How many times have you pitched for the business and never got the commission fee you originally asked for or told that particular owner? I think we’re all a bit guilty of dropping the fee we ask for from time to time in order to win and secure the listing. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
But what if I told you that you can earn the fee you ask for more often by doing two fairly simple things.
Create, build and maintain a great relationship with a homeowner long before they’re even thinking of selling. By doing this, you’re able to establish trust and rapport over a long period; so when an owner comes to list, you’re a long way ahead because of the work you’ve previously put in.
Whenever I coach agents, I get them to focus heavily on working with people who have no intention to sell, rather than those they’ve met only a month or two ago who are thinking of selling right now.
The reason? If you can service and build a relationship with an owner over a period of two, three, four-plus years, then when it comes time to pitch and present for the business, they should already know you quite well and hopefully feel comfortable with you.
If you’ve advertised yourself properly, they should have also been made aware of deals you’ve done in the past, and results you and your office have achieved in their area. And, believe me, most people would rather pay an agent a little bit extra if they feel comfortable with them than pay an agent less when they don’t trust them or feel a rapport with them.
So the reality is you actually earn part of your fee with the work and service you give a homeowner in the months and years leading up to their decision to sell.
Think of it like this: You earn 0.10 per cent every month or two when you’re servicing, building a relationship of trust and rapport with someone over a decent period of time. If you do none of this, how can you expect to get the fee you ask for?
Most people would rather pay an agent a little it extra if they feel comfortable with them.
You’d better be a killer listing presenter. So get out there and start building and maintaining trust with people over a long period of time. You’ll have a much better chance of getting the fee you ask for – or at least not being screwed down as much.
People want to do business with those they like and trust. Remember that!
POINT OUT THE VALUE
The second way to earn the fee you ask for comes at the time when you’re pitching for the business. If an owner or vendor can’t see the value in your fee, why should they pay it?
Unfortunately, lots of agents ask for a specific fee (whatever that is) but fail to show and explain why they’re asking that and what benefit it has to the seller. This is why many don’t get what they ask for.
I’m a big believer that 70 to 80 per cent of the time you spend pitching and presenting should be about you and your office. Let’s face it, most agents’ marketing and commission are the same or similar. If that’s the case, put yourself in that seller’s shoes. What’s going to separate you from your competition when these two components are so alike?
So spend a good chunk of your time showing and explaining your point of difference. Here are a few ideas to help you earn the fee you ask for:
- Explain to the seller your service to them from the day they sign with you, right through to settlement.
Break it down into three parts. Every little thing you do before you go live to market, everything you do once you hit the market, and then everything once the property exchanges up until settlement.For me, this is crucial. Lots of agents work hard behind the scenes to get the job done, but very few actually show and explain this to that potential seller at the presentation. Don’t you think it would be far more powerful if you explained all this when pitching for the business? Tell them how hard you work and everything you do from start to finish. If you need help with structuring and how to present this so you prove your worth, please reach out to me.
What’s going to separate you from your competition when two agents are so alike?
- Explain to the potential seller your access to buyers and how you plan to attract them to their home.
What will you do when a buyer shows interest in their home, requests a contract or makes an offer? How will you nurture and work with that buyer to get the very most out of them?
- Explain the outstanding service you’re going to give your vendor from Day 1 to settlement.
Remember, most people will only sell two or three properties in their lifetime, so naturally selling a home can be stressful considering so much money is involved. It’s up to you as their agent to make them feel comfortable every step of the way and help them overcome any fears or concerns they have about the upcoming sale.
In summary, when pitching for the business, prove your worth by explaining your service back to front from Day 1 to settlement and how you’re going to add value. If you do this right, it will take you a while. But I promise you that, in most cases, that potential seller isn’t going to hear this from other agents they interview. So that’s your point of difference and where you can get one up on your competition.
Remember, spend a reduced time discussing price, marketing, method of sale and your fee, because in most cases what you discuss here will be similar to other agents. Give the majority of your time explaining why they should choose you and describing your level of service in high detail, because that’s how you’re going to win the business and truly earn the fee you ask for.