your business … change what you choose to say and do during a given period of time called a listing process.

Now, what’s interesting is … the person taking 7 out of 10 versus a person taking 4 is not doing anything dramatically different except following some basic fundamentals. Both parties are investing the same amount of time … because, see, 10 presentations take a certain amount of time, whether you score 2 … 4 … 6 … or 7 listings. The time invested … the energy invested … is the same. So why not get the highest return?

I certainly understand better than almost anybody that would watch Mike Ferry TV … I understand that each person has their own style. I understand that each of you have your own little quirks. I understand that each of you has your own little things you say. However, if you track your numbers and you’re doing NAR average, 2 out of 10, you’re losing 8 times.

One of the people said to me, “Why do you lose a listing?”

I said, “You lose a listing because somebody cuts their commission … happens all the time. Somebody overprices the property … happens all the time. Somebody’s willing to commit a large marketing budget and that’s very enticing to a Seller … happens all the time. Somebody makes a lot of promises that they generally can’t keep, but those promises sound very lucrative to the Seller … happens all the time. Somebody outbonds you on a presentation and willing to spend 2 hours telling the Seller how much they love their house.”

You’re going to lose a certain portion of the time. Nobody’s perfect. Nobody bats 1,000 in baseball. No professional football player completes 100% of their passes. You don’t have to win all the time … you just have to win more often than you don’t win. Notice I didn’t say lose? You just have to win more often than you don’t win … and if you’re listing 4 out of 10 and we can move you to 7 out of 10, you’re going to make a lot more money, which, generally speaking, makes most people at least a little happier in their approach.

So, they pinned me down, this group of five agents … “What is the difference between the two … four and seven?”

So, I defined four things …

Number one … the ability to prequalify ever Seller, every time, no exceptions … and ask every prequalifying questions, no exceptions.

Now, have you downloaded my prequalifying questions? I hope so. Then I’m going to ask you a question … are you asking them all? Which ones are you leaving out? What is your hang up on asking questions?

“Well, Mike, I don’t like question number one.”

I said, “Okay, may I ask why?”

“Well I think it’s too direct.”

Now … think about this … “Gosh, if what I say makes sense and you’re comfortable and confident that I can get your home sold … are you planning on listing with me when I see you Saturday at 4:00?”

Now, think about it … that question’s too strong? The worse they can say is, “No,” and you say, “No problem. May I ask why?”

“Well, we’re interviewing other agents.”

“Okay, so after you’ve interviewed the three of us and you think what I say makes sense, are you planning to sign a contract at that time?”

“Well, yes we are.”


What if they say, “Yes, we are planning on listing with you”? Try not to celebrate before you get to the house.

So, are you asking all the questions? And if you’re not, what are your hang ups? Download the questions … read through them … virtually 10 times … practice and role-play them … put a mirror in front of you … practice and role-play … so when you’re on the phone, after you’ve set the appointment, you can ask the prequalifying questions.

I said … the second difference is a strong Pre-Listing Package … not an ego-based package … not with 32 pictures of yourself … but all the pertinent information the Seller needs to review before you get to the house. What’s your hang up on the Pre-Listing Package? I can tell you what it’s going to be … “Well, Mike, if I send the Pre-Listing Package the way you want me to send it … and then they look at it and they get mad about the price for commission, they could cancel their appointment.”

You’re absolutely right. They could cancel their appointment … and probably 1 of every 100 does cancel the appointment. Wouldn’t you like to know if they’re going to be that angry … that hostile … that upset before you get there? Find out, when you send the Pre-Listing Package, and you call back and make sure they’ve read it.

Third, I wrote down … strong scripts. You’ve heard me talk about it before … a canned presentation. Folks, this is a canned presentation. I wrote down all the points I wanted to make to you today before I make the presentation. If I can use a canned script, why can’t you?

“Well, Mike, I have my own script.”

So, of course, my standard line is always the same … “How many people are downloading YOUR script off the internet every month?” Oh, that’s right … probably nobody.

“Well, Mike, I just kind of say what’s ever on my mind at the time when I walk in the house.” What if nothing is on your mind? You know, you walk into the house and you’re caught totally off guard by the look … by the appeal … or lack of appeal of the house. How do you make that transition?

“Well, Mike, I like to build rapport when I walk into the house and I tell them how nice the home is and how pretty and how wonderful.” What if it’s not nice, pretty and wonderful? And then how do you transition from this conversation about the dog and the pets and the kids to listing their home? You need a strong scripted, canned presentation that gets to the point. Download mine and look at that and find out what is bothering you and send me an email and we’ll talk about it.

Fourth … we can’t answer the objections that they give us, which is very common. You go on 10 presentations … and the presentation is not strong. Now, don’t get mad … don’t be offended … don’t get upset … don’t quit watching … keep learning.

Think about this … you go on 10 presentations and they say to you, 4 or 5 times, the same objection. It is your fault … it’s your fault … you’re causing the objection. If every time you talk to a Seller, they say, “Boy, we like what you had to say but we have a friend in the business,” it means they don’t feel you are good enough to get that listing … and they’re trying to be kind.

If they say to you, “Well you have to cut the commission if you want this listing,” it means they don’t see enough value in what you’re doing. If they say to you, “Well, you know, based on what you’ve said … we think we can do it ourselves,” that means you were really weak in your presentation and showing them the steps you were going to take to get it sold.

So, track the objections you get and see why you’re getting them … and it’s usually because of the weakness of the presentation. Prequalify … strong Pre-Listing Package … strong scripts … and answers to the objections will take you from 2, 3 or 4 … to 7 …

Let me ask you this question … is it worth spending the next 60 days practicing and role-playing the prequalifying questions? Is it worth the next 60 days practicing and role-playing your listing presentation? Because if it is … the only thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to solve some of that inventory problem we’re experiencing today.

I know you can do it … you know you can do it … let’s do it. Talk to you next week.



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!