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?
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