3 Steps to Win Real Estate Listing Presentations With Your CMA

An insider’s guide, Part Two by Greg Robertson and Charles Warnock

Second in a series. Check out The previous post, The Art of the CMA Part One. The book is available now in print and Kindle ebook versions. 

Chapter 5: Data Storytelling and Visual Impact

“Visualization gives you answers to questions you didn’t know you had.”
– Ben Schneiderman, University of Maryland

Chapter 5 begins with Greg asking the question, do we really need to talk more about data and technology?  And the answer is a resounding yes. 

Like it or not, real estate is awash in data, with more data flooding the market each day. It’s not just transaction data, but increasingly, real estate companies are combining data and analysis in novel ways for competitive advantage.

It’s your job to turn those data into actionable insights and competitive advantage for you and your clients. You can be incredibly successful in real estate without being a data scientist. You cannot be incredibly successful without knowing which facts and figures are important. 

Today’s most successful agents and brokers not only know the data, they know how to use it for increased visibility, more effective prospecting, lead generation and increasing client loyalty and referrals. As data visualization guru Edward Tufte says, 

“If the statistics are boring, then you’ve got the wrong numbers.”

We have all heard the excited pitches about how to transform your business with data. But many of those pitches are pushing data visualization tools that overpromise and under-deliver. You don’t need to be very sophisticated with visualization and presentation tools to share valuable real estate insights with your audience.

You can be incredibly successful in residential real estate without being a data scientist. You cannot be incredibly successful without knowing which facts and figures are important to your customers. Chapter 5 highlights include: 

How to use data visualizations to educate sellers and help them achieve better results. The chart below is an industry standard that’s included in every high-quality CMA tool. It’s great for handling the objection, “Why don’t we just price it high and see if we get any bites?” The chart shows that the number of buyers who are interested in homes for sale is highest in the early stages, and how quickly buyer interest wanes within four weeks.

Timing - buyer interest chart from the Art of the CMA

The chart below is another way to keep it simple by showing seller prospects that if there are 100 prospective buyers, overpricing by just 10% could drop that number to two prospective buyers. Agents who set realistic expectations early in the process can avoid difficult conversations later in the home-selling process, and pave the way for favorable reviews and recommendations.   

Accurate home pricing and valuation is the key to successful real estate sales

For example, if you clearly show that $500,000 homes currently sell for 5% below list price in your community, the sellers may be more reasonable if they receive an offer for $475,000. In the same way, if sellers receive an offer for $450,000, you can easily support advising the sellers to make a counter-offer of $480,000 and settle for $475,000, which is consistent with what you’ve told them from the start.

Other charts you can use to manage expectations include local days on market (DOM) and charts that clarify agent / broker commission distribution. Consistency builds confidence with buyers and sellers. Don’t sell homes without it.

Chapter 5 highlights include:

  • A visual way to show prospects the high cost of overpricing. (Page 112)
  • Setting realistic expectations for sellers at the outset. (Page 113)
  • Commission splits and distribution: Helping sellers see the whole picture. (Page 117)

Insider info: Chapter 5 shares how Listing agents can win more business by creating what presentation guru Nancy Duarte calls S.T.A.R. moments — Something They’ll Always Remember. It can be tough to narrow it down, but agents should choose one moment that will stick in the minds of your audience long after your presentation is over. What’s the STAR moment of your next listing presentation? 

Chapter 6: The Kitchen Table Battlefield:
How to Win the Listing Presentation

One of Greg’s early mentors is something of a Renaissance man named John Morris who has been a real estate agent, developer, restaurant owner and race car driver. John Morris taught Greg that to use CMAs properly, agents needed to accomplish three things:

1. Establish themselves as professionals.

The first part of any listing presentation is to establish yourself as a professional. Ideally, you’ve already established yourself as a trusted professional before taking a seat at the table.

2. Present the CMA.

Present your CMAS so the first section highlights your track record and neighborhood

expertise. Share your highlights and experience, and establish yourself as a professional before diving into the details. Make sure you’ve arranged your charts and data visualizations in a way that helps your prospects understand and feel comfortable with the transaction process that you’ll guide them through.

3. Get the listing!

As a real estate agent or broker, you wear many hats. One of the most important is the salesperson hat, yet I see many agents who are reluctant to ask for the business. They don’t know how to close, and they have never been taught. The secret is to build the close into your CMA presentation and build up to the close very naturally. Many agents don’t practice or role play this critical moment, but it can be the difference between success and failure. 

After spending months on prospecting and lead generation, it’s time to step up to the opportunity with everything you can bring to the table—literally. How do you make the most of that short time together, and make sure it ends with putting pen to paper? Motivated agents often feel compelled to pack as much information as they can into the listing presentation. But often, less is more. 

Your prospects simply must know about your services, vast experience, competitive differentiators, and exceptional client support. Because there’s a lot to cover and limited time, you’ve got to make every moment count. Whether you’re an aspiring agent or the top local agent, this is timeless information. If you design your CMA and presentation correctly and execute each step skillfully, in the correct order, you will win more business. 

  • Follow these three steps to walk out with a signed listing contract. (Page 126)
  • Thirteen questions to better understand your prospects’ goals. (Page 133)
  • How to win 96% of your listing presentations. (Page 134)

Insider info: In the book, we talk about how all agents have a superpower, but many don’t use it. Nearly every seller asks: 

1. Why should I choose you to sell my house

2. Why do you deserve all that commission?

You know that sellers will ask these. Being prepared for these questions is your superpower. It’s all in the book!

Chapter 7: You Run This Town:
Becoming the Go-to Agent
in Your Community

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin

If you are going to be great at anything, it’s going to take work. If you want to be the one go-to agent in your neighborhood, realize that your chosen career is not a nine-to-five job—you have to make it part of your lifestyle. Whether it’s making free throws, hat tricks, bicycle kicks, or selling a lot of real estate, it’s going to take practice. Who’s the top real estate agent today in your community? For many agents, this is the ultimate goal.

There’s no faster way to engage people and establish trust than demonstrating that you are the go-to local expert. You have all the answers that a nervous homebuyer wants and needs. The goal with all your outreach, online and in person, is to add value with every single prospect and client interaction, but even if you get only halfway there, I promise you that you are going to be way ahead of the pack.

Obviously, your MLS provider is going to be a great resource. There are also many vendors that provide statistical tools. The tax data offered by most MLS providers can provide a wealth of information. It may take months and years to master the nitty-gritty details, but knowing and sharing this information is going to set you apart from any other agent who dares to set foot on your farm.

  • The most powerful call to action in real estate history. (Page 168)
  • Five fast-and-foolproof methods to prospect with CMAs. (Page 171)
  • Lead generation, and why the sphere makes your career. (Page 186)

Bonus content: Make the most of the MLS

The MLS is a critical source of data that underpins every real estate transaction. But that doesn't mean that the MLS doesn't have a funny side: 


CMLS Industry Update 2020l

Insider info: “How’s the real estate market?”

Real estate pros know that question is a golden opportunity to demonstrate local expertise and differentiate themselves. Average real estate agents stumble over the “How’s the market?” question. Top real estate pros seize the moment to make a powerful first impression and set the stage for a productive relationship. It’s a softball you ought to be able to knock out of the park. You should be prepared to answer this question anywhere—open house, Starbucks, kids’ soccer games, even in a public restroom.

Stay tuned for the finale: Part three of The Art of the CMA: So What’s in the Book?



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