More on taking listings

The issues in your post that really caught my attention were trying to become a lister as a new agent and finding much more early success working with buyers.

As many real estate instructors are failed agents, even the very best of intentions – trying to give new agents the best advice possible, winds up with some “almost useful” info.

Yes, listers last. But if a new agent starts off as a lister (non friends or family appointment) they have just stepped into the ring against a possible heavy weight champion. They then can get the idea that the only way to compete is with a lower commission. (I promise to cover the subject of defending commissions in much more detail in a later post).

But far more important is the prelisting package (EVERY lister MUST have one) and the listing presentation itself.

There is a big difference between working with buyers than in working with sellers: buyers are usually not looking for an agent, they are looking for a house. For example, most people who are going out to buy a car probably wouldn’t be thinking, “gosh, I hope I meet a really nice car salesman today” – they want information and are possibly willing to talk to the salesperson to get it. Initially, buyers for houses aren’t much different. It is the relationship building skills of the agent that makes them successful when working with buyers.

The ability to get and keep customers is the senior skill with both buyers and sellers but the specific skill set is a bit different with each group. Working with buyers is basically relationship-based selling. It is for this reason that a relatively new agent can be perceived by a buyer as being just as desirable to work with as a highly successful veteran agent. What the buyer wants most of all is someone who will be totally honest with them – so getting them to like you and trust you is THE primary thing.

Unlike most buyers, the typical seller IS looking for an agent. However some of them don’t want to have to pay that agent very much, especially if they believe it will sell for the same price and same time frame no matter who sells it. With most sellers your success track record and experience is very relevant.

The three primary things home sellers want (based on actual survey) is the most money in the least time with the least amount of aggravation. A good way to answer their questions would be letting them know that YOU do provide the most money in the least time with the fewest hassles. Getting listings then is PRESENTATION BASED. The skills of relating to people, etc. help – but those skills, by themselves, really aren’t enough to get a LOT of listings, but will work well if you are only going to list close friends, family and strong referrals.

The heart of getting listings is your listing presentation. The three component parts of getting listings are marketing or prospecting; the listing presentation; closing techniques.

The most important one – by far – is the listing presentation. If you have a listing presentation you are proud of, you are willing to get in front of any seller to give that presentation, and would therefore be quite willing to truly market your services or effectively prospect. This would include knowing at least one – three good responses for every possible objection any seller could ever bring up. Making a list of every objection you have ever heard any seller say and then working out responses (or simply learning them) so that you are looking forward to having that objection.

If one isn’t totally willing to prospect or market themselves to sellers they either have no presentation at all or a weak presentation. If they are even needing to use a lot of “closing techniques” they have a poor presentation (and probably no pre-listing package, as well). The time spent learning your scripts and dialogues and developing your listing presentation is time well spent and it is a vital step that must not be omitted if you are to achieve real success as a Lister. This would include deciding well in advance what commission rate you charge and not waiting until a seller surprises you with the question.

The alternative is to not do any of these things and just always be willing to match whatever random low commission rate some other agent is willing to accept – always hoping for the best. Or you can do something about it. Agents who really learn to list can command an income that most people only dream about. The funny thing is it is easy work compared to almost any other part of the real estate business and it also pays the best – but only if one knows their scripts and dialogues and has a good presentation. It may take a few hundred hours of your time to get something totally workable and maybe 1000 hours to become quite proficient but you can start to earn an income from listing immediately.