Why you shouldn’t put all your prospecting eggs in your listing presentation basket

The risk of having all your eggs in the one basket is that, if you drop it, all the eggs will break. It’s no different in real estate.

Agents routinely put all their eggs in one basket with their listing presentations.

Following roughly one-to-four hours of extensive research (trawling Pricefinder), preparation (crossing your fingers there aren’t any typos) and wrestling with the office printer, which is running low on toner, agents endeavour to deliver a smooth two-hour presentation to a potential vendor.

Agents may leave on a high, feeling the presentation went swimmingly and feel as though they couldn’t possibly be outperformed.

They leave a copy of their presentation; walking out with their hope in their hands and their eggs in the one basket.

The problem with banking on those two hours is that almost every other agent is following the same strategy:

  • Every other agent is also relaying data and comparable sales in the local market.
  • Providing insights into marketing conditions will barely differ from the competition.
  • Using social proof for why an agent is a ‘top-notch seller’ is spurious at best.

We all walk in wearing the same kind of outfit, presenting the same sort of ideas, with varying levels of composure and confidence.

When everybody is on the same level, the only way to stand out from the pack is to low ball: drop your fees or marketing costs.

Let me lay some truth on you: no one is that good at listing presentations to justify making it the pinnacle platform upon which success or failure in listing a property is determined.

Yet, so many do it.

If you’re honest with yourself, your listing presentation isn’t so remarkably different or perfect that you can justify ignoring all the other client touchpoints.

So, where else should you invest your time to differentiate yourself from the competition?

Give before you get

Communicating with your clients extends beyond your follow-up process after a listing presentation.

Proactive marketing outreach and prospective marketing are paramount to keep your services top-of-mind, irrespective of whether you are chosen as the listing agent or not.

This includes genuinely informing your database about the factors influencing the market around them, with a view to having two-way communication.

That prospecting two-way communication is the only way to discover when a homeowner who was not in ‘real estate mode’, now is.

You must nurture your leads well before they need you by being a credible source of intelligence on market factors, including buyer demographics, construction, infrastructure, values, volumes and more.

These people may not need you tomorrow, next month or next year, but they may present a referral opportunity or a direct opportunity down the track. You don’t want to miss out on any revenue potential.

Email campaigns (quarterly at least), educational videos and an active social media presence are the modern basics you should use to stay in touch with your clients and differentiate from your competitors.

Rather than a blast an email about your latest listings, discuss the market pertinent to the people on the database.

Create a community by providing insights that are worth discussing around the dinner table.

Make it short and sharp – everyone is time poor.

Above all else, don’t forget to make communications sound just like you are having a chat.

Fixing your follow-up

After any communication you send – whether it’s a letter, an email or a direct message on Facebook – if you don’t follow it up, you have lost the opportunity.

Some agents can spend days waiting with their fingers crossed, hoping they get the call back.

This is a colossal waste of profitable time for your business. The solution is simple – fix and perfect your follow-up.

The follow-up phone call and email, accompanied with a mix of scheduled and disciplined touchpoints is the key to a winning strategy.

Here’s what you should include in your phone call:

  • Thank them for their time before you start.
  • Include any additional information you didn’t share in the presentation or communication.
  • Anticipate new questions and answer them before they have the chance to ask.
  • Prompt them with other questions you’ve received from homeowners.
  • Ask them if they have any questions.
  • Discover a reason to follow-up during the call and schedule it.

Fixing your follow-up will fix your business, I promise.

Being memorable

Australians can have a love/hate relationship with agents, and selecting the right one can be a tremendous decision.

Being memorable can feel impossible in a listing presentation with a vendor who has called in three of your competitors.

Interestingly, on paper, all real estate agents are somewhat the same and each listing presentation a vendor sees is relatively a carbon copy.

Therefore, it cannot be the only tool in your toolbox.

In both your prospecting marketing, and your follow-up, you have the potential to stand out, and this is the ideal environment to be authentic and show your human side.

Again, that two-way communication is the only way to discover when a homeowner who was not in real estate mode now is.

Having an authentic brand is crucial to succeeding in business these days. There’s no better way to be authentically you than to have a one-on-one conversation.

Profile marketing – you know, the ubiquitous blast emails of listings, the DL drops and the billboards – are not authentic marketing.

They matter, but they don’t work on their own. These days, if potential clients only perceive you as ‘over-salesly’, boring and homogenous, I guarantee you won’t win the listing.

Being authentic makes you memorable, valuable and accessible.

Neither an email (on its own), nor a listing presentation can do that without the voice-to-voice or face-to-face touchpoints in between.

Whether it’s all your eggs in a basket or one tool in the toolbox, the answer is the same.

A slam dunk listing presentation is not guaranteed to win you the vendor.

You must implement the right structure in your business, with disciplined, scheduled touchpoints and a bit of personality.

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Adrian Knowles

Adrian Knowles is the CEO of Harcourts Australia