At the beginning of the year I joined Toastmasters. With the growth of Rent360 I am having to present to advisory boards, investors and so on; I wanted to be able to think faster on my feet and be comfortable getting up and speaking clearly and convincingly, whether it be in front of one or 500 people.
Recently I had to give a Toastmasters presentation where my four main goals were to inform, persuade, entertain and inspire. Interestingly, these are four criteria that I think all good listing presentations should meet. When I was a BDM I had a set structure but would always tailor my presentation to my audience, and the key here was to ask questions beforehand so I understood what was important to them.
It will come as no great surprise to anyone that property investors are more savvy and knowledgeable than ever before.
Informing them of what is happening in the local marketplace and giving them relevant insight into what they can do to get the most out of their investment really means you need to be constantly updating your knowledge base and educating yourself – not only on what the rental market is doing but also what is happening with contribution factors like interest rates, and legislative and government policy changes.
Subscribe to industry blogs, local and national news forums, and attend events that bring like-minded people together so you can learn from your peers.
Let’s face it, you are there to win the business. Your aim is to persuade that investor that you, above all others, are the best person to look after what could be their most valuable asset. So how do you persuade someone?
Basically, you need to get that investor to believe in you. So know your stuff and, if you don’t know the answer to something, then tell them that. Let them know when you will get back to them with the answer and make sure you follow through. Do your research before you go into the property; be on time and be prepared. Sort your energy out, be genuine and be confident.
All of this in concert will get you a long way in convincing the investor that you and what you represent are the best choice for them. If you like to read, Influence by Robert B. Cialdini is a good book on this subject.
People do business with people they like. I am not suggesting you go into the presentation with your best ‘an Irishman, an Englishman and a Jamaican walk into a bar’ joke, but it helps to have an air of calm about you that relaxes the other person and allows your personality to shine through.
Real estate is a people game, and the type of person you are is just as important in showing how you will ensure their investment property is taken care of. If you can make someone laugh, it is far more likely that they will remember you.
Storytelling is an important art form in new business. Being able to recall events where you had a great outcome with a similar property to theirs, or a near disaster just up the road that you were able to salvage in the nick of time, all goes towards you creating a bond with the investor. Facts and figures are important, but for a successful presentation you need to pepper these with your own insights and observations.
For me, this is also about ‘wowing’ someone. You’ll know when you have come away from meeting someone, whether in a professional or personal capacity, and you feel inspired. They introduce themselves with a warm smile and a solid handshake. They are confident but not cocky. You feel that they have listened and understood you. They are knowledgeable, but don’t make you feel inept. And the biggest win is when you never feel like you were being sold to but you want to give them your business.
It takes time and practice to master all of this, but with commitment to your craft and a willingness to invest and improve yourself you will get there. Look for external resources to help you with this, like Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss; and if you can get a mentor they will be an invaluable support to run ideas past and roleplay with.
It’s normal to be a bit nervous before any new business activity, and that’s okay because it means that you care. Looking for ways to get better at what you do will make you invaluable to any organisation you work for, and put you head and shoulders above your competition if you work for yourself.
Whatever you do, do not become complacent because I assure you your competition is surging forward.
In our organisation we provide regular training and encourage our property manages to join webinars and attend events so they are continually extending their knowledge and themselves.
Effortlessly presenting to inform, persuade, entertain and inspire people does not come naturally to most people, but is something that anyone can learn. With practice comes improvement, and the more business you win the more you will love what you do. And surely that is the most powerful and important criteria for everyone.