Getting More Listings: An Agent’s Bread and Butter

Here is the latest in a series of occasional “Best Practices” articles by NSDCAR members on upcoming educational classes. Tom Stamos is one of the instructors for the 2018 NSDCAR New Agent Series, a series of nine classes which begins Tuesday, July 24. Dates for the classes are July 24, 30 and August 6, 13. Classes will be held at NSDCAR’s Vista Service Center, 906 Sycamore Ave., Vista.

I’m looking forward to my participation in the 2018 NSDCAR New Agent Series, which can be helpful to any REALTOR® of any experience level. Any of the nine classes will be filled with the foundational basics for success in real estate. I will be sharing ideas and my experience about residential listing presentations and listing agreements. The intention for my class will be to provide valuable information to help our members succeed as REALTORS®.

Of first importance, it’s critical to start with professionalism. Commit yourself to integrity, full disclosure and constant and clear communication. Also, have the mindset that you are the best agent for the job. A good way to get get rid of the fear of failure is to never compare yourself to anybody else. Practice will instill confidence.

While there are many avenues to be successful in a real estate career, listings are the life blood of a REALTOR® and the most effective way to a successful, sustainable real estate career. Listings attract other listings, as well as buyers and referrals when you do your job right.

Even before you get a listing, have a system in place. A typical listing system includes background information, an optional pre-listing package and a listing presentation. Don’t forget to follow-up.

Your background info should include a realist search. Find out who’s on the title, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, when did they buy, mortgage info, etc. Also drive by the property the get to know the neighborhood. Find out if the property is located near a school or whether it’s on a cul-de-sac and does it have a view. As part of your research, perform a preliminary market analysis to get an idea of possible value of the home.

A pre-listing package should include anything that highlights your strengthens and positions you as a real estate expert. Contents can include a cover letter, personal bio, copies of news stories about you to reinforce credibility, information about awards you’ve won, company information and testimonials from satisfied clients. You might also include a detailed CMA, marketing plan and info about preparing the house for sale.

At your initial contact, be relaxed, upbeat, confident and curious. Dress for success. Park across the street, not in the driveway. Find out as much as you can prior to the in-person meeting. Find out their motivation, reasonableness, expectations, knowledge of the market and level of cooperation. A listing interview form may be helpful, but don’t interrogate them.

At your listing presentation, the key is to listen, learn and take control. When greeted and enter the home, go to the kitchen or dining room table and ask if you can place your materials there. There’s where you ideally want to work. Ask for a home tour. Ask them to mention any upgrades and point out things they really like about their home. Also ask them to point out any issues with the home. Acknowledge the good with praise and withhold any judgment for the bad.

When done with the home tour and you’re sitting at the kitchen table, ask if they have any questions before you write up the listing agreement. Don’t talk too much or you’ll lose their interest and risk losing the listing. Many agents spend too much time talking and giving prospects reasons NOT to do business with them. If you talk too much, agents can bring up more questions about themselves than answers.

A prospect’s reaction to a trial close will give you an indication of how much in depth you need to go and if they’re ready to sign on the dotted line. Engage them with open-ended questions, such as “What do you think of that?” Ask more questions to dig deeper for true motivations. Be prepared for anything, but only cover what you really need to. This is when knowing your prospect’s motivation, market conditions and your selling system comes in handy. Present only what you need to present.

Most sellers are looking for the highest possible price and closing at the right time with fewest possible problems. They want to know why you are the best agent to accomplish their objectives while meeting their goals. If you can show the sellers that you can handle every aspect of the transaction, then they’ll hire you on the spot.

REALTORS® should keep in mind that while clients might be interviewing you, you should also be interviewing them. We are real estate experts on behalf of our clients. There are many pitfalls in the marathon race of life, so we should enjoy our work and live an abundant life. Your work and your worth are two different things. So, it’s important to realize that we have the choice to pick and choose our clients, as well. If you see red flags and hazard signs, then you should probably take a detour.

It’s also important to continually learn from your experiences. Improve and tweak your systems after every listing appointment if necessary. More will be shared at the class. Join us. I hope to see you then.

Tom Stamos, is in his 18th year as a member of NSDCAR, was the 2013 NSDCAR REALTOR® of the Year. He currently serves as a member of the NSDCAR Professional Standards Committee and holds a Risk Mitigation Specialist professional designation. A former owner and operator of a local brokerage, Stamos is currently the local managing broker of a national brokerage.

“The key is to listen, learn and take control.”

By Tom Stamos