A simple script to power up every listing presentation
Although real estate is a rapidly evolving industry, there are some powerful marketing strategies that remain evergreen. If you’re a listing agent, the way to success is a simple concept that can be challenging to achieve. Ready?
To be a successful listing agent:
1. Get more listing appointments
2. Turn more of those listing appointments into wins
A simple plan, but easier said than one. This post is the result of 28 years of experience creating real estate marketing tools and software, as well as input from some of real estate’s best presenters, like my friends Tom Ferry and Sharran Srivatsaa.
Sharran was kind enough to write the foreword for the Art of the CMA book, but he also contributed tips on how to Win 96% of your listing presentations, some of which I’ll share now. Let’s get to work.
Average agents use CMAs in limited, non-creative ways. They simply use CMAs as a tool to price homes and create reports.
- High-performing agents flip the script and look at CMAs from the eyes of their prospects and clients.
Here it is: If you consider a CMA from a home seller’s perspective – and you should – you might consider that a CMA is not just an agent’s tool. CMAs also are used by homeowners. They use CMAs, as sort of a resume, and the listing presentation is like an audition to help them choose the best real estate agent to sell their home.
Top agents know that CMAs provide an opportunity to demonstrate and document their pricing expertise and local knowledge– a great way to separate you from the robots. Top real estate pros practice empathy, put themselves in the home seller’s shoes, and make it easy for the sellers to decide who to hire.
How to tell your listing story
“We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.”
– Jimmy Neil Smith
It’s not surprising that real estate’s best presenters are great storytellers. The story you are telling in a listing presentation is your opinion of how your client’s home compares to other neighborhood homes that have either recently sold/closed, for sale (actives) about to sell (pendings), or have tried to sell (expireds).
Of course, you will use your own language, but the story arc should be something like this script:
A script for success
in your next listing presentation:
“I’ve reviewed the MLS system and tax records, and based on that research I’ve selected 10 homes that I feel are good comparable properties, or “comps” to your home.
- Three of those homes have sold recently
- One home sold over a year ago
- Three homes are currently on the market. These are our competition.
- Two homes are pending sales. We don’t know the final sales price yet.
- One home that was taken off the market that appears to be priced too high
We’ll quickly review each listing, and what I think are our best comps for your home.
I am also going to show you why I think one home, while in the same neighborhood and has the same floor plan, is not a good comp, and why I’ve made adjustments to the price in order to closer match your property.
We have photos for all these comps, maps and some supporting data. Some of the comps have a virtual tour as well. I have graphs showing how long properties took to sell in this market and if any price adjustments were made. We can run through some “what-if” scenarios, if you like.
Then we’ll touch on Zestimates and see how accurate Zillow has been in the neighborhood, compared to actual sold listings and what an iBuyer like Opendoor would pay in a cash offer for your property.
To get to the bottom line – the expected costs of selling your home and the net proceeds that end up in your pocket – I’ve put together a rough Seller’s Net Sheet. I have also created a full marketing plan outlining the ways I am going to get your home sold as quickly as possible, for as much as possible. Sound good?
Then I will answer any questions you have about the analysis I’ve done. I hope that with all your questions and concerns answered, I can leave this meeting fully prepared to begin the process of selling your home. Are we ready to begin?
You’ll notice a recurring theme in the Art of the CMA: You can achieve seemingly impossible levels of success simply by doing what most agents cannot, or will not do. Real estate’s most successful coaches and mentors consistently bang the drum about the importance of scripts in winning business. But since most sellers ask the same questions over and over, you should have your answer locked and loaded. You don't want to be thinking about what you should have said on the way out the door.
Yet most agents don’t practice them, or make it a priority to critique their performance to examine to continually improve. Use the script, practice it, optimize it, make it your own.
CMAs aren’t just for sellers - they’re also for homebuyers and homeowners
The moral of this listing story is that you’re not just providing your opinion of a fair-market price, and walking out with a signed listing agreement. You are also showing up as a trusted local expert who has the skills and connections to get your prospect’s home sold as quickly, and profitably, as possible for them.
Whether you're representing buyers or sellers, using a CMA is essential. Again, most buyer agents won’t take the time to do it. Why should you? You can use CMAs to level the playing field and provide your buyers with an advantage by helping them determine whether the home they’re interested in is a good deal.
You should assume the seller agent on the other side of the table has presented a CMA, and if you don’t prepare buyers with the same depth of information, you’re doing them a disservice. If you’re a relatively new agent, preparing CMAs for buyers will let you know if a home is priced right, and accelerate the learning process of becoming the neighborhood expert.