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A Game of Inches Part 1: 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 Xavier: What makes a world class listing presentation for you both?

Monika Tu: For me, it’s all about preparation. And professionalism. I want to see the agent absolutely keen and somebody I can have a really good rapport with.

John McGrath: I agree. I think when you present to someone, you want to move them. They’ve got to feel something, because everyone today in real estate is going to be probably somewhere between good and exceptional – just being a good, confident agent doesn’t cut it any more.

You need to be able to move people and excite them to want to work with you.

I think the other thing for me is authenticity. There’s too many wind-up robots. That’s one of the things, Monika, I’ve always loved about your approach. It’s so natural and authentic, which is I’m sure one of the great reasons you’re successful. And yet, so many agents I see, they’re kind of … They’re like robots.

Jet: Is there some sort of process or sequence that makes a good listing presentation?

Monika: I believe so. I think there’s always a process and a sequence. That’s what we’re talking about – preparation. So ‘Why are you different from other agents? What is your strategy? What’s the best price you’d give me as a vendor?’ You know, so there’s always a process.

John: It should feel invisible. It shouldn’t feel like it’s a clunky, segmented meeting. It should flow, but I think you need to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Listening is key. Too many agents, all they want to do is tell you how good they are. You need to bring out from a vendor what are the important elements so you can know how to sell to them.

Jet: On that note, do you have any tips on building rapport?

Monika: Like John said, I think listening. I listen, and I really try to understand where the person is coming from. Why they want us to be here. I think that’s my key for winning a listing.

John: Yeah, I agree. Active listening. It’s not just waiting to speak, which a lot of people think is listening. It’s really checking, re-summarising. ‘So, Jet, when you say that, do you mean…? What more can you tell me about that?’ Digging deeper. Getting really into the conversation, genuinely, authentically. Ask meaningful questions, and listen, not just to the real answers but the body language. Because you might ask a question and get a verbal response, but the body language might not be consistent. And I think just being likeable, you know. Being a nice person. If you’re authentic, I think people genuinely like you.

Jet: What do you notice first about an agent? What usually stands out?

John: It sounds obvious, but first impressions. Have they arrived organised? How do they look? What’s their demeanour? What’s their body language? I think, whether we like it or not, we all make judgements based on the things we see – some of which, to be quite honest, Jet, are fairly superficial. It doesn’t mean they’ve got to look like a Hollywood movie star, but it tells you whether or not they’re organised and they look after themselves. If they can look after themselves, then maybe they can look after your sale.

Monika: For me, first impressions are really important as well. Again, you know, it’s about the person’s attention to detail. The way they dress, and the way they are prepared. Are they really keen to have my listing? That it’s not just one of many listings they are managing. How much effort will they make for me?

John: It’s all about energy. What is the energy of the person? And it doesn’t have to be over the top. In fact, I don’t think it should be over the top, but there needs to be a certain energy that feels confident, relaxed, calm, enthusiastic.

Jet: You bring up a good point. The first impression tells you a lot about the rest of the presentation, doesn’t it?

John: I think the challenge, Jet, is that if you screw the first impression up it’s very hard to come back from there. Because a lot of people switch off, and they’re just waiting. ‘How quickly can I get you out of here without feeling too rude?’ Whereas, if the first impression is ‘Wow, they’re punctual, they look good, they look organised and the first few things they say feel good,’ you’re on a really good track. Then they want to like you more. But if you do or say something initially that puts them off, it’s hard to come back.

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