Reflecting back on the winter Olympics I was constantly reminded of how close the competition is at high levels of sport and how it is so close sometimes at high levels in real estate. The little things in an athletes performances means the difference between winning a medal and going home empty handed. The devil is in the details and the little activities of the process with buyers and sellers as well and makes the big difference if the agent wins the listing or loses a bona fide buyer. Knowing the process that high performing agents use every time to win a listing or to win a bona fide buyers commitment is how any agent can compete at that higher level and reach the real estate medal podium. So let’s take a look at this high level performance and what it is they do.
The Pre Appointment Process
1.) Every top performing agent has consistent prospecting and lead generation activities and processes that generate them buyer and seller leads. I would suggest if an agent does not have a large enough lead stream if they are not generating leads from at least 4-6 lead generating funnels then it is not enough. Most top performing agents have 10-20 funnels at one time generating them buyer and seller leads.
2.) The next important step in the process is the top performing agents skill and ability to convert their leads to a face to face appointment. So many agents just give out information or talk about themselves or what they will do but they just burn through the leads and can’t get the appointment. The top agents know how to engage and grab the prospects attention. Sales is about creating awareness for the consumer about the challenges and fears they face in today’s market place and to let them know you have the solutions to their challenges and all we need to do is get together. For example they can’t find what they want to buy, when they find something it may already be pending or sold, market is moving too quickly no time make decisions, list their home and sell fast and they are homeless, can’t buy until they sell and get the equity out, can’t net enough money to buy again..
3.) Once the agent has secured the appointment then they always make a courtesy call prior to their appointment and confirm the appointment date and time still works for their client.
4.) While they call to confirm that appointment they ask the client “While I have you on the phone could I ask you a few questions?” The agent then takes this opportunity to ask all their pre appointment questions, they have to discover a ton of great information prior to meeting the client. (click to download pre appointment questionnaire ) If you sense the client resisting a bit to the questions then use a shorter version to get through this quicker.
5.) At the end of the pre appointment questioning the agent advises the client they are delivering them a pre listing package (Informed Home Sellers) or pre buyer package (Informed Home Buyer) to them prior to the appointment and could they take the time to review the package.
This process allows you to win their business before you even meet them. It allows you to stand out from your competition and be a lot like no other agent with your process! Let’s look at the actual appointment process.
1. I am a huge fan of the 2 stop process. The first step to your initial meeting is to take as long as you need to get them to like, trust and connect with you. The simplest way to do this is to use the FORD technique. Ask them about their FAMILY, OCCUPATION, RECREATION, DREAMS. Wait until you find a common connection before moving on to the next step.
2. Once we have that connection we need to take them on a Safe Island. Everyone wants to know what we are going to do and talk about before we actually do it. We let them know what is going to happen before it happens and this completely puts the client at ease.
3. Once they are at ease we then ask them our pre written, pre-planned questions that help us identify their TIMING, MOTIVATION and SITUATION.
4. We then ask our clients to show us their home the way they want us to show their home to perspective buyers and take the tour of their home.
5. We then recap and summarize all the things we heard from our questioning and touring of their home and make them feel that we didn’t miss a thing.
6. We then educate them and explain to them all the things involved in our pricing process to ensure they don’t think we just go back to the office and push a button on a computer and out comes their price.
7. We then confirm our next appointment and ensure all parties on title and decision makers are going to be present.
8. Before we leave we educate them on the benefits to them of a 2 stop vs. a 1 stop process and ask them to wait to meet with you before making any decisions.
9. We come back for the second appointment and begin with small talk and take time to just visit. You could even recap the highlights from the first appointment and even get them to tour you around the property a second time. Don’t just jump right into business.
10. Once the time is right we then do our presentation and remember it is show time. We always want to explain to them the benefits to them of our presentation. How they now can hold us accountable, identify the difference in marketing plans and get to see the what is happening behind the scenes. Remember the listing presentation should only be 22 minutes in length due to the average adults attention span and declining every day.
11. After we present, we close by asking this question: “If we can agree on price, do you see any reason why you wouldn’t list your home today with me and my company?”
12. If they want to do business with you then we lead into our pricing presentation.
13. We get them to pick their listing price, sign all the paperwork and then we pack up and get out. Never get caught talking too much and un-selling the sale.
14. On the first day of their listing I always deliver a bouquet of flowers.
15. We also deliver an in depth package of information about their home to leave on the dining room table for the selling agents and their buyers to be better informed. ( click on link to download Sellers Homework Package)
So there you have it. An award winning process for dealing with a seller and listing their property. Feel free to comment below and share any other powerful activities you might use with your process. I would love to hear them all!
Strength and courage,