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Active Rain survey winners: How I stand out at a listing presentation

Real Estate Technology with realtor.com®

Listings are always the “holy grail” for real estate agents, but in today’s low-inventory market, they’re even more important than ever! At the realtor.com® Results Summit in Las Vegas on September 18th and 19th, we will be sharing more than 40 ways for real estate agents to stand out at a listing presentation.

To prepare for this exciting session, we asked Active Rain to poll Rainers for their top tactics — and we were blown away by the results! Below are the top three responses, which each garnered 1,500 extra points in addition to their 500-point entry bonus.

Want more points?

Psssssst. It’s not too late to share your top tips! In the comments below, write CONTEST ENTRY, then answer the below question by July 7th. We’ll be sure the moderators give you 500 entry points!

Note: If you already answered this question, we can only offer you additional points if you write in a NEW tactic that you haven’t already shared on this page. Thanks!

Tell us in the comments: How do you make sure you stand out during your listing presentation?


Here are the top three initial entries from Active Rain’s Question:



Jennifer Mackay

Panama City, Florida






For me, I:

  • Listen to their needs

  • Make note of their past experiences when applicable

  • Answer their questions honestly

  • Have prepared comparatives for their review and discussion

  • Summarize my qualifications

  • Focus and outline my strengths

  • Discuss my internet presence

  • Produce current and past sales and testimonials for their review
    and always leave them wanting more of me!


Read more advice and ideas on Jennifer’s blog.



Lyn SimsLynSims.jpg

Schaumburg, Illinois






The trick is not to say something stupid. I provide things that other agents do not like, including what is currently going on in that particular town. I do market reports so I sound credible because I am. So it's average price, days on market & percent under contract each month & how that affects the seller.

Then my fabulous list of websites & other “Houdini” type things I do on social media. The home gets in the pack with Z, T & Realtor.com®, not at the bottom of the page.

[I provide] average days on the market for my listings and discuss how I price things 'tight' so there are no price reductions — we go out there priced well and expect great results.

[I also provide] staging advice, room by room.


Read more advice and ideas on Lyn’s blog.




Debe Maxwell

Charlotte, North Carolina






Oh, the easiest, and probably the most 'real' answer is — I'm me! And that's the only part of 'me' that enters the listing presentation equation...

I go with THEIR flow. Do they want to meet at the office or their home? If at their home, do they want to give me the tour first or would they prefer to sit and chat first? Q&A first or last... I go at their pace and in the order that I feel 'directed' by THEM.

I LISTEN and answer THEIR questions. This meeting is NOT about me — it's about THEM. I listen intently — both with my ears and my gut — and make sure that they have every single question answered thoroughly, with the level of detail that they want them answered.

I make this meeting about THEM! Too many agents go into listing appointments bragging about themselves. The sellers don't want to hear that — they want to know what we can do FOR THEM!

I show them how their home will look both online and in print by showing them samples of my current listings' marketing materials. I share with them the marketing plan that will work best for their particular property, including staging suggestions.

Of course, at the point in time that they are ready, we review the comparable properties. If I feel they need better clarification on their competition, I offer to set up a tour of the homes that are currently their competition — either the following day or on the first available day for them.

If they are thinking of over-pricing, I have also begun asking the sellers, "If you were a buyer, taking into consideration your competition, what would you think of your price?" i.e. "Would you pay $50K more for 1,000 less square feet than your competition?"


Read more advice and ideas on Debe’s blog.


Get 500 points by adding your tips in the comments!

Remember, if you have advice on how to stand out at a listing presentation, and you didn't already share it here, be sure to add it in the comments below. Start your comment with CONTEST ENTRY so we know where to award 500 points. (Reminder: the Active Rain moderators have agreed to offer 500 points to each fresh entry in the comments, now through July 7th.)

Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Somehow I totally missed this contest but great job Lyn SimsJennifer Mackay and @debe (why can't I tag you Debe Maxwell!!!) -Kasey

Jun 30, 2017 07:48 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Most of my business comes from the referrals I receive. I still connect at the open houses.

One question at the open house of this home worked: "Can you trust me with your lifestyle upgrade?"

Meeting this person for listing appointment - apart from helping him buy.

Jun 30, 2017 08:22 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

CONTEST ENTRY: Listening is an art - and is most important. However, sometimes, it is a good idea to share the information - and it does help.

I have my 'numbers' ready - the stats include median price, market action index from AltosResearch and details from the market snapshot.

Most of the time, the myth is broken when we share that not all homes are selling over asking price - and the proof is in sharing the details.

This usually wins me the listing.

And of course, the ultimate statement seals the deal.

"You can trust me"! Works all the time.

Jun 30, 2017 08:28 PM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Thanks, Praful Thakkar! Insightful, as always. 

In addition to the 500 points for your entry, AR is offering an additional 2,000 points to anyone who agrees to be featured in our upcoming PDF on this topic. Can we count you in? I believe you've been featured in everyone we have run so far! We'll add your name and photo alongside your content, as credit to you. Let me know -- and thanks again!

Jul 21, 2017 12:53 PM
Karen Simms
Century 21 Arizona Foothills - Queen Creek, AZ
Horse Property Specialist


I do all the things the other agents have mentioned here at my listing presentations.  I provide the market reports that show the absorption rate, so seller's know who long their home could be on the market.  I also show them my single property website how their listing will appear on a mobile device and show them a sample of how it works when a buyer submits an inquiry; how this comes to my phone, the special ring tone and text tones so I know it's a lead so that I act quickly to connect with potential buyers for their home.  What makes me different from other agents is; I care about getting their home sold.  They are not just another listing.  And, I always answer my phone. 

I am always looking for new tips and ways to better myself at the listing presentation.  


Jun 30, 2017 09:45 PM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Thanks, Karen Simms! We agree having excellent supporting data can go a long way. 

We are hoping to include your above insights into a PDF we are creating on this same topic. In addition to crediting your name and photo, Active Rain will offer an additional 2,000 points to anyone who is featured. Are you able to give your permission for us to feature you? Thanks in advance for letting us know either way.

Jul 21, 2017 12:54 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Well, thank you so much, Kasey, for sending me here!  I don't know how I missed this but, didn't even know they had used my write-up either!  Thanks for letting me know...and kudos to Lyn Sims and Jennifer Mackay

Jun 30, 2017 09:50 PM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Sorry Debe Maxwell, CRS -- we should have tagged you! We followed you so that in the future we'll be sure to let you know if (and when) we feature your awesome ideas. Thanks again for your insights! 

We are creating a PDF on this same topic and we'd love to feature your content, credited to your name and photo. AR is offering an additional 2,000 points to anyone who is featured in the PDF. Can we include you? Thanks in advance for letting us know either way. 

Have a great weekend,

The realtor.com team

Jul 21, 2017 12:56 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Good luck with all the winners and all the future winners and everything else with love and light!

Jun 30, 2017 11:50 PM
Gordon Crawford
Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team - Morristown, NJ
Your Morris County Specialist!

Great winners!  I think knowing your audience and listening are key factors in every listing presentation!!!

Jul 01, 2017 05:58 AM
Donna & Larry Johnson
Keller Williams Real Estate - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County

Sending a pre-listing package has always been key for me. Their are not many doing that and the sellers do like it. Have everything ready to go just in case they are ready as well.

Jul 01, 2017 06:45 AM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Great idea that will definitely help you stand out from the pack! Thanks, Donna & Larry Johnson

We are putting together a PDF of best practices, and we'd love to feature your idea -- crediting you and including your photo. Is that something you guys would be comfortable with? Active Rain is offering an additional 2,000 points to anyone who is featured (in addition to the 500 points you got for offering your insights here). Let us know what you think!

Jul 21, 2017 12:57 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Congratulations to your three winners - and to all the other agents who set themselves above the crowd with superior presentations and service.

Jul 01, 2017 07:06 AM
Teresa Hernandez
Keyes Company - Snapper Creek, FL
A Tradition of Trust

Hi Donna. New agent. What would you put in a pre listing package that would not be too much information? I like the idea and that way they also have your information.

Jul 01, 2017 07:19 AM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Donna & Larry Johnson, a great question from Teresa here if you have time to follow up. ):)

Jul 21, 2017 12:58 PM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Contest Entry:

First and foremost, if I have the opportunity to perform a listing presentation I'd better be darn sure I am prepared! It is important to remember that there is SO much information available to the general public when it comes to real estate, you'd better offer them something they couldn't otherwise and easily get on their own.  Put yourself in their shoes and present the information you would want to know as a prospective seller.  Don't just say you are an "area expert"...prove it!  Pre-plan your listing appointment and be ready to answer the anticipated questions that would most likely be asked.  And for Pete's sake, if you don't know the answer to a question just say so!  Nothing is a bigger turn off than somebody trying to BS their way through an interview, which after all, is what this is.  Be sincere, honest and straightforward with what you say. And last, but very importantly, don't just "hear", but actually "listen"!

Jul 01, 2017 07:47 AM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Great insights, thanks Greg Mona! We'd love to use this content in an upcoming Best Practices Guide we are creating on this same topic. We'll of course credit your name and photo alongside your entry -- is that okay with you? Active Rain has generously agreed to offer 2,000 additional points to anyone who is featured in the PDF. Let us know -- Thanks again!

Jul 21, 2017 12:59 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker



    Be sure to read the "prequel" in the closing sentences of this comment.

     How do I "stand out" when I am competing with several other Brokers who are trying to get a listing?  Why do Sellers choose me over the other Agents?

     I use what some would the "Dale Carnegie" method of engaging a potential client.  Starting not with their property, but with their name:  

      "The Public Record shows John Doe and Jane Doe as the owner of this house.  Is that your correct legal name?  Do you like to be called John, or do you prefer to be addressed as Dr. Doe or Mr. Doe?"

    I LISTEN to their answer, and make a hand-written note of their name, and repeat it back to them.

   Then, more about them:  "The record shows that you bought this house in 1999, for X dollars.  Tell me about that time, when you bought the house."

  Again, I LISTEN.  I make more hand-written notes.

   Then, more about them, this time what they want to achieve:

    "You said you want to sell the house, that is obvious, but tell me what you want to do, what you are trying to achieve, what your plans are..."

  I LISTEN some more.  I take some more hand-written notes.

    "Now, could you show me your house?"

  I LISTEN and ask questions while they give me the Tour, both inside the house and in the yard.

   "John and Jane, you know that every credible Real Estate Broker is going to take professional photos, and put your house on Zillow and Realtor.com and other websites.  Everyone will put you in the MLS.  Those things are a given; I am no exception.  Let me share with you, on this Listing Agreement, how we will address the commission, what if I sell the house and no other company is involved (do you still have to pay the entire commission?)  And, what if you change your mind?  Several companies will charge you a significant fee; you can see it here on this line on the Listing Contract.  Some companies won't let you back out at all.  Let me tell you what my company does."

    Then we agree on the price.  Now I hand them the pen. 

    "When I get back to my desk, I will start the wheels turning to get your house sold. I will call my photographer, I will upload everything else to the MLS (it will go live as soon as the photos come in, probably tomorrow or the day after tomorrow).   Thank you!"


    Let me add a "prequel" to my comments above:

 I arrive on time.  A few minutes early.

 I arrive impeccably dressed, and well-groomed.  I park in front of their house, not in the driveway.

  I have with me a still camera, a video camera, and a laptop with a wireless hotspot.  I have all of the recent comps, neighborhood data, etc. both printed out AND opened in windows on the laptop.  I also have windows open for their property as it shows (now) on Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia.  

    I have an HP 12C financial calculator.  I have a folder with all of the necessary forms and disclosures (we can do it online with Form Simplicity, but what if they are tech-challenged, or what if the Internet goes down?).  I have a couple of blank legal pads (one for me, one for them) with ballpoint pens (all with my company name on them).  I have tape measures, both laser and old-fashioned metal. There is a sign in my trunk, and a lockbox.  I have all of the TOOLS necessary. 

   WHEN I ARRIVE, after pleasantries are exchanged, I lay the Lockbox and the forms folder on the table.  I set down the legal pads, and the pens.  I put a mostly-completed LISTING CONTRACT on the table in plain sight.

 Then the Listening Session begins!

Jul 01, 2017 08:28 AM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

What a wealth of info, thanks Fred Griffin! We'd love to include your ideas in an eBook // Guide we are creating on this topic. We'd feature your content, name and photo as credit to you -- and Active Rain has generously agreed to offer 2,000 additional points to anyone who is featured in the PDF. Let us know if that would be okay with you -- Thanks again!

Jul 21, 2017 01:00 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate

I would be honored for you to include my remarks, thank you.

Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc. 

Jul 24, 2017 08:41 AM
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

Contest Entry:

I approach the sellers as being their trusted adviser. I'm not there to tell them what to do, but to advise them in the best approach to take, the most likely price that the home will sell for, the most effective things they can do to present the home in the best possible light and with each recommendation, I ask them if that makes sense. Of course that is after I ask lots of questions to find out what their motivation is and what their expectations and past experience is, which I incorporate into my recommendations. If everything makes sense to them, there is no reason for them not to work with me. 

Jul 03, 2017 06:45 AM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Fantastic, thanks Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA! Would you be okay with us featuring your ideas in an upcoming Best Practices guide we are creating?

We'd include your name and photo as credit. Active Rain has generously agreed to offer 2,000 additional points to anyone who is featured in the PDF. Let us know if this would work for you -- Thanks again!

Jul 21, 2017 01:01 PM
Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC
Everything Pines Partners, LLC. - Whispering Pines, NC

1.  We come prepared with a 3-ring listing binder with all the basic information they might like to access after the appointment.  Front and center is an attractive picture of their home basked in a blue sky;

2.  We focus on them and all their objectives of selling;

3.  We discuss Agency and offer a discount if we act as Dual Agents;

4.  We 'put skin in the game" by paying for an appraisal to confirm our price recommendation provided they agree to hire us and list their home no higher than 3% above appraised value and undertake inspections and address major repairs prior to listing;

5.  We show them our typical virtual  tour which takes hours to prepare but usually sells the home;

6.  We are the consistent point of contact so they are not bounced around.

We walk away with every listing and sell them on average in 39 days.

Jul 04, 2017 06:09 AM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Thanks so much for weighing in, Betsy N. Robinson! It sounds like you are ultra-prepared. We would love to include your ideas in an upcoming best practices guide we are creating. We'll include your name and photo, with your permission. Additionally, Active Rain has generously agreed to offer 2,000 additional points to anyone who is featured in the PDF. Let us know if you are okay with this -- Thanks again!

Jul 21, 2017 01:02 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Debe had excellent tips I had not thought of--letting the client feel they are directing them--and then her statements regardng overpricing--thank you!  Will use this !

Jul 04, 2017 09:11 AM
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Contest Entry:


I can start by saying that before I even walk into a Listing Presentation I feel confident in what our company offers sellers. I 100% believe that we are the best, and that no one else in our area compares. That confidence is key, and it showcases your worth and professionalism to potential clients. I also find that confidence can be contagious- it empowers sellers to feel certain that they are making the right decision. 


I am also able to have such confidence because our company works as a team. We communicate, share, and help one another. I am always proud to highlight some of the great details of what makes our team stand out:


1. JDREG has an entire team that will be working for you. Over 35 people will be looking out for your specific needs! This is very different than most real estate brokerages in our area. Each team member has become highly specialized in their area of expertise within our company. Rather than having the usual 1 or 2 people that constantly have to juggle many tasks and calls, each person has gotten very good at keeping only one ball in the air, day after day. This creates an effective system that sells homes.  


2. At JDREG, there are 20+ Buyers Specialists that will focus on your home – we sell 15-20% of our own listings, and most agents sell 1-3%.  


3.     We offer unique features that you will not find anywhere else. We launched our successful Coming Soon program over 2 years ago, and we create custom videos and social media posts daily. We take marketing seriously, and we strive to always find the perfect balance between staying on the cutting edge of new techniques and utilizing the tried and true methods that are proven to sell houses.


A personal touch will always go a long way! We strive to let our clients know that they are taken care of. When you love your job- it shows!

Jul 04, 2017 01:14 PM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Confidence is key! Thanks for sharing your ideas, Joy Daniels. Active Rain is offering an additional 2,000 points to anyone who is featured in an upcoming Best Practices Guide we create on this topic. If we include your name and photo alongside your content, would you be okay with us publishing your tips? Either way, thank you for sharing your insights with us. We loved them!

Jul 21, 2017 01:04 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

CONTEST ENTRY -  There is one thing that definitely sets me apart.  After going through the entire listing presentation that includes comps; how I will market their home; and how long i think it will take to sell I share my unique appraisal knowledge. 

After hosting 3 sets of appraiser courses, I relay how appraisers think and how we will work to get top dollar for their home during the appraisal process.  

Steps include:

Asking them for every improvement made to their home during the last ten years.  This list is itemized by room and with the dollars spent. 

If there are additional features that need to be photographed to highlight an upgrade.  These are captioned in photos and relayed in the public remarks.  

I meet with the appraiser to relay my unique knowledge of the home, producing copies of the contract, disclosures, comps and any data needed as it relates to upgrades and green features.  

Since I specialize in homes with solar panels and green features, I relay my unique knowledge as an instructor, public speaker and certified EcoBroker and NAR GREEN designee to them.  

Due to that extra training I have access to more marketing sites if their home has green features and solar panels.  I focus on marketing those features in a unique way and of course I blog about the home.  

Discovering features and benefits and marketing those unique features will help sell the home for more money.  

So I focus on gaining as much value for their home as possible and using PVValue.com to value solar panels, adding that value to a sales price for OWNED solar panels only.  

I refer them to testomonials on my website www.relocatingtoscottsdale.com displaying reviews from other agents that I've helped with this technique. 

Jul 06, 2017 10:57 AM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Thanks for your entry, Jan Green! We'd love to feature them in an upcoming eBook // best practices PDf we are creating on this topic. (AR has generously agreed to give 2,000 extra points to anyone who is featured, too!) Are you comfortable with us republishing your ideas there? Thanks in advance for letting u know. 

Jul 21, 2017 01:05 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Can graduations to all the winners and positivity to all the ones you didn't win. We are all winners!

Jul 14, 2017 09:53 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

re:  comment #31 above -   I would be honored for you to use my remarks, thank you.

Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc. 

Jul 24, 2017 08:42 AM
Realtor.com® - A division of Move, Inc.

Terrific, thanks Fred Griffin!

Jul 25, 2017 05:42 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Believe in what you do and what you say, look professional, and be professional and loyal to your clients' interest always. 

Sep 30, 2017 11:25 AM