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A Game of Inches Part 2: Listing Presentation Challenge with John McGrath and Monika Tu

In the first week of the Transform 2017 challenge, John McGrath told our #Supersix that “listing is a game of inches” and “you don’t get paid for second place”. What better way to challenge our transformers this year than by asking them to present to him alongside Monika Tu of Black Diamondz in the roles of ‘Mr and Mrs Vendor’.

Week 10 mentor and Elite Agent regular Jet Xavier caught up with them just before the start of the challenge to find out from these two industry greats what really gives an agent the edge in a listing presentation.

Jet: Once the listing presentation’s over, when do you think an agent should follow up?

Monika: I think the agent should follow up straightaway. Just say, ‘Hello, thank you very much for letting us through your door.’ I feel like a lot agents are really pushy: do a quick deal, close the deal and move on. So just show appreciation. If you can afford it, send a bunch of flowers or a personalised card; this is what we’re seeing in the market. It’s a personalised service. Another mistake people should avoid is never criticise another agent. Let the vendor judge who is the best person to represent their property.

John: I think speed of follow-up is important. If someone’s met four agents, and then they get a handwritten card dropped in their mailbox overnight saying ‘Thank you’ and the same agent texts them the next morning saying, ‘If you have any other questions I’m available till 10 am.’…

You can email, you can text, you can call, you can drop a note. A handwritten note is always nice. Or a gift, as Monika said. There are so many different ways. You don’t want to appear overly aggressive, so it has to be done stylishly. Speed is important, because that might put you ahead. This is a game of inches, nowadays.

Jet: When is a good time in a listing presentation to discuss the commission?

Monika: Anytime is a good time. For us, it’s on the second time we go through the door, because commission is really important for the agent and the vendor will appreciate that. [They’ll realise that] the way you negotiate your commission promptly is the way you negotiate their selling price.

John: Yeah, I think most vendors don’t want to jump into that straightaway, because they want to know more about you; and to be quite honest, if they’re not going to see you, they probably don’t even need to go there. So I think there’s generally a natural point in a listing presentation where you get through it and it looks like you’re in the running and you start closing. You say, ‘Well, Jet, how does that feel to you? Do you feel like this would be a plan that you’d like to work towards with me?’

And yeah, don’t hide it, I agree – but I don’t think you need to make it upfront. [Don’t] punch them on the nose and say, ‘Oh, by the way, I’m two and a half per cent’, because you probably haven’t earned the right at that point.

Jet: If you had 15 minutes each for a listing presentation, what would be the key things you would focus on?

Monika: Fifteen minutes for me is really short, because I can talk forever!… Probably present yourself. Who you are, why you’re different from others. I think that’s enough for me to win a listing, because you have to [show] why you’re different from other agents, not just talk about it.

John: It would depend on how much I knew already. If I didn’t know much I’d be wanting to start with, ‘Tell me a bit how you’re feeling,’ so they know a bit about the process. But assuming that we’ve already been through that and I had a limited pitch time – yeah, points of difference. Because there’s no point going through the same stuff that everyone goes through. What is your unique selling proposition? Something you offer that probably they haven’t heard yet. And that really should be a separator.

Jet: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Last question for you guys. Thanks for your time. What are you looking for in these guys today?

Monika: I just had a brief chat with a few of them. I think, again, point of difference, and how they can actually service. What service they provide to the vendors? Rather than their selling skills and how hungry they are. Because if it’s my property, I want to see how many listings they have at the time, and how much time they can give to my properties, and the strategies of how they can market my property.

John: I agree with all of that, and I’d just add authenticity.  I’d like to think that they can rise above all those nerves and still show who they are as an individual. That’ll be interesting.

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