As real estate agents, we all know that errors can be costly. Small mistakes can cause us to lose clients, listings, commissions and even the reputation we’ve worked so hard to build. The problem is that many of us only identify our mistakes long after the damage has been done. But it doesn’t have to be that way, as Adam Flynn explains.
After entering the industry at the tender age of 18 and working my way from Sales Assistant to CEO over the last 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to experience a number of major industry changes and learn exactly what it takes to grow a successful business.
I learned very early on that the key to succeeding in this business is to win listings. However, after more than two decades, I still see agents making the same old mistakes – mistakes that hurt their business and brand in the marketplace.
Here are the five most common errors I see agents making that cost them listings, and therefore the opportunity to grow their business, on a regular basis.
1. UNDERESTIMATING THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LISTING PRESENTATION
The listing presentation is typically the point at which the seller will decide whether they’ll list with you or give their business to your competitor, and yet I continuously observe agents underestimating its importance. Simple errors are consistently made, such as not turning up on time, not having done research beforehand and not positioning yourself as the expert – all errors which reduce the likelihood of the vendor selecting you to represent them.
If you choose to perfect any part of your role as an agent, choose the listing presentation. Knocking this out of the park each and every time is going to contribute a great deal to your overall success.
2. NO STRUCTURED LISTING PRESENTATION
I frequently observe agents delivering listing presentations with only a vague plan in mind, which I view as a huge mistake. If you fail to plan your presentation adequately, you’re essentially flying blind.
Systemise your presentation and break it down into different steps. Think about the initial phone call and draft a spiel to follow. Plan the actual presentation itself. Think about what you’ll say and when. Prepare some case studies of comparable clients. And, most importantly, test and measure your results. Even the slightest alteration can have far-reaching consequences.
3. BUILDING RAPPORT THE WRONG WAY
Building rapport with customers is important, but so often I see agents going about it the wrong way. Rookie agents assume they need to make friends with the vendor and engage them in a lengthy, non-real estate-related conversation in order to gain their trust. However, I believe that’s a strategy only the unconfident and inexperienced employ.
Vendors aren’t looking for a friend – they want to know that you are the best person for the job. Stop wasting your time and theirs on irrelevant small talk and start communicating how your expertise will help them sell their home. If the conversation isn’t about their property, you aren’t offering them any real value.
4. FAILURE TO DISPLAY PROFESSIONALISM
If you think it doesn’t matter if you’re a few minutes late to an appointment, think again. Arriving late, failing to return phone calls or letting your grooming slip communicates to vendors a lack of professionalism and they may start to see you as less than capable of handling their sale. It’s the little details like this that can alter a potential customer’s opinion of you, so don’t give them reason to take their business elsewhere.
5. FOCUSING ON PRICE AS OPPOSED TO STRATEGY
Want to know the biggest error rookies make? Their entire game plan is based around the fee they charge, as opposed to focusing on the strategy they will adopt to achieve the best possible sale price for the vendor. The fact is anyone can offer a lower fee, but will it help you become a better agent and build your brand presence over time? Not a chance.
In order to really succeed in this increasingly competitive industry, I believe it’s necessary to devise a carefully considered strategy which will simultaneously help you increase your listing conversion rate and positively represent your brand and ability in the marketplace.