“Things no seller has EVER said for $1000, Alex!”
Wishful thinking in a world of people trying to get the most bang for their buck? Is this something said in a fantasy world that agents wished they lived in? The answer is, “No”. Sellers have really said this many, many times.
I’ve heard so many agents say that they only like to work with buyers because they’re so happy when they get a new home. But sellers… oh man! Sellers are never happy! Sellers are too much work. They’re high maintenance.
“My seller thinks I’m not doing anything.”
“My seller thinks I should cut my commission because all I’m doing is putting a sign in the yard.”
“My seller calls me all the time, mad, because I haven’t showed their home yet, myself.”
“I wish my seller would stop asking me why there are no showings!”
“My seller never stops telling me that his “zestimate” is higher than our marketing price.”
(Ugh. Don’t get me started.)
“My seller says he want s to switch to an agent that will list for more and take less commission.”
Have you ever said any of these things? Of course you have! We all have. The seller is paying you a commission to market the home, bring him a buyer and sell and close it. Every day that a buyer doesn’t present himself or herself is another day of frustration for the seller and another day that silently, he blames his agent. You may eventually get a buyer, negotiate a deal and close but many times, the seller is left with a bad taste in his mouth. He feels there are things that could have gone smoother, faster, better, you name it! Sometimes it’s painful for him to see how much money the agent has received when he felt like things could’ve gone differently.
So how do we as agents come together to help our sellers see value? How do we help them see how much we really do behind the scenes to get their home sold? How do we get to that world where sellers look at their closing statement and say, “You didn’t get paid enough?”
I have a few simple tools for you to take away with you today that can change your listing career forever if you’ll follow them. These are tried, tested and true and I have heard my sellers say this many times and it’s music to my ears. A happy seller creates more referrals and referrals give you longevity in the real estate business. The majority of your business should come from referrals. Leads that you or your broker pay for should just be the gravy on top of the meat and potatoes! If the majority of your business is NOT referrals, you are NOT growing your richest resource and that is your happy, closed clients.
Change Your Listing Life Tools
1. Ask your new listing clients what their expectations are. Before you sit down at that table at your listing appointment and start telling the owner how great you are; find out what their expectations are. Here are some good questions to ask:
a. What are you expectations for the agent that you hire to market your home?
b. What have your experiences been in the past?
c. What are your major concerns about selling your home?
d. What do you know about the market in your neighborhood?
The reason that you ask these questions before you start your presentation is so that you can tailor your presentation based on what is important to your new clients. (Go ahead and read that again a couple of times.) You will take notes based on their answers. Taking notes lets them know you care.
You ask me, but Myka, why would I make them talk about negative things that have happened to them before? Why would I ask THEM what THEY know about the MARKET?
You ask them so you can find out what you’re up against. You ask them so that you can make it better. You are the Real Estate Doctor. Prescribing a solution to a problem you know nothing about is real estate malpractice.
You cannot diagnose their condition or prescribe a solution until you know what their concerns/issues are.
For example, you ask these questions and find out that they are expecting multiple offers in a market that doesn’t support that. They had a bad experience before with an agent that never called them and never kept them in the loop and they felt lost. They are concerned about paying a full commission because they think they still owe too much and their best friend said to ask for a reduction in commission to help their bottom line. Their best friend down the street also told them that his home sold for $250,000 when it actually sold for $235,000.
Now…you have all this valuable information. You can now present your listing presentation and tailor it to make sure everything that you do takes care of their needs and concerns. You touch on every concern and make sure what you do to sell their home is the answer they have been looking for.
Your listing presentation will include several examples of homes staying on the market for awhile and that multiple offers is not what is happening in our market now. You will reassure them that your weekly update calls will let them know what’s going on in the market around them will help them stay in the loop and you’ll send them an email of what has gone under contract and sold so they see how their home stacks up to what’s selling around them. You list all the things you do for them during the listing and break down the commission letting them know you are working nonstop to get their home sold and your value is undeniable. And you can gently let them know that their neighbor’s home is actually a comparable for theirs and it actually sold for $235,000.
Suddenly, you emerge as the hero! You have diagnosed their issues and prescribed the perfect solution. YOU! You’ve successfully avoided the trap many agents fall into by presenting first and telling how great you are and then back peddling when the objections arise and you’ve already given them all the apples out of your basket. Being on the defensive is not an attractive look for agents. You want to be pro-active by asking what their concerns are in the beginning. You are the Real Estate Doctor. You would never go to your own Doctor, tell him a few things that are wrong with you and let him wheel you directly into open heart surgery! Malpractice! You run tests and ask questions to find out the issues and THEN prescribe a solution.
2. Continuously Build Rapport From Beginning To Infinity. If you don’t genuinely care about your clients’ best interest then you are in the wrong business. Your clients need to know that you care and that they can trust you. If there is no rapport in your relationship with your clients, then you will not gain referrals after the sale. Relationship building is the keystone on which your business is built.(Go ahead and read that again.)
“You mean it’s not how much I spend on leads? You mean it’s not how well my assistant sends out mass mailings?”
Your clients should know that you genuinely care. You should know their children’s names, funny stories, sad stories, how work is going, how tee ball is going and what their pet’s names are. I’m not saying you have to invite them over for Monday night football, but the time you spend with them needs to be valuable.
Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves. Let them tell you about themselves and their family. Take notes, so you can ask them about those things at later meetings, throughout the transaction and beyond. These happy clients will be your richest source of referrals in years to come because you care about them.
Mass mailings, newsletters, mass emails and texts are good and effective. But nothing makes people love you more than something personal every once in a while. A call, voicemail, genuine text or email just to tell them you were thinking of them and hoped they were well.
Your clients will soon be saying:
“You have to use (insert your name here) as an agent! She still calls every once in awhile just to see how we’re doing. She’s amazing! You’ll love her!”
3. If You’re Not Telling Them What You’re Doing, You’re Not Doing ANYTHING!
The biggest complaint I hear from sellers is that they never hear anything from their agent unless there is a showing or they want to lower the price. Ladies and gentlemen, this does not build value in your seller’s eyes.
Set up a day and timeframe that you will call all of your sellers and give them an update even if there’s not an update to give. (Go ahead and read that again.)
Why should you do this even if there’s nothing going on? Because it builds rapport and trust and they don’t wonder as much what you’re doing behind the scenes. This is your chance to tell them that you are currently sending out mass emails to agents to put their home in front of their faces, talking to agents at events about their home, pushing it on the online platform, you’re researching what has gone under contract and will send them that list so they can see how their home stacks up to what’s recently been sold… anything and everything you’re doing.
By simply doing this, you reassure them they’ve gone with the right agent. You’re showing character by doing what you said you would do when you first met them at your listing presentation. You’re showing competence by constantly researching the market to ensure they’re priced correctly. You’re providing them with confidence that they have chosen the right REALTOR®. You are showing your genuine conviction for the love of your job. You are letting them know that you are behind the scenes constantly working on their behalf. You answer their questions and reduce those midnight texts and emails where they’re wondering what is going on. You are building your worth; your value.
Don’t ever sell yourself short. Don’t cut your commission. You are worth every penny and your sellers will say that too if you will abide by these 3 simple rules.
The single best compliment I ever received was from a seller who had to bring money to the table to be able to close on their home. We worked together so hard to make the deal work and after setting the right expectations for them, building a beautiful working relationship filled with genuine rapport and keeping them informed throughout the entire process, at the end, my seller said, “You didn’t get paid enough. Can we fix this here? You deserve more.”
I said, “That’s my job. I’m so glad you’re happy. Just tell everyone you know about me.”
And they did.