The cost of losing a listing is easily underestimated. Here’s how I see it:
Let’s say your average fee is $10,000
However, the actual cost of losing a listing is four times the fee you would have received.
Cost 1. You don’t get $10,000
Cost 2. You’ve just made a donation of $10,000 to your competitor’s career
Cost 3. You’ve missed the opportunity to attract another 2 listings from nearby sellers who contact the selling agent to get their property on the market.
So that $10,000 opportunity is actually a $40,000 loss.
The reason I’m explaining it this way is to emphasise the importance of getting the listing and a number of factors will come into play that influence your success.
- Pre-existing relationship quality. Communication and quality follow up.
- The effectiveness of your Pre-Listing Kit
- Your Listing Presentation and
- Your closing skills
So let’s talk about closing.
I have a core belief that people WANT to be sold to.
If you’re standing in the kitchen talking about selling their property, the owner is obviously looking for a real estate solution.
So what are you doing to really position yourself as that solution?
The magic leaves with you
When you reach that lovely little moment where you ask the seller to appoint you, what do you say?
I know some agents like to come back for a second visit but I’m not a fan and let me give you five reasons why.
- It’s usually way harder to get that second appointment
- You risk a competitor listing the property in that window between your visits
- When you’ve just delivered a great listing presentation and there’s a nice positive vibe in the air, that my friends is the time to pop the question because when you walk out that front door, the magic leaves with you
- The seller will think you lack courage if you can’t ask to be their agent. They will probably think, if this agent can’t ask me for my business, how are they going to ask a buyer for an offer? Fair point.
- You should be way too busy to waste time on a second visit
If you’re there, here’s a radical idea: LIST the property!
Setting up the close
It’s normally impossible to close until you’ve answered all the seller’s questions and they feel 100% comfortable appointing you as their agent.
I believe this MUST be done during your listing presentation and you do this by having the seller set the agenda for the meeting so they get feedback or answers on the things that are important to them, not to you.
I cover this completely in The Ultimate Listing Presentation. It’s a .pdf and .word so you can add the letters and essentials into your system. You also get an audio file that walks you through the process. I show you how to set up the very best Pre-Listing Kit and when to deliver it. You can get it as part of the bundle at TopAgentsStore.com
The Trial Close
Want to test the water before you ask the BIG question? Try this:
It’s sometimes fun and very interesting to test the water during your presentation. My favourite way to do this involves a repairs or improvement idea.
I love enhancing a property before it hits the market and selling beautiful 1960s apartments in Melbourne’s inner southeast often calls for some fixing up. It might be paint, carpet, floor sanding, tiling in the bathroom or kitchen or just looking for ways to create more light and life.
But no matter where you are, you can usually find some way to enhance a property before it hits the market.
“Mrs Seller, I really think we might benefit from giving the living room a fresh coat of paint. What about I call my painter Mario and get you an estimate? Let’s see what costs are involved before we go ahead”
This is while I’m walking around. I’m not even appointed yet but I’m using “we” like we’re already a team.
If Mrs Seller says “Yes” to this request, chances are she’ll say yes when you ask to be her agent.
If she says “No” you’ve still got some work to do.
The Main Close
Your listing pres is done and the sellers tell you that you’ve answered all their questions. It’s critically important to do this before you say:
“Well Mr and Mrs Seller, are you happy to let me handle things for you?”
“Well Mr and Mrs Seller, I’m ready to get to work if you are.”
The ‘We need to think about it’ close
“Okay no worries. What about we do this. I’m going to go out to my car and make a few calls. Is 20 minutes okay?”
The ‘Not selling yet’ close
“Okay I totally understand. But when the time comes, are you happy for me to be your agent?”
When the seller says “Yes” you look them in the eye, shake their hand and say “Fabulous, I can’t wait to help you achieve a top result”
When you get back to your office you write and mail a card that says:
Dear Mr and Mrs Seller.
Great to meet with you today.
Thank you for appointing me as your agent (When the time comes)
I’ll be in touch.
The photo close
Use this one where there is some resistance and you’ve either been rejected when you asked to be their agent or you just felt you’d get a negative response.
“You have such a great property Mr and Mrs Seller, I’ve got an idea I’d like to run by you. When you’re selling a property, great photos are the most important marketing weapon you have so here’s what I’d like to do. I’d like to bring back our professional photographer and show you just how appealing she will make your property look to buyers. And if you decide to list with another agent, I’d like you to have these professional photos with my compliments”
If the seller says “Yes” to that, they will probably be hiring you. If they say “No” you still have some work to do.
When the seller wants a lower fee (I LOVE the hustle in this)
Never call it commission. To non-agents, commission implies we’re getting something for nothing, where, as we know, we run the risk of working out butts off for no reward if we don’t make a sale.
Call it your Fee For Service
“Mr Seller, I understand you’d like a lower fee but I’m all about adding value. I not only believe I will achieve a better result for you than any other agent, I’d like to write a clause on our listing agreement/authority that says THE SELLER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REGENOTIATE THE AGENT’S FEE AT ANY TIME PRIOR SIGNING THE CONTRACT”
There are numerous fee defense scripts but I have never used anything better than this.
Here’s a quick and important point on the whole fee thing:
I’m all about adding value and I will back myself to produce not only a better result in a reasonable time but a better overall real estate experience for my client.
If I was just the same as every other agent and produced the same result then why the heck would anyone hire me?
My personal branding and marketing mantra is this:
“Mr and Mrs Seller, the thing I love most about real estate is that it has no recommended retail price. I use a system that helps my sellers achieve a superior real estate result. Can I show you how it works??
(I’m talking about the system described in my book, ‘How To Sell Your Home For More.’ Find out more at BestagentsHQ.com)
But, at the end of the day, I’m there to get the listing.
I fully understand that winning the listing is also winning the chance to deprive my competition of a listing and winning the chance to list 2 or more properties around the listing in the coming 12 months.
So before I say “No” to reducing my fee, I need to think very carefully if I’m prepared to take that $40,000 risk.
My advice to you is GET THE LISTING because that’s where the magic happens. 🙂