Do you want to become a power listing expert who’s able to take on and successfully close dozens (or even 100+ listings) in a year?
That’s a trick question. Who wouldn’t want to experience the success, prestige and financial rewards that come along with being able to turn over more properties in shorter periods of time?!
The thing is, though – it’s not necessarily about you. You can study your markets and practice real estate scripts until you’re blue in the face, but this might not be enough to boost your business to the upper echelon of agents. And if it’s not about you, it has to be about the other person involved in the real estate transaction – the seller!
Knowing what makes a good seller and what makes these people tick is the key to becoming a listing expert. When you’re able to filter out the right sellers to work with and to answer their questions in a way that builds their confidence in your ability to sell their homes, you’ll see an immediate improvement in your ability to move properties and pick up commission checks.
That said, here’s what you need to know about working effectively with today’s sellers:
Say you want to sell more homes. The obvious way to go about doing that is to get more listings – right?
Well, yes and no. While being able to secure listings is important, it’s the type of listing you secure that will make a bigger difference in your ability to become a listing expert!
Think about it for a second… Say you go out and sign contracts on dozens of different listings, but none of the sellers you’ve signed with are really driven to sell. They’re all dragging their feet and telling you things like, “Well, we’re willing to hold out for the right buyer…” While you may have tons of new listings in your portfolio, the odds that you’ll be able to close any of them significantly go down due to one factor – motivation.
See, a seller isn’t really a “seller” unless he or she actually wants to sell the house! The process of selling a house can be stressful and time-consuming, so unless you’re working with sellers who are actively motivated to close the deal, you’re going to have a tough time moving properties. As a result, being able to identify and to choose to work with these motivated sellers is one of the most important parts of becoming a listing expert.
Of course, being able to weed the motivated sellers from the tire-kickers isn’t the only thing you need to be successful. You also need to be able to clear their first hurdle – the question of, “What are you going to do differently to market my house?”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret here… Sellers don’t want to hear about your 28-step marketing plan or about your time-tested print advertising strategy. They’re really only concerned about one thing – results.
The problem is, sellers don’t know how to determine whether or not you’ll get them results. In a way, we’ve trained them to ask about things like marketing strategies because, historically, agents haven’t been good about understanding what sellers are really asking for. You wouldn’t see these people interrogating their auto mechanics or their dentists over how they do their jobs – but when it comes to realtors, the question is fair game.
The solution to this issue is simple. When a potential seller asks what you’re going to do to get the property sold, don’t hem and haw over marketing strategies and promotions. Instead, say, “I’m going to sell your home in the least amount of time possible and with the least amount of hassle necessary in order to put the most money in your pocket.”
It’s a simple, elegant way to demonstrate your confidence in your own abilities and to answer the seller’s unasked question.
Now, obviously, the answer to this question is that sellers need you to sell their homes – after all, that’s why they hired you in the first place.
But it’s more than that. Sellers care about the people they work with, and the one thing they need to hear from you is the truth. If you want to be a true, top-shelf professional, you have to care enough about your clients’ best interests enough to tell them the truth – whether on the best pricing strategies or the best way to market their homes.
You and I both know that pricing a home right from the start is the most important thing we can do to get homes sold quickly. It doesn’t matter how prestigious the neighborhood is or how well decorated the home is – if it isn’t priced right, it isn’t going to move.
So why do so many of us hedge and cater to sellers’ whims when it comes to setting prices that aren’t in-line with market realities? Yes, it can be tempting to give in on pricing discussions in order to minimize uncomfortable situations, but this is little better than lying. Your clients deserve to hear the truth from you – otherwise, you aren’t truly serving their best interests as a real estate agent.
And, as an added bonus, if you’re able to clearly communicate the truth about home marketing and pricing in a way your sellers understand, every listing you take on will sell because you’re able to price it right from the start. It’s a win for you and a win for your clients – and it all comes down to telling the truth from the start.
At the end of the day, real estate isn’t complicated. The better you’re able to prioritize working with motivated sellers and to ensure their confidence in your abilities, the more likely you’ll be to reach the ranks of the new listing experts.