Win More Listings at the Right Price with New Listing Presentations
Today, let’s talk about one of the changes top agents make around the country to get ahead of the curve and make 2019 their best year ever. So, let me just start with a simple question for you. Do you own an iPhone or Android phone? The answer’s probably yes to one of those. What would you do when they send you that upgrade notification, in terms of the software? Do you update the software or are you using the old not updated app?
The odds are, you’re upgrading the software because when you do, things get faster and more efficient. Yes, it’s always a little wonky in the beginning, that’s totally normal. Something changed, you’ve got to shift and get better, but at the end of the day, that software improvement makes things faster and better.
Well the reason I bring this up is because like a software adjustment, change, upgrade, people are altering and improving their listing presentation to be more relevant to today’s sellers and trying to bridge the gap from sellers that are a little unrealistic with their price to being more realistic so they can ultimately get the home sold and you get another five star review.
Here are some of the adjustments in dialogue and conversations with a lot of top agents around are doing so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can take these dialogues, you can make them your own, you can adjust them, you can tweak them, but at the end of the day, if you’re walking into a listing today and you’re using an outdated presentation.
The expectation of every seller is you will sell their home for the highest price in a short period of time with the least amount of hassle. However, in today’s environment, that’s not the way we want to start our appointments.
So, I have three recommendations for you. We want to make it as relevant as possible. We want to recognize the new days on market, list to sell ratios in terms of pricing and ultimately, what’s causing properties to sell. We need to be looking at that data all the time.
The three main items are positioning, using price analogies and being direct and realistic.
Under positioning, think about it like how you position yourself and how you position the seller to understand the change in the market. It can be the difference between them selecting you and them not selecting you. It could also be the difference of them understanding the change in the market and pricing it accordingly or neglecting what it is you’re saying and still going for their unrealistic price, that’s probably not going to sell in today’s environment.
So how you position yourself and how you position the market data really matters. Consider the following:
“You know, Mr. and Mrs. Seller, rather than just looking at what’s happening right now, I felt it was important to take us back in time for the past 3 years.”
Now, in doing so, you’re showing them what was happening 3 years ago, days on market, list of prices, list to sell ratios. You’re showing them the activity that was occurring last year and 2 years ago. And then maybe, you even know your market better than anyone else.
Show them this year and how it started to change. Then you want to show them market changes. Show them the difference – better prices or has it slowed down a little bit? Has the market backed off and buyers were no longer willing to spend that kind of money?
We can say “Let’s take a look back at home prices, inventory, days on market in the old market.” And you’re going to refer to it repeatedly as the old market. “See, in the old market, see that pricing, that’s the limit with the old market. Now let’s talk about the new market.” And then, after you showed them the previous 3 years, show them what’s going on right now.
So, they can see it is very obvious that in your area, there are more homes for sale, there are fewer closings and maybe prices have been adjusted. You know your market better. It’s very clear when you contrast the old to the new, the seller understands the market has adjusted.
Now, of course, they don’t believe that about their own home but they have to believe and understand the data and know things have absolutely shifted. Your goal is to help the seller understand that if the property isn’t compelling, it’s not selling and we know, in today’s environment, one of the most important factors of being compelling is going to be price.
Side note, a lot of agents today, around this positioning, are also bringing in the physical paper, stacks of expires, cancels and withdrawn to demonstrate. You’re showing and demonstrating visually, giving them examples, so they really get there has been a shift.
The second is about pricing analogies. Remember, sometimes just telling the client, gets one type of listening. But we tell a story that’s relatable, that’s similar enough that they can relate to and they get it. For example, on your last appointment or in a recent appointment, did you ever have a seller say that he understands the numbers but he still insists on his price? That he understands what homes are trending for but still insists on his price?
I bet that’s probably every appointment you go on. In that case, you can say, “Look, I can appreciate the fact that you want this price. I’m curious, do you own any stocks? Right, any stocks in publicly traded companies?” And the vast majority of people are going to say, yes in some form or some capacity.
Then say, “Let me ask you, can you call your broker today and say trade my Netflix stock for $500 a share?” Now, I don’t know what it’s trading for today but I know it’s not 500, it’s probably more like in the three range. When you say that, you got to be direct and confident.
“Can you call your broker right now and say trade my Netflix stock for $500 a share?” And you look at them, pause. And the seller’s going to say, “No, if you made that call, your broker would say I could certainly put in a sell order for you but it could take two or three years before you get that price.”
“The reason I bring that up, Mr. or Mrs. Seller, is that you have to understand. Just like Netflix trades at 325 a share, homes that are similar to yours are trading at a small range based on similar criteria. So, it really doesn’t matter what it is that we want, the market is the market.”
Again, a very direct but simple analogy. A simple metaphor to have them understand, it doesn’t matter what they want. Homes, just like stocks, are trading at the prices that they’re trading at. So, that’s the first part. Now we know, in that situation, they’re inevitably going to say something like another agent said that they could get them way more money.
Now, there’s this wonderful line and you should use it. You would say, “Mr./Mrs. Seller, I can line up a thousand agents outside your door and because we’re all looking at the same exact data, in terms of what homes are selling for, they’re all going to present a price that’s basically, the same because we’re all looking at the same data. If an agent comes in and promises you a dramatically higher price, you might want to ask yourself what are they up to? or what are they thinking about? Do they just want this listing so they can get more buyers for themselves? What’s their motive to not tell you the truth when everybody else is looking at the same data?”
We all know that’s a way to plant seeds of doubt because there’s always an agent inside the marketplace that’s going to overprice and do less commission. We’ve got to have ways to help the seller understand we’re all looking at the same information so if somebody tells you an astronomical price, then what’s their motive? What are they thinking about? They don’t care if they have listings that sit forever.
So again, analogies, metaphors, being a little more honest with what’s happening.
The third is about being direct. What are you doing differently now when it comes to price? I ask people before they even get into pricing, of what it is that they want. I tell them flat out, to look in the old market, that I could put a ton of cushion in the pricing of the old market because there were no homes for sale and the buyer demand was so strong, they would bid and they’d make offers and we’d get deals done.
But in today’s environment, where inventory has skyrocketed and, clearly, there are fewer buyers in the market but still going to buy a house, we’ve got to get pinpoint accuracy when we’re pricing homes today. And I’d use the example and say that in the past I might have a $45,000 cushion whereas today, $25,000 is the max that I’m going to do. Giving the seller the understanding, again about the old market and new market.
The line was very simple. It goes like, “Look, that’s where we need to price it today if we want to sell.” Very direct. Now, what do you do when there are no comps? What do you do when there’s home for sale, there are no closings for us to look at?
What do you do in that situation? You just be direct with them, telling them there are more homes that are similar to theirs that buyers have an opportunity to buy and currently, there’s none under contract and we haven’t had a closing in a long period of time.
Tell them that if properties aren’t priced properly, they’re not selling. Therefore, they have to decide if they are going to get lost in the sea of inventory. “Are we going to have your home get lost in the sea of inventory or are we going to price it so well that it becomes the property that sells in the next few weeks?”
I recommend you put the price below all those other properties. I hope you get it from my tone that you didn’t need a lot of skills in pricing a home in the old market.
Well, in today’s environment, negotiations matter, positioning matters, sales skills matter, and being direct really matters. We can’t just walk in and say I’m going to get you the highest possible price and buyers are coming out of the woodwork because it’s very different today. It’s not bad, it’s just normal.
So, the question for you is of those three, what adjustments do you have to make? Where do you need to change your approach to make sure that you’re connecting with sellers and really being the authority, being the one that is showing the data?
Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just telling you this is what’s going on and this is what we need to do if you want to sell. I love the Netflix stock analogy but what’s the analogy that’s right for your sellers? For the people that you’re working with?
One last little tip, if you will. When we learn new dialogues and new approaches, most people get excited and they just start throwing it out at people. The cardinal sin is that they get a new script, a new dialogue, a new approach, a new graph and they don’t practice it over and over again so it comes across authentic.
Practice it so comes across as you and you come across as the authority. It’s so important to practice, we are as good as the amount of time we spend getting good. The more we practice, the better we play and the more we get paid.
Each year will present a new market so be prepared to change with the market so you’re the agent of choice.