Look me in the eyes when you talk to me!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

 OK, today I'm going to write a little bit about "Listening presentations". I actually wrote a post about this quite a while ago titled "Make your listing presentation a listening presentation". Friday I had a listing presentation that really brought this concept home for me.

Now folks, I do want to say that all markets are different and all REALTORS® are different, so what works for me, may not work for you and vice versa.

About a year ago I bought a tablet computer. My thoughts were that I could use this in my presentations with a really nice power point show and could give the potential Sellers an online tour of all the different marketing that I do and show them how and where their properties would be displayed. Sounds like a good plan doesn't it? Well, I have to say, I did not like it all. The way I handle my listing presentations is basically to just sit down at the table and have a conversation with folks. I ask questions and then sit back and listen. My goal is to connect with them and build trust. Folks love to talk about themselves and by listening to them I am able to base my presentation on what their concerns and needs are not on me. My presentations are all about them and because of that every presentation is different. I have no script or predetermined game plan. I'm very prepared but I'm flexible.

So, the first time I tried to use my tablet presentation, I got about five minutes into it, closed it up and pulled out my paper presentation. I just wasn't comfortable. It was too cold and regulated. At least for me. The biggest problem was the Sellers and I were looking at a computer screen instead of looking at each other. No eye contact.

Friday, I went to a listing presentation. I did my usual presentation sitting at the dining room table and we had a really good chat for about 45 minutes. We talked about market conditions, reasons for selling, our families, our professions, fishing etc... we connected. After I was done I asked for signatures on the listing agreement and much to my surprise he told me he had signed a listing agreement the day before with another REALTOR®. Well heck that would have been a nice thing to know prior to spending almost an hour going for the listing.

As the good little Broker that I am, I explained to him, that I couldn't take the listing if he had already signed with someone else. He told me the other REALTOR® was supposed to come back out later that day to drop off copies, put up a sign and take photos. He also said the other REALTOR® told him he could cancel the agreement if he wanted to at anytime.

He proceeded to tell me how the guy did a really good job but was very caught up in his laptop and showing him listings, spreadsheets and marketing materials. BUT, and I feel this is important, he told me he likes to look people in the eyes when he does business. He wants to be able to connect on a more personal level, as we did. Wow!! He said exactly what I had always felt.

Anyway, I offered to leave and come back, if he decided to make a change but he wouldn't have any of that. He picked up the phone, called the other REALTOR® and politely told him he had decided to list with someone else. To the other REALTOR®'s credit he was very polite about it and understood. He was actually a little relieved since his office is 60 miles away! So the Seller's happy and I have a new listing.

What I took from this experience is that I need to continue keeping my presentations very personal. Technology is a very good thing but it can't replace human contact. Look them in the eye. Concentrate on them. Make a connection and build trust. At least my tablet still works well for reading in bed. What say you?

***Broker "Turner" Bryant image compliments of Craig Schiller.

All content copyright © 2007 - Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

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Comments (100)

Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL

I disagree! I use my laptop EVERY time and I rarely lose a listing, whether the clients are young, older or in-between. In fact, most of the time they say that my presentation is WHAT WON THEM OVER...BLEW THE OTHER AGENTS OUT OF THE WATER because it was so PROFESSIONAL and EASY TO FOLLOW!

I have to say though, that I have whittled it down and made it very simple and straightforward, it is mostly talking points (for conversation), and no flying images in or out, music or other distractions. I always position my laptop so that the clients can see the screen as well as look me in the eye while we chat.

I do feel that it is simply a tool, and that you need to be relaxed and spend plenty of time listening and getting to know the client (we all agree on that one). Whatever YOU are comfortable with is what will shine through...if you aren't comfortable with the laptop presentation then your clients won't be either! It does set me apart from the other agents...and that's been working for me.

So if you've been considering it, GIVE IT A WHIRL and see what happens!

Jun 19, 2007 11:40 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hey Kelly, Sounds like you have a good handle on your presentation. Thanks for the opposing view point. We always need to get both sides.

Michael, It's all about relationships and building trust. Now go get some appointments!!

Preston, That image is great isn't it? Thanks for stopping by Preston.I hope business is going well for you.

Jun 19, 2007 11:56 AM
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ
AzLadyInRed
Look, I like both approaches, BUT it depends on the customer doesn't it? As Realtors, we have to KNOW and SENSE what our customers want. I have the tablet, and I love that stuff - as do a lot of other people, but it is more my personality to visit first. THEN, I ask them if they'd like to see a virtual tour or some other tricky thing I have going on. Visual is good, but eye to eye is to the first thing. Sometimes I don't even get to an actual presentation. I just visit, give them the answers they want, and off I go with a listing. Just never know!!! Good post Bryant!
Jun 19, 2007 04:37 PM
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

I use my tablet in several ways. 1 way is to use it like an Assistant. You wouldn't have an Assistant interrupting a listing presentation. I find that rather than create distance, my tablet helps break the ice. At some time in a listing appointment I have my clients using my tablet, they seem to enjoy that. For me, the tablet creates a shared experience rather than alienation. So far, clients seem to appreciate getting their documents emailed from their table, they walk over to their computer and download signed documents.

Bryant, I agree though that our tools of the trade should not be allowed to get in the way. I, too go prepared but not with a canned presentation.

Jun 19, 2007 05:12 PM
Dawn Workman
Veracity Real Estate Group, LLC - Camas, WA
Camas Real Estate Expert, MBA, 480-540-8100
Great post.  And, you gotta love how much we spend to improve a process just to learn it really wasn't flawed to begin with.  At least you were smart enough to realize that sooner than later and didn't let a listing slip past you.
Jun 19, 2007 06:34 PM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK
 I tried taking the laptop on one listing visit and using it to show how we do things.  When I do a "listing visit", we visit. 
Jun 19, 2007 11:36 PM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Really great comment severyone. It really is about knowing your customer/client and then making the connection with or without the use of the computer. The connestion is what's important not how we get there. 
Jun 20, 2007 12:47 AM
Steve Volkers
SVG Real Estate Firm - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate
Thank you for giving this great advice. Being a new agent it hard to figure out what the right things to say and bring to a lisitng presentation.It so great to be part of AR that i can learn from Real Estate Pro's like your self.
Jun 20, 2007 02:11 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
HI Steve, If you click on my "listing presentations" tag over there in my tags list it will give you a lot of useful info. I hope it helps.
Jun 20, 2007 07:23 AM
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
Good for you!  I did the same thing- used to have the whole powerpoint high tech approach but felt disconnected. I prefer doing business the old fashioned way...you are sooo right- look them in the eye and talk!
Jun 20, 2007 07:33 AM
Ethan Nuttall
Shurtleff & Associates - Logan, UT
Great advice!  I just started working on a power point today but I think I will scrap it now.  Thanks!
Jun 20, 2007 09:30 AM
Teresa Boardman
Boardman Realty - Saint Paul, MN
I have a listing presentation on my lap top and a printed version.  It is rare that I ever use them but take them with just in case.  I think it is more important to listen and answer questions that it is to "present"
Jun 20, 2007 02:06 PM
Jim Meier
Premier Realty Co.,LLC - Cadillac, MI

Thought you might like to know that Loren Nason over at The Future of Real Estate Technology blog referenced this post as part of his research for his post "Your Clients Don't Want to See Your Flashy Technology".

"For another excellent example of how having the flashy technology didn’t help him win the listing see this article I found when researching this article. Its on Active Rain from Broker Bryant “Look Me in the Eyes”"

 

Jun 21, 2007 05:22 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

BB:  Eye contact cannot be matched with a listing presentation done on the computer.  I will say, however, that I do a combination and do that laptop part very quickly.  I let them know that I am tech-savvy and can get their home OUT THERE for marketing purposes.  This only takes a few minutes and I don that AFTER we've established solid comfort on their part, with me.  If they don't feel comfortable and seem a bit uncaring about internet presence, then I don't whip out the laptop.  (Another trick that I use is that I have several of the awesome sites, including Googling an address of a home that I have listed ALREADY tabbed at the bottom of my screen and ready to click.  This only takes a minute or two).

Debe in Charlotte

Jun 27, 2008 09:19 AM
Anonymous
Rick

Thanks for sharing again. I am glad I read this as I was considering a tablet but with this article I am convinced it would have been a waste of time! Keep up the good work and thanks so much for sharing...You have a great understanding and get things across very well!

BRAVO

 

Rick

Jun 27, 2008 11:39 AM
#95
Maya Thomas, Broker
Tampa, FL
Please see my client recommendations.

You almost talked me out of the notebook I'm ready to buy!

Jun 27, 2008 12:37 PM
Marlene Pellegrini
Norwich, CT

I am glad I read this post.  I do use a powerpoint presentation.  I feel that it gives me the structure needed for my presentation.  Yet  you've reminded me to make sure do develop the rapport with the clients also.  A balance of both of these seems to be the best thing for me.  Also, to look people in the eye!

Jun 28, 2008 04:35 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know that I do use a tablet PC. I don't always take it with me but I have started taking it more often. But I don't usually use it until after I've taken the listing. Then we sit around and checkout some of the online advertising and watch my stupid videos. I also wrote a post recently about my "Seller participation CMA". I use this technique on occasions if I haven't met the sellers before or I know pricing is going to be difficult.

The key to a good presentation is to be flexible. If you have a beautiful power point presentation and are using it just may very sure to keep an eye on the seller's body movement. If they start squirming it may be because they are bored. And they may not be bored with you just bored with your presentation. You have to know when to change course.

 

Jun 29, 2008 06:44 AM
Anonymous
Rita

I can relate: This first time I decided to use my computer in a presentation it became very akward. It was a younger person so I assumed they were technology savvy, during the presentation in conversation he didn't own a computer, doesn't have an email.  When I came to that realization I had to change my strategy but it was too late. I didn't walk out with the listing and he actually listed with some one else. Thougt me a lesson.

Jul 03, 2008 07:23 PM
#99
Sonja Adams
Keller Williams Realty - Purcellville, VA

I find that each of my listing appts. will be different slightly depending on the client and their needs.  Its got to be personal...you are going to be dealing with them for several mos. so a relationship is developing and needs to be fed.

Sep 11, 2008 03:31 AM