To Present or Not to Present... I Have My Answer

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

You wanna know the top search term that brings new surfers to my website? Okay, there are two. The first is "New agent announcement letter." The second is "Sample listing presentation."vip

I offer a free sample listing presentation on my website if you join my VIP Lounge (that's free, too). Seems to be a popular item. I'm rather proud of my listing presentation - there's nothing boiler-plate or corporate about it - it's direct and to-the-point, conversational and informative. I've used it, or a similar version for years.

But over the last year or so I've been rethinking the idea of a formal listing presentation (Are listing presentations really necessary... or effective?). I've been experimenting with not doing it and have walked away from my listing appointments much more pleased with myself. But I wasn't sure... for sure.

Well, this last week, I met with a real estate agent in Dothan, Alabama to talk about selling one of my properties (the one where the squatter renter was FINALLY evicted!). She came to the house and asked me to show her around. She asked questions and actually listened to my (sometimes long-winded) answers. She took notes. As we toured, she casually mentioned other homes she'd seen or sold recently that were comparable to mine. Because she knew I was also in the biz, she respectfully asked for my thoughts on a marketing strategy. And listened.

After I was done showing her the house and grounds, she said she wanted to go back to the office and do her homework, now that she'd seen the property. She'd be ready to present her findings the next day if that was okay with me. It was and she did and I hired her.

No presentation. No fancy graphs or charts. No bio, resume or testimonials. Just a subtly demonstrated knowledge of the marketplace, a sincere interest in my situation and a respectful acknowledgment of my intelligence and experience. Had she shown up with a 90-minute formal presentation of how wonderful she was, how awesome her company is and how dangerous it is to OVERPRICE, I'd have tuned her out within 5 minutes.

Do I know her marketing plan? Oops, no, not really. I suppose I could ask and maybe I should. But her non-salespitchy "presentation" made me trust her.

Now, truth be told, this sort of quiet confidence takes awhile to develop. I certainly didn't have it my first year or even my second; maybe even my third. Well, heck, here I am in my 12th year just realizing that I don't need a fancy presentation!

I do believe that the process of creating a formal presentation is good for the soul - it helps you to figure out what you offer and why you're special, and for the times when a seller seems to want something in writing, you have it ready to go. I have much of my presentation available on my website, so sellers can check me out ahead of time or after they've met me.

But during that hour you're meeting with a seller for the first time, it's far more effective to just BE there with them... asking questions, listening to the answers and demonstrating your competence.

So... I have my answer. No More Listing Presentations for me!



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Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Jennifer:  Your post was great, and... so many of the comments following it have some really great ideas, too.  Again, thanks for sharing.

Dec 28, 2008 06:11 AM #32
PJ Belle
Long and Foster - Moneta, VA

Thanks for the listing spin !  I agree with not making it so formal - all sellers are not the same ! 


Do you know of any good FREE website that you can get pics for blogging ect... I have been searching and not coming up with much .  I am always delighted to read your blogs.  Thanks PJ :)

Dec 28, 2008 06:54 AM #33
Tara Camp
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA

Wahoo!  I'm newer to the biz and the thought of having to sit down with someone to give them a spill terrifies me, as I pretty easy going, and don't care for the stuffiness.  I do have a presentation to leave with them, but I have them look over it & get back to me with questions.  It's worked so far, but it's good to hear from a veteran agent.

I like the idea of a prelisting presentation.  I'll check yours out!

Thanks again.

Happy New Year!

Dec 28, 2008 07:33 AM #34
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Jennifer - I have an online marketing presentation that I sometimes email to them - it has links to sites I use, etc.

I do best when I have a computer in front of me, theirs or mine, and start googling keywords - they are usually impressed with the first page Google results.

One time I logged on to AR and just started writing their listing blog - showed them how quickly they would be on the internet...they couldn't wait to sign the listing agreement.

Dec 28, 2008 08:20 AM #35
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I would be interested in who chose the price with you being in the biz. Also let's see how quick it sells. I find that no matter how I teach new agents that price is the ultimate king, they give into overpricing and and always gets the listing. With our program and marketing I still think we would get less listings but more would sell.

Dec 28, 2008 08:46 AM #36
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Charles - to satisfy your curiosity - I choose the price - $15k LOWER than she recommended!

Dec 28, 2008 08:56 AM #37
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

Jennifer, you rock!  I like the idea of having all of the information about what I do and how I do it available for them to read at their leisure rather than trying to cram it all in during an appointment. 

Thanks so much for making all of that knowledge in your head available to the rest of us.  You're a good woman and I hope your house sells above list.

Dec 28, 2008 12:16 PM #38
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Since "presenting" anything has never been my strong suit, I never have done a formal presentation.  Not because it was necessarily a great or smart approach (although I have come to believe it is) but simply because it wasn't my style and I knew I would not come across well.

I do leave something behind, though, to satisfy those folks who feel the need to have "something" tangible.  ;-)   And that "something" was modified extensively after joining the VIP Lounge.  It's great stuff.

Dec 29, 2008 01:34 AM #39
Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty- Massachusetts Short Sales & Residential Sales - Tewksbury, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

I use a professional looking marketing plan.  It needs to be fast and effective and you need to pay attention to the customer.  If they are bored move on.

Dec 29, 2008 01:48 AM #40
Pat Argo
Keller Williams Realty of Brevard - Titusville, FL

     Awesome post Jennifer!. I have done it just about every way myself, and the conversational approach usually works best! But it always helps to ask a few questions before you get there so you can indeed be prepared!

     I participated in a Scripting Blitz this morning. I will admit I have been feeling kinda rusty in the language of real estate department after taking the better part of a year off. And most of my recent business is from referral or sphere so a presentation was generally not needed. It did however prove out a theory one of my MAPS Coach's (Kate Putukski) said to me. "All you have ever learned is up there in your head and just know that it will come to you when you need it."  I think I did pretty good!

     For newbies, you need to get into practice. When I started (long before all this training stuff!) my first broker told me to go out and "practice" on FSBO's and Expireds! So I would review a script after I got my kids off to school, then out the door I went. I actually think being new was an asset then because it seemed like lots of them wanted to help me!

Dec 29, 2008 01:58 AM #41
Larry Bergstrom
Crescent Realty, Inc. Spanaway, WA. - Spanaway, WA

Listening is always the key. That's why you have 2 ears and only 1 mouth.

Dec 29, 2008 04:32 AM #42
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

listing presentations can often turn into a one-way conversation which does not benefit the seller at all.  I like your idea.  People often choose agents because they connect with them, trust them, and feel heard.

Dec 29, 2008 04:50 AM #43
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I had to sit through a sales pitch today by a replacement window guy (my buyer wanted to meet with him at the house we're U/C on) and UGH!!! I hated it! And, it was very much like the traditional dog & pony show of a real estate listing presentation, complete with graphics, flip charts, testimonials and bragging rights. My buyer just wanted someone to come in and say he could "take care of it and here's how much it will cost" and instead, had to endure a very much unwanted presentation. About 45 minutes into it, my buyer said he had to leave for work and it was ANOTHER 45 minutes before we got out of there. The guy was so committed to his presentation, he didn't seem to know how to stop, even as my buyer was walking out the door. I had to listen to another 15 minutes of the pitch so I could lock up the house!

Dec 29, 2008 07:01 AM #44
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate

That's more in line with how I think it should go.  Are you willing to share what information she came back with?  Maybe some of the crucial stuff you really wanted to know.

Dec 29, 2008 07:20 AM #45
Heather Oberhau
Prudential Fox & Roach - Newtown, PA
Bucks County Real Estate, e-PRO

I'm going to copy and paste my response from Jennifer's forum here:

I've found that any time I've over-prepared (for the communication aspect, not my market analysis) I've bungled it.  I don't think I've ever gotten a listing where I've gone in armed with my CMA and done a "listing presentation" that I sit down and work my way through.  I'm sure my presentation is off, but I feel funny sitting in someone's home, where they raised their children and celebrated their holidays, and making a presentation like I'm in a board meeting.

I think it's a mistake to look at a listing as "business to be won" as if you were in the corporate world.  It's a much more personal transaction and people want you to recognize that.  You can still be professional without a presentation.

Dec 29, 2008 07:20 AM #46
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Bravo, Heather! I can't for the life of me understand how it took me so long to see this. And I love your comment about not looking at it as "business to be won." I like to look at a listing presentation (to use the term loosely) as an opportunity to see if I can help. If I can, great. If not, I'm fine with that, too.

Dec 29, 2008 07:24 AM #47
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Over the years, instead of creating more pages, I have simplified my presentation. What I go over with them is my marketing plan (how I plan to execute the plan of attack) with actual plans - they get amazed with the work that's already done - ie flyers, etc... Then I also showed them a couple of marketing plans that I had used in the past to sell some homes and why it worked.

I think that's all Sellers care anyways.

Since BB taught me about the MLS data sheet, I also go prepared with them but I dont go through every single one. I have them just in case. I show them the suggested price range, how I came up with the numbers. They usually are curious.

Then of course, I wont let the stuff I've worked on over the years into perfection wasted away like that. I have them in a folder to leave with them when I go (for their reading pleasure if they cant sleep at night).

This method seems to work for me.

Dec 30, 2008 02:30 PM #48
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Confidence is everything!  I kept thinging "2 ears and one mouth" as I read this.  The presentation should be about the house, and the seller, Not about You!  but you should have the back up charts and goodies if they ask...

Dec 31, 2008 02:00 AM #49
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I have come back to your post after trying several different models and finally come up with one leading more to educating than presenting.

Aug 04, 2009 03:29 PM #50
Brandon DeVere
Force Realty - Las Vegas, NV

This is good. I typically run into a couple diffrent types of sellers and a listing presentation is a waste of time. The seller who say "how much can I get" just wants you to give the highest number. However there are a few sellers out there that are old school and they want the works(including the LP).  

Dec 29, 2010 06:25 PM #51
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